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Boston produced the highest number of life science PhD graduates in the US (2017)

– What this means for your talent strategy.

Boston is the biggest life science cluster in the US and probably worldwide. One of the main reasons biotech and other life sciences firms are drawn to the area is the availability of highly qualified talent.

Recent data gathered from the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) shows that on an annual basis, Boston produces more life sciences PhD graduates than any of the other US city.

A recent projection from the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment growth for R&D in biotechnology will be around 19.0 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is nearly double the average compared to the overall employment growth in the U.S. One can assume that the time it takes to find candidates for open positions will increase accordingly.

A recent study by MassBio reports that it takes an average of more than two and a half months to fill an opening in the life sciences space. While the average for the rest of the US economy is one month.

Finding and retaining talent is a critical element for companies in a life sciences cluster. Luckily, there is plenty of top talent in the Boston area to support the rapid growth of the world’s largest cluster of biotech, pharma, research and medical device companies.


1. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): JLL Life Sciences Outlook 2018.

2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program: JLL Life Sciences Outlook, 2018.

3. MassBio's annual Industry Snapshot: JLL Life Sciences Outlook, 2018.

CYTO Consulting, 2018.

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