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How to build a career in India's biotechnology sector ?

Updated on October 31, 2014

The field of biotechnology is quite vast. On one hand, it deals with the industrial sector like food & beverage industry, biological products, medicines and textile sector, while on the other hand, this branch of science is catering to the divergent requirements of animal husbandry, agriculture and other environmental conservations. The list is quite envious.

What's more, biotechnology is not only confined or bound to the single discipline because it is an interdisciplinary branch of science which is gaining huge importance among youngsters. However, many times when we heard about the term 'biotechnology', we tend to relate it to biology only. But in reality, it is more than the biology and this branch of science also covers diverse subjects like chemistry, physics and mathematics. Moreover, engineering applications also form an imperative part of biotechnology.

Indian biotech sector will increase at an average growth rate of nearly 30% a year and reach USD 100 Billion by 2025.

In the current scenario, the popularity of biotechnology sector has increased tremendously. The main reason behind this interest emerge from the fact that the technical applications of biotechnology influence a vast array of disciplines. This in turn has produced a wide array of opportunities for students who want to build a stable career in the biotechnology field.

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Let's know more about the career in biotechnology field

In order to find a good biotechnology jobs and build your career in this direction, you must formulate your career right from your school days. In this context, you should complete your Class 12th with Biology, Chemistry, Physics and even Mathematics as main subjects. After finishing your school, you can opt for the undergraduate courses like BSc, BE, BTech in Biotechnology. The Bsc program is of 3 years, whereas it is four years for BE and BTech courses.

There are various reputable colleges in India, which are offering biotechnology courses. In some colleges, the eligibility criteria is 10+2 with 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. In other colleges, minimum 55% is required in 10+2. Once you have met the eligibility criterion, you can get the admission into BSC course.

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1= All IITs

2= PSG College of Technology

3= Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology

4= All NITs

5= Thapar University

6= Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka

7= BMS College of Engineering

8= PES Institute of Technology

9= Sathyabama University

10= Dr B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology

Moreover, various entrance examinations are conducted by colleges for their BSc program, such as

•The Joint Entrance Examination for IITs (IITJEE) for getting admission into various IITs
• All-India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) for getting admission into different National Institutes of Technology or regional engineering colleges.

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Apart from these common entrance exams, engineering colleges conduct their own entrance exams. The result of these entrances will help you to get admission in biotechnology program in a reputable engineering college.

After earning a bachelor's degree, you can pursue a master's program (like Msc, ME, Mtech) also. For the masters degree, you should either have a graduate degree in biotechnology or any other related subject. Students who are holding a graduate degree in subjects like biochemistry, biology, botany, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy, veterinary sciences or zoology are also allowed to enter into a post-graduate course in biotechnology. Here it is important to note that a post-graduate qualification in biotechnology is mandatory to enter the expanding field of biotechnology.

Biotechnology is a conglomeration of various disciplines and therefore, you need to do a specialization in various fields.

Some of the common research areas are=

  • Agriculture and Agricultural Development
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Botany
  • Dairy Technology
  • Environmental Protection
  • Fishery Development
  • Genetics
  • Horticulture
  • Medicine
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition
  • Pharmacology
  • Tissue Culture & Zoology.

Those who are interested in further studies can go for the doctoral program.

Learn biotechnology

To kick start your career in the biotechnology field, it is important to have a deep interest in science from the early school days. You must have an interest in different branches of science not only for the sake of getting good grades, rather you must have a keen understanding of different scientific applications.

Once you have completed your Class 10+2, you should either opt for the undergraduate course in biotechnology or any other subject that is related to biological sciences. Here it is important to note that a masters degree is must in order to build a successful career in the biotechnology domain.

Is it is a good career choice for me?

Crucial traits for getting a lucrative biotechnology job are high level of intelligence and a good aptitude for science & scientific applications.

To become the part of this growing field of science, one must possess a deep interest in imagination. Other vital skills that will help you in building a fulfilling career are perseverance, immense patience, analytical proficiency, ability to work for long hours, team spirit and communication skills.

How much a biotechnology course would cost me?

If we talk about the course fee structure, then we can say with a surety that a typical biotechnology course can cost you anywhere between Rs 30,000-3 lakh/annum or above, depending on the college in which you are studying.

Generally, government and regional colleges which conduct entrance examinations charge less fees as compared to programs which are offered by private colleges.

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What are the available biotechnology job prospects?

There is a great demand of biotechnology experts across diversified industries and sectors. Below are some of the common applications where biotechnological techniques are widely used-
• Agriculture
• Animal Husbandry
• Environment Conservation
• Genetic Engineering
• Health Care
• Medicine
• Industrial Research and Development

Moreover, career opportunities in biotechnology field are abound. Those who got specialized in different sub-disciplines of this sector can easily find biotechnology jobs in both public and private undertakings. Moreover, if you have done a post-graduate program in biotechnology or pursue a doctoral program, then you can also explore career avenues in the education sector.

Some of the top employers are from industries engaged in processing & development of agricultural and biological products, bio-processing industries, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Furthermore, unsurpassed opportunities are available in sectors producing healthcare products, textile industry, cosmetics and organizations, which are mainly engaged in doing research work.

In the recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the environmental awareness and as a result, a high number of qualified biotechnological professionals are employed in various industries for environmental protection and safe disposal of harmful activities.


You can find biotechnology jobs under the following profiles-

1= Research Scientist

2= Teacher

3= Marketing Manager

4= Science Writer

5= Bioinformists

6= Quality Control Officer

7= Production-in charge

8= Food Analyst

9= Environmental /safety specialist

It's all about the money!!!

The salary which you will get on your biotechnology job largely depends on your academic qualifications, your core area of specialization and the college from where you have completed your education. A fresh graduate can earn anywhere between Rs 10,000-25,000/month.

It has been seen that people who are holding a master's degree in biotechnology can enjoy a better salary as compared to students who are merely holding a graduate degree. When you spend a few years in the biotechnology field and learn new trends & techniques, you will see an upward trend in your pay cheques.

In the corporate sector, fresh IIT's can earn anything in the range of Rs 70,000-85,000/month. Those who are working in the research field, can expect anything between Rs 60,000 as the annual income.

Scope of biotechnology in India

There are various factors that impact the demand of professionals of this field. India, mainly being an agricultural-based economy, usually needs professionals who can improve agriculture practices and effectively optimize output. Also, the increasing population needs improved products/services. All these factors have fueled the demand for discovering top-notch vaccines, medicines, tissue culture methods and other aspects. Also, there is a high demand of professionals in various organizations which are engaged in research and development related activities.

As per the recent survey, India has become the pivotal international focal point for the growth & development of biotechnology.


Exciting facts about India's biotechnology sector-

1= India is 3rd biggest biotech industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

2= The country is amongst top 12 biotech destinations in the international arena.

3= India is constituting nearly 8% of the total global generics market, by volume.

4= The Operational biotech parks are situated at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore in Karnataka, Kalamassery and Kochi in Kerala, Guwahati in Assam and Chindwara in Madhya Pradesh.

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Different areas where biotechnology has grown in India are- Agricultural Biotechnology, Animal Husbandry, Bio informatics, Bio fertilizers and Dairy development. You can witness growth in different areas like bio-resource development, plant biology, marine biotechnology, microbiology and genetic research.

Under its 'Make in India' campaign, the government is keen on developing biotechnology in India and therefore, new initiatives have been taken in this direction. The Department of Biotechnology has also launched various bio-tech parks in different parts of India in order to boost product development, research & innovation and the development of various biotechnology industrial clusters. All this will lead to the fast development and growth of biotechnological companies in India.

Some of the top companies offering biotechnology jobs in India are-

 
 
 
 
Mahyco Monsanto Biotech
Indian Vaccines Corporation
Rasi Seeds
Panacea Biotech
Biocon
Sun Pharma
Serum Institute of India
Novo Nordisk
Aventis
Indo American Hybrid seeds
Piramal Healthcare
Indian Immunologicals
Hindustan Lever
Thapar Group
Cadila
Hindustan Antibiotics

The market size of the biotechnology sector is expected to increase to USD 11.6 Billion by 2017 due to a wide gamut of factors like growing demand for healthcare services, R&D activities and impeccable government initiatives.

Overall, these are some of the reputed names in India's biotechnological sector, which are extensively using biotechnological processes and techniques for developing and innovating products & processes.

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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      I sure hope that what comes out of all this biotech research are discoveries that make our lives better. I can't get past disturbing visions of say the President of North Korea constructing 100 clones of himself and then harvesting their organs in an attempt to live forever.

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