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Home » Life sciences » A blended technical and business skill set adds value to health and life science sector

Prof. Mark Tangney PhD MBA

Professor in Education for Enterprise, iEd Hub – Head

Holistic courses that develop both technical and business skill sets can help meet the talent requirements of Ireland’s expanding health and life science industry.

Technology and work practices in companies producing medicines and medical technologies in Ireland are rapidly changing, and so are the skill sets required to thrive in this area, says Professor Mark Tangney, head of the iEd Hub at University College Cork.

“Nowadays, people working in this industry require more than just technical training. Developing transversal skills that help people to understand how businesses operate is just as important,” he says. “The reality of working in a modern company in this sector is that you need to be a well-rounded individual and be able to hit the ground running when you first join the organisation.”

Postgraduate courses to meet skills demands

Through the Irish Higher Education Authority’s Human Capital Initiative, a scheme that provides training for unmet industry skill needs, the iEd Hub coalition is looking to help close skills gaps in the rapidly evolving biopharmaceutical and medical devices sectors through a range of novel postgraduate courses.

They’ve established partnerships with multiple companies, both large and small, to help develop courses that blend the specific technical, business and operational skills that organisations need today and in the future.

Studying a course that complements technical skills with business savviness can give jobseekers a competitive advantage.

“It’s a co-curated approach with the companies so that they are involved in both the design and delivery of these courses,” says Tangney. “Our lecturers span multiple different teaching disciplines, ranging from management and entrepreneurship to pharmacy, anatomy, engineering, to give a well-rounded educational experience to students.”

Well-rounded employees improve work efficiencies

Ireland is becoming known internationally as a centre of excellence in the health and life science sector, meaning there are plenty of job and growth opportunities in this industry, says Tangney. “The career prospects in this field are better now than they ever were,” he adds.

Studying a course that complements technical skills with business savviness can give jobseekers a competitive advantage during the recruitment process and help them to bring instant value to the companies they choose to work in.

“At the end of the day, when people go into any new job, the technical part of the job gets reduced and people take on more operational and managerial tasks,” says Tangney. “Here, at the iEd Hub, we take these realities on board. We train and equip people with the skills they need from day one, rather than leaving them to learn on the job. It’s a win-win for employees and companies.”

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