The 2021 Bioscience Careers Forum, “Technology, Healthcare, and Business: Collaborating to Improve Human Health” – this was the theme for a virtual bioscience careers forum I recently participated in that was sponsored by BioCT and Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). This informative event featured talks from state officials, academic leaders in Connecticut, and pioneers in the bioscience industry within the state, along with a keynote address by Madeleine Braun, Ph. D., Chief of Presidential Initiatives, The Jackson Laboratory.
A portion of this event included a networking session with students from across the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system about the flourishing bioscience industry and the many opportunities that it can provide for young people.
I very much enjoyed speaking with students about the benefits of bioscience, what a competitive industry it is, and how it has the potential to lead to a good-paying jobs among other things. Personally speaking, this event provided me with an opportunity to learn from leading organizations in the bioscience industry in Connecticut, which is invaluable as the Co-Chair of the legislature’s Bioscience Caucus. The Bioscience Caucus held a legislative briefing recently to discuss COVID-19 Variants, which was also a very interesting, proactive conversation about the importance of the sciences in maintaining public health, especially during a crisis.
Engaging with young people about careers in bioscience is critical – considering how our world changed in an instant with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s students can make a huge impact on society through their engagement in this industry, which is growing rapidly in Connecticut.
According to information from AdvanceCT:
- Academic bioscience represents 80 percent of total science and engineering in Connecticut
- Connecticut has nearly 22,000 life science workers in about 1,500 companies
- Connecticut is ranked 4th in the United States for Bioscience Venture Capitol
- Connecticut is 2nd in the United States for academic bioscience investments per capita
- Connecticut organizations secured $684 million in National Institutes of Health funding in 2020
The average annual bioscience salary in Connecticut is $127,000, compared to the general private sector average of $68,000. It is estimated that employment in the bioscience industry in Connecticut could grow by 5,000+ jobs over the next five years.
I encourage young people, and students of all ages to acquire STEM skills, venture into the sciences, and gain applicable work experience because the future of Connecticut is bright and has the potential to make a difference in the lives of many.
For more information about bioscience in Connecticut visit: https://www.wheresciencelives.org.
State Representative Dave Yaccarino
Bioscience Caucus Co-Chair