Biotechnology, an amazing research-oriented, research dedicated field.
By Rujuta Vaidya
I am also having the same background just like you & I just liked it so much. People always buzz around me like “oh my God! you are with Biotech subject, it’s not a pure science, it doesn’t have any scope, jobs are few, you have to go abroad etc”. Though sometimes I felt this situation is a bit reality, but if you are ready to take challenges, then work hard and SKY is the LIMIT.
General course vs Specialized course
Biotechnology comprises different sub-branches like Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular biology, Immunology, Microbial technology, Biophysical techniques, Industrial biotechnology, Environmental biotechnology, Animal/Plant biotechnology. Each area is having its own importance and scope.
People often feel confused that which course is good “should we go for specialization or a general Biotech degree”. Well pursuing your interest is always recommended. If plant biotechnology passionates you then go for it, specialization makes you more preferable for that specific field. After completion of your M.Sc., you can choose your area of interest for a Ph.D. if interested in becoming a hardcore researcher.
Learning Basics is the building block of your career
During our UG and PG biotech course, we came across different practicals of biotechnology like randomly I can say about Isolation of DNA, Gel electrophoresis AGE/PAGE, Cell culturing, Isolation of microorganism, Obtain MIC of metal, Transformation, Conjugation, BOD/COD determination etc. These are only a few experiments from a big list of experimental biotechnology. Whatever we have learned during the course is just a basic. If our basics are firm then only we can build up a career in RESEARCH.
Biotechnology is an application or practical kind of field. But for that our theoretical knowledge also should be quick and tough. The training part is very much important in biotech. I am saying all these things based on my own experiences.
After completion of PG degree in biotech, most of the students apply for the jobs as FRESHER. But biotech or pharma companies hardly entertain those FRESHER candidates. They always look for experience along with a good academic record.
EXPERIENCE CREATES OPPORTUNITY
But if NO OPPORTUNITY, NO EXPERIENCE. Both are interdependent.
Hardly biotech colleges offer campus interview for students. I have rarely heard any college providing campus placements. So it creates a lot of problems for biotech students. Therefore students should indulge themselves in different seminars or conferences held by different colleges/research institutes which gives insights about the current scenario of biotechnology research and innovations, it also provides us a glimpse of latest tools/techniques and experiment which we have not seen during academics.
Some biotech institutes like Hafikine, ACTREC in Mumbai, NCBP, IISc in Banglore, RGCB Thiruvanantpuram, CCMB Hyderabad etc provide internship, workshops for students as well as professors. You can also get a hands-on experience on expensive instruments which are used in research institutes.
Only getting a biotech degree is not enough, simultaneously you have to engage yourself in small training sessions, workshops. Take an active part in biotech competitions and fests, earn certificates of participation, so that after your PG getting into job field will become little easy.
Instead of going for a research career in industry, you can also join as a Lecturer in colleges after Masters degree and can prepare for NET exams side by side. Because as per new UGC norms having NET/SLET is must for a career in teaching, also it will add weightage to your profile.
So NET/SLET is the main hurdle for a teaching career, but If you love teaching your subject like me, then continue your job. Ultimately you are also providing training to next enthusiastic biotech generation.
Basically, I am emphasizing on how the training part is important for biotech students to get into a job in R&D wing of companies. Initially don’t look for money, just accept the respective job, LEARN and EARN. That will keep you going and growing ahead.