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Finding Hot Job Opportunities in Biotechnology
By Debbie Christofferson, CISSP, CISM

"The 21st Century is being viewed by observers worldwide as the Bio Century", from "Growing The Nation's Biotech Sector: State Bioscience Initiatives 2006"

A major incentive in pursuing a technology career, particularly for women, is higher salaries. US bio-sciences workers averaged more than $65,000 annual pay, and the industry employs more than 7-million people, according to the Bio Industry Association's 2006 report noted above. Many jobs are new.

Trends Magazine predicted last February, that the "…Future will be in highly skilled math and science related jobs, such as medical devices and testing, biopharmaceuticals, homeland security, and defense industries". All of these relate to biotech.

Fortune Magazine last year listed Biomedical Engineers on their list of top 20 fastest growing jobs in the US, with 20%+ expected growth.

According to the Bio-technology Industry Organization, the field is made up of

  • Research, testing and medical laboratories
  • Medical devices and equipment
  • Drugs and pharmaceuticals
  • Agricultural feedstock and chemicals

Positions cross boundaries from universities, to public and governmental organizations, and to private enterprise. Opportunities exist in teaching, research and development, grant application writing, support roles of all kinds for the scientists and back office, and entrepreneurial start-ups.

In Texas, you might have seen Willie Nelson billboards promoting Carl's Corner Bio-Diesel fuel. Even entertainers want a piece of the action.

In Phoenix, Dr. Michelle Hannah founded Ribomed Biotechnologies, Inc. a molecular diagnostics company. She's a PhD, former ASU professor, single Mom and entrepreneur. Dr. Hannah lives her own success story, and she pledged nearly all her financial and emotional resources to start this growing company.

Any new business requires risks and hard work, and biotech consists of many startups. Bring it on, if you're prepared for a major commitment of time and money to make your own dream come true.

Higher levels of education are required in the biotech field, typically in biosciences, math or physics. Statistics confirm higher earnings at higher rungs of the education ladder-the higher the degree, the greater your earning power over a lifetime.

In a College Board 2004 report, a master's degree averaged $60K plus in earnings, and a PhD netted a salary range of $95K plus. A biotech position returns a good investment on your education. US and global biotech is thriving.

Seek out your own opportunity:

Your career success and job security today depend on staying current and leading edge in your skills and knowledge.

The biotechnology revolution is upon us! It presents a red-hot high-growth path in innovative gene and medical research. It's a science, knowledge and intellectual property field with high potential for career advancement.

Biotech seems to offer it all. Go make it happen--find the opportunity that's ready and waiting for you!

Coming Next: Where are all the women? Today's women in technology carry no more numbers than they did a decade ago. What's keeping us away? Join us and find out! Comments welcome on your own experience!

Listen to a free audio interview with Debbie.

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