Bio-Technology that word is the new buzz word in the scientific community, but what is it exactly. Well, biology is the study of living organisms in their natural environments, and biotechnology combines technology with an understanding of the ways in which life exists to come up with new products, processes, services, and other inventions that make life easier. Therefore, biotechnology has useful applications in every aspect of life and every industry imaginable. If you want to know more about the utility of biotechnology in modern life and the career doors can open, this article is for you!
How does biotechnology make lives easier?
Have you ever heard of Entresto? If hearing that name made you say, “What is Entresto? That sounds like a weird movie!” you should know the following. Entresto is a blockbuster pharmaceutical drug that is used to treat patients in advanced heart failure in instances where other medicines have not worked. This medicine has had a high success rate in terms of keeping these patients alive. In fact, 83% of people who took Entresto survived in comparison to the 81% who survived after taking Enalapril (another heart failure medicine.)
Entresto works its magic because it is a combination of two powerful medicines: Sacubitril (which lowers blood pressure by increasing the levels of specific blood vessel dilating proteins), and Valsartan (this is an Angiotensin receptor blocker which works by inhibiting the body from converting excess amounts of a hormone called Angiotensin which regulates heartbeats) which also dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. It is a perfect example of Modern Technology combining with an advanced understanding of vital human biological functions (heart function in this instance) to help save lives.
Is the pursuit of degrees and are careers in Biotechnology possible?
The answer to both questions is, “yes.” This is largely because biotechnology is a constantly evolving field. It is also because biotechnology is a vast field with positions open in any industry imaginable. If you are thinking about studying biotechnology, you have six options available to you in terms of degree programs:
- Certificate programs
- Associate degree programs
- Bachelors of Science degree programs
- Online degrees
- Master’s and Ph.D. programs
- Dual degree programs
These are perfect if you want a basic and comprehensive education in and understanding of biotechnology. You can generally obtain a certificate in a year or less because you don’t need to complete more than 25 credit hours. You’ll learn about different aspects of biotechnology ranging from the basic concepts to understanding how it’s used in manufacturing and drug processes, among other things.
Associate degree programs
These take longer to complete because they require to take 60 credit hours in various biotechnology and related courses. You’ll obtain your degree in two years and will have to do a related internship before you can graduate. These programs are great if you want to be a lab assistant or technician.
Bachelors of Science degree programs
Though the specialized nature of biotechnology makes it next to impossible for you to pursue a direct degree in the subject, you can learn many of its concepts and principles by studying subjects in related fields like chemistry or biology. You’ll have the option of enrolling in a biotechnology master’s degree program from there.
These are great if you want to study biotechnology concepts, principles, and applications but need to keep your current, full-time job. You can set your own hours of study and customize your own program of study.
Masters and PhD programs
These are specialized programs that delve into certain concepts of biotechnology in more depth.
Dual degree programs
You can obtain a degree in biotechnology and in a related field like Chemistry or Biology!
Because the field is so vast, any degree in biotechnology will open many doors and paths in terms of careers. Some of the more commonly pursued careers are:
- Biotechnical scientist
- Industry researcher
- Project leader
- Senior scientist
You will design, develop, and use tools like statistical formulas to gather information and data regarding biotechnology procedures. Since the position is very analytical, you’ll need an advanced degree. A good example is a Ph.D. in biotechnology with a Specialization in Computational Biology.
You’ll need at least a Ph.D. and two years of research or work experience in a related field. You’ll work in a team on certain projects requiring in-depth and vast knowledge of programming languages. Because teamwork is a major component, good inter and intrapersonal skills are a must.
You’ll work for a company and your primary job will be to identify and solve problem areas and issues that your clients face. The outcome will be to maximize their production capacity and output.
You’ll act as the CEO’s assistant. You’ll hire, manage, and fire people. You will be responsible for managing the company’s programs and aligning them with its long-term objectives and goals.
This position is very flexible because it requires creative thinking and analysis to identify new areas of biotechnology research. You’ll need a Ph.D. for this position. Having published in various journals before is a plus to obtain the position. Excellent communication skills are required.
Your primary task is examining the operations of various companies to determine if they comply with existing laws. You’ll identify problem areas and issues in terms of defective products or manufacturing processes and system failures. Because it’s a complex job, multitasking and excellent communication skills are a must as is a Ph.D. in a related field.
You’ll need a medical degree or Ph.D. in a biotechnology-related field and many years of relevant work experience because you’ll be teaching novices about biotechnology in terms of concepts, uses, and potential. You’ll also be doing extensive academic and field research.
Because this is a group leader position, you’ll be overseeing the collection and analysis of various types of vital data. You’ll also be a liaison between scientists and firms so experience in knowledge of biotechnology is required as are good people and communication skills.
You’ll need great people, presentation, and communication skills for this job. You’ll be communicating with and acting as a liaison between your company’s science team and its management team. You’ll need great leadership skills and attention to detail since you’ll be supervising and managing people and overseeing their work for quality and accuracy. You’ll need to have at least a Master’s degree in a related field, though a Ph.D. carries more weight!
Biotechnology is awesome
Because of its many applications and uses and its many educational and career options, biotechnology is the gem industry today and in the future!