I've finished my PhD in biomedical sciences about a year ago. I hunted for jobs in medical affairs (especially MSL) in pharma companies, but was unsuccesful due to no industry experience.
So I started looking for jobs in CROs. In the end I got 2 offers from 2 large CROs, one for an in-house CRA (lets you become CRA after a couple of years) and the other as Site identification specialist. I took the last one because it involved contact with doctors which seemed useful to me for aiming at that MSL career.
In a lot of interviews, and also at my current company, I heard it is very very heard to break in as a fresh CRA in a CRO. Why: the pharmaceutical companies need to approve you as a CRA to work on their study, and for that they need to approve your CV (meaning a list of the studies you have previously worked on), and that's ofcourse the difficult part, if you're a fresh starting CRA with no previous experience in clinical trials, they don't approve you, so you can sit there for 2 years without being assigned any studies. So that's why also the large CROs are very careful with hiring fresh PhDs for CRAs...
That said, I am very thankful that my current company at least offered me a chance. I have some colleagues here with a PhD who are in the Regulatory business units. During my interviews, I really got the impression some CROs were absolutely NOT interested in PhDs, while others really give you a chance.
Statistics: Posted by Saranneman — Tue May 12, 2015 7:55 am