You can choose from a wide variety of options in the ever-expanding career field of biotechnology. As the world becomes more reliant on technology, this field of study opens even wider. College years are filled with discovery and choosing what you want to do for the rest of your life, but even though you’ve decided to major in biotechnology, it doesn’t mean you have a clear idea of a career path.
During your studies, you may not have come across some of the applications of a biotechnology degree. You have a multitude of options, from research and development to government work. Biotechnology covers a wide range of subjects, including plant and animal genetics and pharmaceuticals.
Here are nine of the best career options after graduating in biotechnology:
Research and Development:
Companies around the world are looking for the latest technology personnel to work on their following projects. There is always a need for new products and designs as consumers desire for the latest trends and technological advances.
A career in research and development is an excellent choice for someone looking to get professional experience and discover what they are passionate about in the field of biotechnology. Research and development are considered entry-level positions in the field, and the salary can reflect that. Use it as a stepping stone to success.
Teaching in the biomedical industry without any on-the-job experience can be difficult, but an option is becoming a tutor or a teaching assistant while you continue your studies in a more specialized field.
There is an element of job security and flexibility in teaching at the college level, but being a professor often requires a higher level of education. Most 4-year universities want their faculty to have a PH.D. in their field. Without this level of education, teaching at lower levels may be an option in certain areas.
Patents and Proprietary Information:
Many biotech companies are working toward patents or other proprietary information to market to consumers or other larger companies. If you are interested in policies and patent rights, you should consider a career in intellectual property rights.
With this career path, you may consider pursuing a law degree to become a biotech patent lawyer. There are many options within this career for high-paying salaries and job security.
The government is also interested in hiring suitable candidates for their biotechnology advancements. You will likely start out as an intern or part-time employee, but there is a chance to move up and advance your career. Government contracts are often handed out to private companies and can offer some of the same benefits as working for the government.
Biopharmaceuticals is a career path that combines biology and pharmacology. The understanding of medicine and the way it works in the body is crucial to success. A career in biopharmaceuticals means working closely on newly designed vaccines, cosmetics, cellular immunotherapies, and many more.
Specific certificates may be required to work in this field and vary based on the subsection you chose. A strong background in biological sciences is required to move forward in biopharmaceuticals.
As an entry-level job, a lab technician is an obvious step in a career in biotechnology. A lab tech or assistant is expected to collect data, assist with experiments, clean lab equipment, and do some investigative work. During your time in school, you likely took many lab classes in both biology and chemistry. Use these skills to help you succeed.
Starting out as a lab tech can be your foot in the door to a large company where advancement is possible. Sweeping the floors and cleaning beakers and Petri dishes may not be glamorous work, but it is a step in the right direction.
Genetic engineers work with genes in organisms to make the organism healthier or less prone to diseases. This is a career heavy in biology and can be employed by pharmaceutical companies, laboratories, or the government. To be a genetic engineer, you need a sense of curiosity along with solid science skills.
Specific graduate programs will offer higher education in genetic engineering to further advance your knowledge of the field.
Biomedicine is the combination of biological processes and the addition of mechanical elements to improve lives. These can include medical devices, artificial limbs, devices to assist with hearing, vision, mobility, and more.
While many of these careers are only one step in the process of creating something new, a biomedical engineer combines innovation, design, and production of the final product. Other technological advances, like 3D printing, bring advancements that were once thought impossible into reality.
Plant or Animal Biotechnologist:
Plant technology has come a long way since the colonists were plowing fields in the “New World.” The advancements have come through changing the genetic codes to create new species of plants that perform under a wider variety of conditions, increase production, and more cost-effective produce.
An animal biotechnologist may work in a lab with mice studying genetic diseases in humans or study the welfare of livestock and the farming industry. The study of addiction is also a typical specialty for animal scientists.
Many Paths to Choose
Biotechnology is constantly evolving and changing, making the industry reliant on new technology and innovation. A high level of curiosity will help you be successful in the field of biotechnology. The need for new ideas and advancements will never end.
This field of study is wildly different than when it started with the invention of electricity and advanced laboratories, but it is still linked with the desire to make life better for humans, plants, and animals. Many of the discoveries that you take for granted now were groundbreaking at the time.
You have chosen a career at the cross-section of biology and technology that has no limit. Entry-level jobs are only a step in your career path. Don’t expect to be the head researcher on a major government project your first year out of college, but never stop having goals and dreaming of success.
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