Biotechnology is an allied field of Life Sciences which has an interdisciplinary approach towards the analysis of biological systems. It incorporates a unique combination of specific aspects of different subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics and computer studies. This area of study finds its application in different walks of our lives ranging from agriculture, healthcare, medicine, food to environmental engineering. Biotechnology offers opportunities for further industrial growth and unravels avenues for scientific research and development.
Biotechnology has been undertaken at multiple levels in organizations for study through the manufacture of vaccines, drugs, and biopharmaceuticals for combating harmful diseases. Large scale production of commercially marketed entities such as cosmetics and food products also constitute an integral aspect of biotechnology research. India receiving a large proportion of its revenue from agriculture, biotechnology has offered an array of opportunities to be explored with the objective to contribute to economic development in the country.
Biotechnology unfolds the prospects of pursuing a career towards academic research and experimentation at prestigious laboratories in various projects funded by the Indian Government, International funding agencies as well as international collaboration programs. The other side of biotechnology encompasses the industrial aspect of research directed towards the production of commercially viable biological products. In the role of an academic researcher, a biotechnologist devotes his attention primarily towards conducting stem cell research, genetic engineering and applies tools of molecular biology and plant biotechnology. In the industry, a biotechnologist will undertake responsibilities directed towards the large-scale development of products with better technological facilities and optimum utilization of resources to minimize the cost of production, to meet their growing demand in the market. Maintenance of high-quality standards complying with norms, addressing concerns of intellectual property and monitoring the large ensembles of data recorded through industrial research are other aspects of great significance in the industrial scenario.
Biotechnology finds its utility in biomedical techniques and instruments to improve healthcare facilities and diagnosis of clinical conditions, as well as, development of chemicals or pharmaceuticals for the cure of potentially life-threatening diseases such as cancer and AIDS. On the other hand, the conservation of the ecosystem and biodiversity, recognizing the importance of controlling environmental degradation and development of environment-friendly biofuel is also an outcome of biotechnology research. Genetic manipulation to develop favorable traits in food crops and commercial crops are facets of the same field of study. Biotechnology itself being at a very premature state of its inception is evolving with the gradual advancement in terms of scientific methodologies and techniques, thereby, promising a wide array of opportunities to budding scientists and scholars.
The ability to take up a career in biotechnology, however, requires a lot of patience and dedication on the part of a potential candidate. Largely driven by an eye of observation, innovative mind, great perseverance and undaunted spirit to learn, this field may seem to be a little more challenging than many other areas of study. Because of the limitations in opportunities available in this field, the competition to be able to qualify for a position in this field requires an in-depth knowledge of the subject and technical expertise. The opportunities available may not be as high as compared to the vacancies available in the private sector organizations.
But, to be able to focus on a career in biotechnology exclusively requires undivided attention, to not be disappointed with the failure to execute an innovation or inability to get positive results during the course of experimentation. Because of various limitations, these jobs may not be offering very high paid packages at the entry level and therefore, disillusion candidates. But, this subject is driven by sincere efforts and motivation to not give up until the picture in mind finds shape in reality and until a solution has been sought to eliminate the problems encountered during its development.
India has borne many intelligent minds in the world of scientific research and development, who have brought great honor and prestige to the country. It is the experience and recognition of continued efforts of these scientists that should be sufficient to motivate candidates to pursue a career in biotechnology. Now that it has been introduced as a subject in schools and colleges, the need arises to cultivate the various possibilities of research that are yet to be explored in this field.
Individuals should be acquainted with the various prospects of pursuing a career in biotechnology in the industry or the academic world. Students should be prepared to appreciate equally the pros and cons of pursuing a career in biotechnology and not take their decision influenced by the knowledge that biotechnology is still at a stage of prematurity as a career option. They should be aware that further development in this field could impact our lives significantly. Further, by seeking a cure to a multitude of diseases, improving food security and protecting the environment from further degradation, could improve the quality of our lives.