Muscat: Biotechnology has a wide scope in Oman and all around in the world, the Head of the Department of Biotechnology at the Waljat College of Applied Sciences, said.
“Biotechnology finds application in a number of fields; we can apply biotechnology everywhere,” Dr Sadaf Zahra told the Times of Oman on the sidelines of the Biotech fest organised by the department at the college premises.
“It ranges from medical and healthcare to agriculture and animal husbandry, industrial research and development, food processing, bioprocessing, chemical engineering, drug designing and manufacturing, environment conservation and so on,” Zahra added.
According to her, there are many good job opportunities available after completing a Bachelors of Technology in Biotechnology. “Students can apply for jobs in a range of industries dealing with pharmaceutical, chemical, bioprocessing and agriculture products,” she added.
“Some job roles that a biotech student can take are Research Scientist, Research Associate, Marketing personnel, Business Development Officer, Sales Representative, Biotech Engineer, and Lab Technician,” Zahra asserted.
“On the whole, it is a good career option for bright young people,” she added. The study of Biotechnology is a blend of subjects related to Biology and subjects, such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Engineering.
A simple definition of Biotechnology can be using the properties of living organisms to produce desired products. It is a research-oriented field. So most of the work is carried out at research institutes and laboratories. Speaking about higher studies, she said, “A post-graduate degree will improve job prospects further.”
“It will help you gain an in-depth knowledge of the subject and provide the confidence required to face the job market. After completing a B.Tech in Biotechnology, you can pursue an M.Tech (Biotechnology), M.Tech (Bio-Informatics) or MBA (Biotechnology),” Zahra said.
A Masters of Technology in Biotechnology involves the study of Biotechnology in great detail, whereas a Masters of Technology in Bio-Informatics is the study of application of computer technology to the management of biological information.
Bioinformatics plays a vital role, especially in drug discovery and development; computers are used to gather, store, analyse and integrate biological and genetic information. A Masters in Business Administration in Biotechnology provides a broad introduction to Biotechnology and focuses on imparting management skills, required in chemical, pharmaceutical or allied industries.
According to her, the Biotech fest, the first of its kind organised by the Waljat College aims to increase awareness about Biotechnology. “Many people are unaware of biotechnology, so by organising such an event, we plan to educate the public and youngsters about what biotechnology is, what are its applications and what are the career options,” she explained. The fest included competitions for the school students between 9th to 12th standard. Around 200 students from 10 different schools are participating.
“It (fest) will help the students to increase their knowledge about biotechnology and it will also give them clarity about choosing a career in future,” Zahra said.
Students from Seeb International School, Ahmed Bin Majid School, Indian School Wadi Kabir, Indian School Muscat, Indian School Darsait, Indian School Ghubra, Indian School Seeb, Bangladesh School, Sri Lankan School participated in the fest.