If you’re seeking a career in biotechnology, one thing is for certain … the more education you have, the higher up you can go. The fact is, no matter where you wind up working, you will be surrounded by people with Ph.D.’s and medical degrees. It is highly unlikely that an individual without an advanced degree such as these will get to the top of the corporate chain.
Therefore a bachelor’s degree in the life sciences is a bare minimum. After that, it is recommended that you pursue an advanced degree; whether it be a master’s degree or higher. Common degrees include; molecular biology, cell physiology, biochemistry, genetics and the like.
You should plan to take as many labs in college as possible as these will provide you with hands-on experience. Teaching as a student-teacher is also a wise move, as is becoming a part of a research project. It is possible to co-author a quality research paper before you ever even graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
Biotechnologists frequently gain employment for biotech corporations. Over the last two decades, thousands of biotech corporations have sprung up around the globe. From start-ups to companies the size of Amgen, the choices range from pay to research to prestige.
Employment in the biotech industry may also be sought in academic institutes; such as universities and non-profit organizations. These typically pay less than biotech corporations, but may have more opportunities for independent research.
As a biotechnologist, you will spend most of your work hours in a laboratory. The work can be tedious and requires patience, but many truly enjoy working with their hands. You will design and carry out experiments and will need to keep good records.
The best biotechnologists enjoy innovation and the spirit of helping to advance society. If you choose biotechnology as a career, you can expect to be right on the cutting edge of technology.