Monday, May 11, 2009

Career Guidance - Genetic Engineering

Career Guidance - Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering, in simple words, is a laboratory technique used by scientists to change the DNA (Deoxy ribo Nucleic Acid) of living organisms. This wonderful branch of engineering or science enables the human minds to interfere in and modify the processes of life, birth death and even offers escape from certain congenital diseases. There is great scope in this field as the demand for genetic engineers is growing both in India and abroad.

Genetic engineers/scientist s re-arrange the sequence of DNA in gene using artificial methods. The work involves extracting the DNA out of one organism, changing it using chemicals or radiation and subsequently putting it back into the same or a different organism. For e.g.: genes and segments of DNA from one species is taken and put into another species. They also study how traits and characteristics are transmitted through the generations, and how genetic disorders are caused. Their research involves researching the causes and discovering potential cures if any.

The specializations in genetic engineering are related to plants, animals and human beings. The plant genetic engineering involves improving certain natural characteristics of value, viz. increase resistance to disease or damage and to develop new characteristics etc. It is used to change the colour, size, texture etc of plants otherwise known as GM (Genetically Modified) foods. GE in humans can be to correct severe hereditary defects by introducing normal genes into cells in place of missing or defective ones.

Genetic engineering is a complicated and most sophisticated branch of science which is still in a process of development in our country.

Courses & Eligibility

An individual aspiring for a career in genetic engineering can start the BTech course after his/her Plus Two Science with Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology. Admission to B.Tech in Genetic Engineering/ Biotechnology/ Biochemical Engineering is made generally through entrance tests.

One can also pursue three-year B.Sc degree course in Genetics / Biological Science / Life Science / Biotechnology subjects and then go for post graduation (MSc) in genetics.

One who desires for further study and research can pursue M.Tech and PhD in genetic engineering offered by few institutes in India including the IITs.

Career Prospects

In India, there are several sectors that give employment to genetic engineers and professionals. They can be absorbed in medical and pharmaceutical industries, agricultural sectors and the research and development departments of government, semi-government and private sectors. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries offer the best opportunities to genetic engineers and professionals with handsome salaries apart from other perks and benefits.


The salary of genetic engineers is generally high as compared to other frontier branches of engineering and science. A fresh graduate in genetic engineering can get monthly salary between Rs 15, 000 – Rs 25, 000. The pay-package in foreign countries is very high as compared to India.

There are many Indian and multinational companies in biotech sector located in India and abroad offering quite good employment opportunities to genetic engineering professionals and scientists. Salaries earned by professionals in these firms generally range from Rs.20, 000 to 30,000 per month. However, in the USA and European countries pay package is much higher due to complexity of job and shortage of trained professionals.

Genetic engineering professionals working in government laboratories and research centres get hand some salary apart from other perks and benefits. One can also work in research labs located in foreign countries which provide huge remuneration as compared to India.


Institutes offering BTech/MTech courses
Institutes offering B.Sc. courses
Institutes offering M.Sc. courses
Institutes offering BTech/MTech courses

SRM University
SRM Nagar, Kattankulatthur - 603 203
Kancheepuram Dt, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone : +91 - 44 - 2745 5715 / 2745 3433
Fax : + 91 - 44 - 2745 3622
E-mail : dean@admissions. in
Website :
Course (s) offered : B.Tech - (Genetic Engineering) , Ph.D.

Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai
Course (s) offered : Post M.Sc. Certificate course in Plant Genetic Engineering

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras
Course (s) Offered : four-year B.Tech. Biotechnology, M.Tech. five-year dual degree in biotechnology.

IIT, Kharagpur
Course (s) Offered : four-year B.Tech. and five-year M.Tech. courses in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering.

IIT, Guwahati
Course (s) Offered : B.Tech Biotechnology.

IIT, Delhi
Course (s) Offered : M.Tech five-year dual degree in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Note : Admission to all the above programmes is through the national-level IIT Joint Entrance Examination. Meritorious final year Plus Two students with physics, chemistry and mathematics can appear for this entrance examination.

Institutes offering B.Sc. courses

AWH Special College (unaided - affiliated to University of Calicut)
Kallai, Calicut - 673 003
Course (s) Offered : B.Sc. Genetics course of three-year duration.

Institutes offering M.Sc. courses

University of Delhi, South Campus, New Delhi

Osmania University, Hyderabad

Bharkathulla Vishwa Vidyalaya, Bhopal

Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana

Chowdhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hissar

Rajendra Agricultural University, Samastipur

University of Kerala (Department of Botany)Thiruvananthapuram
Course (s) Offered : M.Sc. Genetics and Plant Breeding

School of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Chennai
Course (s) Offered : M.Sc. Biomedical genetics

Vellore Institute of Technology (Deemed University) Vellore
Course (s) Offered : M.Sc. Biomedical Genetics

Andhra University, Visakhapatanam
Course (s) Offered : M.Sc. Human Genetics

Gurunanak Dev University, Amritsar
Course (s) Offered : M.Sc. Human Genetics

Sri Rama Chandran Medical College and Research Institute
(Deemed University), Chennai
Course (s) Offered : M.Sc. Human Genetics

Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
Course (s) Offered : M.Sc. Molecular and Human Genetics

Madurai Kamraj University, Madurai
Course (s) Offered : M.Sc. Plant Genetics Engineering, M.Sc. - Microbial Gene technology (DOU)

Contributed by Girish Kumar

1 comment:

  1. Many hope they will eventually fall into the right career. Others wait for the "billboard" moment in which their future life direction will suddenly flash before their eyes. Does it happen? I have yet to see a billboard with my name on it.

    career guidance