Biotechnology is a fast-growing and constantly evolving field of study combining science and technology in order to find scientific breakthroughs for many different applications. Due to the rapid growth of this field graduates should have no trouble finding employment upon graduation. Students who are good at science and technology should consider a career in biotechnology. A few schools offer online degree programs at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels allowing students to gain an education while still tending to other responsibilities.
Biotechnology Bachelor’s Degree
A Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology gives students a solid base of knowledge on which to build a career. Being such a broad field of study gives students opportunities to study many diverse areas and find ones they enjoy and wish to specialize in. Students are taught how to combine information systems technology and engineering with science disciplines like chemistry and biology to help advance biotechnology. This program is geared for lots of hands-on experience for students that will let them become experts in fields like agriculture and pharmaceuticals.
Students interested in this field should have a very strong background in math and science. Some schools require students to demonstrate adequate proficiency in biology before being admitted to a biotechnology program. Students should have computers with internet capabilities to let them download and complete assignments. Live chat, message boards and e-mail are used to interact with professors and other students.
Bachelor’s Degree Courses in Biotechnology
Extensive emphasis on lab research and its relationship with mathematics and information systems is a big part of the undergraduate degree. Classes can be custom-designed by students based on their interests. Some common classes include:
- Computer science
- Organic chemistry
- Microbial genetics
- Molecular biology
Biotechnology Bachelor’s Degree Careers
Graduates of this program can basically take their pick of where to work and what they want to do depending upon their specialization. Some careers include:
- Research and development assistant
- Biological technician
- Clinical lab technician
- Pharmaceutical sales representative
Biotechnology Master’s Degree
Students who choose to pursue a Master of Science in Biotechnology will focus extensively on research. A big part of the degree is spent learning about the legal and regulatory biotechnology issues involved in research. Students can choose to concentrate in specific areas such as:
- Computer software in biology
- Biomedical technology
- Pharmaceutical technology
Students need a bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline plus research experience prior to acceptance to most programs.
Biotechnology Master’s Degree Courses
Students take a list of required courses in addition to doing extensive research. These courses can include:
- Genetic engineering
- Cell biology
- Research methods
- Microbial biotechnology
- Bioprocess engineering
Biotechnology Master’s Degree Careers
Those who graduate with a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology can become executive-level researchers and managers with corporations, colleges and medical facilities. Some types of biotechnology careers for Master’s degrees are:
- Quality assurance specialist
- Clinical trials research manager
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports encouraging news for biotechnology graduates. Biological sciences will be one of the fastest-growing fields for the next decade. The job growth rate is expected to be 21% per year for workers in this field. The lack of biotechnologists is a driving force for this growth surge. The annual salary is $66,500 for a biotechnologist, $40,000 for biological technicians and $35,000 for food science technicians.