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Career in Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a fast growing and promising field of study that progresses ahead through research and development. It is the field that introduced cloning technology to the world and also introduced scientific methods for genetic engineering and new modes of vegetative propagation and many more revolutionary biotechnologies. The biotechnology profession offers outstanding prospects and opportunity, predominantly in the areas of medicine, agriculture and related areas.

Biotechnology is a research-oriented science; a combination of Biology and other engineering Technologies. It covers a wide variety of subjects like Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Immunology, Virology, Chemistry and Engineering and is also concerned with many other subjects like Health and Medicine, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Cropping system and Crop Management, Ecology, Cell Biology, Soil science and Soil Conservation, Bio-statistics, Plant Physiology, Seed Technology etc. Biotechnology is the use of living things, especially cells and bacteria in industrial process. There is great career opportunity in Biotechnology as the demand for biotechnologists is growing in the global scenario including India.

There are many applications of Biotechnology, such as developing various medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, increasing productivity, improving energy production and conservation. The options in Biotechnology are many and so are the career opportunities. Biotechnology's intervention in the area of animal husbandry has improved animal breeding. Biotechnology also helps to improve the quality of seeds, insecticides and fertilizers. Environmental biotechnology helps in pollution control and waste management.

Almost every sphere of life will absorb a biotechnologist whether it is agriculture, horticulture, dairy farming, pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry, careers in biotechnology tend to be related to Research and Development, Quality Control, Clinical Research, Manufacturing and Production, Patent Administration, Management and Administration.

Biotechnology, often referred to as “biotech,” is the application of biological research techniques to create new processes and products while using biological systems, living organisms, and/or derivatives of organisms. Although biotech processes have been used for thousands of years, scientists began to use components of microorganisms to solve human problems within spheres such as agriculture, medicine/healthcare, food processing and industry in the 1970s.

If you are considering a career in the biotechnology arena, there are two key questions to ask yourself: Do I like thinking about living things? And what sectors of the economy can I see myself operating in? Being able to answer these questions will guide you toward choosing the right career path within biotech.

As you think about a career in biotechnology, it can be useful to identify the general areas where your aptitude and interests lie. The following reflect the various divisions within a biotechnology company.

  • Research and Development: Discover promising drug candidates. Functions include discovery research, bioinformatics, and animal sciences.
  • Operations: Make commercial quantities of a candidate drug available and assess environmental impact and safety of a new product.
  • Clinical Research: Take the new drug through the FDA approval process after emerging from the R&D department. Also manage all clinical drug trials and oversee all information related to the drug candidate.
  • Quality: Responsible for quality control, assurance, and validation. Ensure that all products meet standards of quality in manufacturing process.
  • Finance and Administration: Responsible for legal relationships to investors, creditors, and employees. Also maintain companywide computer systems/IT.
  • Business Development: Responsible for identifying prospective new alliance partners and managing existing ones. Also includes marketing function (market research, targeting customers, promotion strategy) and sales function (meet customers in the field—often with specialist physicans).
  • Project Management: Responsible for ensuring that work requiring collaboration of several departments goes smoothly and efficiently.
  • Commercial Strategy: Responsible for leading worldwide product lifecycle management. Also work closely with management, marketing, sales, R&D, and corporate development.
    Strategic Planning: Responsible for identifying major milestones, investments, and decisions for successful profits of a product. Assess commercial viability of a product in the target market.

Job Prospects: Biotechnology assimilates in itself a number of disciplines. Further, there is a great demand for biotechnical experts in countless industries and sectors. The following are applications where biotechnological techniques are used extensively: 

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Environment Conservation
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Health Care
  • Medicine
  • Industrial Research and Development

Career opportunities for students in biotechnology abound. Those specialising in different sub-disciplines of this field can easily find jobs in both private and government sector undertakings. If you have acquired a post-graduate degree in biotechnology then you can easily find a suitable position in a number of industries.

Major recruiters include industries engaged in processing and developing agricultural and biological products, bio-processing industries, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. There are ample opportunities in industries producing healthcare products, textile industry, cosmetics and organisations engaged in different types of industrial research and development.

These days a growing number of qualified biotechnical professionals are engaged by different industries for environment protection activities and for the safe disposal of hazardous materials.

Job Titles

A degree in Biotechnology opens up the possibilities for numerous different career options. Some of these possibilities are listed below.

Administration

Technical Recruiter

Patent Attorney**

Clinical Research

Clinical Programmer

Clinical Data Specialist

Clinical Research Associate

Biostatistician

Clinical Research Manager

Clinical Data Systems Manager

Clinical Supply Manager

Associate Director

Director, Clinical Research

Animal Handler

Animal Technician

Toxicologist

Technical Writer

Information Systems

Scientific Programmer Analyst

Scientific Systems Manager

Director, Scientific Info. Systems

Quality Control (QC)

QC Inspector

QC Analyst

QC Enginer

Safety Specialist

Safety Manager

QC Supervisor

QC Manager

QC Director

Regulatory Affairs

Documentation Coordinator

Documentation Specialist

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Regulatory Affairs Manager

Director, Regulatory Affairs

Manufacturing & Production

Manufacturing Technician

Assay Analyst

Manufacturing Research Associate

Instrument / Calibration Technician

Chemical Engineer

Process Development Scientist

Process Development Engineer

Process Development Manager

Pilot Plant Manager

Facilities Manager

Manufacturing Manager

Director, Manufacturing

Marketing & Sales

Market Research Analyst

Market Research Manager

Manufacturing Research Associate

Product Marketing Manager

Director of Marketing

Sales Manager

Customer Service Representative

Technical Service Representative

Development Research Analyst

Development Manager

Development Director

Research

Research Associate

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Scientist

Associate Scientific Director

Scientific Director

Project Manager

Technical Services Manager

**Requires Additional Education

Eligibility:

To pursue an undergraduate programme, one must be a 12th passed with physics, chemistry and biology/mathematics. To pursue a Postgraduate programme in Biotechnology, graduates of  Physical, Biological, Agricultural Science & Engineering, Veterinary and Fishery Sciences are eligible. Graduates in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Engineering, Technology, Medicine, Horticulture,Forestry, Fisheries can also do post graduation in Biotechnology.

Career prospects:

Biotechnology is ranked second as a growth sector after multimedia industry with a tremendous employment potential. Major contributions are in areas such as health, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. Bio-technologists are employed in research and development, departments of institutions and industries involved in biotechnological work. Some industries employing bio technologists are Hindustan Lever, Thapar group, Indo American Hybrid Seeds, Bincon India Limited, Bivcol, IDPL, Indian Vaccines Corporation, Hindustan Antibiotics, Sun Pharma, Cadila etc.

Remuneration:

Biotechnologists working in public sectors receive a salary package according to the current government norms and rules. An experienced biotechnologist may earn up to Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000. Scientists working in research labs can earn even more.

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