The news was a sensation: within a very short time, the Mainz-based company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer achieved the breakthrough in research into a corona vaccine. It is not only the speed that is exceptional – never before has a serum been developed so quickly – but also the effectiveness of the serum. At 90 percent, this was well above expectations.
Scientists and biotechnologists have recently been able to apply for jobs at the new star company. Biontech is currently looking for new specialists on the Stepstone platform who are researching, among other things, the Lightspeed project – the Covid-19 vaccine based on mRNA technology. In addition to Biontech, the Tübingen-based company Curevac is also at the forefront of the search for a vaccine. In addition to Biontech, the Tübingen-based company Curevac is also at the forefront of the search for a vaccine. What does this success mean for the German industry and the job market?
“Biotechnology is a job with good future prospects”, says Lea Louisa Schröder, Communication Manager at Stepstone. The area is growing increasingly. At the same time, there was a considerable lack of expertise in research and in the biotechnological pharmaceutical industry. An evaluation by Stepstone shows that around 20 percent more jobs were advertised for laboratory technicians, chemists, biologists, medical-technical assistants and pharmacists than in the previous year.
Companies are increasingly looking for biologists
Biologists are particularly in demand: between July and October, around 40 percent more searches were made than between April and June of this year. Compared to last year, the increase is 50 percent. “Many companies are looking for specialists in certain areas that are currently growing through new technologies and findings,” says the job expert. As is currently the case with Biontech.
A bio engineer or chemist earns around 57,000 euros gross, according to the Stepstone salary report. So roughly like the national average. A biology laboratory technician receives around 37,600 euros per year. However, this is a training occupation. In general, according to Schröder, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the very well paying sectors – but it always depends on the size of the company and the exact area.
And what should an applicant bring with them when applying to a company like Biontech? On the one hand, technical knowledge is a prerequisite. In its job advertisement, the Mainz-based company calls for additional knowledge, for example in the cultivation of immune cells, after a degree in natural sciences or biology. In general, it is always helpful, says Schröder, if applicants have practical experience in addition to their academic training and can also prove it.
Soft skills such as good time management, the ability to work in a team and a structured way of working are also required. A study by Stepstone shows that companies find it particularly important that an employee fits into the corporate culture and what characteristics it has.
When applying, you should always keep in mind why you are the right candidate for the position, advises Schröder – and refer to it directly. If, as at Biontech, experience in the production of pharmaceuticals is required, it is helpful, for example, to explain exactly which project has already been carried out in the area.
The Covid-19 vaccine with the new mRNA technology from Biontech could give the German pharmaceutical industry another boost – and thus also boost the job market.