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Genetic Engineering – Career Prospects

Jul 27, 2017 18:45 IST
    Genetic Engineering – Career Prospects
    Genetic Engineering – Career Prospects

    Genetic Engineering is a relatively new branch of engineering that has come up in the last decade or so. Genetic Engineering as the name suggests deals with building or modification of human genome or an organism’s genome to change its biological and chemical properties to meet desired results. In common terms, genetic engineering can be defined as a laboratory science that deals with change or modification of DNA ((Deoxy Ribo Nucleic Acid) of living organisms to advance services in healthcare, medicine and agricultural industries. The subject was initially considered part of biotechnology, but with recent developments and diversification, Genetic Engineering has emerged as its own distinct subject of study with sub-domains and streams to follow.

    Scope of Genetic Engineering

    Genetic Engineering, despite its recent evolution, has fast grown into a vast subject with different sub-domains and fields of study. The scope of genetic engineering has undergone exponential growth and today offers several avenues of study and research. Currently, there are three basic study stream as far genetics is concerned i.e.,

    • Plant Genetic Engineering: The plant-based genetic engineering is mainly concerned with the agriculture industry. This field deals with the altering of plant genome in a manner that offer desired characteristics to it. It may be in terms of increased production potential, resistance against diseases, development of seedless fruits, increasing nutritional content of the agricultural product and others. Genetically Modified Foods are the biggest example of Plant Genetic Engineering.
    • Human Genetic Engineering: Human Genetic Engineering is an up-and-coming field that has helped healthcare professionals counter many deadly diseases at foundational level. The technique has been very successfully used to eradicate many hereditary health problems by introduction of normal genes to replace the damaged ones.
    • Animal Genetic Engineering: Animal Genetic Engineering is yet a nascent field in genetic engineering. However, many researchers and scientists have been trying to develop animal genetic engineering to preserve DNA of endangered species and some are even attempting to review a few extinct species through fossil reconstruction.

    Eligibility for Genetic Engineering Programme

    Candidates wishing to pursue a lucrative career in the field of genetic engineering can opt for either an undergraduate level or postgraduate level programme offered in this field.

    • Undergraduate level: Students who want to join genetic engineering after completion of Class 12/10+2 programme can join B.Tech in Genetics programme at any reputed institute. Generally, the eligibility criteria for admission are Class 12th pass with PCMB as compulsory subjects. Some institutes may offer genetics as a specialization option under B.Tech in Biotechnology or Biochemical Engineering programme. Admissions to B.Tech in Genetic Engineering are offered through entrance exams.
    • Postgraduate level: The postgraduate level academic programmes offered under genetic engineering domain are available to graduates who have completed their B.Tech or B.Sc degree programme in genetics, biological sciences, life sciences and biotechnology.

    Students wishing to pursue higher studies in the field of genetic engineering can also take up M.Tech and P.hD programmes in genetic programmes offered by premium institutes like IITs or even several foreign universities and research centres.

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    Career Prospects for Genetic Engineers

    Genetic engineering is an evolving field and, therefore, offers limited by very interesting and lucrative career prospects for the students. Still being in developmental phase, the majority of work available in the field of genetic engineering is of research and development nature. Considering this, it is advisable that students continue their studies till postgraduate or doctoral level to get rewarding employment offers.

    • Biotech and Pharmaceutical companies: These are the biggest employers for genetic engineers in the private sector. They are employed as research agents to develop new and innovative techniques to aid in healthcare and agricultural sector.
    • Research Laboratories: Reputed medical and biological research facilities across the country offer entry level positions to genetic engineers graduates. However, being entry level positions, the work primarily involves testing which is diagnostic in nature.
    • Universities / Institutes: Genetics as a field of study is growing at a rapid pace. The increased interest of students in this subject has also escalated the demand for qualified and trained teachers and professors. Many undergraduate and postgraduate degree holders in genetics are hired at teaching position in different universities and institutes across India.
    • Agriculture Sector: Agriculture is another up-and-coming field that has seen rise of exciting employment opportunities for genetic engineers. Engineers are hired by agriculture development firms for development of genetically modified food products like high yielding seeds, seedless fruits and other similar products.

    Pay Package of Genetic Engineers

    Despite being a young and evolving field, genetic engineers draw a handsome salary which is at par with other traditional engineering domains.

    • On an average, genetic engineers draw a monthly salary of Rs 18,000 to 25,000 at an entry level position in research laboratories.
    • Biotech and Pharma companies are comparatively better paymasters and offer genetic engineering anywhere between Rs 20,000 to 30,000 per month.
    • If you are open for overseas placements, genetic engineering job can be quite rewarding as multinational pharmaceutical companies pay their employees much better compared to their Indian counterparts.

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    Top Genetic Engineering Institutes

    Top universities and technical institutes that offer academic programmes in Genetic engineering include:

    Institute

    Course offered

    SRM University, Tamil Nadu

    B.Tech, M.Tech and PhD in Genetic Engineering

    Bharath University, Chennai

    M.Tech in Genetic Engineering

    Aryabhatta Knowledge University, Patna

    B.Tech and M.Tech in Genetic Engineering

    Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai

    M.Sc. Certificate course in Plant Genetic Engineering

    IIT, Kharagpur

    B.Tech, M.Tech in Biotechnology & Biochemical engineering

    Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras

    B.Tech. Biotechnology, M.Tech in Biotechnology

    IIT, Guwahati

    B.Tech Biotechnology

    AWH Special College, Calicut

    B.Sc. Genetics

    Delhi Univeristy, Delhi

    M.Sc Genetics

    Andhra University

    M.Sc Human Genetics

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    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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