Illustration representing innovation in the biotech industry.

Biotechnology has existed for thousands of years. It was an important part of how the earliest farmers produced food and bred crops. Any technology that is based on biology qualifies as biotechnology.

Most people have heard of biotechnology because of its modern applications, which help treat diseases, protect the environment and improve manufacturing processes. What they may not be aware of is the diverse career opportunities in this sector — especially for professionals with strong business training.

A Look at the Biotech Industry

In 2016, the size of the global biotech industry was estimated at $369.62 billion, according to a report from Grand View Research. By 2025, the global biotech industry is expected to reach $727.1 billion.

There are several factors expected to drive significant growth in the biotech industry.

Partnerships

Companies are partnering with each other to research and develop techniques. For example, the Department of Biotechnology in India is working together with government funded institutions and other organizations to support research and development along with new product options.

Demand in Healthcare

Increased demand for therapeutic and diagnostic solutions will fuel growth in the biotech industry, given relevance in red biotechnology (biopharmaceuticals), DNA sequencing and recombinant technology. Also relevant is the increasing occurrences of diseases like hepatitis B, cancer and orphan (rare) diseases.

Demand in Agriculture

Increased demand for food will elevate the importance of agricultural production. Products like sugarcane, rice, beans and wheat will be in greater demand. Factors like water shortage, low crop yields, pest attacks and poor land quality are encouraging researchers to develop solutions.

DNA Sequencing

Reduced prices of DNA sequencing will encourage researchers and manufacturers to increase research and development in initiatives that center around chronic diseases with large global prevalence, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. The goal of these researchers will be understanding genetic variations and developing therapeutic solutions for the disease.

Career Opportunities in the Biotech Sector

Scientific Careers

The biotech sector is typically associated with scientific careers. This is evident from a list of the biotech jobs that will be in the most demand over the next decade. Biotech jobs projected to be in high demand include medical scientists, biomedical engineers, biochemists, biophysicists, microbiologists, and epidemiologists.

Though several of these scientific careers are performing research that is driving the biotech sector, there is another group of in-demand careers that play an equally important role in the expanding biotech sector.

The Emerging MBA in Biotech

“Not every role within the field is as hands-on from a scientific perspective,” as noted by Praveen Tipierneni, CEO for biotech firm Morphic Therapeutic. Plenty of management and other business-oriented positions don’t require a scientific background and education. Tipierneni added that the MBA is a great tool for entering the non-science side of the biotech industry and obtaining roles such as CEO and other leadership positions.

An MBA in the biotech industry is also an option for people with a technical background to transition into management, executive and other business-related roles.

Like many people, I used my MBA as a vehicle for switching from a narrow technical field into cross-functional management. Pharma success depends on efficient and effective collaboration between multiple technical and operational fields, and the MBA provides the tools and skills to excel in a matrix organization. It allows specialists to stay in their areas of expertise and gain planning, leadership, organizational and oversight skills to excel in that area. It is also invaluable for scientists moving into senior and strategic management positions.

-David Falconer, VP of Business and Product Development, Selexys Pharmaceuticals

The MBA is becoming such a strong asset that some top researchers are opting to get an MBA and a PhD. “If you’re looking to get into the non-science side of the industry, the MBA is a great tool to get you there,” Tipierneni said. An MBA can help accelerate career options in the growing biotech industry. Being able to study while working is an additional benefit, allowing professionals the option of enhancing education and experience at the same time.

Help Innovate and Make an Impact in the World

If you’re ready to become a biotechnology leader, then apply for Husson University’s fully online MBA in Biotechnology and Innovation. You’ll learn the critical skills to help existing biotech firms gain greater market share and how to launch and run a biotech startup. Regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur or a visionary leader, you’ll learn from experienced professors who have your success in mind. At Husson University, you’ll enjoy small class sizes and a flexible online schedule that allow you to balance your studies with your busy life.