We all hate going to doctors who’d prescribe us bitter medicines for the smallest of disease we might catch, but have we ever wondered, who designs these medicines in the first place? From medicines to injections, from an x-ray to an MRI to simple eye drops, anything that relates to our biological functional maintenance and curing, involves biotechnology. Biotechnology is technological applications of biological systems and living organisms to make or modify products for use. It is a mix of biology and technology. Using biology to cure diseases that threaten humans, prevent crops from perishing and save species from illnesses is all part of the game for biotechnology engineers. This article will explain in detail what work Biotechnology Engineers do, how much they earn and how you can become a Biotechnology Engineer.
WHAT DO PEOPLE DO IN DIFFERENT CAREERS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY?
With the field of Biotech engineering on a high rise, there are enormous opportunities for biotech engineers to work in with research being the most powerful one. Other than research a biotech engineer has to design, develop, test and maintain the products developed for the welfare of the humankind.
The versatility of biotechnology is evidenced by its innumerable applications. It can be categorised under 2 broad disciplines: Medical & Industrial Biotechnology and Agricultural & Environmental Biotechnology.
Medical Biotechnology: Healthcare is our foremost concern and medical biotechnology offers tremendous scope for designing of novel drugs, production of vaccines, pharmaceutical recombinant proteins like insulin, somatostatin, somatotropin, and diagnostic products that help treat and prevent human diseases. Most medical biotechnologists work in academic or industrial surroundings.
Environmental Biotechnology: It encompasses old issues of ecology such as waste gas and water management, composting, hazardous soil pollutants, bio-magnification that are now addressed with biotechnological solutions involving microbes that envisage abiotic and biotic factors. It may be referred in the context of environmental protection since rapid urbanization and other developments have resulted in a polluted environment and depleted natural resources.
TOP GLOBAL COMPANIES WHICH HIRE BIOTECHNOLOGY ENGINEERS
KEY QUALITIES REQUIRED
Since Biotechnology Engineers deal with many non-technical people – their team members, people from other departments in their organization or people from different organizations, companies look for following qualities during recruitment:
Organization– Biotechnology Engineers oversee contractors and laborers. Being able to organize several people at once is importantvfor the success of Biotechnology Engineers job.
Patience– A lot of Biotechnology Engineering jobs require enormous field visits which can be tiring at times. A Biotechnology engineer must be patient in dealing with such cases.
FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH CAREER IN BIOTECH
HOW TO PURSUE A CAREER IN BIOTECHNOLOGY?
Step 1 : Choose Science with Mathematics after 10th (PCM/PCB or can be both) and prepare for Engineering Entrance Exams
Most of the colleges require students to compulsorily take Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics during 10+2.
All engineering colleges in India admit students on the basis of competitive entrance exams – JEE Mains, JEE Advanced, BITSAT, MHT CET, ComedK as of February 2017. Currently, score in JEE Mains is also used by many States, (e.g., Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh etc) for admission to government and private engineering colleges at the state level.
Step 2 : Earn a Bachelor Degree
B.Tech Biotechnology Vs BSc Biotechnology
|B.Tech Biotechnology||BSc Biotechnology|
|B.Tech degree in Biotechnology encompasses both the biological sciences as well as the engineering aspect of Biotechnology. The B.Tech curriculum will cover life sciences subjects such as Microbiology,Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology etc and engineering subjects like Bioprocess Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Thermodynamics, Mass Transfer etc.||A BSc degree on the other hand focuses more on the biological sciences aspect of Biotechnology. Yes, there will be a few subjects(1 or 2) related to industrial processes but the main emphasis will be on R&D in biological sciences fields such as Biochemistry, Plant and Animal Biotechnology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Microbial Genetics, to name a few.|
There is no such thing as B.Tech being better than BSc or vice versa. Students must choose a course that aligns with their long term goals. Do you want to pursue a research career in areas such as Stem Cells, Genetic Engineering, Plant Biotechnology, Molecular Biology etc.? If yes, choose BSc/MSc Biotechnology or BSc Biotechnology and MSc in any specialized field of Biotechnology. You can later on pursue your PhD if interested.
If you want to keep your options open, then go for B.Tech Biotechnology. Many B.Tech students who do not find / like jobs in biotech sector shift to software, management etc. So, this is an added bonus for biotech students and this kind of transition will be tougher with a BSc and MSc degree in Biotechnology.
|B.E/B.Tech. Biotechnology-B.Tech(Biotechnology)- Stands for Bachelor of Technology (Biotechnology) Typically, B.Tech(Biotechnology) is a four year course, minimum eligibility for which is an intermediate (10+2) with subjects such as physics, maths, biology and chemistry. Biotechnology is a combination of Biology and Technology and is an applied science. Subjects studied under this degree are Microbiology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Genetics and Engineering.|
|B.E/B.Tech Industrial Biotechnology stands for Bachelor of Technology in Industrial Biotechnology. It is a 4 year course. The minimum eligibility is Intermediate (10+2)in Science. Industrial biotechnology is the application of biotechnology for industrial purposes, including manufacturing, alternative energy (or “bioenergy”), and biomaterials. The course covers subjects like Genetic Engineering, Chemical Reaction Engineering, Mass Transfer and Separation, Bioinformatics, Bioprocess Engineering etc.|
EARN A MASTER’S DEGREE
- M.Phil. Biotechnology – Stands for Master of Philosophy in Biotechnology. Typically, an M.Phil. is two years post graduate degree, minimum eligibility for which is a M.Sc. in Biotechnology. The course offers superior quality training in the field of biotechnology. As a result, the students are prepared to fulfill the needs of biochemical and pharmaceutical industries for research and development.
- M.E.(Biotechnology)– Stands for Master of Engineering in Biotechnology. Typically, an M.E.(Biotechnology) is a two year course, minimum eligibility for which is a B.E. in Biotechnology.
- M.Tech(Biotechnology)– Stands for Master of Technology (Biotechnology). Typically, an
- M.Tech(Biotechnology)-is a two year course, minimum eligibility for which is a B.Tech (Biotechnology) or any relevant engineering degree with biotechnology as a subject.
- M.Sc (Biotechnology)-This is a very popular course where any graduate in biology or related sciences is eligible to apply. There are two major entrance exams for the course. The All India Biotechnology Entrance test conducted by JNU for admission to about 500 odd seats in the 32 university departments is the first major one. IITs admit students through a Joint Admissions Test for IITs. Most good private sector universities have their own independent examinations. While public sector schools are subsidized, and have very low fees, the private sector ones charge substantially higher fees.
- MBA (Biotechnology)-This is a recent entrant into the famous group of famed MBA degrees. It normally requires a candidate to have a bachelor degree in biological or related sciences. The degree might enable one to move into business functions in a biotech company with greater ease, since one has developed a certain understanding of the sector even before one has joined it. Institutions like NMIMS, Pune University offer such degrees.
EXPLORE THE FIELD
|Medical Scientist||Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation, research and development, or other related activities. Includes physicians, dentists, public health specialists, pharmacologists, and medical pathologists who primarily conduct research.|
|Environmental Engineer||Environmental engineers combine engineering science, biology, and data to solve issues for the environment, which creates obvious crossover with the biotechnology industry. Many biotechnology engineers work in the environmental engineering field.|
|Chemical Engineer||A chemical engineer starts with a daily need, identifies the raw materials, and then designs the processes required to create the needed products under certain operational constraints, such as resources and cost. In the case of a soap, the chemical engineer will decide what materials will go into making a soap and in what quantity. He/she will then decide what machines will be required and in what order.|
|Pharmacist||Pharmacists prepare or supervise the dispensing of medicines and cosmetic products. They advise patients on how their medicines are to be taken or used in the safest and most effective way in the treatment of common ailments. Many pharmacists also work in the research and development of medicines and other health-related products. Some are also involved in the management of pharmaceutical companies.|
|Watch Prof. C. Wheeler talk about how you can choose among different routes to become Biomedical Engineer in this YouTube video||Watch the overview of the field of Biomedical Engineering in this video from CareerOneStop||Read about the 3 disciplines in Biotechnology and related careers in this article from Employment News||Find out the expected demand of Research based roles in Life Sciences from the Sector Skill Development Council study|