The biotech sector offers career opportunities both in research and industry. It offers excellent prospects, particularly in the area of medicine and agriculture. Employment opportunities exist in research, production and marketing in the areas of medicine and healthcare, agriculture, animal husbandry, environment and industry etc. The work of biotechnologists is essentially scientific and research-oriented. Main areas of work are production of various bioprocessed materials, marketing of biotechnology products and processes in various areas, research and bioinformatics application of information technology to the management of biological information etc.
Many of the entry-level biotechnology jobs are the first of several tiers within the same general areas of responsibility in various sectors viz. Research & Development, Quality Control, Clinical Research, Manufacturing & Production, Regulatory Affairs, Information Systems and Administration etc. There are number of avenues for post Graduates in biotechnology available in drug and pharmaceutical research, public funded laboratories, chemicals, environment control, waste management, energy, agriculture, food processing and bio-process industries. Most biotechnologist find employment on a large scale in research laboratories.
As a biochemical engineer, job responsibilities exist for the design and scale-up of processes, instruments and equipment from the laboratory through the pilot plant and manufacturing process. A biochemical development engineer is involved in new product scale-up, process improvement, technology transfer and process validation activities. He or she works with various departments to ensure that processes and designs are compatible for new product technology transfer and to establish future process and equipment automation technology.
Clinical laboratory science professionals, often called medical laboratorians are vital healthcare detectives, analyses that assist physicians in patient diagnosis and treatment, as well as in disease monitoring or prevention using sophisticated biomedical instrumentation and technology including computes. Under clinical research profession, job opportunities lies as clinical research administrator, clinical coordinator, clinical programmer, clinical data specialist, drug experience coordinator, clinical research associate, animal handler and animal technicians etc. in the process of new drug development and validation trials with the human volunteers involving medicos. Laboratories in public and private sector are attracting talents and engaging biotechnology graduates as biochemists and biotechnicians.
Opportunities exist as regulatory affairs specialist, who coordinates and prepare document prepare document packages for submission to regulatory agencies, internal audits and inspections. The job helps in monitoring and improving tracking and control systems and keeps abreast of regulatory procedures and changes. As a patent administrator, professionals are responsible for preparing and coordinating all procedural documentation for patent fillings and applications, assist attorneys with the drafting and editing of patent applications and collect and evaluates supporting data.
A Biotecnologist may work in government institutes and organizations, such as CSIR and ICAR Labs, Regional Research Labs, national institutes, institutes/ centres of excellence, DBT institutes and other academic science and technology institutes through sponsored projects. A post doctoral fellowship in specialized disciplines of biotechnology is also being supported through DBT.
A number of agriculture, dairy and horticulture institutes also exist which would employ biotechnologists. Some drug companies in biotechnology like Dabur, Ranbaxy, Hindustan Lever, Dr. Reddy’s Labs and Biocon etc. which have their R&D units would be another areafor the qualified biotechnologists. A postgraduate joining a private sector pharmaceutical company can expect a salary in the range of Rs.12, 000 to Rs.20, 000 per month. Those employed in government research can get a start of Rs.10, 000 onwards along with government allowances. Biotechnology Industry:
Biotech in India began during the mid-1980s and was concentrated within the large domestic or multinational drug firms. In 1986, the Government of India established the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) within the Ministry of Science and Technology. Several small biotech companies have been established since then. There were about 400 firms in India with biotechnology-related activities in 1995. This number has risen to more than 800. The Indian biotech industry employs more than 20, 000 people, which is estimated to grow to 50, 000 (research 50%, technical/ services 35% management 15%). A number of companies have entered the field, some with foreign collaborations, opening tremendous job opportunities. The sector players in the industry are not only using recombinant DNA technology but also applying biotechnology principles to various biotech-based areas viz. floriculture, tissue culture and industrial application of biotechnology like enzymes industry, fermentation & bio-chemicals etc. Several private industries viz. pharmaceuticals, breweries, sugarcane institutes and science foundations are working on various fields like new drug development, improved products and processes, new breeds, tissue culture, bio-pesticides and enzyme production etc.
Financial institutions, NABARD, IDBI, and IFCI have got together to facilitate technology transfer and financial assistance. Institutional support helps biotechnology industry to move forward through several concessions like rebate on import of raw material, machinery and monitory support to the organizations which are registered at Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Govt. of India. Biotech Consortium India Ltd is a prime mover in supporting and promoting projects in various sectors of biotechnology including consultancy and preparation of feasibility report. Public-private partnership has largely been realized in the sector, through which DBT is considering support to the biotech industry and firms through SBIRI scheme for new and improved product and process development. With the initiative of establishment of Biotech Parks in various states, engagement of consultants, firms, scientists and entrepreneurs is likely to come up in a big way through bioindustrialization for product promotion, export and revenue generation.
The phenomenal growth of the biotechnology industry has also led to a number of highpaying opportunities.