The field of biotechnology has been getting a lot of interest from students and parents since late-1990s in India. But, the biotechnology career path still remains largely esoteric. The subject areas, the domains, and the job prospects after studying Biotechnology are still not too clear among the students and parents. This often leads to disappointment among the Biotechnology graduates, and parents as well. I have earlier discussed the Core Biotechnology Careers & Job Prospects in India and Alternative Careers in Biotechnology. In this post, we will look into B.Tech. Biotechnology Career Path from a student’s point of view.
In this post, Ankita Murmu, B.Tech. Biotechnology Student at the Lovely Professional University (LPU), talks about the B.Tech. Biotechnology degree program in India, B.Tech. Biotechnology vs B.Sc. Biotechnology, subject areas within the biotechnology discipline, university experience, career aspirations and more.
I believe this will give the students a good overview of the biotechnology field, what to expect during B.Tech. Biotechnology program, and the career & job prospects after B.Tech. Biotechnology.
Being a very modest & down-to-earth, Ankita hasn’t mentioned that she also happens to be the topper of her batch at LPU.
B.Tech. Biotechnology in India
by Ankita Murmu
Why did I choose B.Tech Biotechnology over B.Sc Biotechnology?
Biology has always been fascinating since the time of my schooling when I was introduced to life cycles of various organisms. That is when I got to learn about the clones CC and dolly. My mind was made up during those days to pursue biotechnology as my career.
Though B.Sc. Biotechnology was also an option for me, I preferred to go for B.Tech in Biotechnology. What motivated and encouraged me for this is the collaboration of both biology and technology in one field. The challenging concepts and the applications evoked my keen interest in this field.
Life as a B.Tech Biotechnology Student at LPU
Pursuing my graduation from Lovely Professional University (LPU) was a dream come true. As LPU stands to be the largest university in North India with the highest placement records, that made me think it was the right platform for me to make my dreams come true.
All the way from Assam to Punjab bought a great excitement in me.
Life at LPU is great. Apart from studies, the university provides with a lot of opportunities and platform to showcase your skills, improve your personality and many more. But the timely assignment submissions, weekly tests and the most important maintenance of 75% attendance don’t make life easy going. Through all this, time management is what something they teach us.
As I believe that out of class pursuits are as important as academic, I am an active member of a student organization named “Bio-Erevna” in my university where I have organized various events related to biology and multidisciplinary fields. Currently, I am one of the Organization Board member and Editor of this organization. I have been contributing as a participant in the fest like “YouthVibe” and “One India” organized by the university.
B.Tech. Biotechnology Subjects
Subjects I explored during my first year were mostly interdisciplinary. It included basics of subjects Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics with interdisciplinary subjects like Basic Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Engineering Graphics, Basic Engineering Mechanics, C, and C++ Programming language. The exposure to these subjects helped me learn many new concepts.
During my second year, I was introduced to core subjects like Cell Biology, Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Bioanalytical Techniques, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, and Heat and Mass Transfer. Other than these subjects included Data Structures, DBMS, Differential Equations, Probability, and Statistics.
Some of the core subjects I enjoyed learning are Immunology, Microbiology, Biochemistry. The laboratory sessions on these subjects seemed to be very interesting and helped me in grasping more of the course-work out of the classroom. Molecular Biology was still an interesting one but, Genetic Engineering was never my cup of tea. Though clones have always fascinated me, I learned that Genetic Engineering is much more than that.
Biotechnology Internship in Second Year
During my second year, I pursued one-month summer-internship at Guwahati Biotech Park. The internship was a mandatory part of my curriculum in the second year of study. It’s always great to leverage your summer breaks.
More importantly, I believe it’s really essential to get practical exposure outside the host institute as early as possible for biotechnology students.
The title of my project work was “Extraction of parts of a few plant species of Assam and GCMS profiling of the extracts obtained targeting some future scope of antimicrobial screening.” It involved identifying different chemical compounds of medicinal values in different plant species of Assam through GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry). Luckily the successful completion of the project provided with many different compounds having good medicinal and biological values was identified.
The internship experience was enriching and allowed me to apply theoretical concepts to experimentation. Read more about My Biotechnology Internship at Biotech Park Guwahati.
My Career Aspirations after B.Tech. Biotechnology
As I complete my graduation, I dream to see myself working in a top pharmaceutical company. If you ask me as a biotechnology student why I would prefer a pharmaceutical company rather than a biotech company my answer would be much simpler. Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals are inter-related. It is much easier for a biotechnologist to understand the molecular biology of the diseases and their effects on organs or cells. To make an effective drug, the knowledge of the disease is important and the principles of biotechnology can be applied for the development of a new drug.
My journey in the exploration of biology doesn’t end by working in a pharmaceutical company. As GATE is one of the most important gateways to do Master’s in institutions like IIT’s AND IISC’s, qualifying this exam adds to one of my priorities.
Suggestions for the High School Students who are looking at to Study Biotechnology after Grade 12
To all the students who are in their high school level or senior secondary level, if biology really gears up your interest to do something new, biotechnology is the right field to plunge yourself into.
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People still think that biotechnology is only about biology. But that is not it seems to be. Knowledge of Mathematics adds up to be an important criterion to make your career in this field.
My advice to all those who want to take biology as their subject in their senior secondary level is that go for mathematics too as this will be a help for you in your B.tech Biotechnology degree in the later stage and help you move ahead in the career of Biotechnology.
To acquire a better job and exploring more career options in the biotechnology field B.Tech is preferred more over B.Sc.
Biotechnology is an emerging field and the day is not so far that the world will be conquered by it, leaving behind the field of IT. So don’t confine yourself with the feeling of Biotechnology having no scopes. Biotechnology is beyond biology and is having a good scope in the field of R&D, Quality Control, and Administration. The field is growing at a good pace and still, there is a long way to go.
Author Bio: Ankita is B.Tech. Biotechnology student at Lovely Professional University (LPU), Punjab. She comes from a land of highest tea production in India and a place known for its red rivers and blue hills – Assam.
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Featured Image Source: DY Patil University