Taking up a job in biotechnology means involving oneself in the development of new products and processes for the good of mankind and quality of life. Before one seriously considers a career in biotechnology, it is imperative to have extensive knowledge in biology, chemistry, and other life sciences.
Biotechnology also has a deep impact on other areas such as human health careers which involves detecting and treating hereditary diseases, cancer, heart disease, AIDS, etc; in Veterinary Medicine, Animal Science, and Livestock Production; and in Agriculture and Plant Science.
A biotechnology company has a number of divisions, each performing different tasks and functions.
Career in Research and Development:
Like any other company, a biotechnology company also needs a qualified team of researchers to represent its future. While some researches may focus on a specific application, some may be carried out for acquiring new knowledge which may not need immediate application. Researchers may also work in academic environments such as universities or within the premises of the company setup. The most important thing is that research and product development form the foundation and basis of any biotechnological setup.
Career in Production and quality control:
People who have extensive knowledge of engineering or industrial-manufacturing technology are required by biotechnological firms in production and manufacturing. In order to make sure the finished products meet specifications, a group or team of quality assurance look after the production process, research and development. This group of experts belongs to the quality control division.
Career in Management:
Biotechnology companies need managers who can supervise the working of the company such as Research and Development, Production, and Quality Control. These people are often Ph.D. level scientists who have worked their way up through special achievements or accomplishments. They may also have business training and experience sometimes.
Career in Sales and Marketing:
Market researchers analyze, assess and estimate the need for a specific product and it would sell. They advertise and promote, and try to find new markets for products already being sold. Salespersons deal directly with consumers by selling, getting feedbacks etc, and are the most visible representatives of the biotechnology company.
Career in Regulatory Affairs
Since all biotechnology companies, especially agricultural and pharmaceutical, are regulated by federal and state agencies such as FDA, EPA, and USDA regarding the safety, ethics etc of manufacturing and products, they need a team of experts and specialists to make sure the company follows all regulations laid down by these agencies.
Career in Legal Affairs:
Any invention or discovery is not safe from copyright infringement without the proper patent. Since biotechnology companies and firms are continually engaged in the search for newer and better products, they need people specializing in law to prepare patent application, or keep track of patent laws.
Career in Public Relations, Communications, and Training:
Biotechnology companies must be able to relay information to the public or other agencies in a language they will understand because biotechnology involves the use of technical terms much of the time. They must also be able to convince others on the credibility and usefulness of their products. As the company grows bigger, the scope of its recruitment also grows along with it. This would imply the need for more training and staff development, and hence more trainers.
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* The biotechnology industry is cutting edge, developing life-saving medical devices as well as developing cleaner energy. It offers job opportunities for entry level employees, and exciting career ladders for employees who choose to continue their education. The biotechnology industry in California counts over 6,500 businesses. There are currently nearly 200,000 employees in the California biotech industry and in the next five years, it is projected that there will be close to 20,000 new jobs created in California, representing a 10% industrywide employment growth by 2019. This career exploration video was created by Path2Careers, a project of the California Community Colleges. For more information, visit www.Path2Careers.net.