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Career counselling: Options aplenty in life sciences

education Updated: Feb 13, 2016 18:24 IST
life sciences

You can also get into research and teaching, depending on your field of interest.(Istock)

I’m a BSc student specialising in life sciences. I want to know if MSc is a better option than an MBA. What entrance exams do I need to take for higher studies? I want to know if I should do biotechnology or any other course except MSc in life sciences? Please guide me.

– Kavya

The best study course is the one that is best for you. If you are an explorer with an analytical mind, curious about the world around you, your love of science can lead you to a fascinating and successful career in the sciences. However, if you have good managerial skills and wish to join the corporate sector, then doing an MBA could be a better option. An MSc degree in science can enable you to work with organisations in industry, engineering, information technology, as well as stimulating careers in research and the building of knowledge in any particular field of science. While many scientific jobs are research-oriented and are located in universities or institutes, a number of jobs involve the application of science to an industrial and engineering problem.

In addition, there are many other fields specifically related to the life sciences such as biotechnology, environmental science, agriculture, food sciences, genetics, clinical medicine, pharmacology, climatology, toxicology, forensic science and so on with many study and career options. There are MSc courses in applied science fields which offer a variety of options in industries such as agrochemicals, petrochemicals, toiletries, plastics, polymers, in the manufacture and processing of food and beverage products as also those in the energy field – oil, gas, and power sectors, and in the health and pharmaceutical fields. You can also get into research and teaching, depending on your field of interest. Admission to most MSc programmes is on the basis of an entrance test.

Biotechnology is a research field so career options are in applied research areas, when not in pure research. Such jobs can include designing new biotech products, developing vaccines and diagnostic tools, production of biotech products, tissue culture for agriculture, marketing of biotech products, as well as areas of management, academics and training. There is an entrance test for admission to the MSc biotechnology courses too.

Send your queries at ­hteducation@­ or to Career Counselling, HT Education, 1st floor, HT House, 18-20, KG Marg, New Delhi-110001. The columnist is director of Careers Smart, and author of the Penguin India Career Guides Vol 1 and 2