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Three Life Science Skillsets for a Post Pandemic World

COVID-19 has reshaped the way we do business, how we interact with each other, closed and opened opportunities. Essential workers are on the frontlines and scientists work feverishly in the background to help flatten the curve and find a cure. The Life Sciences industry has seen a surge in demand, but can those needs be met in time?  New York, California, and Boston, face the highest demand and the biggest shortage of workers to fill the jobs. In Massachusetts alone, it’s estimated that though 74,000 people filled Life Science jobs by the end of 2018, there would be a need for an additional 12,000 by 2024. This was before the pandemic struck. The need is ever greater now. So, what skills do you need to enter the Biotech and Life Sciences field and if you’re in the field, how can you upskill or reskill to fill the most in demand roles?  THREE ADVANCED SKILLSETS FOR A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD Computer Vision – A subset of AI, Computer Vision can help the healthcare industry in a variety of ways. It can help identify anomalies in x-rays, help craft prediction models for things like tracking and vaccine solutions, and enhance technology workflows. Data Storytelling – One key element businesses look for in a Data professional is someone who has good data storytelling skills. The ability to translate complex numbers and statistics into something executives and stakeholders can understand is becoming ever more important and ensures sustainability of business continuity. Not only does Data Storytelling make information more digestible for non-technical professionals, it also helps business leaders to make powerful insights about where they are and what steps they need to make moving forward.Skills in Healthcare Technologies – Healthcare technology skills are in high demand. Data professionals who can use and understand medical data in real-time to get results will be highly sought after. Advanced skill sets in healthcare, biotechnology, and similar areas within Life Sciences will see a surge in demand and would be most relevant to companies now more than ever before.  Computer Vision, Data Storytelling, and Healthcare Technology skills have become three of the top skillsets needed for today’s world. Each one feeds to the other, and as important as technical skills are, it’s just as important to have soft skills. Especially now. Thankfully, both soft skills and technical skills can be taught. But there still exists a gap between school and business. Below are some ideas on how to bridge that gap. BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOOL & BUSINESS STEM and STEAM skills will be in higher demand now more than ever before. As important as it is to ensure students with the desire to move into these fields, it’s more important to begin with the schools. For the professionals already in the industry, there are other ways to encourage bridging the gap. Draw more students into STEM programming careers and sustain encouragement as they progress in their studies and career.Emphasize skills with a focus toward the life sciences field.Emphasize that students don’t have to choose a business career over a science career. There is crossover leading to more opportunities.And for those life long learners (read: already in the field), ensure opportunities for professional development.Find talent in other creative ways. Consider ‘non-traditional’ candidates. Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Everyone’s on the same page. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running.  In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology, and particularly biotechnology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path.  If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.   For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

Why You Should Always Be Learning In Data Science: Tips From Kevin Tran

Last month we sat down with Kevin Tran, a Senior Data Scientist at Stanford University, to chat about Data Science trends, improvements in the industry, and his top tips for success in the market.  As one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices of 2019 within Data & Analytics. his thoughts on the industry regularly garner hundreds of responses, with debates and discussions bubbling up in the comments from colleagues eager to offer their input.  This online reputation has allowed him to make a name for himself, building out his own little corner of the internet with his expertise. But for Tran, it’s never been about popularity. “It’s not about the numbers,” he says without hesitation. “I don’t care about posting things just to see the number of likes go up.” His goal is always connection, to speak with others and learn from them while teaching from his own background. He’s got plenty of stories from his own experiences. For him, sharing is a powerful way to lead others down a path he himself is still discovering.  When asked about the most important lesson he’s learned in the industry, he says it all boils down to staying open to new ideas.  “You have to continue to learn, and you have to learn how to learn. If you stop learning, you’ll become obsolete pretty soon, particularly in Data Science. These technologies are evolving every day. Syntax changes, model frameworks change, and you have to constantly keep yourself updated.”  He believes that one of the best ways to do that is through open discussion. His process is to share in order to help others. When he has a realisation, he wants to set it in front of others to pass along what he’s learned; he wants to see how others react to the same problem, if they agree or see a different angle. It’s vital to consider what you needed to know at that stage. Additionally, this exchange of ideas allows Tran to learn from how others tackle the same problems, as well as get a glimpse into other challenges he may have not yet encountered.  “When I mentor people, I’m still learning, myself,” Tran confesses. “There’s so much out there to learn, you can’t know it all. Data Science is so broad." At the end of the day, it all comes down to helping each other and bringing humanity back to the forefront. In fact, this was his biggest advice for both how to improve the industry and how to succeed in it. It’s a point he comes back to with some regularity in his writing. “It doesn’t matter how smart you are, stay humble and respect everyone,” one post reads. “Everyone can teach you something you don’t know.” Treating people well, understanding their needs, and consciously working to see them as people instead of numbers or titles—this, Tran argues, is how you succeed in the business. To learn and grow, you must work with people, especially people with different skills and mindsets. Navigating your career is not all technical, even in the world of Data. “The thing that cannot be automated is having a heart,” he tells me sagely. Beyond this, Tran stresses the need for a solid foundation. The one thing you can’t afford to do is take shortcuts. You have to learn the practicalities and how to apply them, but to be strong in theory as well.  Understanding what is happening underneath the code will keep you moving forward. He compares knowing the tools to learning math with a calculator. “If you take the calculator away, you still need to be able to do the work. You need the underlying skills too, so that when you’re in a situation without the calculator, you can still provide solutions.” By constantly striving to collaborate and improve, Tran believes the Data industry has the best chance of innovating successfully.  If you’re looking for a new challenge in an innovative and collaborative environment, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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