Dec 7, 2011Business
It pays to innovate: Big bucks in bioinformatics, genetics, clinical research, and pharma

The more innovative you are, the more you’re worth. The 2011 salary survey published by The Scientist reported that the highest paid science careers are in clinical research, drug discovery/development, bioinformatics, and genetics.  We’ve seen a lot of fantastic innovations from these areas, and there may be a direct association between earning a six-figure income and innovation. 


Education level alone is not driving these findings.  Gender plays a role; apparently men are still making more than women.  A closer look points to another correlation between discipline and salary – innovation. 


Consider the evidence.  According to an FDA news release on November 3rd, the agency approved 35 new innovative drugs in 2011, a result that reflects an outstanding performance from the industry and the agency. Many of these new drugs were approved in less than six months and were indicated for cancer treatment, which requires substantial contributions from bioinformatics, genetics, and bioengineering.  Additionally, the agency is stepping up its support for entrepreneurs developing biomedical innovations. So, if you are a young entrepreneur looking for an opportunity in the biomedical industry, 2012 may be the year to act. 


There’s been a great deal of buzz about genetic discoveries this year, especially with the latest announcement of a “fat gene” that can be targeted for obesity and weight loss indications. Weight loss and diet trends have long been a popular cornerstone in the news world, but when this story broke it was like the ultimate diet pill had just been found.  The person who can solve weight problems and take healthy eating and exercise out of the equation is bound to be a millionaire; despite how right or wrong the solution may seem.   


Ironically, the FDA continues to issue numerous product recalls and warning letters to producers of so-called “diet pills.”  If you’re skeptical of the FDA’s performance, you’re probably a little bit nervous knowing how quickly new drugs are getting approved.  You’re also probably skeptical of a synthetic solution to a natural problem like obesity. 


If you’re looking to boost your salary in 2012, consider an innovative career path in the life sciences.  Here are some suggestions for ways to earn big rewards and big salaries.


1)      Study interdisciplinary sciences such as bioengineering or medical technology.  The point where two fields cross paths is where new innovations can be found. 


2)      Instead of creating a new product from scratch, look for ways to improve on existing products in a way that creates a new market. 


3)      Innovations that pay big rewards solve big problems - problems that affect the masses.  If you create an innovation that can be useful to the masses, you’re target market will be easier to reach. 


4)      Your innovation should be simple.  If you can’t describe it in a single sentence, then you’re not ready.  Keep working to simplify the concept until you have something that the general public will understand.  This can be difficult for scientists because they often think in complex terms.  Thus, tip number five:


5)      Collaborate with a team of experts that compliment your skills.  In other words, don’t do it all yourself.  The opinions and contributions of others will only enhance the value of your innovation.  Look for a stand-out consultancy that specializes in the healthcare industry, such as the dd+p group.     

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