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3 Main Differences of Working at Big vs. Small Companies After Quality Assurance Training

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When pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry, it’s important to work at a company where you’ll fit and feel comfortable. Once you’ve completed your quality assurance training, you can look for careers in either big companies or smaller ones.

Both big and small pharmaceutical companies have their relative advantages and drawbacks and neither is inherently better to work for than the other. However, it’s likely that one type of company will be better able to offer what you are looking for in your own career. To help you decide which one that is, here is a look at 3 differences between big and small pharmaceutical companies.

1. Risk and Stability Vary a Lot Depending on Company Size

As is the case with most industries, big companies sometimes provide more stability than smaller ones. Big companies tend to offer many pharmaceutical products, so if one fails, the company itself will usually survive. At a big company, you’ll have clearly defined targets upon which your career progression and salary increases are typically based.

A smaller company that is developing just one or two products is riskier to work for. However, with high risks come big rewards. Small companies may not provide as much stability as big companies, but they are more likely to offer stock options. That means if the small company develops a highly successful product, you could reap significant financial rewards. That sense of risk can even make small companies feel like more exciting and energetic places to work.

2. Pharmaceutical Careers at Big Companies Tend to Be More Specialized

In a big pharmaceutical company that hires thousands of people, employees have clearly defined responsibilities. If you work at a big company, you can usually focus on honing your skills. That means you’ll be able to put your quality assurance training to use in very specific jobs, like as a quality assurance associate, quality control chemist, quality line leader, or quality control document reviewer.

With a small pharmaceutical company, on the other hand, jobs tend to overlap. Since a small company may have very few employees, each employee will likely take on challenges that are outside of their job descriptions. That makes small companies a great opportunity for learning a broad range of skills.

quality control diploma
Small companies are a great choice if you want to learn diverse skills

3. The Culture at Small and Big Pharmaceutical Companies Can Differ Dramatically

Large companies each have their own way of doing things that can be highly complex. Decisions may take a while to implement and processes are often well defined. The benefit of that structure is that you’ll usually know exactly what is expected of you and there won’t be too many surprises in your day-to-day job. Also, while you may be asked to work overtime occasionally, generally, the workday at a big pharmaceutical company is well defined. However, a big company can be overly bureaucratic, and you may feel as though you are just one person in a very large organization.

Small companies, on the other hand, are far more dynamic and fluid workplaces. Since the chain of command is much shorter, decisions get made much more quickly. You also have more opportunities when pursuing pharmaceutical careers in small companies to put your stamp on the company and to exert influence on company decisions. On the downside, the hours at small companies can be inconsistent and you may be asked to work overtime more often than at a larger company.

quality control diploma
Company culture varies greatly between small and large pharmaceutical companies

Are you interested in earning your quality control diploma?

Contact Toronto Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology to learn more.

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