Master of Science in Biotechnology Program, UW-Madison

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+750 biotech openings in Madison.

Dane County Wisconsin has witnessed a staggering 52% increase in biotechnology job opportunities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (February 2020 to March 2021).

Contact Bryan Husk if you would like to discuss the latest job opportunities and biotechnology employers in Madison, Wisconsin.

Update: March 19, 2021
Updated: February 20, 2020
Updated: September 24, 2019
Updated: February 5, 2019
Updated: July 19, 2018
Originally Published: January 9, 2018
Prepared by Bryan Husk

Find a job in Madison's biotechnology industry:

Madison Biotech Career pages: (not comprehensive)

Dane County, Wisconsin
Biotechnology Company
# Jobs

# Jobs
# Jobs
# Jobs
# Jobs
# Jobs
BioForward WI Career Center (multiple) (multiple) (multiple) (multiple) (multiple) (multiple)
ABS Global -- -- -- -- 20 10
Accuray 24 15 24 12 35 58
Aldevron -- -- -- 9 12 16
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals 7 7 8 17 19 25
Catalent 57 31 27 38 18 139
FUJIFILM CDI 26 14 5 4 9 10
Covance 59 57 55 72 76 86
DNAStar ~8 ~8 0 1 1 ---
IFF (formerly
DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences)
5 7 8 8 7 8
Eurofins -- -- 18 18 28 19
Exact Sciences 81 77 162 172 99 131
Illumina 8 10 4 4 8 7
IntelliGen Technologies -- -- 12 20 6 13
Invenra -- -- -- 6 0 8
LGC Lucigen 4 4 3 1 5 13
Luminex 4 4 1 0 2 7
MilliporeSigma 12 9 5 9 12 28
PPD 64 98 75 60 66 102
Promega Corporation 50 47 36 24 33 32
Scientific Protein Laboratories 7 12 11 4 11 11
Mallinckrodt (Stratatech) NA 2 5 6 4 5
Thermo Fisher Scientific 35 11 15 26 30 35
Total Job Openings 451 413 474 511 501 763


Madison biotechnology sector thriving as local biotech companies continue recruitment and retention of scientific talent to meet record job growth.

Biotechnology companies in Madison, Wisconsin and surrounding Dane County have experienced staggering growth since 2015, and there is little sign of a slow down with the approach of 2020. A sampling of nineteen of the largest local biotech companies revealed 451 job openings in January 2018, 397 openings six months later, and 454 openings entering February 2019. The most recent jobs tally in February 2020 showed continued job expansion with 501 job posting (see table below).

A significant number of local biotechnology companies like Catalent, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics Inc., Eurofins, Exact Sciences, Illumina, Mallinckrodt, PPD and Promega have opened or broken ground on new and expanded facilities to meet extraordinary demand for their products [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14]. Conversations with area biotech leaders suggest these growing companies are prepared to open hundreds of additional new positions as new facilities and expanded operations come online.

Whether you are an entry-level bench scientist or a senior executive, this surge in growth and employment presents a rare career opportunity.

How Does This Effect You?

If you are biotechnology professionals in Madison:

Apply to the M.S. in Biotechnology program to help accelerate your career potential. Most M.S. in Biotechnology graduate students work full time while obtaining their degree. Reach out to your mentors and discuss how your goals fit within your company's strategic plans. Work with them to gain company support so that you can achieve educational and employment success. Don't forget to use the opportunity to learn about your employer's tuition reimbursement policy.

If you are considering relocating to Madison:

The biotechnology community is always looking for new talent. Qualified applicants to the M.S. in Biotechnology program are very likely to find full-time employment within the local biotechnology community. Contact the M.S. in Biotechnology Program to help you determine which local biotech companies best match for your background and experience and present you with the most favorable opportunities for hire.

If you have an interest in biotechnology:

You've probably already thought about working in the biotechnology industry. Now is the ideal time to make that career leap. Get invaluable work experience and consider applying to the M.S. in Biotechnology graduate degree program. Contact the M.S. in Biotechnology Program to determine how you can get started working in the fast-paced, rapidly expanding field of biotechnology.

Tales of Growth

A great example of Madison's biotech hiring surge is at Catalent's biomanufacturing facility in Madison [8]. Catalent's Madison operation boasts a new 100,000 sq/ft cGMP manufacturing space designed for cell line engineering and clinical biomanufacturing. They specialize in developing and manufacturing biologics for clients using a broad range of integrated formulation and analytical services. For much of 2017, there have been as many as 60 job openings at Catalent any given moment, and the company anticipates 100 more available positions when their new cGMP production facility opens in spring 2020. The March 2021 jobs tally at Catalent's Madison site was 139 openings!

Not surprisingly, a number of recent M.S. in Biotechnology graduates were hired at Catalent this past year, some of whom are reporting to other program alumni already excelling within Catalent as supervising managers or directors. At last check, there were at least 14 students or alumni employed at Catalent.

Middleton's PPD also has shown a recent jump in job openings since January when there were already 64 job openings. Now in July there are nearly 100 job listings on their career web site. PPD has shown consistent growth over the past two decades.

PPD has grown to the 9th largest employer in Dane County.

When the M.S. in Biotechnology Program launched in 2002, PPD was a small westside company of around 100 employees. Continuous expansion has placed PPD among the top employers in Dane County, with 950 employees in 2016, 1,300 employees in 2017 and 1,600 employees expected by the end of 2020 [1].

There has never been a more favorable hiring climate for those interested in working in Madison's biotechnology industry. As local biotech companies continue their rapid growth, they are under increasing pressure and competition to locate, hire and retain talented workers with the cross-functional skills and specialized knowledge highly sought after in the biotech industry.

Biotechnology companies sometimes offer tuition reimbursement to attract and retain talented employees.

Companies are finding and keeping their most talented employees by supporting their career development through education in advanced degree programs likes the M.S. in Biotechnology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Consistent with this corporate strategy, most students in the M.S. in Biotechnology Program working full time receive tuition support from their employer for at least a portion of their tuition, if not the total cost.

Since the degree was launched in 2002, biotechnology companies have recognized the value of the program's industry-focused curriculum. Corporate leaders with employees in the program praise students who can apply functional knowledge of business, legal and regulatory frameworks toward their company's push to development, manufacture and commercialize new biotechnology products.

Apply now for Fall 2021.

All economic indicators suggest that 2020-21 will be another record-setting year for Madison's regional biotechnology industry. Make this the year you grow your career in the field that is transforming the world and apply for Fall 2020 admission to the Master of Science in Biotechnology Program at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Contact Bryan

Bryan Husk
Assistant Director
Phone: (608) 265-0773
Contact Bryan Husk, Assistant Director, M.S. in Biotechnology Program, UW-Madison





Cited Press Releases

[1] "PPD boosts biopharma in the Madison area," Wisconsin State Journal, June 2, 2018.

[2] "Promega Corp.'s $190 million R&D center to be architecturally unique," Wisconsin State Journal, July 15, 2018.

[3] "New $60 million corporate headquarters is proposed for Exact Sciences," Wisconsin State Journal, June 16, 2018.

[4] "Here's why Exact Sceinces soared 42.8% in January," Feb 4, 2019. The Motley Fool.

[5] "Illumina expands its Madison production facility," Wisconsin State Journal, June 11, 2015.

[6] "Illumina construction," University Research Park, May 4, 2017.

[7] "Promega's newest building, the Kepler Center, opens for business," Wisconsin State Journal, November 29, 2015.

[8] "Catalent Biologics to expand Madison operations, add 100 jobs," Wisconsin State Journal, October 22, 2016.

[9] "Stem cell company Cellular Dynamics expands and relocates new headquarters,", January 3, 2017.

[10] "After buying Covance food testing unit, Eurofins plans to build $35M complex near Dane County Regional Airport," Wisconsin State Journal, November 18, 2018.

[11] "Exact Sciences $.28 biollion acquisition causes ripples in medicine, biotech, and finance alike," The Capital Times, July 31, 2019.

[12] "FDA Decision Expands Market for Exact Sciences' Cologuard Test,", September 23, 2019.

[13] "Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics prepares to open 'cleanroom' facility," Wisconsin State Journal, September 15, 2019.

[14] "Stratatech hopes $28 million expansion propels growth in skin-tissue business," Wisconsin State Journal, April 29, 2019.


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Master of Science in Biotechnology Program
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Established in 2002, the Master of Science in Biotechnology at UW-Madison is a two-year cross-disciplinary program for scientists, technical professionals, business strategists and attorneys seeking to advance their career in the biotechnology field without having to put their career on hold. The hands-on curriculum focuses on the development and commercialization of new technologies and provides a diverse mix of science, business, bioethics, public policy, law and intellectual property. Students are instructed by the top academicians and industry professionals in the biotechnology field.