Biotech and Biological Engineering career prospects

  • Engineering
  • Thread starter Jarfi
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  • #1
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I am finishing my Biomedical Engineering BS next semester but I want to learn more about Molecular biology so Ive decided to take a year or so in Molecular biology BS and get a better feel for it. Then going into either BioEngineering or Biotech.

Which is better for job and salary outlook? I have heard Engineers are more sought after and have more power on the job market while biotechnologists seem to be stuck on funding and research but I also enjoy research. I have good problem solving skills and I'm a skilled programmer. I want to use this somehow though because I can code complicated systems fast. This is useful in Bioinformatics as far as i can tell but I'm not sure if it'd give me as much of an edge in the biotech market.

Are Biotechnologists stuck writing reports? Or do they get to do fun stuff as well. Which is better for freedom/independent career with choices. I'm very interested in the concepts of biotech but is it worth it?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Well, if you are a biotechnologist, aren't you an engineer? I don't know how you, or others for that matter, use their definitions. But you may be an engineer in biotechnology processes/reactors. Or you may be an engineer in synthetic biology. Those are different things, granted.

If you want to manage/have responsibilities, running (part of) a factory is probably the better route. And there process technology and the engineering associated with it will be more helpful. Not so much molecular biology, and what MolBio is evolving into.

To me biomolecular engineering always seems to be a subdiscipline of mechanical engineering, involving electronic equipment as well as mechanical implants. And thus not so much the chemistry and physics of biological systems. Or things like bioinformatics or systems biology.

And to me biotechnology is a subdiscipline of chemical engineering, with a focus on using living cells inside your reactors.

Don't know for sure about salaries, but somehow life science salary numbers always seem on the low side. Seems pure chemists and specialized pharma jobs seem to pay better.

That said, I always hear many things about more need for bioinformaticians.
 

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