Career and Job Opportunities in Biotechnology
In the past, Tanmoy had covered Biotechnology careers in India. That was in 2017. In this post, we will have another look at the current career and job opportunities in biotechnology.
Career & Job Opportunities in Biotechnology 2021 – 2022
By Kunal Vora, CEO & Director, SHRM Biotechnologies Pvt. Ltd.
What Is Biotechnology?
As defined in Wikipedia, Biotechnology is a technology that involves the use of living organisms. Biotechnology is mainly used in agriculture, food science, and medicine. In biotechnology, living organisms are used to make useful chemicals and products or to perform an industrial task.
Essentially, Biotechnology is an inter-disciplinary subject that includes Microbiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Computer science, Chemical engineering, Nanotechnology, and so on.
Current Status Of Biotechnology in India
In recent years India has witnessed robust growth in the Biotech industry. As per India Brand Equity Foundation, Indian Biotech industry is growing at a faster pace, in comparison with the previous years, the Indian biotech industry witnessed YoY growth of 57.14 percent in FY16; the total industry size stood US$ 11.6 billion by FY17.
The fast-paced growth is driven by a range of factors such as growing demand, intensive R&D activities and strong government initiatives. Top of Form
India is ranked 12th in the world in biotech and third in Asia-Pacific. Biopharma is the largest sector contributing about 62 percent of the total revenue followed by bio-services (18 percent), bio-agri (15 percent), bio-industry (4 percent), and bioinformatics contributing (1 percent, will grow a lot considering India’s strength in IT.).
Govt Initiatives: Make In India
The Govt is focused on making the Indian biotechnology sector reach USD 100 billion by 2025. Currently, India’s biotech industry holds 2% of the global market share and is the third-largest in the Asia-Pacific region. The sector has immense potential to grow and provides plenty of opportunities to investors.
The ‘National IPR policy’ announced by the Government of India in May 2016 while helping promote innovation, R&D and entrepreneurship, also lays down processes to expedite innovation and IPR filings, which is critical for the success of this sector.
The key areas of development include Agriculture, Biopharmaceuticals, Bioenergy, Biofertilizers, Biopesticides, Molecular diagnostics, Indigenous medicine, to mention a few. This big plan generates millions of jobs at varying levels of skill set.
Why Study Biotechnology?
Owing to a huge natural and human diversity India offers numerous comparative advantages in terms of R&D facilities, knowledge, skills, and cost-effectiveness. The biotechnology industry in India has immense potential to emerge as a potential employer in the years and decades to come.
The world is increasingly looking toward Bio-based eco-friendly products. Interestingly, Indian Govt sector laboratories like CSIR, ICAR, ICMR, DRDO etc offer myriad of opportunities for Biotech students up to PhD level.
However, the employment opportunities in industry outnumber Govt jobs. Indian Biotech industry offers a diverse and wide array of jobs with varying skill set starting from Lab technicians to scientists to Directors, VP, CEO that come along with experiences. In addition to Govt labs and industry numerous Public and Private academic institutes that offer courses in Biotechnology and allied subjects engage Biotechnologists as faculty and laboratory staff.
Training and Employability
Though jobs are available in the industry and academic settings, employability remains a caveat due to a lack of hands-on training and soft skills. Personal experiences while giving lectures to Biotech students across the country substantiates this observation.
As a dire necessity biotechnology finishing schools like C-Camp, Biocon Academy are taking up the cudgel in South India. Private training companies like SHRM Biotech are offering training to life science students across different states in eastern, North-East, and Northern fringes of India. These finishing schools offer intensive hands-on and soft skill training. These schools acquaint students with cutting edge technologies, project work, and management.
How Can You Be A Successful Biotechnologist?
Academic activities are obligatory exercises in any discipline, biotech is no exception. But biotech is directly related to applications of technology to develop products, provide solutions to diagnose and cure a disease, to make eco-friendly products that get rid of harmful effects of chemicals, to develop technologies that replace fossil fuels with biofuels.
So, the initial step toward becoming a biotechnologist is to identify a problem, think through, find a solution, scale up the technology, or develop prototypes.
You need to have substantial knowledge about gaps existing in the specified area, identify unmet needs, business opportunities. Don’t get disappointed if you are interested in basic science, look at Kerry Mullis who invented PCR, the revolutionary technique, received Nobel prize.
Can Biotech Students be Entrepreneurs?
The ambitious target of Govt through Make in India and other projects to achieve 100 billion will remain a dream unless the responsibility is shared by thousands of startup Biotech Companies. To snowballing this effort Govt has established numerous BioIncubator across the country. Unlike business incubators, BioIncubator provides a central laboratory and working space to the incubatees (start-up Companies).
GOI provides seed funds to the startups to help them in post-incubation phases including the transfer of technologies, commercialization of products, marketing, brand promotion activities. Certainly, entrepreneurship is a viable option for Biotech students, better be a job giver than a job seeker.
Featured Image Source: Amrita University
Author: SHRM Biotechnologies
SHRM Biotech is a skill-based Training and R&D company based out of Kolkata. The award-winning company provides hands-on training to students in the verticals of Molecular Biology, Genetic Engineering, Microbiology, Immunology, Biochemistry, etc.
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