As a student, you must dream of getting a job that will be perfect for you. Fortunate are those who get the opportunity to pursue a career in a profile they are passionate about. If you are interested in medical science and are inquisitive and motivated, you may have just got your answer. Clinical research is becoming one of the most in-demand professions, and this is your golden chance to be a part of that industry. Many students have a notion that clinical research is tedious as it is limited to the four walls of a laboratory. However, it is not the reality.
There are various functions in clinical research, each of which demands varied skill sets. Here are six reasons why you must consider studying clinical research after high school –
- Offers Flexible Job Options
After graduating with clinical research you will be eligible to become a clinical research associate. The role of a CRA is extremely flexible. If you wish to be a frequent flyer and don’t like working from within a cubicle, then it can be a perfect job option for you.
The common misconception is that clinical research associates only are responsible for interacting with patients and collecting their data. However, it is much more than that. CRAs need to travel frequently between various research sites to verify data transcription. They keep travelling to monitor and ensure that all research facilities comply with the necessary protocols.
Clinical research associates can be of two types – In-house and home-based. While in-house employees need to visit the laboratories, home-based researchers can work remotely. There is 100% flexibility in choosing your preferred mode of work. If you feel comfortable working and travelling from home, you can choose to be a home-based researcher. Some students prefer to become in-house researchers because they get bored working from home. However, the clinical research team always works in tandem and keeps each other in the loop about the projects.
- Ideal for People Persons
Have your friends told you that you are an extrovert kind of person? Do you feel comfortable and confident interacting with new people every day? If the answer to both these questions is yes, then you definitely must study clinical research after high school.
The job of a clinical research coordinator is ideal for students who are “people person”. Clinical research coordinators, or CRCs, are the backbone of any clinical research project. CRCs need to visit patients every day and ensure the research trials are following protocols. They also need to input documents securely into the EDCs, handle all the regulatory documents and update the principal investigator with trial results.
CRCs are responsible for every step in the process and development of a new drug. So, every clinical laboratory looks to hire good CRCs, and they get paid handsomely. So, if you can work on your organisational skills along with your interpersonal skills, you can be an indispensable asset for any laboratory.
- Being Tech-savvy is a Bonus
Do you like to be among gadgets and consider yourself a technology enthusiast? If you have prior experience in basic coding or have dabbled in computer science, then you will feel right at home in clinical research. Some clinical research divisions need concepts of IT and look to hire people with knowledge of technology and data organisation.
So, if you share a common love for both medicine and technology, you can become clinical research assistants after studying clinical research. As CTAs, you will be asked to manage the Trial Master File. The TMF is a crucial part of any research project that archives and maintains all the trial documents. Clinical research assistants remain solely responsible for filing, maintaining and storing data and work in close proximity with the clinical research associates. CTAs provide support in every step, from pre-clinical research to site management.
- Guarantees a Handsome Package and Growth
After completing your clinical research courses, you can choose several career paths. Most students prefer to start as CRCs or CTAs. However, depending on your skills and desire, you can choose any profile you like. Any prior experience as an intern also comes in handy while choosing a profile after your graduation.
Regardless of your career path, you can secure a lucrative job with immense growth potential and financial benefits. As per reports, the average salary for a CTA is approximately $63,000 annually. This can go up to $73,000, including social security and healthcare benefits. Similarly, average CRCs can earn between $54000 to $72000, including employee benefits per year.
There are ample opportunities for career development paths of CRCs or CTCs. You can get promoted to a clinical research associate or individual contractor CRAs within a couple of years of experience. As CRAs the earning opportunity is even more, and one can earn more than $1,00,000 annually which can rise up to $3,00,000.
- It Values Knowledge over Degrees
If you feel that degrees are just glorified pieces of paper, and true knowledge cannot be limited to a certificate, clinical research is the place to be. Traditionally, clinical researchers have always valued experience over degrees. It won’t matter what you have learned in college as long as you can be productive to the company. Graduation courses can certainly help you to walk in the right direction. But you don’t need any fancy master’s degree to become successful as a clinical researcher. In fact, certain profiles won’t even require a bachelor’s degree.
You need to make a CV that appeals to the recruiters and meets the company’s needs. Once you get in a job, you can gain on-the-job training and experience. Work on your networking skills and soon you will find many connections to make career progression with the necessary experience.
- Be the Change You Want to See
There are two types of people around us – one accepts the world as it is, while others work hard to bring in the change they dream of. Studying clinical research and working with medical sciences makes you a part of the change. Medical science has grown in leaps and bounds in the last few decades. However, that wasn’t a miracle. Instead, this was the result of years of research and innovation by clinical researchers. So, each day you work in clinical research, you can go to sleep with the satisfaction of knowing that you are changing the world for good.
The clinical research industry is a booming area. The clinical trial market is valued at over 40 billion dollars approximately. Post-2020 pandemic, the rise in vaccines and drugs has increased tenfold. As the world is pushing to become more knowledgeable to battle known and still unknown diseases, the possibility of market growth is endless. So, students can aim to study clinical research after school and become successful professionals.