Biotechnology And Outlook Of The Biotech Job Market

Jun, 11 2024
Biotechnology And Outlook Of The Biotech Job Market

An array of biology that deals with the modification of cells, systems, and chemical structures of plants, animals, and microbes for human benefit is called biotechnology. As the name says, bio refers to living, and technology means utilizing some processes or practices; blending biotechnology relates to methods and practices associated with living organisms. In biotechnology, living cells of any microorganism, plant, or animal are used to produce or create some particular product or modified for specific use; as per the World Health Organization, modern biotechnology or gene technology uses recombinant DNA technology or genetic engineering to achieve several purposes, such as making genetically modified crops and genetically modified food by changing the DNA of the microorganism. Biotechnology is not a new opinion; humans have been utilizing some prime principles from the old biotechnology times. 

Daily, we witness basic biotechnology examples, such as making curd at home, putting some curd in lukewarm milk, and leaving it overnight to settle. The bacteria in the curd, lactobacillus, converts the lactose sugar present in the milk into simpler and more nutritious chemicals. Hence, it is said that curd is healthier than milk. 

Following the Industrial Revolution, the discovery of microscopes and other efficient tools also resulted in growth in the biotechnology sector. The discovery of cancer and hepatitis drugs, vaccines, and chemicals such as insulin led to the development of biotechnology and associated sciences such as molecular biology, chemistry, bionics, genetic engineering, etc. More and more developments are happening in this field, making more branches and improvements incorporating genomics, nanotechnology, and bioinformatics. In this article, we will learn about biotechnology’s applications, types of biotechnology, career opportunities, and the future of biotechnology. 

Introduction of Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a combination of innovation and practice of Natural Sciences and Engineering Sciences to utilize microorganisms and biological systems of animals and plants to profit society in several sectors, namely, health, agriculture, food industry, wastewater treatment, and other sectors. The term biotechnology was first given by Karoly Ereky in 1919. Biotechnology uses biological systems and organisms, like yeast, plants, bacteria, etc, to make and transform substances for human use. 

There are several biotechnology applications in medicine, agriculture, vaccine development, environment science, crop development, crop improvement, dairy industry, poultry industry, and many more. In biotechnology, living cells are utilized to create products for various uses, such as genetically modified organisms or GMOs. Genetically modified organisms are those when we change or manipulate the genetics of organisms, like microbes or plants, to make them more useful, more potent, or to get some particular product. 

The study conducted by the World Health Organization's nutrition and food safety team says that the use of genetically modified organisms is growing in the food supply of GM foods. WHO is evaluating the risk and benefits and their implications on societies and regulatory procedures in different countries. Genetically modified organisms are useful in numerous ways, including crop enhancement, development of disease-resistant crops, enhancement in nutritional value of food crops, etc.

Types of Biotechnology 

As per biotechnology applications, there are diverse fields where biotechnologies principles and techniques are beneficial. From pharmaceuticals to biofuels, from agriculture practices to waste management, and from healthcare to weapons and warfare, biotechnology is currently used in almost every aspect of human life. The several disciplines in biotechnology are coded by colour for a better human understanding of the concept. Here are the diverse fields of biotechnology with a whole spectrum of colours. 

  • White/grey biotechnology: In white or grey biotechnology, new chemicals or biofuel for vehicles and industries are developed using many biotechnology techniques. It is associated with industrial processes. 
  • Dark/Black biotechnology: Biotechnology has grown in weaponry, bioterrorism, and warfare. In today’s world, several deadly microbes and weapons are created that can be fatal to human civilization on Earth. 
  • Violet biotechnology: Violet biotechnology is associated with the laws and ethical standards of governance and controls in the biotechnology field. In this field, the practices and methods of biotechnology are used morally without violating the prime ethical principles. 
  • Blue biotechnology: Blue biotechnology is associated with the Marine and aquatic environment. In this, the production of pharmaceuticals and biofuels using aquatic creatures and microorganisms comes. 
  • Green biotechnology:  Green biotechnology includes agriculture applications and technologies. Genetically transformed organisms, best-resistant crops, environment-friendly agriculture practices, and disease-resistant animals come into this field. 
  • Yellow biotechnology: In yellow biotechnology, genetically modified food and improvements in the fermentation process are included. It is associated with the production and enhancement of alcoholic bread in this field. 
  • Gold biotechnology: It is also known as bioinformatics. It is a blended field of biological processes and bioinformatics. It is associated with healthcare services in which patients' biological data is collected and evaluated for better treatment. 
  • Orange biotechnology: Orange biotechnology incorporates all the information regarding all of the branches of biotechnology. It is associated with the scientific enhancement and educational purposes of the field. 
  • Red biotechnology: It is associated with healthcare. As per the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, this branch is linked to developing medicines like antibiotics and antivirals, producing artificial organs and regenerative therapy, and evolving over 250 vaccines. 
  • Brown biotechnology: The shield of biotechnology is associated with soil and biodiversity. In this field, biotechnology is applied to appropriately utilize desert and arid soil to grow highly water-resistant plant species. It will elevate the biodiversity and flora in deserts and arid environments. 

Careers in Biotechnology

If you're interested in the biotechnology industry, look for a job that pays a high salary. Here are some helpful insights for you regarding the highest-paying jobs in Biotechnology:

  • Chemist- The average salary of Chemist is $71,290 per year
  • Biologist- The average salary of a Biologist is $70,725 per year
  • Biomedical Engineer- The average salary of a Biomedical engineer is $86,755 per year
  • Research Scientist- The average salary of a Research scientist is $95,565 per year
  • Process Engineer- The average salary of Process Engineer is $88,975 per year
  • Medical Technologist- The average salary of a Medical Technologist is $59,561 per year
  • Regulatory Affairs Manager- The average salary of a Regulatory Affairs Manager is $102,473 per year
  • Business Development Director- The average salary of a Business Development Director is $115,223 per year
  • Biostatistician- The average salary of Biostatistician is $139,595 per year
  • Software Engineer- The average salary of a Software engineer is $108,896 per year
  • Pharmacist- The average salary of a Pharmacist is $119,755 per year
  • Chief Medical Officer- The average salary of a Chief Medical Officer is $249,976 per year
Read more about the highest-paying biotech jobs

Jobs Projection in the Biotech Industry

According to the “Drug discovery & development” published article, the biotech industry is watching a sharp paradox in 2024. On one hand, a group of biotech startups is flourishing, alluring approximately $3 billion in funding in Q1 2024 alone. Biotech Jobs in this sector are also considerable in numerous parts of the U.S., particularly in Greater Boston, which is also seeing a wave of cuts.

On the other hand, the biotech sector is also experiencing a major wave of layoffs. Major biotech and pharmaceutical firms such as Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Genentech, and Sanofi are affected. As Jonathan Norris, a managing director with HSBC Innovation Banking, noted in a January Wall Street Journal article, “It’s the have and have-nots right now in terms of access to capital.” Additionally, Kenvue, which spun out from Johnson & Johnson in 2023, has revealed plans to lay off about 4% of its workforce. Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) also announced one of the largest workforce reductions of the year thus far, signalling plans to cut roughly 2,200 employees or about 6% of its employee base. Meanwhile, Bayer is letting 1,500 workers go on top of a management shakeup.

Read more about Top 10 Biotech Companies Worldwide


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