CAREERS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
Animal Caretakers, Forensic DNA Specialists, Greenhouse Technicians and Crime Lab Technicians are just a few examples of career opportunities in biotechnology.
Although a relatively new course of study in Malaysia, biotechnology, at least in its traditional form, has been used for thousands of years in breeding and
fermentation. Although back then, these methods were discovered by accident and refined through trial and error. Today, modern biotechnology is breaking new grounds in almost every field of science from agriculture to medicine. Each field is assigned a colour as a code. Here we explore the main career fields in biotechnology to give you a clearer understanding of the science and what it entails.
Red – Medicine
This field is dedicated to improvements in the medical field. It uses organisms in genetic engineering to design and manufacture pharmaceutical products like antibiotics and vaccines. Advances in this field has led to longer life expectancy through applied immunology discoveries such as the use of recombinant DNA protein insulin for type 2 diabetes patients. As a graduate, some careers open to you would be a biological scientist, biomedical engineer, biomedical technician, clinical laboratory technologist and forensic scientist.
White – Industrial Processes and the Environment
White biotechnology pays special attention to low resource consuming processes and products, making them more efficient and less polluting. Reductions in greenhouse emissions, energy and water usage are examples of the benefits brought about by greener and simpler bioprocesses. White biotechnology is already part of our daily life – vitamins and medicines as well as enzymes are only a few of the many examples. Some careers in this field include molecular biologist, geophysical surveyor, strain development scientist and fermentation scientist. Another area of work is waste water management.
Green – Agriculture
You may have heard of the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) issue in the USA in recent years, but do you know what the hype was all about? Agricultural biotechnology involves raising agricultural yields and nutritional content through cross breeding of plants for instance. Additionally, this field creates new tools for the diagnosis and treatment of plant and animal diseases while reducing agricultural wastes. Graduates can look forward to careers in the field as research and development scientists, agribusiness sales representatives, farm managers, range scientists and natural science managers, among others.
Blue – Marine
Blue biotechnology is based on the exploitation of sea resources to create products and applications of industrial interest. Taking into account the sea’s
great biodiversity, there is potentially a huge range of sectors to benefit from this kind of biotechnology. Many products and applications from blue biotechnology are still being researched, although some of them are already being used on a daily basis. This field is essential in environmental conservation and the discovery of marine-derived compounds, such as antibiotics that can potentially treat diseases. Career examples include animal technician, environmental science and protection technician, biofuel technician, environmental toxicologist and aqua culturist.
Students taking biotechnology courses can expect to study subjects related to immunology, molecular genetics, and microbiology among others. Specialisations are available in areas such as bioinformatics, nanotechnology, microbial technology, medicine design and development, and bioprocess
technology among others.
A career in biotechnology leads to a whole new world that redefines the boundaries of science. If you are considering a career in biotechnology, you should have an analytical yet innovative mindset and a passion to improve people’s lives through biotechnology. You should also be patient and willing to work long hours as it usually takes years of research and effort before any phenomenal breakthrough materialises. For more information, visit www.biotechcorp.com.my.