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Career Avenues in Biotechnology

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Biotechnology is a relatively new field that first gained importance during the final years of the prior century. According to, biotechnology is the ''application of biological techniques to product research and development. In particular, biotechnology involves the use by industry of recombinant DNA, cell fusion, and new bio-processing techniques.'' Significant research using biotechnology is underway to study cancer, obesity, and a variety of other diseases.

Biotechnology uses genetic techniques to treat diseases. This emerging field also involves adaptation of the genetics of a variety of life forms in order to benefit humankind. Though alteration of life forms through biotechnology has raised considerable ethical issues recently, consensus is emerging on utilizing biotechnology for beneficial causes.

Genetic research like the Human Genome Project has helped biotechnology gain force. Consequently, the increase of biotechnological research has led to growth in the range of career options in biotechnology. Commercialization of a significant number of biotechnological discoveries and inventions has also expanded the variety of career options in agriculture, food, environment, and other areas. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry is slated to grow at an average rate until 2014.

Most people mistakenly think that biotechnology jobs are just for the scientific and academic communities. However, the field of biotechnology is open to a wide range of professionals to carry out scientific, research, and development activities and handle business and corporate aspects. Some of the exciting careers that the field of biotechnology offers are:
  • Research scientists, who have important scientific responsibilities, work independently or with other research scientists and carry out direct research and complete considerable amounts of academic work. Such positions require doctoral and postdoctoral qualifications in related areas such as physiology, biological sciences, and related areas.

  • Research associates participate in scientific activity either independently or under the watch of a scientific supervisor. Most research associates hold master's degrees in related scientific disciplines or pursue doctoral level programs while involved in research.

  • Laboratory specialists provide support and ancillary services to scientists in a variety of areas such as research and development, analysis, investigation, and others. Furthermore, they maintain laboratory equipment and ensure that technical apparatuses are in working order. They also prepare laboratory specimens, set up experiments, compute data, participate in investigations, and engage in other technical and scientific activities. Laboratory technicians usually possess a bachelor's degree in a related scientific discipline.

  • Sales and marketing professionals work with a variety of trade channels that offer opportunities for commercialization and marketing of the product. They also work with hospitals, nursing homes, and independent medical practitioners to win approval for their products over competitor developers'. Most sales representatives have qualifications in marketing and sales, in addition to experience in related medical or paramedical areas. Marketing teams usually define target markets and develop campaigns that create a need for their product in target markets.
These are just a few of the interesting career areas that biotechnology has to offer. As new developments in the field arise, more career opportunities will be available.
On the net:Biotechnology: Career Options

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