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Biotechnology Education and Career Training

A degree in biotechnology requires the blending of skills and principles learned from engineering, medicine, biology, and biochemistry. Biotechnology is the science that is focused on the modification of organisms. The development of an implantable glucose sensor for patients with diabetes is a bioengineering example of the utilization of sensor design principles. Biotechnologists utilize engineering tools and techniques to solve challenges in medicine and biological sciences on the molecular and cellular level, so there is a close relationship between molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry. An example of the use of biotechnology would be the manipulation of the genes of one organism to achieve a desired trait by embedding that gene into a second organism.

What degree is needed to work as a biotechnologist?

While there are many good colleges, universities, and technical schools that offer degrees in biotechnology, not all colleges and

A Master of Science (MS) or doctoral (PhD) program in Biotechnology includes course work in genomics, DNA & protein sequence analysis, biomaterials, statistical methods in computational biology, and biotechnology regulations. Dual MS degrees in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics are also available at some universities. Alternatively, if you are interested in a Master's level program that is designed to educate you in the ways of business management and regulatory affairs, you may want to consider a dual degree in biotechnology and business administration.

Where can a biotechnologist expect to find employment?

Within the context of regenerative medicine, biotechnology jobs can be found in public or private companies, universities, governmental institutes, or healthcare facilities. These careers could involve basic or applied stem cell research. Biotechnologists can work as biological, medical, or materials scientists and the employment demand is expected to continue because progress in advanced technology means continual change within the field.

What can a biotechnologist expect to earn?

Reported earnings for biotechnologists vary widely according to the level of education, specialty knowledge and experience, and employing industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 2007 starting salaries for those entering the field averaged $42,744. The median salary for biotechnologists was $77,400.

What are the advancement opportunities in biotechnology?

In a young, cutting-edge scientific field that is developing at a rapid rate, there is almost limitless potential for career advancement. In addition to opportunities for supervisory or management positions in your laboratory department, more responsible research positions can be acquired with advanced degrees. Master of Science (MS) and doctoral degrees (PhD) are available in both disciplines.

What skills should a biotechnologist possess?

In addition to experience, a biotechnologist must have a heightened attention to detail, excellent computer skills, curiosity for new developments in the field, and good communication skills. Having an interest or curiosity about instrumentation is very helpful. Laboratory work as a student and an employee may be spent using a wide variety of instruments, including (but certainly not limited to) advanced microscopes, spectroscopic equipment, incubators for cell growth, imaging units, biomedical pumps, and laser equipment.

Stem Cell Research Schools