A Close Look at Job Demand in the Personal Care Industry

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Chemistry Isn’t Just for Chemists Anymore: Understanding Job Demand in the Personal Care Science Industry

So you want to work in the Cosmetics and Personal Care Science industry? But how do you know what jobs are in demand where and how best to tailor your Masters of Business and Science (MBS) degree to get the skills that will get you hired? This blog post provides an overview of jobs and skills in demand in the personal care industry in the U.S. in the last year, as well as a deeper dive into what is happening in the local job market. To get this information, I analyzed on-line job postings using a tool called Labor Insight from Burning Glass, which lets researchers mine all of the detailed information stored in job postings. See the Methods section, below, for more information on how I conducted the analysis.

Jobs in High Demand

Across the U.S. between Feb 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016, there were 3,267 jobs posted in the Personal Care Science industry that relate to the types of science and business skills taught in the MBS program. This is likely an undercount of jobs due to the fact that jobs in Personal Care Science often share job titles with similar positions in other industries (e.g. Chemists, Marketing Managers). The jobs are also sometimes found in companies that do multiple things, but that count themselves only in the Personal Care Science industry. Johnson & Johnson jobs were excluded, for example, because most of the jobs they advertise are on the medical side of their business and there was no way to isolate the jobs specific to Personal Care Science using the tools available. I also excluded many job types from the analysis that were unrelated to MBS concentrations, such as administrative, accounting, and similar niche positions. 

There is no one job title that dominates the job postings in the Personal Care Science industry. Rather, there is a wide diversity of jobs and even the most frequently advertised titles make up only a small percentage of the total jobs advertised on-line. Outside Sales Representative and Chemists, for example, were the most frequently advertised job titles but each one accounted for just about 5% of all job titles posted. Figure 1, below, provides a look at the most in demand job titles posted in the industry by total postings and percentage of the total.  

Figure 1. Most Frequently Advertised Job Titles in the Personal Care Science Industry, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016, by Total Number of Postings and Percentage of Total Postings

 

If we look at the jobs by broad category, a different picture emerges. As you can see in Figure 2, below, Management jobs account for nearly 650 of the total job postings, or nearly one in five job postings. Computer and Mathematical, Sales and Related, Engineering, and Business Operations positions account for between 14% and 18% of all jobs advertised in the last year on-line. By contrast, Life, Physical, and Other Science related jobs make up fewer than 1 in 10 jobs posted, accounting for just over 7% of the total.  So, while Chemists are one of the most in demand job titles, jobs in that category make up just a small part of the total jobs in demand in the industry. This is important for MBS students to know, as you may want to consider how you can apply your science knowledge and the business skills you are learning in the program to access more job and internships on the business side of personal care firms.

Figure 2. Top Major Job Categories of Job Postings in the Personal Care Science Industry, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016, by Total Number of Postings and Percentage of Total Postings

 

 

 

Skills in Demand in the Personal Care Science Industry

Across all of the job postings in personal care between February 2015 and January 2016, Chemistry is the most frequently requested skill. As noted in Figure 3, Chemistry was listed as a required skill for over 650 jobs, or nearly one in every five jobs in the industry. So, while Chemists make up only 5% of all the jobs we examined, it is clear that chemistry is an important skill to have in a wide range of jobs. Expertise in the business operations and customer relations software, SAP, was the second most commonly requested skill in the Industry, found in 18% of postings. Technical Support and Chemical Engineering skills were each requested in about 12% of all the job postings we examined. Packaging, Collaboration, Sales, Biology, Optimization, Scheduling and Product Development each appeared in between 7-9% of the postings.

Figure 3. Most Frequently Requested Skills in Personal Care Science Industry Job Postings, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016, by Total Number of Postings and Percentage of Total Postings

 

 

The picture of skills in demand changes somewhat when we look at skill sets by broad category.  As you can see, there is strong demand for a number of common business and communication skills across multiple job types. Many of the skills in high demand align with the business skills students are learning in the MBS program. Around two-thirds of all jobs advertised in the industry require skills related to Communication and Coordination (69%), Business Environment (65%), and Problem Solving (63%).  Another 40% of job postings require applicants to demonstrate Project and Process Flow skills. More than one-fifth of job postings also request IT/Business Intelligence skills (23%), Business Process and Planning skills (22%), general Supply Chain and Logistics knowledge (21%) and Chemistry (21%) skills.  

Figure 4. Most Frequently Requested Skill Clusters in Personal Care Science Industry Job Postings, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016, by Percentage of Total Job Postings 

Where Are the Jobs?

The good news for MBS students looking for jobs and internships close to Rutgers is that, as you can see in Figures 5 and 6 below, job postings in the personal care science industry are highly concentrated in Central New Jersey and New York/Northern New Jersey. As Figure 6 shows, relative to the population of working people in the area, the Trenton-Ewing metropolitan statistical area has much higher demand for personal care jobs than average.  There were four jobs posted for every 10,000 employed people over the February 2015-January 2016 period. The New York/Northern New Jersey/Long Island metropolitan statistical area had the highest number of total job postings (803), making in an area of high demand even though there were fewer job postings relative to the working population. A number of areas in the mid-West and the South also have higher than average levels of demand for personal care jobs. On the other hand, the Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington metropolitan statistical area has much lower than average demand for jobs in personal care science.

Figure 5. Map of Top 15 Metropolitan Statistical Areas Posting Personal Care Science Industry Jobs, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016

 

Figure 6. Summary of On-Line Job Demand in the Top 15 Metropolitan Statistical Areas Posting Personal Care Science Industry Jobs, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016

 

Jobs advertised on-line in the Personal Care Science industry are found across a number of different employers. As you can see in Figure 7, below, the largest number of jobs posted on-line in this industry came from Ecolab Incorporated, which posted over 850 jobs on-line, or more than one in four of the jobs posted nationwide in the last year. BASF accounted for 689 (21%) of the postings analyzed, or more than one in five jobs. However, other employers had many fewer job postings advertised in the last year. L’Oreal accounted for 277, or just 8%, of the total job postings, while Clorox and Proctor & Gamble each contributed 5% of the job postings, or approximately 150 jobs each. Other employers contributed smaller numbers of positions.   

 

Figure 7. Top Employers Contributing Personal Care Science Job Postings, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016, by Total Number of Postings and Percentage of Total Postings

 

 

Local Area Highlights

Taking a closer look at the types of jobs and skills that are concentrated in the Trenton-Ewing, New York/Northern New Jersey/ Long Island, and Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington metropolitan statistical areas, you can get a better sense of the opportunities open to MBS student locally. Overall, 939 Personal Care Science Industry jobs were posted in these areas over the one year period I examined. This is about 29% of all the Personal Care Science jobs posted nationwide. As Figure 8 shows, Chemists were the most frequently requested job title in the area, comprising 6% of job postings in the area. Marketing Manager was the second most in demand job title locally, making up 4% of postings. Titles including Buyer, Logistics Analyst, Production Supervisor, Sales Manager, Production Manager, Sales Specialist, Supply Chain Manager and Purchasing Manager each comprised about 1% of job postings in the local area.

 

Figure 8. Top Job Titles Advertised in the Personal Care Science Industry, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016, Trenton-Ewing, New York/Northern New Jersey/ Long Island, and Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Areas, by Total Number of Postings and Percentage of Total Postings

Again, you can see a different pattern when looking at job titles in broad categories. As Figure 9 shows, Management jobs make up over one-quarter of all jobs posted in the local area. Nearly one-fifth of job postings were for Computer and Mathematical or Business Operations positions. Life, Physical, and Other Science jobs, however, made up just 12% of job postings in the local area, and Engineering jobs accounted for 10%.

 

Figure 9. Job Postings in Personal Care by Major Job Category, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016 Trenton-Ewing, New York/Northern New Jersey/ Long Island, and Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Areas, by Total Number of Postings and Percentage of Total Postings

 

To understand what skills are particularly valued by employers located near Rutgers University, I looked at which skills had a high location quotient. A location quotient (LQ) above one indicates a high concentration of demand in the local area compared to the rest of the country. As you can see in Figure 10, below, in the Trenton-Ewing, New York/Northern New Jersey/ Long Island, and Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington metropolitan statistical areas, there is relatively strong demand for a number of specific skills related to marketing and testing products, including Market Positioning (LQ of 11.7), Creative Development (LQ of 11.7), Clinical Testing (LQ of 11.7), Brand Planning (LQ of 11.7), Direct Marketing (LQ of 10.9). Several other skills had a location quotient in the local area that approached 10, including Electronic Data Interchange (LQ of 9.9), Advanced Business Applications (LQ of 9.9), Risk Management (LQ of 9.7), Sample Preparation (LQ of 9.6) and Package Design (LQ of 9.5).

 

Figure 10. Top Skills Requested in Personal Care Job Postings, February 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016 Trenton-Ewing, New York/Northern New Jersey/ Long Island, and Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Areas, by Location Quotient

 

Conclusions

Many MBS students in the Personal Care Science concentration have expressed an interest in pursuing careers as Chemists in cosmetics formulation, but this analysis shows that there are many other career opportunities in the Personal Care Science industry where MBS students can apply their Personal Care Chemistry skills, as well as the business skills they are learning. There are certainly opportunities for Chemists, as well as for management positions overseeing Chemists.  However, Chemists and other Science-focused jobs make up only a small fraction of the jobs that MBS students may be qualified to pursue in the industry.  There is strong demand for Chemistry and business skills in a wide range of jobs including Sales, Business and Marketing positions, among others. Two out of three jobs posted in the industry also require the types of communication and business skills taught in the business component of the MBS program, including Communication, Business Environment, and Problem Solving skills. As a result, MBS students may want to consider broadening their career options by considering Sales, Marketing, and other Business jobs in the industry.

When looking at job demand more locally, we can see that there is somewhat stronger demand for Chemists and other Life Science positions, but overall demand is still weighted toward the business side of the operation. While Outside Sales jobs make up the most frequently advertised job title nationally, Chemists top the list in the Trenton-Ewing, New York/Northern New Jersey/ Long Island, and Philadelphia /Camden/ Wilmington metropolitan statistical areas. In addition, Life Sciences and related jobs comprise just 7% of postings nationally, but they make up 12% of jobs posted locally. Overall, though, the strongest demand in the industry locally is still for Management, Computer and Mathematical, and Business Operations positions. Locally, there is also a concentrated demand for specific skills related to product marketing and testing, as well as business analysis.

Given these trends in the Personal Care Science industry job market, MBS students can be assured that the science and business skills taught in the program are helping to position them as a strong candidates for jobs in the industry. To improve your chances of finding an internship or a full-time jobs in the industry, however, consider broadening your thinking about career pathways to include jobs in marketing, sales, and other business oriented positions, as well as those with a heavier orientation toward science. It is clear that the science knowledge you have is also valuable in business occupations, so you could find success in a broader array of job paths than you may have imagined when you first joined the program. Think big!

 

Methods

To do this analysis, I used a tool called Labor Insight from Burning Glass. It allows you to mine data from on-line job postings so you can see trends in the job market, such as job titles and skills in high demand and where jobs are concentrated, among other things. Because many jobs are posted several times in different places online, the system uses several methods to eliminate as many duplicate postings as possible (See here for more information: http://burning-glass.com). To get to the interesting information, Labor Insight breaks up all the pieces of the job description into fields that can be analyzed.

This analysis included on-line job postings in the personal care industry from February 1, 2015- January 31, 2016. To help students and other entry-level jobseekers, I limited the analysis to jobs requiring at least a Bachelor’s degree and 5 years or less experience.

While this analysis has the potential to show jobseekers and employers important recent trends in the job market, there are limitations to this work. Not all jobs are advertised on-line and not all of those on-line are captured by Burning Glass. The unstructured nature of job ads can make it difficult for the system to correctly identify individual pieces of information effectively in some cases. So, there may be some irrelevant jobs caught in the net and some relevant jobs may get left out. Overall, however, I hope that this analysis of “real-time” jobs data gives you a basic understanding of what is in demand in your area of interest.