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Engineering in Biotechnology – Career Prospects

Aug 16, 2017 18:41 IST
    Engineering in Biotechnology – Career Prospects
    Engineering in Biotechnology – Career Prospects

    If you are a science student, looking for an up-and-coming field of study to build you career in, Biotechnology will surely inspire some interest. The domain of biotechnology is one of the fastest growing fields making beneficial scientific advances at a rapid pace in the last quarter century. Considering the multi-disciplinary nature of Biotechnology, the field covers a diverse range of topics and subjects including mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering and others. In other simpler words, biotechnologists deal with the amalgamation of biological sciences with engineering concepts & principles to create medical marvels that help and advance facilities in the healthcare sector, medicine, agriculture, food technology, the pharmaceutical industry and even environmental biology.

    While it may be a new subject as a field of scientific study, but human civilization have been using biotechnology in one way since the inception of time. The most common example, which explain this phenomenon is the development of agrarian processes, which involves evolution of technology to aid the biological growth of plants for commercial use. A modern day example of biotechnology would be the development of genetic engineering and cloning that is developed by a combination of technological aspects to biological matters. As a field of study, biotechnology has emerged as a very viable subject in modern times. The domain offers excellent career opportunities that are not only financially rewarding but also offers excellent research and development opportunities to candidates to develop biotechnical processes to help the society against health hazards.

    Scope of Biotechnology

    The field of biotechnology is a highly diverse subject and involves multiple aspects from different scientific fields to help develop technological solutions to biological problems or, in general, advance the field of technology with respect to biomechanics. In simpler words, the domain of biotechnology combines the theoretical aspects of biology like genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, embryology and cell biology with applicability concepts of engineering like chemical engineering, information technology and robotics; to create scientific solutions. Considering that the field of biotechnology almost covers the entire scientific domain from engineering to medical and, therefore, offers immense scope in terms of academic inquiry and professional opportunities available the biotechnologists.

    As far as applications are concerned, the field of biotechnology can be classified into two separate entities i.e.,

    • Research & Development Division: This division deals with the advancement of technology and biological solutions in the field of Microbiology, Cell biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology etc. for understanding the occurrence and treatment of diseases, development of agriculture, food production, protection of the environment and many more.
    • Industrial Processes: The industrial processes aspect of biotechnology deals with the actual application of research results and deriving applicable and implementable technology like production of drugs, vaccines, biofuels and pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, diagnostic machinery and others at an industrial scale.

    Eligibility for Biotechnologist Programmes

    Students, who are interested in building their career as a Biotechnologist can do so by joining either an undergraduate programme, postgraduate programme or an integrated M.Sc programme. Different institutes are known to have different eligibility criteria to offer admission to biotechnology courses. The main among them are listed below:

    • Generally, all major technical institutes who offer undergraduate level B.Tech / B.Sc in biotechnology would select students after the Class 12/10+2 exams.
    • Students can also choose to enrol in a 5-year integrated MSc programme in biotechnology if they want to pursue masters degree
    • IIT, Delhi & IIT Kharagpur also offer M.Tech programme in biotechnology, for which admissions are granted on the basis of a written entrance test
    • JNU, Delhi also offers MSc in biotechnology programme, for which admissions are granted on the basis of a written entrance test
    • Department of Biotechnology also offers master degree programme and supports doctorate-level academic programmes through prominent research institutes

    Career Prospects as a Biotechnologist

    Biotechnology is an up-and-coming field as far as modern science is concerned. The rapid expansion of the field in the last decade has expanded the job opportunities on offer for biotechnologists. The recent focus of government programmes has also escalated the need of trained and qualified biotechnology professionals in different fields. Apart from this, private research and development laboratories and large pharmaceutical firms have also realized the immense potential of the field and started investing heavily in the field of biotechnology.

    In general, biotechnologists are hired in the following industries for different job profiles:

    • Energy: For development of organic alternative fuels that may support the existing energy needs of the world
    • Drug and pharmaceutical research: For development of innovative medical technology and drugs that aid in furthering the causes of healthcare and medicine
    • Public funded laboratories: As laboratory technicians taking care of the installation and maintenance of equipment and machinery
    • Waste management: Developing innovative methods of waste disposal at both domestic and industrial levels
    • Environment control: Development of innovative technology that safeguards environment and helps in protection of natural resources
    • Chemicals: Development of biochemical solutions for healthcare sector and safety agents/equipment for other industries
    • Food processing: Study of existing food practices and evolution of safer food technology products

    Pay Package for Biotechnologists

    The unique nature and niche position of Biotechnologists in the job markets puts them at a great advantage over others with respect to pay package offered. A wide range of job opportunities available in different industrial sector again enhance the sources of employment and package associated with it. Today, in general, biotechnologists are hired by two main agencies i.e.,

    • Government Agencies: Biotechnologists start at an entry level position with a monthly remuneration of Rs 9,000 and this can see significant hike as you rise through the ranks with experience and seniority.
    • Pharmaceutical Companies: Private pharmaceutical companies hire biotechnology professionals with starting salary range of Rs 14,000 to 20,000 per month. Again the salary is much higher if you are hired by an MNC Pharma company.

    Top Biotechnology Institutes / Colleges in India

    The top ranking biotechnology institutes that offer undergraduate/postgraduate level academic programmes are listed below:

    Institute

    Course on offer

    Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT Kharagpur)

    B.Tech in Biotechnology & Biochemical Engineering

    Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IITR)

    B.Tech in Biotechnology

    Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IITG)

    B.Tech in Biotechnology

    National Institute of Technology, Warangal (NIT, W)

    B.Tech in Biotechnology

    Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT)

    B.E in Biotechnology

    Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology, Trivandrum

    B.SC in Biotechnology

     

     

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