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Getting a Degree in Biotechnology

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Biotechnology Degrees

Biotechnology is technology based on biology. Modern biotechnology can provide breakthrough products and technologies in medical science, the environment, energy, and other manufacturing processes. 

There are many different degree choices for those wanting to go into biotechnology, from getting your associate’s degree in biotechnology, to getting your doctorate. This field can be the perfect choice for those interested in biotech, and who have a strong background in math and science. 

Degrees in Biotechnology

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Associate’s Degree in Biotechnology

Whether you plan to transfer to a four-year college, or go straight into a job, getting your associate’s degree in biotechnology can be your first step into this field. You might take classes such as genetics, microbiology, and inorganic chemistry. You can also find a job as a bio technician, agricultural staff research associate, or a research assistant for a chemist or a biologist. 

If you want to go for your associate’s degree in biotechnology, you can do so at many community colleges. Going to get your associate’s degree should take you around two years. 

Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology

Getting your bachelor’s degree in biotechnology opens up opportunities and will provide a foundation in a frequently changing field. Getting your bachelor’s degree will give you hands-on experience in the field. 

You would probably end up taking classes in computer science, microbiology, and molecular biology. The degree might also include an internship at a research center or hospital. A bachelor’s degree should take you around four years. 

When looking for programs, Purdue University, the University of Georgia, and the University of California at Davis are all highly rated. For online programs, North Carolina Agricultural, Drury University, and the University of New Mexico are all highly rated. 

Jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology

  • Laboratory Managers, who oversee the daily operations within a lab or a research center, have an average salary of $71,341, according to Payscale
  • Research Scientists, who conduct research for companies as well as organizations, have an average salary of $81,639, according to Payscale
  • Microbiologists, who study things such as viruses, bacteria, immune systems, and other similar projects, have an average salary of $54,758, according to Payscale.

Master’s Degree in Biotechnology

Going to get your master’s degree in biotechnology can pave the way to different opportunities. Students can decide on going into private research or go on to get their doctorate. A master’s degree should take between 1-2 years, depending on if you go full or part-time. 

You would need to have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a related subject. Classes will depend on your concentration, but you might take classes in biological sciences, agricultural/food sciences, health sciences, and more. 

For online programs, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are all highly rated. For in-person programs, the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania, and Northwestern University are all highly rated. 

Jobs you can get with a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology

  • Senior Research Associates, who supervise the work of junior associates and technicians who specialize in a part of biotechnology, have an average salary of $73,207, according to Payscale.
  • Biochemists, who find solutions to biological problems, have an average salary of $61,607, according to Payscale.
  • Natural Sciences Managers, who have an administrative role, overseeing scientists, chemists, physicists, and biologists, have an average salary of $81,00, according to Payscale.

Doctorate Degree in Biotechnology

Students who want to go even further into research or academia in the field of biotechnology will need to go on to get their Ph.D. in biotechnology. This can take an additional 5-7 years. Students will be able to specialize in a more specific area of biotechnology within the larger field. Courses will depend on the subject and programs may include classes on grant writing, experimental design, and other topics related to advanced biotechnology. 

Jobs you can get with a Doctorate in Biotechnology

  • Medical Scientists, who conduct research to help improve human health and wellness, oversee clinical trials, and study diseases and disorders, have an average salary of $80,448, according to Payscale.
  • Biotechnology Professors, who both teach courses on subjects related to biotechnology, work on research, and the funding to do so, have an average salary of $78,095, according to ZipRecruiter.

Related Majors

  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Biology

Biotechnology Scholarships

Getting your degree in biotechnology means you can apply for certain scholarships just for biotechnology or similar majors. Here are a couple of them:

R&D Systems Scholarship

This scholarship is for students who are pursuing a degree in a science-related field, such as life science, medical science, or health science. The award is for $1,500, which is awarded twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Open to students in all levels of education above high school. For more info, please go here.

Tocris Scholarship Program

This scholarship is for students pursuing a science-related field of study, such as life science, medical science, and health science. The award is for $1,500, which is awarded twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Open to students in all levels of education above high school. Students can apply to both the Tocris and R&D scholarships. For more info, please go here.

For even more Biotechnology scholarships, please go here.

 

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.