Genetics is the branch of biology that deals with the transmission of hereditary characteristics from the parent to the offspring from one generation to the other. It’s one of the core domains within the broad fields of biotechnology and biomedical sciences. In this post, we will go through an overview of careers and jobs in genetics.
What is Genetics?
Genetics is the science that explains how and why certain qualities or traits are passed on (while some do not) from parents to offspring. It deals with the very basic rules of gene transmission and what factors regulate this phenomenon of heredity.
Why study Genetics?
Genetics occupies a central position in modern biology, so its understanding is essential for all scholars of the life sciences.
The causes of important human diseases are being discovered, and therapies developed, based on fundamental genetic investigations. Increasingly, the management of human health also depends on genetic and genomic information. These impacts are certain to grow over the coming decades, so genetics is a growth field.
Genetics provides the opportunities to investigate and understand the following
- Patterns of inheritance
- Generate phylogenetic trees
- Population Genetics
- Genetically transmitted diseases
- Evolutionary History
Importance of Genetics in the Era of Increasing Lifestyle Diseases
Genetics helps explain a lot of things, like what makes you unique, why you look like other members of your family, and why some diseases run in your family.
Taking time to learn about genetics can help you understand your own health and make healthy choices. Genes that do not work correctly can cause problems. A group of rare diseases is caused when a single gene stops working normally. Many more common diseases come from multiple genes that do not work correctly and the combination of these genes with the environment, such as your lifestyle and habits.
What does a Geneticist do?
Typical responsibilities include:
- Conducting lab research and experiments
- Extracting DNA or performing diagnostic tests
- Interpreting, reviewing or approving genetic lab results
- Documenting their processes and results
- Analysing genetic data to draw conclusions and publish research
- Communicating results of findings, for instance at conferences or in scientific journals
- Supervising or directing the work of other geneticists, biologists, technicians or biometricians working on genetics research projects
How to Make a Career in Genetics
The education path to having a career in Genetics begins at high school. Those students in interested making their career in genetics should take science and mathematics as possible in high school and college.
- The required subjects being Biology, Physics, Chemistry with Mathematics
- At the undergraduate level, you could pursue a 3/4 year Bachelorsdegree in Genetics or a relevant subject like Bioscience/Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Zoology or Biotechnology with Genetics as a core module
- To pursue a Masters (or MS / MS-PhD), you will need:
Top Institutes in India in Genetics
For Masters in India in Genetics, standardized test scores/transcripts/recommendation letters are not required. However, most of these institutes do have entrance examinations for admission into their Masters curriculum.
- University of Calcutta, Kolkata
- University of Delhi, Delhi
- Jawaharlal Nehru University
- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, Chennai
- Madurai Kamaraj University
- Banaras Hindu University (BHU)
- Osmania University, Hyderabad
- Centre for Human Genetics, Bangalore
- Institute of Genetic Engineering, West Bengal
- Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, Bengaluru
- University of Mumbai
- Amity Institute of Biotechnology
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Top Universities Abroad in Genetics
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Michigan
- University of Arizona
- Michigan State University
- Kansas State University
- Texas A & M University
- Tufts University
- North Carolina State University
- University of Georgia
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- Iowa State University
- Newcastle University
- University of Leicester
- University of Nottingham
- University of Kent
- University of Sheffield
- University of Leeds
- University of British Columbia
- University of Alberta
- University of Toronto
- McGill University
- University of Waterloo
- University of Manitoba
- University of Ottawa
- Memorial University of Newfoundland
Career Scopes in Genetics
Good Geneticists have a passion and curiosity related to the genetic basis of health and disease. The top career options after a degree in Genetics are:
- Genetic Counsellor
- Graduate Research Assistant
- Postdoctoral Researcher
- Forensic Science Research Associate
- Scientific Writer
- Medical Geneticist
- Agricultural Geneticist
- Forensic Scientist
Job Prospects and Salary
- Entry level jobs or during training period salary varies between 2-3 Lakh per annum
- Salary ranges for scientists vary depending on level of expertise and experience. Junior scientists receive an average of around 5-8 Lakhs per annum, while senior scientists get in the range of 12-16 lakhs per annum.
- Doctoral Researchers gets a package of around $30,000 per annum.
- Postdoctoral Researchers earn a package of $55,000 per annum.
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