If you’ve been laid off a few times in the past, you may think there’s no such thing as a stable career anymore. Fortunately, that’s not the case. While the employment outlook in your current field may be a lot weaker than it was when you entered the field, other sectors are still going strong.
Clinical research is one of these promising fields. Clinical research professionals work on clinical trials. They assess sites for trials, implement studies, and supervise the studies. They ensure clinical studies are high quality and write reports after the studies end.
Why is there so much room for growth in this field? Here are some of the reasons.
Clinical Research Professionals Are Retiring
In Ontario, the employment outlook for clinical research professionals is good, according to Job Bank data. One of the reasons for this employment outlook is that a moderate number of current professionals are expected to retire. Fifteen percent of clinical research professionals are 55 years old or older, and these people are expected to start retiring.
When current professionals retire, it will open up new positions for graduates. This means there’s a lot of potential for growth for new graduates. Graduates can get hired for positions that retirees vacated, and then they can start moving up in their own careers.
Growing Needs of an Aging Population
Canada’s population is rapidly aging. There are a few reasons for this major demographic shift. One reason is the large baby boomer generation is starting to turn 65 years old. Combined with a low fertility rate and an increasing life expectancy, this means the population is much older than it used to be.
According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census figures, there are now more seniors than children in Canada. The population imbalance is expected to grow, and nearly one-quarter of the population could be senior citizens by 2031. This is expected to be a long-term trend, and seniors are projected to vastly outnumber children by 2061.
When people get older, they tend to need more healthcare and more medications. That’s good news for people considering careers in the healthcare field. Pharmaceutical companies will need to create medications to treat the health concerns of a large and aging population. Clinical research professionals will need to work on the clinical trials for those new medications and help them get to market. This is an exciting time to get started in this field.
Advances in Medicine Drive Clinical Trials
The aging population isn’t the only factor driving growth in the clinical research field. Advances in medicine are also playing a role. Personalized medicine is starting to become more common, and that means more clinical trials will be needed. That’s good news for people thinking about entering the field.
Personalized medicine consists of patients being prescribed medications based on their genetic make-ups. Other factors, like patients’ environments, are also considered. Patients undergo genetic testing, and then their doctors prescribe medications that have been shown to work well with their genes. This helps patients get effective treatments right away, instead of needing to take a few different medications before they find one that works.
Since personalized medicine is individual, clinical trials may become individual, too. Traditionally, clinical trials involve thousands of people. With the growth of personalized medicine, clinical trials may start to focus on one patient at a time. These trials will be more complicated since they need to focus on each patient’s genetics as well as environmental factors. This is an exciting opportunity for people working on clinical trials.