Introduction to Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a combination of microbiology, bioinformatics, genealogy, bioscience, biochemistry and biological studies that work through using computers, software and statistics.
Those who study Biotechnology are called biotechnologists.
Biotechnologists work in pharmaceutical, medical, environment and agricultural and other spheres to detect, develop and improve the quality of life.
With the growth of educational opportunities and the job market, there is a high demand for biotechnologists.
For this purpose, we have compiled below a comprehensive guide on how to get admission in biotechnology and what are the future prospects of Biotechnology!
Where do Biotechnologists work?
Biotechnologists are in great demand in horticulture, environmental conservation groups, agricultural and forensic science. There are also vast applications of Biotechnologists in bioenergy, food and drink industries, cloning research, molecular and microbiology studies.
Lots of pharmaceuticals, biomedical organizations, genetic engineering firms, environmental or food and drink manufacturing biotech companies and educational institutions hire graduates in Biotechnology.
Career in Biotechnology
Starting level jobs will be of a lab technician, assistant professor/teacher, assistant manager etc.
Don’t worry, starting is always the hardest. With the passage of time and experience, you can opt to work in quality assurance, sales and marketing, scientific journalism circles.
You will need to have exceptional marks/GPA along with several internships and apprenticeships in biotech-related companies along with good research work to land a good job opportunity.
You can also rise to the position of University professors, general managers, marketing heads and biotech firm executives.
Common job titles:
- Agricultural engineer
- Food scientist
- Soil/plant scientists
- Biomedical Engineer
- Regular office hours of 35 to 40 hours a week
- Extra weekend and night shifts are logged during research work and experiment monitoring usually in sterile conditions
- Occasional travelling to field sites, conferences and seminars
- Academic environment (Colleges and Universities)
- Research computer, industrial and biology laboratories
- Or regular offices
Job Profiles of Biotechnologists
- Industrial Biotechnology:
- Enhance animal feed and pesticides
- Improve and develop genetically modified crops
- Workaround food and drink manufacturing
- Enzyme formation
- Creating biological detergents and dyes
- Environmental Biotechnology:
- Creating biodegradable plastic and materials for various industries
- Improving and researching alternative energy sources (e.g., biodiesel)
- Working with technological equipment to conserve and clean the environment and species
- Detecting and reducing pollution and industrial waste
- Forensic Biotechnology:
- DNA profiling
- Fingerprint identification
- Medical Biotechnology:
- Study cell culture and genetic modification to produce new medicine
- Treating diseases (by creating and improving vaccines, therapies and hormones)
- Research diseases (like cancer) and the human body (antibodies, genetic data, proteins), parasites, micro-organisms, plants and animals
- Work in organ regeneration
What are the skills required to be a Biotechnologist?
- Analytical mind
- Attention to detail
- Knowledge of safe usage and disposal of chemicals
- Ability to work around the latest software and computing equipment
- Able to effectively communicate biological findings with others in a systematic manner
- Technical research skills
Major Interests of a Biotechnologist:
◇ Biology and Chemistry (biochemistry)
◇ Natural curiosity
◇ Computing technology
◇ Genetic data compiling
What is the Eligibility criteria to pursue Biotechnology?
You should have at least 55% minimum marks in your SSC and HSSC (having Biology and Chemistry as the core subjects) or Equivalent examinations to get admission in Biotechnology at Bachelor degree program.
A minimum of 2.5 CGPA out of 4.0 in your Bachelor’s degree for admission in MS/MPhil level degree in Biotechnology.
A minimum of 3.0 CGPA out of 4.0 in your Master’s degree for admission in PhD level degree in Biotechnology.
What are the Academic Qualifications required in this field?
At Matric and FSC level, the basic subjects should be Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science.
Followed by the following courses:
• B.Sc in Biotechnology or Bioinformatics/Biochemistry
• B.Tech in Biotechnology
• B.Sc (Hons.) in Biotechnology
At the Masters level, you would need to specialize in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Biostatistics, or Molecular/Microbiology/Genetics as your interest goes.
Steps to become a Biotechnologist:
Do FSC (Pre-medical) or A-Level with subjects of Biology, Chemistry, or additional Mathematics/Computer.
Enroll in a University that offers a bachelor in Biotechnology.
Do internships in biotech firms.
Pursue a Postgraduate degree in Biotechnology or the research area of Biotechnology.
Find a job in a biotech company or in the educational sphere.
What are the Difficulties that I will face in this field?
It is without exception that success comes without any hardship. Like any other field, you will definitely face some obstacles or hindrances in the field of Biotechnology like:
- More long hours and less pay scale in the beginning
- It is grueling to keep up with the latest technological changes
- High stress and responsibilities are faced while conducting experiments or handling big data
- Tough competition in the market for jobs