What About a Master’s Degree In Drug Development?

For several months now, the world has been talking about the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. Part of the conversation has focused on how quickly the development of the vaccine was. The COVD-19 vaccine took a fraction of the time to develop than a typical vaccine would take. The emergency authorization from the FDA was part of the reason for the rapid development of the vaccine. The emergency authorization paved the way for those in the drug development industry to take immediate action. The work done by those who helped develop the vaccine has astonished the scientific community with how they created an effective drug so quickly. There is a lot that goes into drug development, many different roles with a range of knowledge and skills, but all with one purpose. Ever wondered what it takes to be a part of developing the next life-changing vaccine or medicine? Where to start to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to be a part of pharmaceutical drug development? A great start is with a master’s degree in drug development.

What is a Master’s in Pharmaceutical Science: Drug Development?

The University of Cincinnati Online now has a master’s degree in pharmaceutical science, emphasizing drug development. The program provides an in-depth education around the complex science and process of drug development through cross-disciplinary training in the scientific, regulatory, and business aspects of drug development. Graduates are uniquely prepared to participate in the multidisciplinary steps to translate a therapeutic concept from lab bench to bedside. Completing this program can help advance a career in preclinical and clinical research.

Who is a good fit for the Masters in Pharmaceutical Science: Drug Development?

A logical next question to ask, who is a good fit for this program? This degree is for working professionals in the scientific, regulatory, or business aspects of drug development. Who could that be? It could be someone like Kushal Gohil, who had a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Cincinnati but wanted to understand the end-to-end drug development process. Now Kushal is the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Innovation at Parexel, a leading global clinical research organization. When asked who is a good fit for this degree, Kushal responded, “Anyone trying to gain knowledge of the full spectrum of drug development outside their silo. I came from a marketing background, and this program helped me better understand the world of Drug Development.”

It could also be for somebody like Kimberly Wanick, another graduate of the master’s in drug development degree. She comes from the quality assurance industry. Her current role is Executive Director of Compliance and Quality Research at Advanced Clinical, where she oversees the Compliance and Quality Department. Her role includes the oversight of quality management systems, quality services, and validation services. While working for Kendle International, she found a master’s degree in drug development was a good fit for her career goals. When asked who is a good fit for this degree, Kimberly responded, “The Drug Development program is beneficial to individuals who have worked in the industry for at least a few years to get the most benefit, understanding, and application of the course content.”

Someone like Rahaf Hamdan is also a good fit for the program. She came to the University of Cincinnati for her master’s in drug development while working in the pharmaceutical research industry. Her motivation for pursuing a degree in drug development was to understand the process of developing drugs to impact patients’ lives. When asked about what advice she had for someone considering a master’s degree in drug development, Rahaf had this to say, “This program is for professionals who want to learn and develop their careers in Drug Development and pharmaceuticals. If you see yourself supporting this field in any way and have a passion for learning, this is a great program. If you already work in the industry, it makes it a little easier to understand the process.”

It does not matter if your background is in business or clinical research. This program is a good fit for someone who desires to understand the end-to-end process of pharmaceutical development.

What Career Path Does a Master’s in Pharmaceutical Science: Drug Development Provide?

All three graduates mentioned above furthered their careers since receiving their master’s degree in drug development. Kushal and Kimberly are now executives at their companies, and Rahaf started a new job just three months after graduating. So, what are some of the career paths for those who receive a master’s degree in drug development?

Given the scope, knowledge, and skills learned in the program, and depending on experience, a possible career could be.

  • Medical Science Liaison
  • Quality Assurance
  • Clinical Project Managers and Leaders
  • Field Director
  • Medical Writer
  • Clinical Research Assistant

Who is hiring people to fill those jobs? Below is a list of the top 10 companies that hire for positions in drug development.

  • Bayer Corporation
  • AbbVie
  • Sanofi Aventis
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • AstraZeneca
  • Stryker Medical
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.
  • Gilead Sciences
  • Pfizer

Why An Online Master’s in Pharmaceutical Science: Drug Development?

The curiosity, excitement, and consideration for a master’s degree in drug development may be building, but why earn the degree online? All three of the graduates mentioned above were professionals with full-time jobs. Their motivation for earning a degree was, for the most part, career-based, and the modality (online) for completing the program was a perfect fit. Why was it a perfect fit? Kimberly said it best when asked that same question. She said, “Online education allows for so much more flexibility to fit the program into a student’s schedule and life, particularly for those who have families or travel for work.  Online learning is beneficial for those who may not get to a class after work due to varied work schedules/responsibilities or experience long and heavy commuting time.” UC Online programs such as the master’s in drug development fit into the student’s life. The classes are asynchronous, meaning that there are no scheduled lectures or class time. The student completes the work on their time.

Earning and master’s degree is a big step. It takes a lot of work, but the reward after completing the program is worth it. Whether the motivation is career-oriented, patient-focused, or a little bit of both, earning a master’s degree in drug development could be the next step needed, and doing it online could be the perfect fit. Imagine being on the team developing the next life-saving vaccine or drug.

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