Scope of Biotechnology: Understanding Various Specializations & Career Opportunities

Biotechnology is a field which revolves around utilizing the biological systems with technology to develop a product or a process. The outcomes of biotechnology help in addressing many problems across many industries. Interdisciplinary nature of biotechnology results in numerous products and technologies. The sphere of biotechnology includes medical biotechnology, pharmaceutical biotechnology, plant biotechnology, cellular biotechnology, fermentation biotechnology, food biotechnology, environment biotechnology, and bioinformatics.

Medical Biotechnology

Medical Biotechnology implies the application of biotechnology in the field of healthcare sector. Healthcare sector is powered by biotechnology companies that always play a major role, be it in developing diagnostic kits, vaccines, biologics, drugs or medical machinery. The domains of biotechnology like molecular biology, cell biology, recombinant technology, and immunotherapeutic succored in the evolution of the medical sector.

Career Opportunities in Medical Biotechnology:

There are many career opportunities available in Research and Development, Pharmaceutical Companies, Hospitals, Diagnostic Centres,Manufacturing Sector of Biotechnology, Academic Sector for students who want to make a career in Medical Biotechnology:

Job Profiles for Graduates in Medical Biotechnology:

  • Clinical Laboratory Technician
  • Biological Supplier Manufacturing
  • Environmental Technician
  • Food Safety Mechanism
  • Pharmaceutical Research Technician

Pharmaceutical biotechnology

Earlier this field only dealt with discovering and developing small molecules (drug) but time has witnessed the evolution of this industry. The horizon of this sector widened. Emergence of Biopharmaceutics has brought a new dimension. Biotechnology was always a part of drug development and discovery, but biologics as therapeutic elements resulted in the surge of biotech companies involved in the pharmaceutical industry. Cell-based therapies, monoclonal antibodies, vaccines and other therapeutics are a few examples to start with

Job Profiles of a Pharmaceutical Biotechnologist

  • Medical Scientist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Biological Technician
  • Chemical Technician

Plant biotechnology

Plants are a vital source of many raw materials and food on earth. Human dependency on the plants is not a new fact. Biotechnology helps to bring the best of it. Agriculture has witnessed many problems like low crop yield, crop quality deterioration, infestation, weeds, loss of soil fertility, abiotic stress and biotic stress. Genetically Modified Crops (GMC) ensued from genetic engineering helped in developing abiotic stress resistant, biotic stress resistant crops and also improved crop quality. BT cotton is a common example of an insect resistant plant. Flavr Tomato crop (quality improved crop) is an outcome of recombinant technology.

Job Profiles of a Plant Biotechnologist

  • Greenhouse or field Technician
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Genomics Technician
  • Molecular Biology Technician
  • Plant tissue Culture Technician
  • Research Associate
  • Lecturer
  • Trainer
  • Research Investigator
  • Project Assistant

Food Biotechnology

The increasing human population is proportional to the demand of food. Food biotechnology surmounts the difficulties in food production, food processing and food preservation. Biotechnology brings out the alternate sources of food. The best examples are the single cell proteins derived from various microorganisms and development of value-added food products. Biotechnology always helps in introducing technology which aims to enhance the production, processing, packaging and preservation of food. The scope of biotechnology in this field is limitless.

Employment Sector for Food Biotechnologists

  • Storage Units
  • Research Units
  • Laboratories
  • Food and Beverage Department
  • Food Marketing
  • Processing and Distributing Units

Job Profiles of a Food Biotechnologist

  • Quality Manager
  • Food Technologist
  • Regulatory Affairs Officer
  • Technical Brewer
  • Chefs
  • Nutritional Therapist
  • Product Development Scientist

Environment Biotechnology

Environment biotechnology aims to restore the balance between nature, ecology and human interest. Bioremediation and biological intervention is only possible by the way of utilization of techniques of biotechnology. Waste management of plastic has been a question mark ever since its discovery. Oil spills, accumulation of heavy metals in natural sources of water and soil are few major issues. All these issues are now being addressed by using biotech processes. Microbes like bacteria, fungi algae and plants are being used in the process of bioremediation. One can say that biotechnology is indispensable to the environment and human kind

Job Profiles of an Environmental Biotechnologist

  • Environmental Science and Protection Technician
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Sustainability Specialist
  • Environmental Engineer

Bioinformatics

The necessity of interpretation, analysis and visualization of biological data gave rise to new interdisciplinary field- Bioinformatics. Till the time study of the biological system will exist, bioinformatics will run parallel to it.

Top Job Profiles in Bioinformatics

  • Bio Analysts
  • Data Scientists
  • Informatics Developer
  • Bioinformatics Researcher
  • Pharmaco-genetic Engineer

Biotechnology is not a very old field of science. It is still in its budding state. Once it stretches horizons only sky is the limit to it.

Written By:- A Parul Sarma, B.Tech Biotechnology, Sem VII Student, MRIIRS