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NC State Extension


Careers in biotechnology range from applied sciences to very basic sciences. The applied careers in biotechnology may involve caring for animals or working outside in the field, while basic science careers often involve lab work. The educational level required can range anywhere from a 2-year associates degree to a PhD. In general, chemistry and other sciences will help you prepare for a career in biotechnology. There is also a high demand for students trained in statistics and computer sciences.

The Crop Biotechnology concentration in the Plant and Soil Science major is designed for students who would like to focus on agricultural biotechnology. Crop biotechnology tools allow scientists to improve agronomic crop pest resistance, drought tolerance, yield and nutritional quality. In addition, new research is directed toward producing critical pharmaceutical compounds in agronomic crops. Hands-on classes allow students to learn the latest techniques used to map plant genomes and genetically enhance food, feed, fiber, fuel and pharmaceutical crop plants. Plus, students get an understanding of how the crops developed and improved through biotechnology react and interact within a farm production environment. Internships give the student an opportunity do decide if they would like a more lab based career versus a more field based career. Many students are interested in bridging the gap between the lab and the field to determine how well technologies developed in the lab perform in the real world.

Below are some links to give young people an idea of the type of jobs available and the training required for different career paths in biotechnology.

Careers in BIOTECHNOLOGY A Counselor’s Guide to the Best Jobs in the United States: Careers in Biotechnology, A Counselor’s Guide

Biotech Careers: Bio-Link Career Site

Biotechnology Institute

The challenge of feeding 9 billion people also comes with much career opportunity. Feed, Nourish, Thrive Highlight Video

NC Biotechnology Center Biotech Career Guide