Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Clinical Research - A Second Career for Health and Science Professionals

Who might you reasonably expect to find enrolled in clinical research courses? Whether in Toronto or Tokyo, no matter where you are, the answer is likely to include a certain percentage of students who come from health or sciences.
In fact, one recent online survey identified "clinical research associate" as an ideal second career for people 50 and over. Why is this such an attractive career choice for people in this age bracket? There are many reasons.
1. Highly developed sense of responsibility
The graduates of clinical research training safeguard the safety of our food and drug supply. They must blend legal knowledge with laboratory know-how; good recording skills with good organizational skills. In some cases, they may be responsible for an entire team. They may be subjected to an audit. They must be able to communicate with colleagues, clients and government officials. They need the motivation to stay up to date on developments in their field.
2. One of the markets for clinical research training is employers
One reason that clinical research courses abound is that there is a demand for them, and that demand comes from employers who want well-trained employees. By registering their employees in related programs, employers ensure that employees have adequate training in such clinical mainstays as:
- pharmacology
- biopharmaceuticals
- medical devices
- biotech
- pathology
- anatomy
- physiology
- estimating costs
- allocating resources
- development protocols
- best practices
- developing products
So, if you are already employed by a pharmaceutical firm or food producer, you may want to use the connections that you already have to segue into a second career in the laboratory.
3. Competitive salary
As a highly trained professional, a clinical research associate can expect to make a good income, as much as $80,000 a year, by some estimates. This is good news at any stage of life, but all the more so as the retirement years draw closer, when you want to make sure that you have enough money to last until the end of your life.
4. Demand for associates
If you look up jobs for graduates of clinical research courses on job boards, they will all likely show the same thing: postings galore. Of course the number of posts that come up in a search depends on the market (both generally and locally) but it is a good idea to keep your eye out for new openings.
Intrigued? If you are already employed, find out if your employer offers any re-training programs. If not, look near you for clinical research courses. Most major cities should offer them. Good luck with launching your second career!

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