The first question you need to ask yourself is what it is that you most enjoy. There’s an obvious link between science and our industry, but you might not be into physics, chemistry or biology at all...
The great thing about pharmaceuticals is the scope of careers there is to choose from. So you’re free to think in terms of what it is that you really want to do instead of how you should mould yourself in order to fit in to a role.
Take a look at our degree chart to see how the various subjects studied at school, college or university potentially link to the various fields or business areas within the pharmaceutical industry.
To help you decide, you could choose to do some work experience and get a proper taste for the day-to-day work that goes on in a pharmaceutical company. Then you could consider the best path to get into the area or career that you fancy. This could mean an apprenticeship (incorporating NVQs), taking A levels, Highers (or equivalent) or going on to do a degree. For some roles it is necessary to have a relevant MSc or even a PhD. For a quick reference summary take a look at the charts that outline the educational ways into the industry.
To find out more about specific areas of the industry and career paths you could take, have a look at the individual pages of this site that relate to the different areas. Working in the industry outlines what goes on in various areas of the industry and will give you more of an idea where you can fit in.
You can see what different pharmaceutical companies can offer, and how to contact them by taking a look at their details in the Pharmaceutical recruiters section of the website.
I am involved in drug discovery, the early phase of drug development, where a lot of compounds are screened for their properties.