medical device industry

Continual development and innovation in medical devices is crucial to ensuring quality of life in the UK and across the world. The term ‘medical devices’ is naturally an extremely broad one, encompassing such items as syringes, wheelchairs, pacemakers, X-ray machines, orthopaedic devices, coronary artery stents and many more.

Regardless, there can be little doubt about the medical device industry's great importance in safeguarding the wellbeing of our increasingly health-aware population.

It is thanks to medical devices that diseases can be detected earlier and diagnoses, treatment and patient monitoring relentlessly improved. Breakthroughs and refinements in medical device technology have also been crucial for reducing the costs of healthcare at a time when health services around the world – not least the NHS – seem to be under greater financial pressure than ever.

What is the state of the UK medical device industry today?

A quick glance at the key statistics relating to the UK’s present medical device industry should serve to further underline its importance. According to the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), the UK medical technology sector was made up of more than 2,000 companies as of 2009, with four-fifths of those being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Emergo has said that the UK medical device market was valued at $9.9 billion in 2008, making it the third largest in Europe behind Germany and France. About 50,000 people are said to be employed in the sector, which is also trade positive in the UK, exporting more than it imports. It is a key part of a wider life sciences industry that has been hailed as one of the key contributors to the UK economy. 

However, ABHI has also said that “action is needed if the UK is to continue to thrive in this area and patients are to realise the full benefits of medical technology”. Furthermore, it’s clear that with many of the most exciting and lucrative science jobs today being in medical devices, science recruitment agencies like Hyper Recruitment Solutions have a crucial role to play in helping to match the right talent to the right medical device industry vacancies and employers.  

What you need to know if you are interested in a medical devices career

Although medical devices tend to be based on mechanical, electrical and/or materials engineering, which will place those with qualifications in any of these fields at a distinct advantage, prospective entrants to the sector are also expected to have a strong biological and biological sciences background.

The skill-set that you will require to succeed in the medical device sector will depend largely on the specific job in which you are interested. While, for example, a research and development role may place an emphasis on strong engineering skills, if you are to be tasked with the management of a team of people on a project, ‘softer’ skills like communication and team leadership will be crucial.

Meanwhile, ‘people skills’ and a willingness to travel are prerequisites for those working in the sales side of the sector, as is a high level of knowledge in – and enthusiasm for – the devices that they are to be responsible for selling. 

When seeking your next big role in the medical devices industry – whether it will be your first or the latest of many – you shouldn’t hesitate to draw upon our considerable sector-specific expertise here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, including in such sub-areas as quality assurance, quality control, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, validation, clinical trials or any of a wide range of others.  



The fact that 47% of UK workers would like to change career, according to the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), should serve as a powerful reminder to employers using science recruitment agencies that many of those applying for their latest advertised entry-level vacancies will be older career switchers, rather than necessarily fresh-out-of-university 20-somethings. 

Indeed, you may be one of them. So, whether you are established in one science field and would like to switch to another one, or you have never been employed in a science role before, what steps will you require to make your dream career change work?

Assess your present situation

People approach the idea of changing to a new scientific career from many different angles, so you need to carefully consider your exact motivations. Why are you looking to switch career at all? What makes you unhappy in your current role? What do you dream of doing instead?

By asking yourself these questions, you may quickly realise that it is your co-workers or company culture, rather than your actual job duties, that leave you discontent. Such a drastic change in your life as a whole new career should be very carefully considered before you take the plunge.

Research the science jobs that interest you

If it becomes clear that your job itself is the problem, take the time to identify your passions, strengths, skills and abilities, and then start looking at career sites and job descriptions to get a sense of whether that long yearned-for science role really would suit you.

You may possess certain qualifications already that enable you to take a certain step, or you may find that there are much greater obstacles to switching to a certain science field like pharmacology, immunology or energy.

Also, what do the science jobs that most interest you actually involve on a daily basis? The last thing that you will want to do is invest significant time and money into changing to a career that dissatisfies you just as much as your last one, as can happen if you don't do the necessary research at this still relatively early stage.

Get networking!

Once you have come up with a more specific idea of what your dream science job would look like, it's time to start talking to professionals in that industry about their own job and its day-to-day responsibilities. They will be able to give you a sense of whether this new science career really could be the right one for you.

Another benefit of networking is that if the job does sound like the right one, the contacts that you gain could be instrumental in landing you an interview or that first entry-level role.

Investigate training opportunities

This is when things start getting truly serious - investigating the training opportunities for the kind of science jobs that you would like to pursue.

Remember that the entry requirements, qualifications and certifications relevant to different science sectors can be hugely varied, and that while some of them will merely give you one more advantage when you come to apply for jobs, others may be mandatory if you wish to have any career in that field at all. The right qualifications can also help to make adjusting to the demands of a new and unfamiliar role much quicker and easier.

Start job hunting!

This is the stage at which we can be of greatest assistance here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, thanks to our extensive services for candidates including - but not limited to - CV tips, interview advice and of course, advertisements of job vacancies. 

As one of the most renowned science recruitment agencies active today, we appreciate that it may have been a while since you last looked for work, and that the task of seeking your dream initial science role can be overwhelming.

So, allow us to be your guide when you are looking to make that big career change to the rewarding science job that you may have always craved. Good luck!


You might think that you know what you're getting into with science and technology - fields like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and engineering have existed seemingly since the year dot, so it can be easy for those contemplating science jobs to forget the truly 'living and breathing', continually evolving nature of science and technology.

For a reminder of just how exciting it can be to get picked by a science recruitment agency for a sought-after and important role, just consider the latest frontiers to which you could make an active contribution.

The effects on food crops of climate change

Climate change isn't just about the prospect of higher temperatures and us all ending up underwater - it's also about the very sustainability of our planet's food supply. Become a plant scientist, and you could play an instrumental role in the development of drought-resistant crop strains.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation

Whereas the replacement of heart valves has traditionally been done by surgically opening the chest cavity, if the process is done by chest catheter, only a small incision is required. Since this was achieved by a French doctor in 2002, it has gained popularity across dozens of countries when faulty aortic valves need to be treated.

The acidification of the ocean

As the atmosphere of our planet becomes ever-more concentrated with carbon dioxide, so the amount of carbonic acid in our oceans is also increasing, decreasing the pH and even dissolving the shells or skeletons of some organisms. Scientists are still grappling to properly understand the evolving chemical composition of our oceans - but who is to say that you won't contribute to the next big breakthrough in this area?

Galileon cosmology

The universe has long held seemingly infinite mystery and fascination for scientists, who are still trying to explain not only why it is still getting bigger, but also doing so ever-quicker. Attempts to shed some light on the matter have included the modification of how we mathematically treat gravity's effects at greater distances, with the galileon scalar field enabling self-accelerating solutions.

Synthetic biology

This is one emerging scientific field that even many laypeople are familiar with already - after all, how could the design and construction of biological parts, systems and devices possibly not capture the wider imagination? Recent years have seen the creation of "synthetic life" - DNA that is digitally created before its printing and insertion into a living bacterium - and as a scientist in this field, you could be perfectly placed to direct and influence the next wave of developments.

Looking to change the world? Science jobs certainly allow you to do that, with those in the aforementioned fields offering some of the best possibilities of all. 


Whether you are still considering your university options, have completed a PhD or have a long track record in a particular science field behind you, choosing from the vast range of possible science jobs can be an intimidating and overwhelming process.

With popular sectors ranging from immunology and pharmacology to molecular biology and clinical, and with functions within those sectors encompassing clinical research, quality assurance, research and development (R&D) and many more, it would be too difficult for us to give even a brief overview of your possible science career options here.

What we can do, however, is give you some pointers on choosing the science post that would best suit your own background, interests and motivations.

Figuring out your skills, values and interests

Various assessments exist that should help you to clarify your own personal characteristics and how these may lend themselves to various science jobs. These include the National Careers Service's Action Plan tool, as well as the Career Planner accessible through the graduate careers site, Prospects.


More informal ways of determining the best science career direction for you include simply asking yourself what areas at science most interest you and which you are best at, as well as what lifestyle you want and what you actually desire from your longer-term career.

What to consider when comparing jobs

Once you have a reasonable idea of the above, you will be able to begin your job hunt or consider the most appropriate academic course.

When you are thinking about your science job options, you will need to take into account such factors as entry requirements, employment outlook, the job description, salary and conditions and the scope to develop the job.

Is the role that interests you a good match to what you learned about yourself through tools and techniques like the above, and is the job reasonably attainable right now? If not, what do you need to do to have a realistic chance of entering this particular science career?

Imagining yourself on the job

Even having the right skills and experience, however, matters little if you would not actually enjoy the role on a day-to-day basis.

To ascertain this, ask yourself whether the employer would be a good match to your own values, as well as whether the job itself would be rewarding both now and some time into the future, based on your past experiences and motivations. Is this a job that you would even do for free?

Deciding on the right science role entails much serious thought about what matters to you in a job, as well as your likelihood of obtaining work in the field that interests you and the potential for career growth.

As leading science recruitment specialists here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we are always happy to advise those still contemplating the right science career for them - as well as, if appropriate, match them to a suitable role. 

Next Round: The Interview Stage




With just two more episodes of The Apprentice to go, this year has proved to be yet another exciting series. It’s been an entertaining 10 weeks for everyone sitting watching at home, but let’s not forget this is actually a recruitment process. Next week will be the “interview” stage where the remaining five candidates will face the toughest round of the process. And speaking from experience, I know exactly how that feels. The interviews are real. The focus will be on CVs, application forms and business plans so in actual fact, it is no different to how candidates are hired in the real world. For the candidates this will be an important and crucial stage of the selection process.


I am especially looking forward to the interview stage this year. Why? I hear you asking. Well I am pleased to announce that I have been invited back by Lord Sugar to be part of the interview panel. Yes, that’s right I, alongside Claude Littner, Claudine Collins and Mike Soutar will be interviewing the five remaining candidates.

Why me? Apart from being a qualified recruitment professional who interviews people on a day to day basis, I’ve been involved in the hiring process across many of Lord Sugar’s companies, as well as for my own company, HRS. Moreover, having been a candidate on The Apprentice myself, I know exactly what it feels like to be grilled by the interviewers! And believe me, it’s tough. With this blend of experience I bring valuable expertise and a new dimension to this stage of the selection process and it is for these reasons I was asked to be on the panel as an interviewer by Lord Sugar.

 


The process began with a shortlist of 20 candidates however, only one will be announced at the winner of The Apprentice. That winner will received that all important £250,000 investment for a 50:50 business partnership with Lord Alan Sugar. For me it feels like it was yesterday. It’s still hard to believe that it’s been two years since I won The Apprentice. I have since set up my own specialist Science and Technology Recruitment Consultancy, Hyper Recruitment Solutions, which is continuing to go from strength to strength.  As part of our services at HRS, we personally support jobseekers with preparing for an interview and making the right impression. We also offer services to our clients in running assessment days and interviewing on their behalf to make the right selections for the behavioural and skills fit to their business. Something which I am proud to bring to The Apprentice this year.

The real life lesson here is that you never really know what the future will hold. You never know who you will end up working for or alongside. If someone had told me two years ago, that I’d be sitting on the opposite side of the table as one of the interviewers on The Apprentice I wouldn’t have believed them in a million years! How ironic, the people who once grilled me during the interviews are now my peers and next week I will share the panel with them!

So, reflecting on my experience my advice is, whoever you are meeting, speaking with or even being interviewed by, make sure you leave a long lasting and positive impression on them. Who knows one day the shoe may be on the other foot. Perhaps they will become your peers. I see it happening time and time again in the recruitment world. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so make sure you get it right, as who knows what will happen in the future?

After the interviews in next week’s episode, there will only be two candidates left in the process. I wonder who we will see battling it out in the final! I wish all the finalists the best of luck for the final stages of the process as things become more real than ever at this stage. I look forward to seeing the winner join Lord Sugar in another new business venture and helping them on their way.

The interview stage of The Apprentice airs on Wednesday 17th December at 9pm on BBC One. 



User Menu

Month List