What next for a biotechnology graduate ?

Biotechnology is an Interdisciplinary field of science which as the name implies is the technological application of Biology. The Biology part actually prompted me to take up this subject for my under graduation and Post-graduation, wherein I explored a lot of subjects like Animal and Plant Biotechnology, rDNA technology, Bioprocess Technology to name a few. You also get to learn several other related subjects like cell biology, Biophysics, Biochemistry etc during the course.

Opportunities for PhD

Now after your post-graduation, there are several options ahead of you. If you are too passionate about science, you can further explore science by joining under a scientist as Project Assistant or Junior Research Fellow, in the meantime if you clear any competitive exams like GATE or CSIR-NET, you get a really good pay too. By this way you can totally focus on research, experiments, maybe even publish research articles in good science journals.

New Horizons in Biotehnology Conference (NHBT) 2019

With this experience, you can apply to labs abroad to take up a PhD wherein you have several opportunities to expand your career. If luck favors, you can actually get selected in a lab abroad, but mostly you will need good research experience and publications to get in.

Now If you directly clear competitive exams in India like CSIR-JRF, ICMR, TIFR, (competitive exams held by the government of India which can avail you a stipend for the period of your PhD) and applying to your lab of interest you will be screened and could be selected for a PhD. One advantage with Biotechnology is that you get a lot of options as subjects to choose for your PhD. You can do a PhD in any discipline as I discussed earlier.  After PhD, you can join for Post-doctoral studies anywhere based on the experience and publications you gained during your PhD. All this can help you procure a career as a Scientist in any Research institute anywhere in the world. All you have to do is try! You can concentrate on building a good research profile throughout your doctoral and postdoctoral studies which can enable you to end up being a scientist.

Opportunities in companies

Another potential option for students who finish Biotechnology is to join a company that deals with either research, developing commercially useful products or marketing. All of the labs I discussed earlier should have enough resources to run which they depend on the lab ware distributing companies.

Biotechnology Experiment lab

 

All of the instruments, glassware, pipettes, reagents are supplied by different companies. Also there are companies where they do research as in to develop immunoboosters, drugs to name few. You can join a company after Masters or after PhD and the degree will help you secure a better position. Also there are opportunities like BCIL-Biotech Industrial Training Program (BITP) by Department of Biotechnology which provides a 6-month training program for Masters’ students at reputed Biotechnology companies.

Teaching opportunities

Another option is to join colleges for Teaching. You can join any college having Biotechnology as a subject for graduate or post graduate degree. For aided or government college, you will need a CSIR-NET fellowship which can offer you an impressive salary too.

My experience

I belong to the first category, I finished my Masters and worked for nearly one year in a Membrane Biology lab at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum on characterizing membrane proteins using a technique called Electrophysiology.

Later on I joined CSIR-National Interdisciplinary Institute of Science and Technology (NIIST), Trivandrum as Junior Research Fellow to work on Giant Unilamellar vesicles, which can be used as a model to study different mechanisms in a cell. I have a first author paper in the journal Chemical Science (Impact factor:9.5) and I intend to join for a PhD to further expand my career in Science.

About author

Gayathri Mohanan

gayathrimohan119@gmail.com

Former, Junior research fellow

CSIR-NIIST

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