Interesting. It appears that many of these companies are also biopharmaceuticals. What exactly is the difference between a biotech and a pharma then? Are biotechs more involved in drug discovery as opposed to drug development? Also, are there any patterns in this list that illustrate what types of activity are "hot" in the industry?
While there are many very large biotechnology companies around the world, there are even more smaller companies that can provide employment as well. It is important not to ignore a company simply because it is small or not ranked on a list. While the small companies may not be as stable as the large biotechnology giants, they are still a good option to consider when looking for employment. Many of these small start-up companies are bought by large conglomerates. They continue operating under their original name, but have the back up safety net offered by the larger company.
Keeping an open mind when looking for a job in the industrial setting is important. Career opportunities in the biotechnology field are continuously changing. Many new companies have opened, and established companies have changed in the past few years. In the area where I live, even, there have been major changes in the biotechnology field. New companies have opened, offering services for researchers at nearby universities, such as DNA sequencing and producing custom oligonucleotides. A major company in my area, Abbott Laboratories, recently split into two divisions. The Abbott division focuses on medical products, while the new AbbVie division is primarily focused on pharmaceutical research.
Working in industry can be a very different experience compared to working in academia. With an industrial job, investigators have their work dictated by the company, as opposed to performing their own research. Investigator may not have the flexibility to ask a wide variety of questions. Projects may be changed dramatically or even halted at any time. However, industry might offer more security than academia, especially since it is currently very difficult to obtain grants for funding. Many scientists in academia have lost funding, which not only hurts the investigator, but any employees in the lab as well.