A international recruiting survey found that Medical Science Liaison (MSL) positions have increased by over 38% and is one of the fastest growing, science-related jobs in the world. A recent McKinsey & Company report found that MSL roles will continue to increase rapidly through 2020. The same report also showed that advanced degree holders with a strong scientific background will be hired more and more for these roles.
MSL positions can be found in a variety of healthcare-based sectors including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device sectors. The biggest misconception regarding MSL positions is that it is a sales position. This is not true. In reality, MSLs act as scientifically trained field personnel who are considered to be part of a company’s medical staff. Most MSLs are not even allowed to discuss drug prices or conduct sales. This provides MSLs with more freedom to learn and teach. As a result, they gain a deeper knowledge of therapeutic areas and are able to discuss detailed medical and scientific issues with physicians. Currently PhDs with scientific knowledge have a significant advantage in finding employment. However, MSL positions are highly competitive with only 1-2% of applicants getting hired. Cheeky Scientist’s Medical Science Liaison Alliance will give you access to the MSL network and MSL-specific information you need to get hired into a top MSL position.
"I was research scientist in academia for almost 8 years after getting my PhD. I did two very long postdocs, one was almost 3 years and the one before it was almost 4 years. To make matters worse, I had looking for a job in industry for over a year without making much progress. I had really high standards for myself and wanted a high-level job like a Medical Science Liaison or a Project Manager position, not just an entry level position. The problem was I didn't have any industry experience AND I didn't have any industry knowledge. When industry hiring managers interviewed me for these higher-level, they'd ask me advanced business questions that I didn't know how to answer. Or, they would mention business topics that I'd never heard of and I'd stare blankly back at them. It wasn't until I learned about Cheeky Scientist and joined their ScientistMBA program that things started to change. Now, I have the high-level job I want at a top biopharmaceutical company and couldn't be happier. The management knowledge I gained in SMBA has changed the trajectory of my career and I highly recommend it to other PhDs who have spent most of their lives in academia."
Yuri Klyachkin, Ph.D., Medical Science Liaison at Bristol-Myers Squibb
"I started a postdoc a few years ago thinking I’d have multiple publications and a professorship. That didn’t happen. I was miserable in my postdoc. I took any sick day I could. I turned my focus to trying to interview for jobs. It was so uncomfortable. I could barely get a face-to-face interview and when I did, I lacked confidence and had no rapport with hiring managers. I felt as though I wasn’t being taken seriously because my PhD was in Nutrition and not Immunology. I signed up for the Cheeky Scientist Association because of these horrible experiences. I found hope and was able to stop focusing on my problems. As I worked through the modules I didn’t feel as desperate and got my confidence back. I learned to write a resume that listed my strengths and was able to adjust my priorities to really know WHY I was doing what I was doing. The community aspect was a life saver! It was there for me every day. I knew that I wasn’t just some loser PhD in the country. The Cheeky Scientist Association helped me finally start approaching my job search strategically. The program showed me how to communicate my transferable skills, and not just my technical skills. As a result, I got the job I've always wanted."
Marlies Ozias, Ph.D., Medical Science Liaison at Bristol-Myers Squibb
"The Cheeky Scientist Association took me from being very unsure on how to approach my job search to getting a industry position above the one I interviewed for and a correspondingly much bigger salary package. Trust me, the program is worth every penny. The Association takes you through the broad strokes of networking and designing a job search strategy to concrete practical tips like inserting the right result in the right place on your resume and saying “any reasonable offer will be considered” when asked how much you expect to earn during an interview. The resume workshop in particular was a game-changer. The only people that shouldn’t join this programs are PhDs who want to keep procrastinating and making excuses for why they are still stuck in academia."
Aaron Gajadhar, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals