Biotechnology is a much broader field than you think it to be. The career opportunities are not restricted to becoming a scientist and developing drugs in a laboratory. The industry is flourishing with no signs of slowing down. The rapid growth has increased job prospects in this field. The graduates can find employment with biotech companies operating in food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, in the areas including sales and marketing, research and development, manufacturing, testing and quality control.
Pursuing a Biotech Career
A career in biotechnology may be for you if you like investigating about microorganisms and have an inclination towards chemistry as well. A college diploma post secondary program is generally required to become a biotechnology technician. However, education requirements vary depending upon the type and level of the position.
Previously, only post graduates and doctorates were needed in the industry. However, many new positions at a lesser degree level have emerged due to the rapid growth of the industry. Technically qualified and trained professionals are required to assist the scientists, control and assure quality, oversee manufacturing process, etc.
Getting Formal Education
For those students looking to build a career as biotechnology technicians it’s crucial to get into a good biotechnology college. Not all institutions provide practical training in industrial microbiology. Additionally, not all of them offer good placements to students after completion of the course.
Once you enroll into a biotechnology – industrial microbiology course, you will learn to isolate, enumerate and identify microorganisms, prepare specimens for staining and aseptically handle materials. The theory is combined with ongoing laboratory work. They also teach you to accurately calibrate and use a wide range of instruments, such as spectrophotometers, gas chromatographs, pH and BOD meters and HPLC’s.
The two year (four semesters) diploma course makes you well rounded in a variety of subjects – biological systems, chemistry, occupational health and safety, microcomputer applications, lab instrumentation, microbiology, report writing, recombinant DNA technology and mathematics and statistics for applied science.
You can also gain practical experience during internships. Besides this, ensure that you are aware of the industry developments and are not dependent only on your theory books. The industry is constantly growing and evolving. Remaining up-to-date with the latest developments pays off during placements.
Studying Biotechnology in Canada
The public colleges in Canada offer a two year diploma in industrial microbiology, preparing students to work as technicians in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic industries. If you’re studying in Canada, you need to have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or must have achieved a mature student status. With this, you must have passed English Grade 12 C or University or equivalent and Mathematics Grade 11 M or University or 12 c or University. You will need to take English skills assessment and engineering maths skills assessment if you’re unable to submit high school English and Math certificates.
Applicants studying outside of Canada need to submit transcripts to meet admission requirements assesses by an independent credential assessment agency. You can pursue your career as a technician after two years as well as apply to enter third year of the biotechnology technologist program.
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* This Lecture talks about Biotechnology and its Scope.
Biotechnology and its Scope