Biotechnology today is one of the hottest careers in the field of technology for the simple reason that it combines two fields quite successfully.
What is interesting about biotechnology is that in an agriculture-dependent country like India, it offers opportunities in sectors such as food and beverages, medicines, pharmaceuticals, nutrition, environment conservation, textiles industry, genetic engineering etc.
- Love of data: You should be someone who loves playing with statistics or data. If you love math and calculations, it is an added advantage in this field.
- Generally aware: You have to be someone who has an intense awareness of the environment especially things like health, nutrition, food, hygiene etc.
- Research orientation: You must be someone who can easily search for data, facts, definitions etc. you should love research.
- Lab lover: Most biotechnologists get to work in laboratories and conduct practical experiments. If you are someone whose first love is the laboratory, you are ideal for this field.
There are graduation and post-graduation level as well as diploma courses available in biotechnology. Most of these courses include B.Sc, BE, B.Tech, M.Tech, ME, M.Sc in biotechnology.
The eligibility criterion is 10+2 with PCM and Biology for graduation courses and a science graduation for PG courses with minimum of 50% marks. Many premier institutes like IIT also conduct common entrance tests such as IIT JEE or AIEEE to select candidates for biotechnology courses.
The best part of biotechnology is the opportunity to get specialization in a variety of fields such as Molecular Biology, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Tissue culture and Zoology, Agriculture and Agricultural Development, Animal Husbandry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Botany, Dairy Technology, Environmental Protection, Fishery Development, Genetics, Horticulture, Medicine, Microbiology etc.
Biotechnology graduates and postgraduates have a number of opportunities available. Such as:
- Quality Control Analyst: Pharma companies want Biotech graduates to test their diagnostic kits. You will check for expiry dates, quality of supplies, conduct immunological tests where you may handle blood samples etc.
- Green-house assistent: He/She collects, records and analyzes data and interprets results related to disease and pest prevention.
- Plant breeders: They perform experiments in labs to evaluate mating mechanisms in plants and contribute in developing new varieties.
- Clinical Co-ordinator: A clinical co-ordinator is in charge of laboratory activities for smooth functioning. He handles staff requirements, drug supply, project tracking etc.
- Clinical Data Specialist: He/She designs, implements and tests clinical data and makes statistical reports and keeps a record.
- Environment Health and Safety Specialist: Usually companies hire Biotech graduates on this post in order to plan and implement industrial safety procedures.
- Research assistants: Various veterinary institutes need technicians and laboratory assistants too and they prefer biotech graduates.
The starting salary range is between Rs 8,000 and Rs 20,000 for graduates. However, it also depends upon your institute and the kind of research you managed to conduct during your graduation.
List of Institutes for undergrad and post-grad courses in India
Name of Institute Website
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi www.aiims.edu
Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi – 110016 www.iitd.ac.in
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras www.iitm.ac.in
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal www.iitkgp.ac.in
University of Rajasthan, Jaipur www.uniraj.ac.in
Osmania University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh www.osmania.ac.in
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar www.gndu.ac.in
Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi www.jmi.ac.in
Amity Institute of Biotechnology, New Delhi www.amity.edu/aib
List of Institutes for undergrad and post-grad courses in Dubai
Name of Institute Website
Birla Institute of Technology & Science Pilani – Dubai Campus www.bits-pilani.ac.in/dubai
Heriot Watt University Dubai www.hw.ac.uk
Manipal Education Dubai Campus www.manipaldubai.com