LIS Jobs in Pharma and Beyond

Career Blog

Published: November 7, 2017 by Kate M. Spaulding

Are you interested in a career outside of academic or public libraries? Are you curious about LIS jobs in the pharmaceutical industry or another STEM area? Do you want to know what job titles to search for beyond “librarian”? Then I wholeheartedly recommend you watch a recent Career Development webcast: Information Management Roles in Pharmaceutical Companies.

The speaker, Mindy Beattie, is Associate Director of Library and Information Services at Gilead Sciences and proof that you don’t need a STEM background to land jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. In a thoughtful and engaging presentation, Mindy discusses her background and how she got to Gilead, the roles she and her team play, and how the LIS group supports and fits into the corporation.

As someone with no experience working in large corporations (or the STEM field), I really appreciated how she broke down job titles (that don’t mean much to me) into understandable functions and descriptions. For example, now I understand that her team member who does “content procurement” isn’t just doing cut-and-dried collection development – she’s managing copyright compliance, negotiating with vendors and publishers, evaluating budget allocations, and more. Mindy also goes over some of the related job titles you should be looking for if you’re interested in special libraries, including data scientist, bioinformatician, competitive intelligence, business analyst, and operations.

In her presentation, Mindy emphasized that STEM skills are less in demand than so-called “soft skills,” like communication, collaboration, strategic thinking, leadership, and creative problem-solving. In fact, she cites a Bloomberg jobs skills report that shows recruiters seek those skills and that they are not as common as you might think. Take a look at that list again: communication, collaboration, strategic thinking, leadership, and creative problem solving – these sound suspiciously like student learning outcomes (SLOs) and core competencies we are mastering in our classes.

Intrigued? You can view this video at

See also:

Pssst: It sounds like Mindy and the LIS group might be offering a well-paid internship next summer. Something to keep in mind and an eye out for! She also highlights free travel grant opportunities.


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