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What is Biotechnology?
Biotechnology is an exciting field of study that is rapidly growing around the globe. Biotechnology is a branch of biology emphasizing the utilization of living systems to develop or enhance products. In other words, biotechnology manipulates living organisms or specific components within a living organism to create useful commercial applications and products. Examples of biotechnology innovations and advancements include: pharmaceutical advancements, pest resistant crops, discovering new bacterial strains, combating rare diseases, industrial engineering advances, improving crop yield, reducing carbon emissions, innovating new biofuels, producing renewable biomass, reducing fossil fuel emission, improving water efficiency in everyday tasks, and food production free of allergens.
Degrees in Biotechnology
The rapidly growing field of biotechnology is a burgeoning field in science with ever-expanding applicability in the marketplace. As such, degree programs at accredited colleges & universities continue to proliferate while evolving in scope. The programs range from undergraduate certificates through graduate degrees. In addition, many schools now offer online degrees in biotechnology effectively doubling the number of programs students can select. To help you ascertain the best program for you, simply request information from the best college for you below as you work towards a decision for your future.
Certificate Programs in Biotechnology
Undergraduate certificate programs in biotech provide students with the basics in a condensed format. Unlike degree programs, a certificate program is typically shorter in term and hyper-focused on a singular field of study. The net result of a certificate is for students to gain foundational knowledge in the field to prepare them for a degree-granting program or for an entry-level position. Community colleges and junior colleges offer a substantive selection of certificate programs along with research universities as the biotech field rapidly evolves.
Associate Degree in Biotechnology
Associate’s degrees in biotech are conferred as an Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), or Associate of Applied Science (AAS). In either case, students should expect the program to take 2-years of full-time work to complete. Part-time students should expect to graduate with an associate’s degree as a function of course load and program pace. Associate degrees mix liberal arts education with rich-latent classes to provide students with a well-rounded education.
Liberal arts classes you can expect to see in a course catalog include communications, psychology, history, art, philosophy, and creative writing. Core classes in biotech will cover many of the same principles from school to school. Examples of core curriculum include the following classes: biology, chemistry, statistics, organic chemistry, calculus, geometry, physics, and physics with calculus.
Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology
Online bachelor’s degrees in biotechnology are conferred as Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS). Bachelor degrees are designed to be completed in 4-years. Degree programs at this level blend general education courses with core science and math-based curriculum. Core classes may include a combination of bioscience, molecular biology, cell biology, bioethics, managing and leading, regulatory affairs in science, law, international regulation, marketing, finance, product commercialization, and emerging issues in biotech.
Master Degree in Biotechnology
An online degree earned in biotech is a 2-3 year program for full-time students. Degrees can be conferred as a Master of Science (MS) or Master of Applied Science (MAS). Most colleges and universities allow students to select an area of emphasis in a graduate degree track which directly affects the classes taken in the program. Students may have an interest in research, regulation, health sciences, virology, marine biotechnology, agriculture, neuroscience, oncology, biostatistics, biofuels, biosensors, stem cell biology, or food toxicology. Most master degree programs end with the successful completion of a capstone course and thesis project. With the ever-expanding field of biotech, students may find new niches to pursue in the near-term along with top-tier science professors. Graduate students in biotech will be equipped to make an impact in a growing field of study in research organizations, colleges, or industry upon program completion.
In terms of educational requirements, Biotechnology degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
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Employment Information & Specialization
For students that earn a college degree in Biotechnology, there are several fields of specialization that one can pursue. The options range from high school teacher, post-secondary teacher, researcher, genomics, immunologist, toxicologist, virologist, biologist, biological technician, biomedical engineer, microbiologist, medical scientist, epidemiologist, food scientist, surgeon, and nutritional scientist to name a few possible career tracks.
Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields
The job growth in the greater Biotechnology domain are well above average. For example, the rate of job growth for college professors is expected to rise 13% through 2024 and biomedical engineers an amazing 23% growth rate is expected during the same period. Given the broad nature of the Biotechnology degree, compensation after graduation can vary greatly from career field to career field given prior experience and geographic location. Related fields include teaching, research, genomics, Biotechnology, radiobiology, neuroanatomy, pharmacology, botany, medical scientist, surgeon, and microbiology.