Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Five Things to Know About Getting a Job as a Clinical Data Analyst

If you are interested in scientific research, you already know that it may take years before you can lead a team based on your specific ideas. In most cases, if you still want to be involved in research, you can work as a clinical data analyst. Basically, this type of specialist provides support for individuals that are actively carrying out experiments. You will be responsible for ensuring that laboratory and testing protocols are followed, as well as organizing and summarizing research findings. Regardless of whether you are interested in physics, biology, chemistry, medical research, sociology, or sociology, you will find an endless number of teams that need the services of a clinical analyst.

Educational Requirements

At a minimum, you will need a bachelor's degree in statistics, computer programming, or similar fields. Ideally, you should choose courses and electives that offer a wide range of laboratory experience. In many cases, you will also need to demonstrate that you have worked in a professional lab. You will also be well served by learning how to use computer programs that are specifically used to collect and analyze scientific data. This includes Oracle, as well as SAS. If you can write computer applications to carry out similar tasks, you skills will be in much higher demand.

Personal Skills and Aptitudes

Individuals planning on a career as a clinical data analyst need to be able to interface with a wide range of people. This means that you will need to have good communication skills, as well as an ability to organize reports and research information in a way that can be clearly understood by others. In many cases, you will also be asked to give presentations to a wide range of people that want to know more about the progress being made by the research team. Therefore, you will have an advantage in this career choice if you are good at public speaking.

Possible Employers

When you are searching for jobs as a clinical data analyst, you will find that colleges and universities will offer a number of prime opportunities. In general, you can usually find a number of universities that carry out scientific research in almost every branch. If you have a degree in a field related to biology or medical research, then you can also look to pharmaceuticals and teaching hospitals. Regardless of your major, you may also want to consider working for defense researchers and individuals that carry out space exploration.

Basic Duties

As a clinical data analyst, you will be responsible for making sure that experiments are organized in a way that ensures the results will be valid. Therefore, you will need to have a good sense of how to measure research results, as well as ensure that they will truly answer the questions at hand.Once a protocol for the project is developed, you will also be responsible for making sure that team members follow it. After data is collected, you will need to organize the information, create reports and tables, and make sure that members of the team are kept up to date on this information. Since you will be primarily responsible for creating reports and disseminating them, you will also often be asked to speak with a number of different people that are not on the team. This may include investors, endowment specialists, and others that have a right to know more about the specific details of the work going on in the lab.

Salaries and Levels of Experience

As a general rule of thumb, your salary will always depend on the amount of experience you have in the field. In some cases, you will also find that different kinds of employers have vastly different pay scales. You may also find that there is a wide variance in pay based on the magnitude of the experiment at hand, as well as the funds that have been made available for the research project. If you want to get some ideas about salary levels, you should take the time to learn more about experiments ongoing in different fields of study, and then look at the types of grants that support each project. If you choose a career as a clinical data analyst, you will always be able to apply for dozens of interesting jobs. Your career may start working on one or two small projects before you are able to get something that has a longer duration. On the other hand, if you go to work for a pharmaceutical company, or some other organization that always has a number of ongoing experiments, then you can easily enjoy working for one employer for you entire career.

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