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Changing career? Why Switzerland should be your next Pharma destination

Posted on: 15 Jul

At first glance, the tiny nation state of Switzerland might not be the obvious place to secure your next job in Pharmaceuticals. However, once you know where to look, the potential is huge and the opportunities are ripe for the picking. Nestled between five different countries, and boasting a population of roughly 8.6 million- who speak four national languages between them- Switzerland has become a haven for big businesses looking to take advantage of the excellent tax rates and regulations that make it one of the best places in the world to do business.

That includes Pharmaceuticals. Switzerland’s favourable economic climate, position in the centre of Europe, and reputation for stability makes for a dynamic and interesting market that is growing year on year. For people thinking of making the leap and getting stuck into a career in Europe, there are many reasons why you should be doing so.

Here are some of them.

The quality of life 

It’s no secret that Switzerland has a great quality of life, ranking very highly compared to most other countries in the OECD Better Life Index. With health status, jobs and earning, work-life balance and environmental quality all ranking very highly in the index, it’s no wonder professionals are moving there, especially before the outbreak of Covid-19 there was an impressively low unemployment rate of 2.5%, well below the EU average. According to the Better Life Index, Switzerland ranks second in the world based on unemployment rates, job security and earnings, only behind Iceland.

That’s not all: Switzerland also boasts an excellent infrastructure, and many cultural benefits that draw people in from all corners of the Pharmaceutical industry. With multiple business languages to suit everybody, excellent transport links to the rest of Europe, cultural hubs in the form of Bern and cities like Lucerne, and the beautiful landscape to enjoy, moving to Switzerland is as much a lifestyle change as a job change. 

Get promoted 

Though Switzerland’s Pharmaceuticals market is growing rapidly, there remains a shortage of skilled professionals in the country - including medical sales representatives - meaning companies are struggling to fill every vacancy. As a result, not only is the job pool smaller, but both small and large companies are pushing to recruit talent from abroad to fill the gap and make their mark in the industry.

This has two benefits. Firstly, it means that you’re much more likely to get promoted than you would be in the more populated markets of the UK or the USA, and secondly, the high demand for talented employees- combined with Switzerland’s reputation for offering some of the highest salaries in the world- means that you’ll likely earn much more than you would for another job. If you’re a competitive young professional looking to make your mark and discover how technology is changing the modern workforce for the better, then there’s no better place to start.

Spread your wings

With well-trained professionals, excellent infrastructure and a sophisticated test and sales market, it’s no wonder that the nation is one of the most important stock exchange for Life Sciences companies in Europe and in 2019 Switzerland earned the number one spot on the World Intellectual Property Organisation innovation index, making it the ninth year in a row. Since Switzerland isn’t a member of the EU, it also has its own drug regulatory authority, Swissmedic, which works closely with the EU to ensure that drugs produced meet the required standards- and also makes for a very dynamic industry.

Indeed, Switzerland’s strong economy is a great draw for people wanting to make their mark in the industry: though it’s relatively small, Pharmaceuticals account for 5.4% of GDP, and 38% of all Switzerland’s exports. This, combined with Switzerland’s strong tradition of innovation within the sector, means that if you’re looking for a good place to pick up a variety of skills quickly- as well as a good grounding in your sector of choice- then look no further.

Work with big brands

With such favourable business conditions, and strong links to the rest of Europe, Switzerland has long proven an attractive candidate to many international Pharma companies, some of them the biggest in the world, such as Novartis and Roche, have headquarters within the country. As a result, it’s also remarkably diverse, and the perfect place to start looking if you want to find experience in a multitude of therapies and markets. 

Apply for your next job with IQVIA

Whether you’re starting out in the Pharmaceutical industry or looking to take your next career step, Switzerland is the perfect place to be. Why hesitate? Make the leap today: browse our medical sales jobs across Switzerland, Austria and Germany, or indulge your curious side and discover why you should work in Belgium