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Eligibility for Biotechnology Courses : : Biotechnology Career Prospects
The minimum eligibility criteria for pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree course in Biotechnology ( B.Tech. or B.Sc. ) is the successful completion of 10 + 2 in Science. Successful completion of a Bachelor’s Degree-in Biotechnology is the minimum eligibility criteria required to do a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology. In order to do a Ph.D. in Biotechnology, one needs to have completed one’s Master’s Degree in Biotechnology. It is ideal to clear the CSIR – UGC JRF examination in order to pursue a doctoral research in Biotechnology.
One can start studying Biotechnology, even as early as in school. Biotechnology, as a subject, is offered in Class XI in over 500 schools in the country.
One should have a scientific bent of mind in order to study Biotechnology. An innovative mind with a thorough interest in biological sciences is best suited for Biotechnology. One should be analytical and be intelligent enough to tackle various subjects in which Biotechnology finds application. One should be hard working and sincere and should have a burning desire to invent products, through the use or biotechnology, which would help mankind in ameliorating diseases, increasing the yield of food grains, etc.
A biotechnologist should be methodical, able to work neatly and should have a flair for laboratory work. Biotechnologists are often involved in working in a team. Hence, liking and ability to get along comfortably with colleagues is necessary to move further in this field. Reading habit and liking for browsing on Internet for updated knowledge of latest scientific researches and development are additional assets. One should also be curious in nature, since Biotechnology requires one to be involved in research work.
Biotechnology Courses :
Various universities across the country offer courses in Biotechnology like Bachelor of Technology ( B.Tech. ) and Bachelor of Science ( B.Sc ). The Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU ) in New Delhi offers a two – year M.Sc. course in Biotechnology. Entrance examinations for this Biotechnology course are conducted at various centres across the country. One can pursue a course in Biotechnology in over 40 institutes across the country which consider the scores of this entrance examination.
One can get admission in the Centre for Biotechnology at the JNU only if one is ranked among the top 90 students qualifying in this examination. Postgraduate courses, with Biotechnology as their focus, are available in over 60 premier institutions, universities and Indian Institutes of Technology ( lITs ) across the country. Postgraduate courses in Biotechnology are offered at the Indian Institutes of Technology at Roorkee ( Uttarakhand ) and Mumbai ( Maharashtra ).
These Biotechnology courses are offered by a joint initiative between the Department of Biotechnology and the University Grants Commission. Scientists who are in the middle of Biotechnology careers also have the option of availing several regular Biotechnology short term courses and training programmes apart from doctoral and post – doctoral courses.
Prospects for Biotechnology Careers :
Biotechnology is a booming industry and is expected to grow at a tremendous pace in the next five years. A survey by FICCI reveals that the shortage of doctorate and post – doctorate scientists in Biotechnology field is around 80 percent. This is the reason why the job prospects in Biotechnology are 10 times more that in other life science industries. Hence, a student with a professional degree in Biotechnology is sure to find a good Biotechnology job that offers sumptuous remuneration.
Healthcare and patenting is one sector which involves considerable application of Biotechnology and hence a career in this sector is a viable option. Other fields in which one will be able to find jobs are manufacturing, quality assurance and marketing. The field of research and development is a promising one in which one can find a Biotechnology job with a hefty sum as salary.
One will be able to find employment in MNCs ( Multi – National Companies ) as well as domestic Indian companies. Students with professional degrees in Biotechnology are absorbed in chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Companies, which are involved in the activity of controlling pollution, also hire the services of experts in Biotechnology.
Other industries which promise good employment opportunities are the bio – processing and the agriculture – related industries. The Department of Biotechnology was established in India in 1986 which signaled the recognition of Biotechnology as an important branch of study in the country. Today, several governmental agencies and academic institutions are involved in research and development ( R & D ) works in Biotechnology.
These Biotechnology agencies and institutions offer a lot of career opportunities in Biotechnology to the eligible candidates. Thus, there are ample opportunities for biotechnologists in R&D, manufacturing and quality control. Some of the governmental agencies and academic institutions involved in R&D activities arc the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Department of Atomic Energy, Indian Council of Medical Research and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. One who is professionally qualified in Biotechnology will be able to work at these places.
One can also become an entrepreneur by setting up a biotech company of one’s own. Today, India boasts of more than 150 biotech companies which are either into the manufacturing of products or are into the provision of services. If one is hard working and entrepreneurial enough, one can set up a multicrore biotech company like Biocon India, the company associated with Ms. Kiran Mazumdar – Shaw.
Biotechnologists can also work as technicians, production managers, quality control managers, marketing and sales personnels, etc. Both public and private sectors offer plenty of job opportunities in Biotechnology field. Many companies demand scientists with experience in genomics and proteomics research. One will also be able to find employment in the fields of bioinformatics, tissue engineering and cancer research. Cell and molecular biologists find employment in the field of tissue engineering.
In the field of tissue engineering, one will work with robotics engineers, equipment developers, computer – assisted designers, biomaterial engineers and microscopic imaging specialists. Biotechnology Companies are also placing huge demands for scientists who have experience in computational methods in addition to a deep knowledge in the biological sciences. One can conclude that Biotechnology is a knowledge – based industry which includes manpower with understanding of technology and managerial expertise to harvest technology into profit making ventures and promising ample of job opportunities in Biotechnology under its umbrella.
Career in Biotechnology – Remuneration :
Biotechnology is one of those very few courses, a specialisation in which brings very high remuneration, even for the freshers. But the amount of remuneration also depends upon academic qualification, institute or university from which the degree is obtained and the level of work experience. A salary ranging in between 3.5 lakh and 4 lakh per annum is offered in the Intellectual Property Rights Division, where one begins one’s career as a research associate. One will be able to command a remuneration of 3 lakh per annum as a research scientist in the research and development department.
One’s salary goes on increasing as one goes on getting promotions in one’s own department. One becomes a research scientist; a senior research assistant and finally a manager in the research and development department. Similarly, in the Intellectual Property Rights Division, one starts as a research associate and goes on to become a senior research associate, project manager, team leader and finally assistant vice – president. The sky is the limit for those who take to entrepreneurship in Biotechnology.
Biotechnology – Major Areas of Application
I. Agriculture :
- In this area, Biotechnologists work to develop high – yielding, disease resistant plants, flowers and vegetables with longer shelf life. They also work towards innovating methods that could triple the yield of crops within limited farmland. Nutritious food with the minimum use of chemical pesticides is developed through the practice of tissue – culture. Biotechnologists also practise the technique of ‘micropropagation’ in which, crops identical in quality and form are grown.
II. Animal Husbandry :
- In this field, Biotechnologists work to develop improved breed of animals with higher milk production, higher animal productivity and with desirable characteristics. They also work on embryo transfer and development of vaccines for animals.
III. Aquaculture and Marine Industry :
- Biotechnologists work on generating new classes of pharmaceuticals, polymers, enzymes and many other chemical products. Biotechnology is also very beneficial in aquaculture, transgenics, fish production, bioremedation, conservation, sea weeds culture, etc.
IV. Environment :
- In the field of environment, toxic wastes and oil spills are figured out and checked by Biotechnologists. The recycling of sewage sludge is another area where Biotech firms work. Biotechnologists are also involved in the areas of waste and effluent treatment and the control of industrial air pollution.
V. Healthcare :
- In this area, Biotechnologists work to find out faster and efficient methods to detect several diseases and cure the genetically inherited diseases. Research is also carried out by Biotechnologists to develop advanced diagnostic tools, vaccines and pharmaceuticals.
VI. Industry :
- In this area, Biotechnologists work on genetic engineering, chemical processes, textile development, cosmetics, and the production and conservation of energy. Experienced Biotechnologists have developed a vast biological database. In the industrial sector, the new branch of Bioinformatics uses software to utilise this information for various purposes. Microbiology is a branch of Biotechnology in which considerable research and development is being done in the industrial sector.
Combined Entrance Examination of Jawaharlal Nehru University
Bachelor’s Degree under 10+2+3 pattern of education in Biological, Agricultural, Veterinary and Fishery Sciences, Pharmacy, Engineering / Technology; 4 – year B.S. ( Physicians Assistant ) course; or A1BBS / BDS with at least 55 percent marks. Students who are due to appear in these qualifying examinations are also eligible for appearing in the entrance examination.
Biotechnology Courses : Two – year M.Sc. Program in Biotechnology.
The entrance examinations are held at over 62 centres across the country in the month of May every year. A number of institutes / universities across the country grant admission to courses in Biotechnology on the basis of scores in this examination