Aout today says hiring practices in the state's bio-pharmaceutical industry have changed in the last few years, demanding more candidates have four-year degrees
Traditionally, lab techs at life sciences companies have only required an associate's degree. But that's changing.
Pete Abair, the executive director of the MassBioEd Foundation, says despite heavy investment in creating two-year programs,companies are demanding more candidates have four-year degrees - something, Abair says, is not necessary.
"These associate's programs are particularly geared and focused on those skills that, in fact, a lot of bachelor's degree programs don't concentrate on," Abair says.
Despite the increasing standards from the industry, Abair says graduates from two-year programs are already capable of doing the necessary work.
"We have these graduates with great competencies at the associate level," he says. "They are well-suited for these positions. And it is really in the best interest of the companies to draw from a wide-range of different d"egree levels."
Abair contends that the underlying skill requirements remain the same.
MassBioEd estimates that the industry will generate 12,000 new technician jobs by 2022. Abair says community college grads are critical to the supply of qualified workers.