Molecular biology is the branch of biology that studies the molecular basis of biological activity. A molecular biologist is a scientist who performs experiments and research in biological sciences at the molecular and cellular levels. The research of molecular biologists can aid scientists in a variety of fields in gaining a better understanding of cell behaviors and structures. Such work potentially leads to advancements in drug development and agriculture. Sounds fascinating? In this article, we will go through how to make a career in molecular biology.
What is Molecular Biology?
The field of molecular biology deals with the examination of plants, animals, as well as human genetics in order to find the variation as well as relationships between them. If you wish to be a part of this process wherein you get to study DNA as well as RNA of living organisms then you can go for a career as a molecular biologist.
Molecular biologists spend most of their time working in laboratories and offices. Their work responsibilities include examining samples and conducting experiments. A molecular biologist career involves handling toxic chemicals that might prove dangerous to life. A career as a molecular biologist involves gathering results of their findings through various data analysis programs working in offices.
Who is a molecular biologist?
A Molecular Biologist is a scientist that conducts research and experiments on the molecular and cellular level to better understand cell function. A career as a molecular biologist involves conducting studies and experiments in the laboratory. A molecular biologist examines human genetics, animal, and plant.
He or she utilizes his or her knowledge of physiology, chemistry, and genetics science while working on animals, plants, humans, and other organisms’ deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA, ribonucleic acid, or RNA in the laboratory.
What is the role of molecular biologist?
A career as a molecular biologist involves studying the behavior of cells in various conditions and their functional structure.
- A molecular biologist stays involved in analyzing the functioning and mechanism of cells.
- Many Molecular Biologists also instruct students at institutions of higher education.
- Molecular Biologists often perform experiments related to DNA sequencing, cloning, RNA functioning, and other cellular behavior.
- The prime responsibility in the career of a molecular biologist is to alter the genetic properties of molecules to cure or slow disease infestation.
A career as a molecular biologist requires spending hours understanding the complex molecular networks of a single molecule to inspect the activities of a cell during life processes. He or she conducts experiments and studies to understand the evolutionary processes such as reproduction, birth, and death of plants, animals, humans, and other living organisms.
Career Paths of a Molecular Biologist
The biology teacher or professors teach students subjects such as earth sciences, technological advances, and research methods within the discipline. A bachelor’s degree in the subject is required to teach secondary-level students.
A research specialist conducts experiments and studies. He or she analyses the findings of their study and prepares the report. Researchers work in clinical and non-clinical areas. They may work in the lab or field.
Biochemists seek to understand how the structure of a molecule relates. They provide new ideas and experiments to understand how life works, support our understanding of health and disease, and contribute innovative information to the technology revolution.
A cellular biologist is a specialized aspect of a career as a molecular biologist. He or she conducts experiments and examines to find out the cell development process. They conduct experiments involving the molecular genetics of cells to research and prepare a report of their findings. Cellular biologists cover an array of living organisms such as insects, humans, and plants.
Their job duties include researching the effects of substances such as drugs, hormones, and food on tissues and biological processes, preparing technical reports, research papers, and recommendations based on their research, presenting research findings to scientists, engineers, and other colleagues.
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Where does a molecular biologist work?
Molecular Biologists mostly work in both laboratories and office environments. In the laboratories, they can examine samples and conduct experiments. In the office, they can work with various data analysis programs to inspect their findings.
Some Molecular Biologists may work around dangerous samples and toxic chemicals, so strict safety procedures may need to be followed. Molecular Biologists work full-time on a regular schedule, though some positions may require more than the typical 8-hour workday.
What is the workplace/work environment of Molecular Biologist like?
A career as a molecular biologist requires spending most of my working hours in laboratories, offices, on-field, industrial settings, and other workplaces. He or she has to follow safety measures strictly while examining specimens of cells. A career as a molecular biologist requires working with toxic chemicals which could prove dangerous to their lives.
On-field molecular biologists generally collect samples exposed to the environment or worksites. They may often be required to travel occasionally for on-field work or to collect samples. Generally, researchers work in academic institutions or they own their laboratories to conduct research.
How to become a Molecular Biologist?
Most of the students do not know how to become molecular biologists after the 10th. Well, we have answers to your all career-related queries. The first step for pursuing a career as a molecular biologist is successful completion of 10+2 in physics, chemistry, and biology with a minimum of 50 percent marks.
Students often get confused about a molecular biologist career path As they do not know how to become a molecular biologist after the 12th. Several colleges conduct entrance exams to provide. In order to be eligible to sit for the entrance exam, students must have appeared in the 10+2 examination.
The admission is provided on the basis of the evaluation of students’ performance in the entrance examination. Several other colleges and institutes provide admission on a basis of a 10+2 passing percentage. We have mentioned below major entrance examinations that provide students support to enroll in a full-time degree program to establish a career as a molecular biologist.
Major Entrance Examinations
- IPU CET: Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test.
- BHU UET: Banaras Hindu University Undergraduate Entrance Test
Pursuing the bachelor’s course
In order to pursue a career as a molecular biologist one needs to complete his bachelor’s course in Chemistry/Biochemistry/Biology/Biotechnology/B. Tech.
Once a bachelor’s degree is completed, students have several options to lead a molecular biologist career path. We have mentioned below major two options to establish a successful career as a molecular biologist.
- Option 1: Candidates can start working in the industry at an entry-level position after the successful completion of a bachelor’s degree. After acquiring an experience of a few years, they can further opt for a master’s degree program in biochemistry or related specialization to progress in their career as a molecular biologist.
- Option 2: Candidates after successful completion of a bachelor’s degree can opt for a master’s degree program without any gap in the academic year. Further, they can start working in the industry in an entry-level role.
If one wants to study after masters there are Ph.D. programs available as well if that suits the students’ requirements he or she can go for them as well.
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Molecular Biologist?
Required Soft Skills to become Successful in Molecular Biology
Communication is basically the transferring of knowledge from one location, individual, or community to another. It is an essential aspect of a career as a molecular biologist. Communication in the workplace is very important to businesses because it helps industries to be productive and operate more efficiently. A molecular biologist must effectively communicate his or her ideas and results of experiments to other colleagues and stakeholders. He should be able to listen, clarify and respond effectively.
Interpersonal skills are essential irrespective of the profession, as it allows staff to create and maintain positive working relationships with each other and with their stakeholders, leading to growing organizations and the company’s effectiveness. A career as a molecular biologist requires working in a team. He or she has to establish good relations with the team to avoid conflicts and remain productive at work.
Time and primary consideration management capabilities can improve performance and productivity. An essential skill is to become ready to maintain a strong workforce and resource limitations when overseeing and delegating other workers and projects. Supervisory skills are appropriate for the ability to understand which are essential and what is relevant. A career as a molecular biologist requires monitoring the project effectively to ensure its successful completion and improve it where it lacks.
Organizing competencies could hopefully maintain things in line. They find things simple to control the workload of assignments, schedule, and maintain the documents. Organizing oneself can also significantly decrease the distractions at the workstation so that the worker could be more efficient in the working space. A career as a molecular biologist requires strong organizing skills to manage things efficiently. He or she has to design, plan, organize, and execute the projects to complete within a given schedule.
Project management is vital as it guarantees what is distributed, is appropriate, and can give added value to the companies’ ability. Every company has organizational plans, and those priorities are supported by the projects. It is the most important aspect of a career as a molecular biologist. He or she is required to work on multiple projects and set priorities on work assignments. A molecular biologist must be flexible to adapt to changing conditions.
In-Demand Molecular Biology Techniques
For careers in biosciences, molecular biology skills are essential. Here are some of the most in-demand lab skills:
- Polymerase Chain Reaction
- Molecular Cloning
- Gel Electrophoresis
- Macromolecule Blotting (Western Blot, Souther Blot, Northern Blot)
- Cell-based Assays
Molecular Biology Jobs
Molecular biology jobs are concerned primarily with a branch of biology that analyzes and manipulates the structure and function of the macromolecules like proteins and nucleic acids that are essential to life.
Molecular biologists should be familiar with performing the following tasks as part of their professional role:
- Use standard cloning techniques
- Use other standard molecular biological techniques including ligation, primer design, PCR, gel electrophoresis and DNA sequence analysis
- Manufacture research grade materials
- Design and analysis of DNA constructs
- Use software tools for molecular modelling and construct design
- Presentation of data at internal scientific meetings and for external stakeholders
- Review current scientific literature and journal articles to keep up with scientific advancements
- Ensure quality control of lab procedures and analyses
- Maintain a lab environment and safety equipment as per industry standards
- Perform analyses of biological specimens for discovery and quality control purposes
- Prepare stains, culture media, solutions, and reagents
- Use samples using aseptic techniques
- Analyze test results and prepare reports for a variety of stakeholders
- Consult with government agencies and health industry stakeholders as required
What is the job outlook for Molecular Biologist?
A career as a molecular biologist opens doors to some of the most wonderful opportunities. There’s a boom expected in the number of job growths in the next five to ten years. A molecular biologist career focuses on the human cycle and the evolution of life. The deadly disease cancer which was considered incurable before has its cure now. Thanks to the power of molecular biology and its wide perspective of understanding the possibility of life through the functioning of a cell.
A career as a molecular biologist provides numerous job opportunities in private industries, universities (government and private), government agencies. Molecular biologists serve as consultants and advise on environmental issues in the private industry. While in government agencies, they are involved in researching to find the cure or treatment of diseases. In academic institutions or universities, the professors instruct students as well as contribute the research within their fields.