Marine biologists study salt water organisms. They are also called Biological Oceanographers. They study marine organisms, their behaviors, and interactions with the marine environment.
Because there are so many areas one could study within the field of marine biology, many marine biologists select a particular interest and specialize in it. Specializations can be based on a particular species, organism, behavior, technique, or ecosystem. For example, some marine biologists may choose to study with white sharks, blue whales, or dolphins.
The emerging field of marine biotechnology offers great opportunity for marine biologists. Marine biotechnology research presents a wide range of possibilities and applications. One focus area is the biomedical field, where scientists develop and test drugs, many of which come from marine organisms.
Molecular biology is another related area of specialization in this field. Researchers apply molecular approaches and techniques to many environments, from coastal ponds to the deep sea, and many different organisms, from microscopic bacteria, plants, and animals to marine mammals. For example, molecular biology can be used to identify the presence of a specific organism in a water sample through the use of molecular probes. This is very useful when the organism in question is microscopic.
The study of disease in organisms is also aided by the use of molecular techniques. Researchers have developed antibodies that are specific to a particular virus, so that when the virus is present in the organism, detection and diagnosis is easier and faster. Likewise, new molecular techniques help scientists identify whether or not an animal has been exposed to pollutants and, in some cases can determine the source of those pollutants.
Aquaculture, the farming of finfish, shellfish, and seaweeds, is another field that has been aided by marine biotechnology and molecular techniques. Aquaculture is gaining importance in this country as consumer demand for fish and shellfish becomes greater than can be met by traditional commercial fishing.
Marine researchers also experiment with ways to administer drugs to diseased populations of farm-raised fish. Disease can wipe out an entire crop of farm-raised fish or shellfish due to the confined setting in which they are raised.
Other popular areas within the field of marine biology are environmental biology and toxicology. Both of these areas have direct applications and implications for our society. Examples of specialities in environmental biology and toxicology include water quality research and the study of contaminants or pollutants in the coastal or marine environment. Laws, regulations, and cleanup measures designed to protect the environment will ensure that marine and environmental biologists and consultants continue to play an important role in our society.
Another two popular fields of research involving marine mammals are bioacoustics and vocalization (the study of marine mammal sounds), and population dynamics (studying marine mammalian behaviors and responses to environmental conditions as they impact population).
* You should have a strong interest
in Biological Science
* You should have an inquisitive and explorative mind
* You should be academically oriented with a strong interest in knowing and learning various things
* You should have an excellent ability to understand, realize, analyze, remember and apply scientific facts and theories
* You should be disciplined and hard working
* You should do well in all your examination right from secondary examination to Master's degree examination scoring at least 60% in aggregate and more than 70% in science subjects.
Various government, semi-government and autonomous research institutions like National Institute of Oceanography
Various universities, deemed universities and colleges in teaching and research like Indian Institute of Science, Mumbai University, University of Chennai, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Anna University.
You can take up a job as a lecturer in a college, university or deemed university. As per UGC rules, your next promotion depends not only on your years of experience in teaching but also on your research experience.
You can take up a Research Fellowship in a research organization, university, or deemed university leading to a Ph.D. degree.
Money & Other Benefits
You will make about Rs 12,000 a month in the beginning of your career and with some experience it can go up to Rs 25,000 a month.
With the progress in Biotechnology, growing concern about marine pollution, and progress in technology for using marine resources in various areas in medicine and food technology, career opportunities for marine biologist are growing. Though the opportunities at present are mainly in university departments and research organizations, private sector participation in marine biotechnology is not far away with many multinational setting up of world class biological research organizations like Chembiotek in Kolkata. Private sector participation in the field will surely shot up the opportunities for all the Bioscientists including Marine biologist.
We are living in a virtual sea full of microorganism invisible to naked eye and are under continuous attack from them. While some of the organism benefit us, most of them don't. Instead they try day and night to inflict diseases on us. That's not all. Some anti social elements use them to start a biological warfare. Would you like to save mankind from their attack?
Various species of microorganism like bacteria, virus, fungus, and ameba exist in trillion of numbers. Study of these microorganisms, vis-à-vis, their life cycle and nature is a specialised science called Microbiology.
Microbiologists are involved in extensive research to understand the physiology of microorganisms and the cause and development of microbial diseases in plants and animals.
Microbiologists study disease causing microorganism as well as beneficial microorganism. They research the physiology and genetic profile of microorganism, determine their life cycle, how do they cause diseases, and how to prevent and cure the diseases. They are also involved in researching plant and animal diseases and identifying microorganism responsible for the diseases. They also identify and research medicines that may cure and prevent the diseases.
Microorganisms also benefit plant and animal lives and there are quite a large number of them. Researching and studying their life cycles, physiology, and genetic profile are also the responsibilities of microbiologists. They research newer ways in which these beneficial microorganisms can be used for development of drugs, production of enzymes, food processing and toxic waste disposal.
Microbiologists generally work in laboratories of university departments, research and development organisations, government organisations in the health sector, hospitals, and various industries like food processing, pharmaceutical, agricultural, beverage, biomedical, bioprocess, diagnostic industry and other related industries. Most of the laboratories are air-conditioned and the environment inside the laboratories are aseptic (free of microorganism).
In university departments, you will work as faculty member (Lecturer, Reader, or Professor), as a Research Assistant or Research Scholar. In various research organisations, one begins as a research assistant, research scholar, or junior scientist and then goes on to become Senior Scientist, Principle Scientist, Project Director or Programme Director. The pinnacle of your career will be either as the Principle/ Head of the department in a university or college or as the Director of a research organisation.
In industries, you may find work in research and development, analytical, or production departments. Some of the microbiologists work in marketing department of companies involved in diagnostic, food processing, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries. Many of the microbiologists are involved in quality control of food products and drugs.
different roles in these industries. Some of their roles are:
Diagnosis of the causes of animal diseases of microbial origin
Analysis of processed foods and medicines to ensure that the materials are safe for human consumption
Development and production of vaccines, enzymes and insulin
Research and development of drugs
Research and study of plant diseases; development and production of insecticides and anti-microbial chemicals
Genetic engineering of microorganisms to prevent and cure plant and animal diseases
Marketing of diagnostic materials, pharmaceuticals, processed foods and beverages
First of all, you must have a
strong interest in Biological Sciences. You should be able to develop a clear
understanding of the principles of Biological Sciences. An analytical and
inquisitive mind will help.
You should be prepared to study a lot. Study of Biological Science and making a career in this field is real hard work and it takes a long time to build up a career.
Now look at the educational qualifications needed to be a microbiologist. Any one of these qualifications will lead you to a career in Microbiology.
M. Sc./Ph. D in Microbiology
MD in Microbiology
M. Sc./ Ph. D in Agricultural Science with specialisation in Microbiology
M. Pharm/ Ph. D in Microbiology
M. V. Sc. / Ph. D with specialisation in Animal Microbiology
M. Sc./ Ph. D in Biomedical Science with specialisation in Microbiology
M. Sc./ M. Tech/ Ph. D in Biotechnology with specialisation in Industrial Microbiology
You can get a job in research and development in:
· University departments
· Biological research and
development organisations like Institute of Microbial
Technology, National Institute of Communicable Diseases, and National Centre for Biological Science
· Medical research organisations under Indian Council for Medical Research
· Agricultural research organisations under Indian Council for Agricultural Research
· Dairy and animal research institutions
You can also get a job in the Research & Development/ Analytical/ Production/ Sales & Marketing departments of: -
· Pharmaceutical and Bulk Drug manufacturing companies like Ranbaxy and Torrent
· Food processing companies like Hindustan Lever, SmithCline Beecham and Glaxo
· Beverage manufacturing companies like United Breweries
· Diagnostic companies like Span and Monozyme
· Hospitals like Apollo and Bombay hospital
· Biotechnology and bioprocess technology based companies like Shanta Biotechnics, National Immunological
· Dairy and Poultry firms like Arambagh Hatcheries and various other related organizations
Money & Other Benefits
Your remuneration depends on the organisation you work for.
In university departments and research organisations, you will start at Rs 12,000 -14,000 a month as a faculty member or as a junior scientist. You will earn Rs 6,000 a month as a research assistant or research scholar. The maximum remuneration you can earn in these organisations is Rs 25,000 as per the present scale. However, this scale is currently under revision and the remuneration is likely to be increased by at least 20 per cent.
In industries, you may have to start at a slightly lower salary but eventually you will earn much more than those in academic fields. You will begin at Rs 8,000 - 12,000 a month. In senior positions, you could earn anywhere between Rs 30,000 - 70,000 a month.
Microbiology is an essential part of Life Science or Bioscience. In the 21st century Life science is going to be very big. It will bring in enormous changes in the way we live, get medical care and take medicines. Prospects of newer ways of medical care, newer biological and healthcare products are plenty. We may buy a biochip in the near future which can be placed under the skin to boost our immunity system. This will protect us from microbial diseases. We will see a cure-all medicine that can cure any microbial disease. We may see a genetically developed microorganism, which will detoxicate toxic wastes. We may see another genetically developed bacteria, which will shield crops from attack of microbial diseases.
Biological research and development of all these products will need Life Scientists in more numbers. So the prospects of all Life Scientists including the microbiologists are definitely bright.
You have a splitting headache. You go to a doctor who diagnoses you. He then feeds your info into a computer and voila! A pill customised to match your genetic code pops out. Science fiction? Not necessarily. Welcome to the world of Bioinfomatics.
Bioinfomatics is where carbon meets silicon. It is the fusion of computer science and biology. This field specialises in computer software that enables in-depth research into the mysteries of the human body. Earlier, research was driven by instinct and luck. It is now moving into a more technologically driven era.
Research in such a complex field as human science generates a lot of data. This information needs to be processed so that it may be understood properly. You will use computer software tools for database creation, data management, data warehousing and global communication network. You will then integrate them with the user interface. What this means is that you will understand the science of biology and convert it into a mathematical form using a computer. Then you will make a system where in a scientists will feed in some numbers and the computer spits out the result on a paper or a 3D image on the computer screen.
Bioinfomatics is used in areas such as chemical engineering, drug design, vaccine design, etc. You will help scientists determine the structure of cells and proteins, how they behave and how they react with other cells and chemical compounds. For instance, you can look at a virus and accordingly design a drug, which will be capable of killing it and stimulate its effectiveness on the computer! Now imagine how easy it has become for scientists trying out the millions of permutations and combinations of genetic code.
You need to have good analytical and logical skills coupled with an inquisitive mind. This is science on the cutting edge and most of the time you will be expected to come up with new ideas or solutions to tackling complex matters. You must have tons and tons of patience. You may be working on a project for years on end and sometimes you may face problems that seem insurmountable. You should be able to think clearly and not lose your head in these situations. You should also have excellent communication skills, as you will be required to explain complex issues in layman terms.
Academically, you have two options to enter this field. You can be a Biological Scientist who likes computers or a computer geek who is fascinated by the living world. However this is a very specialised area of study. So you need to do specific courses in Bioinfomatics.
You will learn to develop scientific software for biologists. This will include Computer Programming, Computer Graphics as well as simulation and modelling structures related to chemistry and biology. The Bioinfomatics Centre at Pune is one such institute offering a post graduate programme. For this course, you need to have a Post Graduate Degree in any Science Faculty, M.V.Sc., M.Sc. (Agriculture), M.Pharm., M.B.B.S or M.D. People with M.E., B.Tech, M.C.A. or B.E. degrees are also eligible for this course.
You could start off as Research Associate in various projects organised by the Department of Biotechnology or by institutes such as TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) and National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore. According to your level of experience you will slowly rise in terms of responsibilities in these projects. Alternatively, you could also take up teaching positions at these institutes.
One of the biggest joint international projects currently on is the human genome project. This aims to map the human genetic code. Bioinfomatics has played a major part in speeding up this task. You could play an active role in cracking the human genetic code.
Money & Other Benefits
As a research associate you are paid in the range of Rs 8,000-10,000. Of course, as a government employee you are entitled to additional perks and privileges. Dollars could be raked in if you go abroad, but in terms of cutting edge research opportunities, India is second to none.
There is a huge demand for trained Bioinformaticists in U.S.A., Europe and Australia. These countries have taken a lead in research in the field of genetics and it is here that the best prospects lie. Even insurance firms are looking towards biotechnology companies to help them profile individuals. All this is good news for Bioinformaticists.
In India this branch is yet to take off mainly because of the immense costs involved in these projects. But many agro-based industries are planning to expand their research and development capabilities to encompass this new field.
Then there is the issue of human cloning. There is a lot of concern about the possible fallout of this technology. But once the matter is sorted out and regulations are laid out, this industry will witness a boom.
How good are you at Chemistry? Can you remember complex chemical equations? Are you also interested in Biological Science? If you have answered in the affirmative then we have some news for you. Presenting an exciting career as a Biochemist…
Biochemists are involved in the study of chemical compositions and molecular structure of bio molecules like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, amino acids, nucleic acids, vitamins and hormones; chemistry of human and animal cells, tissues, bones; chemistry of plant tissues; chemical reactions between bio molecules; metabolism of bio molecules in human and animal bodies; bio engineering of plant and animal cells and biological processes; and other related areas.
Biochemistry has a wide range of scientific applications such as nutrition and dietetics, medicine, animal science, agriculture, pharmaceutical sciences, food processing, and biotechnology.
Biochemists are involved in a wide range of subjects:
Cell structure and cycle, DNA and
RNA structure and metabolism, cell division
Biological catalysis, macromolecular structure
Metabolism and nutrition
Protein structure and function, protein-nucleic acid and chemical reactions between proteins
Functions of brains and Neurochemistry
Bio enzymes and their functions
Mechanism of biological functions likes muscle contraction
Molecular developmental mechanisms that lead to development of different cells from stem cells (stem cells are embryonic cells that can grow into any human cell)
Apart from the study of general biochemistry, you can also specialise in Medical Biochemistry, which deals with those biochemical processes and mechanisms that have relevance to treatment and cure of human diseases. Medical biochemists are involved in the study of biochemistry of human diseases, human immunology, reaction of toxic substances on healthy cells, chemical structure and composition of microbial cells, gene therapy, treatment of diseases by protein targeting, and other related subjects.
As a Biochemist, you will mostly work in laboratories of university departments, research and development organisations, medical research organisations, hospitals, and various industries like food processing, pharmaceutical, agricultural, diagnostic, and other related industries.
In university departments, you will work as faculty member (Lecturer, Reader, or Professor), as a Research Assistant or as a Research Scholar. In various research organisations, one begins as a research assistant, research scholar, or junior scientist and then goes on to become Senior Scientist, Principle Scientist, Project Director or Program Director. The pinnacle of your career will be either as the Principle/ Head of the department in a university or college or as the Director of a research organisation.
In industries, you will mostly find work in research and development functions. You will also have opportunities to work in marketing department of companies involved in diagnostic, food processing, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries.
First of all, you must have a strong interest in Biological Sciences as well as in Chemistry. You should love learning Chemistry and Biology and be able to develop a clear understanding of the principles of Biological Sciences and Chemical Sciences. You should have an analytical and inquisitive mind. Be prepared to study a lot. Study of any Biological Science subject and making a career in this field is real hard work and it takes a long time to build up a career.
Now look at the educational qualifications required to be a biochemist. Any one of these qualifications will lead you to a career in Biochemistry.
M. Sc./ Ph. D in Biochemistry
M. Sc./ Ph. D in Molecular Biology
M. Sc./ Ph. D in Biotechnology or Genetics
MD in Biochemistry
M. Sc./ Ph. D in Medical Biochemistry
M. Sc./ Ph. D in Biomedical Science
M. Pharm/ Ph. D in Biochemistry
M. Sc. / Ph. D in Agricultural Sciences with specialisation in Biochemistry
You can get a job in research and development in:
· University departments
· Biological research and development organisations like Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Chembiotec, and National Centre for Biological Science
· Medical research organisations under Indian Council for Medical Research
· Agricultural research organisations under Indian Council for Agricultural Research
Job in Research & Development/ Sales & Marketing departments of:
· Pharmaceutical and Bulk Drug manufacturing companies like Ranbaxy, Torrent
· Food processing companies like Hindustan Lever, SmithCline Beecham, Glaxo
· Diagnostic companies like Span, Monozyme
· Hospitals like Apollo, Bombay hospital
· Biotechnology and bioprocess technology based companies like Shanta Biotechnics, National Immunological Ltd. and other related organizations
Your remuneration depends on the organisation you work for. In university departments and research organisations, you will start at Rs 12,000-14,000 a month as a faculty member or as a junior scientist. You will get about Rs 6,000 a month as a research assistant or research scholar. The maximum remuneration you can earn in these organisations is Rs 25,000 as per the present scale. However, this scale is currently under revision and the remuneration is likely to be increased by at least 20 per cent
In industries, you may have to start with a slightly lower salary but eventually you will earn much more than those in academic fields. You will begin with about Rs 8,000 - 12,000 a month. In senior positions, you could earn anywhere between Rs 30,000 - 70,000 a month.
Biochemistry is an essential part of Life Science or Bioscience. In the 21st century Life science is going to be very big. It will bring in enormous changes in the way we live, get medical care and take medicines. Prospects of newer ways of medical care, newer biological and healthcare products are plenty. We may buy an artificial tissue developed from stem cells to replace any damaged tissue in our body. A protein supplement taken once a day will provide all the proteins we need. We may see a genetically developed cow, which will produce more milk than a normal cow. Possibilities in the 21st Century are enormous.
Biological research and development of all these products will need Life Scientists in more numbers. So the prospects of all Life Scientists including Biochemists are definitely bright.
What makes a flower yellow or pink? How corn stalks grow taller? Do you want to be at the forefront of developing new drugs, foods with enhanced nutrition and crops that can fight off pests? Or simply create another Dolly? Then read on…
If you have been following the news closely, you've probably heard about a Scottish scientist cloning a sheep or about the tomatoes in your salad being genetically enhanced. Biotechnology, a combination of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering is at the center of these and other controversial innovations. It's a research-oriented field, with applications in various areas such as medicine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and environment.
Biotechnology is interdisciplinary, covering biomedical research, microbiology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering. It is the application of biology and genetics to produce substances useful to man.
Biotechnologists are involved in gene therapy, fertility control, improving food nutritional value, reducing pollution, increasing livestock productivity, the development of contraceptives, etc. Research confines a biotechnologist's main work to laboratories.
Branches in Biotechnology such as Microbiology and Biochemistry have contributed to the development of new drugs. Many biotechnology firms team up with pharmaceutical companies to investigate treatments for everything from the common cold to cancer.
Biotechnologists work in various fields. Some of these are:
Drug Discovery - These scientists employ expertise in molecular biology, cell biology, pharmacology, and today's hot biotechnologies like gene therapy or antigens to discover new drug molecules.
Receptor Biology - Scientists here employ knowledge of multiple disciplines like Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Bio-engineering, Molecular Biology, etc to research various exciting fields like protein engineering, drug delivery systems, etc.
Cell Biology - They carry on research in various new fields like Cell Therapy and Tissue Engineering. Cells are the engines and brains of many processes and the biologist who understands these new frontiers is a Cell Biologist.
Bio-informatics - As biotechnology or, precisely, genetics is mapping human genes, animals and plants, enormous amount of information is being generated. This information is about the nature and structure of the billions of genes that are being mapped. Bio-informatics specialists are combining knowledge of Structural Biology, Computational Chemistry, Mathematics and Information Technology to manage the huge information databases.
Bioprocess Engineerin g - Various products like alcohol, processed foods, vegetables, meat products, enzymes required in pharmaceutical formulations, etc. are manufactured by biological processes. There are scientists working in this area of bio-processing to solve manufacturing problems, developing new processes, and so on.
Biochemistry - Biochemists study the chemical make-up of living matter, as well as the molecular basis for the processes that occur in cells. They develop medical, agricultural, food science, pharmacological, industrial, environmental and other practical applications using their scientific expertise.
Microbiology - Microbiologists study the growth and characteristics of micro organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, molds and parasites, as well as their interactions with the environment. They develop industrial, medical and other practical applications.
Genetics - In this
field scientists conduct research into the biochemical and physiological
aspects of heredity, specialising in the examination of DNA.
They often concentrate on human genetics, which involves studying the biological basis for human variation and the causes of human genetic conditions. They are also directly involved in patient care, including prenatal diagnosis for genetic diseases and genetic counselling.
Sales and Marketing - Marketing and sales of bio-processed products need special skills. Not only marketing skills, but skills in understanding and interpreting biotechnology are also needed. There are many biotechnologists who are actually working in sales and marketing.
If you aspire to be a biotechnologist you need:
* Liking for Biology, even if you
have not studied it
* An inquisitive and innovative mind
* Interest in academics and perseverance
* Systematic and methodical approach
* Objective thinking
* Ability to concentrate for long hours
* Need to enjoy laboratory work
* Good communication skills - to be able to convey your ideas to engineers, marketing folk and lawyers. You'll be constantly asked to explain your findings orally or in writing.
* A keen desire to learn
Academically, you should have a qualification in Biotechnology or other fields like Bioscience, Medical science, Physics, Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Technology, Agricultural Science, Veterinary Science, Medical Biology, Bioprocess Engineering and other related fields.
Biotechnologists find job opportunities in:
* Various research organisations in the areas of bioscience and biotechnology under CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research) and other such research organisations. These organisations are under various Ministries of the Central and State Governments.
Some examples are: Center for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Institute of Microbial Technology, Central for Plant Biotechnology, Central Drug Research Institute, National Institute of Nutrition, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, National central for Biology Sciences, Potato Research Institute, Tobacco Research Institute, etc.
* You can even find opportunities in Nuclear and Atomic research centers, Space research centers and other research organisations like BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Center), ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), SPIC Science Foundations and others.
* You'll get ample research opportunities
in pharmaceutical companies, food processing companies, and other companies
involved in bioprocess technology. For e.g., Ranbaxy, Cadila, Wockhardt,
Pfizer, Dr. Reddy's Laboratory, Sun Pharmaceutical, Lupin Laboratories
Monsanto, Shanta Biotechniques, Proagro, Mahyco (Bioprocess Technology based companies); National Fertiliser Corporation, Cynamid (Agricultural industry companies),
Hindustan Lever, Parle Agro (Food Processing companies), etc.
* You can work in universities and colleges either as a faculty member or as a research fellow. There are many universities, which are involved in path-breaking research in the fields of Biological Sciences. Examples are Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indian Institute of Science, IITs, Jadavpur University, Delhi University, University of Hyderabad, Osmani University, Bharatidasan University, Madurai Kamaraj University, University of Mumbai, Banaras Hindu University and others.
* If you are not too keen on research and development, you can also find marketing opportunities in any one of the companies involved in the fields of pharmaceuticals, bioprocess technology, agriculture, food processing and other related fields.
* With a degree like B.Tech/ M.Tech you can get a job in the actual production process control operations in companies involved in bioprocess technology, agriculture industry and other related fields.
* It is also possible to find opportunities in quality control and analytical laboratories of the bio-process technology companies and other companies involved in related industries.
Research positions in a large-scale
biotech company: Rs 20,000 per month or more if you are a Ph.D.
With 3-4 years of post-Ph.D experience: Rs 25,000-30,000 a month plus other benefits.
Trainee in Research and development department (M. Sc.): Rs 8,000 per month.
M. Tech in biotechnology: Rs 16,000 - 20,000 a month (starting salary)
With a M.Sc., in bioprocess: Rs 6,000 - 10,000 per month.
If you join a university department/college after M.Sc. as a Research Fellow, you will get Rs 5,000 - 6,000 plus other benefits like HRA, Contingency allowance, etc. If you join as a Research Assistant, you will get about Rs 6,000 - 8,000 per month as the starting salary.
In a university/college after M.Sc. as a faculty member (Lecturer): Rs 12,000-13,000 a month.
A B.Sc. in Biotech/Microbiology/Biochemistry or any related subject can get a job as an assistant in the quality control/analyt ical department, with a starting salary of about Rs 4,000-6,000 a month.
If you are looking at sales and marketing you will be get Rs 4,000-8,000 plus travelling allowance and incentives.
After M.Sc., you will have to start with Rs 5,000 - 10,000 per month. After B. Tech/M.Tech you'll take home Rs 8,000-16,000 a month to begin with.
Good news for all you wanna be biotechnologists. This field happens to be the second fastest growing employment sector after Information Technology. It, therefore, offers good career opportunities for young people. The field of Biotechnology experienced explosive growth in the '90s as scientists began to make breakthrough after breakthrough in understanding cellular and molecular biological processes.
Today, scientists use fermentation and crossbreeding -
the same techniques used for hundreds of years to ferment beer and crossbreed
plants to manipulate existing materials and genetically alter them. One example
of this is xeno-transplantation, which uses organs from animals such as pigs,
and genetically modifies them so they can be used in human transplants.
Thus, both biotech and pharmaceutical companies will continue to hire workers.
With a postgraduate qualification in biotechnology you can be employed in leading pharmaceutical companies, chemical industries, as well as agricultural and allied industries.
Biotechnologists are also employed in the areas of planning, production and management of bio-processing industries, organic chemical industries, and in pollution control activities of major industries. Moreover, you can be employed on a large scale in research laboratories run by the government as well as the corporate sector.
You could be at the forefront of solving some of the most significant problems we face today, such as world hunger and malnutrition. Whether, it is the colour of a flower or a fruit that can deliver immunisation, as a biotechnologist you can offer efficient ways to get those results.
What about studying how rainbow is formed? What about studying rainfalls and formation of hurricanes? Are you interested in learning that all the land mass of earth are in continuous motion? Do you know there was only one vast land mass on the earth millions of years ago? Would you like to study arctic environment where temperature is always below -40 degree Celsius? Interested? Read more.
Geographers study the earth. They study constituents of earth, nature of land mass, its atmosphere and inhabitants. They are involved in the study of various regions of earth and the difference in climate across earth. They study the characteristics of the land in different regions of the world and the principals of land and ocean development. They also study earth's resources like minerals and water, distribution of resources over region, and its utilisation. They also study human and animal population across the earth and their characteristics.
Geographers study the climatic conditions in different regions of the world and its effect on the natural resources and development of human civilization, plant and animals. They study local weather conditions and the seasonal progression. They are involved in global monitoring of environment and weather forecasting.
Geographers are involved in land surveying and drawing of maps. Drawing of maps is a very complicated and precision work. You can in fact specialise in the area of map drawing called cartography.
Geographers are involved in study of the various natural and climatic phenomenon like rain, storm, cyclone, and earthquake. They study volcano, development of mountains, the ocean and other such earth bodies.
As a geographer, you can also get into urban and regional planning and development, housing development, town planning, transport planning, environmental planning and monitoring.
Geographers these days use a range of technologies and sophisticated devices in study. For example, then use Geographic Information Systems, Remote sensing, Spectrographic imaging devices, and Synthetic aperture radar for studying formation of rain clouds, movement of storm, environmental pollution, and even tectonic movements (movement of continent).
Remote sensing is the technology of taking images of the earth from satellites. Remote sensing involves visual analysis and interpretation of photographic and non-photographic data, such as photographic, thermal and infrared images. Remotely sensed data is now the main source of mapping and geographic information system. Remote sensing is used for collection of earth observation data, monitoring of global climate, monitoring environmental changes, studies of volcanoes, observation of wildlife population, and other related areas.
You can specialise in various fields of Geography like Economic Geography, Cultural Geography, Environment Control, Political Geography, and Natural Resources. You can also specialise in Cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Geomorphology, Meteorology, Climatology, Remote sensing, and other related areas.
A lot of field work is involved in Geography related professions. Apart from researching in laboratories, you will need to visit various locations to study climate, nature of land, natural resources, etc. You may work in processing and analysing of GIS data on hi-tech computer terminals.
As per your specialisation, you will find work as a Cartographer, Climatologist, Research scientist, Environmental analyst, GIS specialist, Urban planner, Regional Planner, Population scientist, Resource analyst, Remote sensing specialist, etc.
You should have a keen interest in pursuit of knowledge about the physical environment you live in. You should be very inquisitive in nature with strong analytical skills. Geography is mainly a research oriented career. So, you should be prepared for a long academic career. You should have a lot of patience and perseverance. You should be very hard working.
Educational qualifications wise,
you need to have at least an MA/M.Sc. in Geography. After post graduation, you
can do a Master's degree in Planning/ Remote Sensing/ GIS (M.Tech level
courses) if you have Mathematics as a subject in your BA/ B. Sc. You can also
specialise in Population Science or Population Studies after your post
As in case of other academic careers, you will do well if you armed with a Ph.D.
You will find jobs in:
University departments and colleges
Research organisations like National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad and National Institute of Oceanography, Goa
Government Ministries and departments like Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Urban development and autonomous organisations under them
Pollution control boards
Municipal and urban development corporations
Housing developmental corporations
Money & Other Benefits
In university departments and colleges you will begin with about Rs 12000- 14000 a month and can earn a maximum of Rs 25000 a month as par the present salary level. In Government jobs, you will get about Rs 10000 a month in the beginning. In these organisations also, you can earn a maximum of Rs 25000 a month. NGOs generally pay you less. You can expect to earn about Rs 6000 a month.
Some exciting opportunities for Geographers are coming up in the area of IT-enabled services, viz., Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Moreover, if you specialise in fields like Planning, Remote sensing, Populations studies, Cartography, etc., you can expect to get very good job opportunities. It would be a good idea to do your higher studies like Ph.D or Post-doctoral fellowships from Universities in UK or USA. Research opportunities and the scopes of specialist are very promising in these countries.
Did your mother always scold you for playing too much in the dirt? Do you enjoy collecting stones? Are you fascinated by natural phenomenon like earthquakes and volcanoes? Why don't you become a geologist then? Who knows, you might even figure in Discovery or National Geographic channel. So let's find out how you can understand mother earth better.
study of earth's history, composition and structure is what geology is all
about. You will explore deserts, oceans, mountains, etc. and understand its
nature. You will go in to the field, collect samples, analyse it in a
laboratory and predict about the nature of earth and its constituents. Your
projects will take you far and wide and into some of the most inhospitable
terrains on earth.
As a geologist you can specialise in any of the following areas:
Mineralogy - You will
take soil samples and test it for various minerals. You will estimate the
quality and quantity of minerals like coal, calcium, sodium, etc.
Petrology - Here you will hunt for that elusive black gold (oil). If you hit the jackpot not only you and your company but your country too would reap the benefits of your discovery for generations.
Hydrology - This deals with the study of water resources. You will hunt for underground sources of water and study existing ones. This will have the most direct impact on human beings.
Palaeontology - You will hunt for dinosaur bones and other creatures that are now extinct. You will make up scenarios, as to how the earth was when these animals were around and what led to their extinction.
Structural Geology - This involves testing the soil to determine the feasibility of undertaking proje cts such as dams, bridges, etc.
Geochemistry - This is concerned with the chemistry of earth's materials. You will use principles of chemistry to research the earth's chemical composition. You will also determine the chemical characteristics of minerals and fossil fuels like coal, gas, oil, etc.
Geophysics - Here you will apply principles of physics to research and study earth's gravitation and electro-magnetic field.
Marine Geology - Here you
will research and study the ocean bed and ocean-continent interactions.
Seismology - You will study everything about earthquakes - analyse their behaviour and interpret data to forecast earthquakes.
You could also specialise in areas such as environmental geology and geomorphology (study of the origin of landforms) and historical geology (study of rock layers and sedimentation)
spatial and three dimensional form perception
Ability to enjoy exploration and outdoor work
Aptitude for accurate details
Good data collection and comparison skills
Physical stamina and manual dexterity
Additionally, you need to have good mathematical, analytical and observational skills. You should be able to adapt to any working condition. One day you could be in a super specialised laboratory using the latest equipment and the next day you could be digging the dirt with a shovel. Besides this you need to exhibit drive, initiative and leadership qualities while leading expeditions. Ability to work in a team is also essential as no geologist works in isolation.
universities in the country offer both graduate and post graduate courses in
geology. At the master's level, you can specialise in Geophysics, Applied
Geology, Mineralogy, Mineral Processing, Petroleum Engineering, Geotechnology,
Natural Resources, Marine Geophysics, Marine Geology, etc.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur offers a five-year integrated course in Exploration Geophysics after class 12. If you have already cleared your B. Tech./B.E./M.Sc. then you can do your M. Tech. in Geology or Geophysics.
The biggest employer is the government of India. You can become a surveyor with the Geological Survey of India (GSI) through the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) examination. The examination consists of five papers: including English (1), hydrogeology (1) and geology (3). If you specialise in a particular area, you could work for organisations like ONGC, Coal India, etc. Similar opening also exists in the Central Ground Water Board.
could also gain employment with the Indian space and research organisation,
lending your expertise in their remote sensing projects
Geology offers ample scope for academic research. Centre for Earth Studies National Institute of Hydrology, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology recruit geologists for research as well as teaching positions. Of course at this level you require a doctoral degree in geology. There are openings in the private sector as consultants. But these are few and far between.
A new field that you can branch into is Geological Software Development. This deals with computer programming to recreate the various geological processes on a computer.
Money & Other Benefits
You can expect to make around Rs 10,000 - 12,000 as a
Surveyor in any government organisation. Salaries in research positions also
fall in the same range. Geologists, involved in exploration work get between Rs
15,000-20,000 a month.
If you are working for an MNC as consultant on an oil-rig you could make as much as $ 500-600. And that's for just an hour of work!
Remote Sensing Analysis is also a high paying job and you can make up to Rs 45,000-60,000 per project
Geological Software Developers get a starting salary of around Rs 15,000 which can work its way up to as much as Rs 50,000 a month.
Research opportunities are also pretty good. After your M.Sc, you can either get a job with a salary of about Rs 6,500 per month or a research scholarship for Rs 5,000-6,000 per month. After your Ph.D, you can get about Rs 8,000-12,000 per month. The salaries are in the same range in academic jobs.
As far as government jobs are concerned these have remained relatively stable. Major infrastructure projects that were envisaged with foreign investment have really not materilised. Oil exploration is without doubt the biggest money-spinner. So far exploration of minerals and oil sector has been under government control with only limited international participation. If restrictions are lifted, it would be a goldmine for geologists in India.
With increasing concern for the environment, environmental geology is already growing in the west. However, remote sensing analysis and geological software development present the maximum scope of a job abroad and are amongst the highest paying. But it can't beat the sense of satisfaction on locating an underground well in a village with no water supply!
Water-the life giver. It was water that made the earth habitable and sustainable. In fact the first organisms were born in water. Come to think of it over 70 per cent of the earth is covered with water. We have landed on the moon but we have yet to put a man on the bottom of the deepest ocean. So how would you like to be known as a water baby?
Oceanography is the science of oceans. You will be studying about the oceans. In India with its coastline, stretching to over 6,500 kms this is an untapped goldmine. Your job will involve surveying and charting coastal waters and continental shelves. This means that you will be drawing an underwater map of the coastline, which will help fishermen and giant ships alike to navigate through the seas.
Besides, you will also forecast the weather, maintain and decipher marine date, and research the geography of the underwater world. You will collect samples, use delicate and sophisticated equipment and analyse data. This information will be used to dig up oil and other mineral sources. You will also research different aspects of marine life and their eco systems. You will utilise your skills to determine how best the resources of the sea can be utilised in areas such as food production.
You could also focus your research on environmental issues such as dumping toxic chemicals in the sea or even become an underwater explorer a la Jacques Cousteau. In short, you will be one with the sea - finding and discovering more about her.
It goes without saying that you should be devoid of seasickness! Oceanographers usually spend around six to eight months a year on board vessels. So it's definitely not a nine to five job. You need to be an adventurous person in love with nature and the environment. You also need to be patient. This is a research-oriented job and sometimes it can get quite monotonous.
You cannot however let go of your
concentration. Time and tide wait for no man and so you will have to do your
job come hell or high water or even the occasional cyclone! You need to be a
good observer, detail oriented and a team player.
You can do your B.Sc in Marine Biology and then go on and do your Master's or Doctorate. You can also jump into the master's or doctorate programme by doing your B.Sc or M.Sc in any other science stream. You could specialise in areas such as Marine Geology, Marine Biology, Chemical Oceanography, Physical Oceanography, Metrology, etc. You will learn things like composition and quality of water, the surface and subsurface characteristics of coastal regions. You will also study the life process of marine animals.
Oceanographers are employed in a
wide spectrum of areas by companies involved in oil and mineral exploration,
fishery houses, etc. You will work in their research and development wings.
Similar opening exist in public sector undertaking like ONGC, etc Governmental bodies like the Geological Survey of India and Meteorological Survey of India also employ oceanographers as does the Indian Navy and Coast Guard. You also have the option of branching into related fields like oil and marine engineering.
Then there are institutes like the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa. You could teach here as well as develop training programmes for students and professionals alike. You could also take part in the numerous research studies undertaken by the institute.
Money & Other Benefits
Usually you will start with a stipend of around Rs 2000 per month. With experience, the pay scales in government organisations rise to around Rs 10,000-2,000 and work its way up to Rs 18,000 a month. The private sector companies offer better monetary benefits. One of the added advantages of this business is that you get to travel a lot over water and underwater as well! Your research projects could take you to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. You will get to see Mother Nature in all its beauty. This is one thing that you simply cannot put a price tag on.
This industry has been relatively stagnant over the
last few decades. But there are signs of growth. One of the biggest demands for
oceanographers is for the search of oil. Privatisation of this sector would
give this industry a big fillip. The onset of globalisation and the demand for
power has meant that this sector too is set to fall from the monopoly of the
Another major area that is gaining importance worldwide is marine environment. Increased importance is being given to developing methods of solving pollution problems near-the-shore waters due to increasing population and industrial waste. Although this has not really caught on in India, there are many opportunities abroad.
Also with terrestrial resources diminishing by the day industries are increasingly looking towards the world water reservoirs to fulfil their needs. In countries like Japan for instance a lot of importance is being given to harness the seas as a source of food by developing aqua-farms etc.
You could be a Mathematician if...
· you know that your telephone number is the sum of two prime numbers
· you comment to your girlfriend that her straight hair is nice and parallel.
If number crunching is your favourite past time a new and exciting career awaits you - that of a Mathematician.
Mathematicians give us the logic to understand the forms, objects, forces and energy that we see everyday. They specialize in different branches such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, trigonometry, etc.
Your job will be to use mathematics as a tool to solve practical and theoretical problems in business, defence, science, engineering and others.
Mathematics as a subject used to be only of theoretical importance for a long time. But with the complexities in Applied Science and Technology increasing, the applications of Mathematics are finding new areas. For example, Computer Science, System Automation, Biotechnology, and Geology. Mathematicians are not only involved in theoretical research but are also engaged in finding out ways of application in the industrial sector.
An eye for detail and a love for study and experimentation are essential for those taking up natural and mathematical sciences
You should love crunching numbers and
theories with a strong ability to solve complex analytical problems
You should have a significantly above average abstract reasoning skill
You should be very strong in all areas of Mathematics like Algebra, Geometry, Calculus and others
For entry into this field you need to have a degree in Mathematics or a B.Sc. in Pure Science or B.E / B.Tech with a strong aptitude for Mathematics. Then you could specialise in various fields like Computer Applications, Operations Research, Industrial Mathematics and Informatics, Computer Science, Statistics, Information Technology, Electronics, etc
After a Master's degree in Mathematics or an integrated Doctoral fellowship in Mathematics you could do a Post Doctoral Fellowship. To be into research, a Ph.D is a must.
After a Master's degree you can also get into research in the areas of Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, System Science, Operational Research, Automation, Astronomy, etc. You can also get into various social sciences research like in Management, Developmental Studies, etc.
Jobs are available in:
University departments, colleges, and other educational institutions as faculty members/ lecturers
Mathematical Research institutions like Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Institute of Mathematical Science, etc.
Other research and development organisations in the field of Applied Science like Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Scientific Research at Bangalore.
Information technology companies specially those, which are developing application and system software to be used in scientific research and technology development, industrial automation software, etc.
Large-scale manufacturing companies in their operational research and quality Control departments.
Mathematicians are needed in such areas as operations research, statistics, computer science, applied mathematical physics and actuarial science.
Other industries that employ mathematicians include AeroSpace, Oil, Electrical Manufacturing, Communications, Data Processing and Insurance.
Money & Other Benefits
In university and research organizations: Rs.12, 000 per month (starting salary after Ph.D.)
School teachers: Rs 6,000 a month to start with.
In a software firm after M.Sc: Rs 8,000-16,000 or more.
In other industries: Rs 8,000-16,000 or more depending on your qualifications and aptitudes.
The merging of mathematics with Biology, Medicine, Management and Social Sciences - particularly Economics and Psychology has resulted in the emergence of new interdisciplinary professions in which mathematicians play a central role. This provides an opportunity to combine mathematical training with another disciplines. Some examples of these interdisciplinary disciplines are Informatics, Bioinformatics, etc.
Rapid developments in the field of computer science has thrown in exciting opportunities for mathematicians in various fields like Computer Science, System Science, Quality control, etc.
The newly emerging online education field, which, according to the industry pundits, is going to be the largest industry segment in the area of Information Technology will need a number of mathematicians as faculty members and educational consultant.
Apart from these exciting fields there are opportunities in pure mathematical research areas like algebraic geometry, number theory, Topology, Commutative Algebra, etc.
Are you an expert at reading all those charts and graphs shown during cricket matches? Are you among the select few who actually like number crunching? If your answer is yes then we have just the right career for you. Come, be a statistician.
Statistics is all about data analysis. Its objective is to draw a meaning and interpretation out of stacks of numerical data on facts and events. A statistician's job is also to make these conclusions simple enough for the layman to understand.
A statistician's task involves the
Designing research or study methodologies
You might be required to forecast Indian population in the next 15 years. For this you will first need to decide which among the numerous statistical models is best suited for this job. You may also need to modify and customise it for the work at hand.
Determining the sample size
If you are required to find out the average height of Indians, obviously you cannot measure the height of each and every Indian! You will have to determine the size and structure of a small group called the sample, which is a true representative of the entire population.
Surveying or data collection
This is the actual legwork that you will have to do to collect data.
You will now have to sit down and categorise the data on various factors like sex, age, etc.
Analysis and interpretation
Now that the data has been properly categorised you will use various mathematical and statistical formulas to compute and obtain results.
Presentation of data
Once the data is analysed and interpreted, you should be able to present it in a manner such that it is easy to understand. You can use a variety of tools such as bar graphs, pie charts, etc. to display your conclusions.
Statisticians specialise in various areas according to the work they get involved in. These include:
Biostatistics & Health
Here you will use your skills in health science research, finding out efficacy of a drug, cost-benefit analysis of a method of treatment, analysis of rate of death for a particular disease, etc.
In this you will be involved in mathematical research involving computations and derivation.
Operations Research is used to find out the optimum usage of resources to gain maximum output. Areas such as process engineering and management, industrial operation design, etc. use operations research.
Statistical Quality Control
This is the application of statistical methods in maintaining quality of products, processes, and services. You will statistically find out for instance whether a batch of television sets is free of manufacturing defects.
Quantitative Economics is the specialised application of theories of statistics in the analysis of economic trends, economic planning, financial analysis and related fields.
Applied Statistics is the use of statistical analysis in various areas like engineering, agriculture, meteorology, social science research, marketing research, etc.
As a statistician you will be working in close coordination with researchers in different fields, business managers and even government officials during projects. Most of your work will be desk bound except if you are actively involved in data collection. Most often than not you will be using computers and advanced statistical and mathematical software for data processing, analysis, and interpretation.
You need to have:
Love and enjoy Mathematics
Love to work with numbers and mathematical theories
Strong ability to solve complex problems
Strong analytical skill
Comfortable with the same routine work day-in-and-day out
As far as academics are concerned, you would do well to begin with a Bachelor's degree in Statistics. You can do a B.Sc with a major in Statistics or even better than that would be a B.Stat (Bachelor of Statistics) from ISI (Indian Statistical Institute).
You can then better your prospects by pursuing an M. Stat/ M. Sc in Statistics.
If you have completed your B. Sc. in Mathematics, you can do M. Sc. in Mathematical Statistics, Operations Research or an MS in Quantitative Economics or even your M. Stat
If you have a Bachelor degree in Economics or Physics then you can do a M.S in Quantitative Economics.
After a Bachelor degree in Engineering or Technology, you have the option of pursuing an M.Tech in Quality, Reliability and Operations Research or a postgraduate diploma in Statistical Quality Control.
As a statistician, you can work with:
Market Research organizations like ORG-MARG, MODE, AC Nielson
Economic and social Research organization
like the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, National Council of Applied
Economic Research, etc.
Indian Statistical Service - a service of the Government of India and other Government Departments like Ministry of Commerce, Directorate of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics, etc.
Corporate organisations where you will be involved in quality control, market research, business forecasting, operations research and other related operations.
As faculty in University Departments
In research organisations in various fields like those under ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) or ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research).
Money & Other Benefits
Market Research organizations: Starting salaries are in the range of Rs 8,000 - 12,000 a month and can go up to Rs 40,000-60,000 a month.
Economic and social research organization: Beginning from Rs 6,000 - 10,000 a month can go up to Rs 30,000 - 40,000 a month.
Indian Statistical Service: Starting salaries are better here, in the range of Rs 10,000 a month. However at the maximum you can earn only Rs 25,000 a month. In other government departments it's in the range of Rs 6,000 - 7,000 a month in the beginning and can go up to Rs 25,000 a month.
Corporate organisations: In the beginning it will be Rs. 8,000 - 12,000 a month. Senior statisticians could earn upto Rs. 40,000 - 60,000 a month.
University Departments: You will earn Rs. 12,000 in the beginning which can go up to Rs. 25,000 a month at the senior most scale.
In research organisations your pay varies a lot. Starting pay will be between Rs. 5,000 - 12,000 a month in the beginning depending on the type of organization.
Statistics has a wide range of applications. In fact, it is difficult to say which fields do not have applications of Statistics. Agriculture, Business Management, Biotechnology, Economics, Education, Sociology, Medical Science, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Market research, Meteorology, Public services, Government policy making, are a few examples of fields that require statisticians.
Among graduates with a bachelor's degree in statistics, those with a background in fields, such as finance, engineering, or computer science, should have the best job prospects.
Manufacturing firms like those in the pharmaceutical industry will require statisticians at the master's and doctoral degree levels for quality control.
Do you look up the sky and say to yourself, "I wonder what's out there?" Does the Jantar Mantar fascinate you? Do you look up to Galileo, Aryabhatta and Arthur C Clarke. Are you an avid Star Trek fan? If you are star struck (not the Bollywood type!) then welcome to the world of Astronomy where space is the final frontier
You will be looking up to the heavens. How's that for a living? Astronomy is in fact all about the study of heavenly bodies. You will try to discover new planets, stars in our own solar system as well as those in galaxies millions of light years away. You will try to find out peculiarities of these bodies and come up with theories to explain them. You will also study the behavior of comets and asteroids and hopefully warn earth of any impending disaster!
You will not only use optical telescopes both land and space based like the Hubble space telescope but also use giant radio telescopes (these look more like the common cable dish antenna!)
As an astronomer, your expertise will also be sought while planning space missions like the Apollo Mission to the Moon and the Viking Mission to Mars. Who knows you could even be space walking outside the International Space Station once its is completed!
Besides these, you can also focus your attention towards S.E.T.I. That stands for Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence - to put it plainly aliens from outer space. No, this is not about being Fox Mulder chasing little green men. Looking out for life beyond earth includes the search of fossilised microorganisms on Mars and algae in the oceans of Europa - one of Jupiters 12 moons. A pretty dignified occupation indeed!
You got to be genuinely interested in stars and planets. And by that it means not just the usual 'Oh the moon looks so beautiful tonight' kind of interest. This is one subject the textbook of which is open right over your head every night. You need good powers of observation and concentration. You also need good analytical and mathematical skills to decipher all the data before you can proclaim that the world is about to end. Imagine the consequences if you got that calculation wrong! You will be required to travel and stay in remote locations to record activities like eclipses and meteor showers. The stay might not be very comfortable and so you must have the ability to rough it out. Education wise you need a B.Sc in Physics/Mathematics/Computer Science or B.E./B.Tech. in related disciplines to be eligible for the master's course in Astronomy. You can also complete your master's programme in the above subjects and then apply for a P.h.D programme in Observational Astronomy, Astrophysics or Space Sciences. The Introductory Summer School at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune gives you an excellent opportunity to find out if you are cut out for this job. You can enroll for this one month programme in the first year of your master's course/ 3rd year of engineering. In this course a series of lectures, workshops and field trips are organised through which you will be acquainted with the basics of astronomy and astrophysics.
You will be working mainly for government agencies like ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), The Department of Science and Technology and institutions like the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), etc. Depending on your qualifications, experience and expertise you could be working on various projects that these establishments are involved in. Getting an entry into the field is not much of a problem. The number of seats for various courses in this field are limited and most often then not you will end up assisting your professors in their projects. Teaching thus goes hand in hand with research in this field. Then there is the mother of all establishments as far as astronomy is concerned. NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) USA, looks very favorably towards India when it comes to scientists and experts. If you do your master's or doctoral studies in prestigious US colleges, you sure can walk straight into NASA. But more often than not your experience in a particular area of specialisation will help you. Even after retirement, you could work in a planetarium or a science centre trying to make this complicated science easier for kids. You could even author books be it fact or fiction. Who knows you can even pen 'Star Trek - The Indian Generation'!
Money & Other Benefits
There is enough money for a decent living but you cannot dream to be a Bill Gates or a Richard Ellison. The average starting salary in this field is around Rs 7,000-8,000, which can grow with experience. Teaching jobs pay you better in the range of Rs 13,000-15,000. Accommodation and traveling allowances are among the additional benefits that you can avail of.
You should take up Astronomy only if it is your passion. Most organisations are government funded and so you will have a tough time obtaining grants to research your projects. Space exploration remains a costly affair and many in the corridors power still remain skeptical of its value.
The Internet has been a big boon for astronomers. You can for instance hire a radio telescope in New Mexico, point it to the area of the sky that you wish to survey and gather its readings all via the Internet. Then of course there is the plus point of having a star or a comet named after you and your name being immortalised till the heavens fall apart.
Can you imagine life without table salt, detergent and toilet soap! Not really. These products, which we take for granted have been made possible only by chemical technology. A number of the everyday products, depend either directly or indirectly on chemical technology. In fact eeverything in the environment, whether natural or man-made is composed of chemicals. Chemistry offers a wide field for study and work. Let's explore options within the field of chemistry.
Large number of industries depends on chemicals. For instance the drugs industry, food industry (chemicals are used as colouring, flavouring and preserving agents), the petrochemical industry (the largest producer of primary organic chemicals), the plastic and synthetic materials industry (used for manufacture of a wide range of finished products), the soap, cosmetics and cleaning agents industry, paints, coatings and allied products industry and the agrochemicals industry which manufactures fertilisers and pesticides are all dependent on chemicals.
Chemist may work in any of the
following sub fields of specialisation:
Analytical Chemists are engaged in conducting chemical analysis of inorganic and organic samples to ascertain their composition, reaction and properties. They report their findings to medical or other authorities and conduct statistical analysis.
Organic Chemists work with organic carbon compounds and specialise in petroleum, dyes, rubber, alcohol, oils, natural fats, organic acids, pesticides, organic compounds and their polymerisation and precipitate products which include plastics and soaps.
Inorganic Chemists work with metals, acids, salts and gases. You can specialise in production of acids, salts, minerals, metals, etc.
Physical Chemists work with metals, ores, gases, and different chemical elements and compounds to ascertain their physical and chemical properties, radioactivity, structures, atomic and molecular weights, etc. You can specialise in electrochemistry, thermodynamics, chromatography, etc.
Industrial Chemists are primarily engaged in testing samples from production lines.
Biochemist - The action of chemicals, both as a part of chemical reaction and its effect on living systems, is the concern of the Biochemist.
You can also specialise in other related specialisations such as polymers, foods, rubber, paints, petroleum and so on.
Research chemists investigate properties, composition, and structure of matter and the laws that govern the combination of elements and reactions of substances.
Chemists are also engaged in developing processes that save energy and reduce pollution, such as improved oil refining and petrochemical processing methods. Research on the chemistry of living things result in progress in field like medicine, agriculture, food processing, and other fields. Chemical scientists also work in a variety of manufacturing industries such as electronics, photographic equipment, and pulp and paper mills.
Chemical research has led to the discovery and development of new and improved synthetic fibre, paints, adhesives, drugs, cosmetics, electronic components, lubricants, and thousands of other products.
Chemists engaged in research and development work with computers and a wide variety of sophisticated laboratory instruments. They test large quantities of chemical compounds simultaneously in order to find compounds with desired properties.
Chemists, involved in the field of applied research and development, create new products and processes or improve existing ones. For example, synthetic rubber and plastics was discovered from research on small molecules uniting to form large ones, a process called polymerisation.
The production and quality control departments in chemical manufacturing plants recruit Chemists. They devise the entire production process for plant workers that specify ingredients, mixing times, and temperatures for each stage in the process. They also look into improving methods of production, maximizing product yield, testing samples of raw materials or finished products to ensure they meet industry and government standards, including the regulations governing pollution.
Chemists involved in production are often exposed poisonous chemicals. But there is little risk if proper procedures are followed. The work hours are pretty regular for chemists in offices as well as laboratories. Research chemists spend most of their time in laboratories. However they also do theoretical research or plan, record and report on their laboratory research which involves office work.
If you plan on taking chemistry, as
a subject for higher studies you need a strong grounding in the subject. For
scientific work and study you require an above average mental ability, good
grasp of scientific concepts, a consistent and above average academic record,
analytical mind, interest in pursuing studies far beyond graduation,
perseverance, hard work and a curious bent of mind. As research and development
chemists are expected to work with interdisciplinary teams, some understanding
of business, marketing and economics, will be handy Good oral and written
communication skills will also help.
Professional reading can be significant in this profession, as discoveries can change the understanding of the physical systems that are critical to this profession.
A bachelor's degree in chemistry will get you an entry-level job in this field.
However, if it is research that you are aiming at then you should stop at nothing less than a Ph.D.
Graduates can specialise in a sub-field of chemistry, such as analytical chemistry or polymer chemistry, depending on your interests and the kind of work they wish to do. For example, those interested in drug research in the pharmaceutical industry need to develop a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry. Graduates can also pursue pure sciences.
Chemistry graduates interested in the applied sector may choose from a variety of options like industrial chemistry, sugar technology, food technology, medical lab technology, pharmaceutical chemistry, paper and pulp technology, process instrumentation, textile chemicals, oils, paints, fine chemicals, dyes and intermediates, industrial polymer chemistry, etc.
In government or industry, beginners with bachelor's degrees work in quality control, analytical testing, or assist senior chemists in research and development laboratories.
The best qualification would be a Ph.D. or at least a master's degree for basic and applied research. Ph.D. holders are the most likely to be promoted to administrative positions.
Environmental studies are another upcoming field. For that you need to take courses in environmental studies and become familiar with current legislation and regulations. Knowledge of computers is essential, as employers are looking for applicants who can apply computer skills to modelling and simulation tasks and operate computerised laboratory equipment.
The field of chemistry offers both
production and non-production jobs. Production work requires handling of raw
material and managing the production process as well as operating highly technical
Non-production jobs have professional specialists, technical and managerial staff, marketing and administrative personnel.
Non-production jobs - The chemical industry has executive, managerial, and administrative positions. Workers in sales and marketing departments promote the sales of chemicals and chemical products. They work with research and development chemists and engineers to help them develop new products. They also create marketing plans and inform customers about the company products and services.
Chemists can work in the following fields:
* Graduate/postgraduates in
chemistry can work in industries manufacturing textiles, petroleum products,
rubber, tyre, plastics, agricultural products, papers, pharmaceutical, food, fertilizers,
paints, cement and even in cosmetic and other aromatic product manufacturing
industries. Jobs are mainly in their analytical process laboratories and
quality control laboratories. One can also get involved in product development
or basic developmental research in these companies.
* The electronic, paper and pulp, metal, cement and aerospace industries also offer employment opportunities.
* Chemical scientists also find opportunity for work in water treatment, sanitary
and sewage treatment plants.
* Food chemistry and technology incorporates the work chemists do in food flavouring, pet foods and food preservatives. These are the developing areas for research and production.
* Postgraduates/graduates from the
field of chemistry work in sales, marketing and management, patent and product
liability law, chemicals business market research and public policy. Those with
a Ph D are encountered in research labs.
* Army recruits women candidates for the Army Service Corps as Food scientists. Candidates are required to have a post graduate degree in organic chemistry/biochemistry of foods. Graduates in chemistry are enrolled for the Army Ordinance Corps.
* Chemists and chemical engineers are employed in consultancy firms to provide specialist guidance in areas related to their research specialty.
* Chemistry researchers work in museums in art conservation and restoration, carbon-dating and in analysing the genuineness of artifacts through chemical procedures.
* Forensic chemists work in forensic laboratories for crime detection.
*Toxicologists are chemists studying the harmful influence of chemicals on biological systems. They find work in research organisations and University departments.
* Many chemists find opportunities in University departments in teaching and research jobs.
Money & Other Benefits
For starters, the pay check may
vary from anything between Rs 4,500 - 10,000 a month.
MNCs offer good pay-checks, ranging between Rs 20, 000 to nearly Rs 50,000 a month for people with brilliant academics, teamed with a good track record on the job.
Freelancing is another way of earning the big bucks. Usually, small scale Indian companies approach you with projects for which you have to come up with viable solutions not only on paper but practically as well. But for getting freelancing jobs, you need to have good industrial experience.
Chemists, employed by colleges and universities as lecturers, begin at Rs 12,000 a month.
As a consultant you could easily earn Rs 1,00,000 upward from the commencement of your project till the day it is actually realised.
Research and development is one of
the most sought after and prospective career avenue for a chemist. It could be
in any of the several industries like textiles, food industry, pharmaceutical,
fertiliser, paint or cosmetic industry. In near future, most of the career
opportunities will come from Pharmaceutical and Bioprocess industry like Food
Chemists will also find increasing opportunities in diverse fields like Biotechnology, Leather processing, Sugar technology, Plastic engineering, Pulp and paper technology, Oceanography and other related fields.
With the manufacture and use of almost 50,000 different chemical substances, chemical scientists have a challenging future.
Would you like to be involved in making India's atom bombs? Or how about creating a power plant that does not need to be refueled for 15 years? Or maybe you'd like to come up with a 100 per cent effective treatment for cancer? As a nuclear physicist you can do these and much more.
Nuclear physicists study the smallest particles known to man - atoms and their component sub atomic particles. You will be carrying out research to find out more about them. This could mean small laboratory experiments or colliding single atoms in giant accelerators tens of miles in diameter. If you think you are going to be cooped in a small lab, think again. Your work may even take you on orbiting space stations to study effects of lack of gravity on atoms.
This is just the pure research aspect of nuclear physicists. There is also a practical side to them. You will be involved in the development of nuclear reactors. Here it will be your theories and calculations that will be put to test by the engineers and other technicians. You will coordinate and supervise the construction of the reactors. From time to time you will be required to develop new equipment and processes to make the nuclear power plant more effective and safer.
In a nuclear research facility you could be involved in numerous projects. You could for instance be responsible for upgrading the radioactive material to weapons grade levels so that it can be made into a nuclear bomb. You could be testing out new isotopes (basic elements whose nuclei have been modified) to see whether they are effective against a particular form of cancer.
Then there are the other applications of nuclear processes like carbon dating, nuclear irradiation etc. You will be making a lot of use of Mathematics as well as computers. Most of the times the environment you will be working will be potentially hazardous. Safety becomes a very immediate concern and most often than not you will be wearing protective clothing and using robots and other mechanical devices to get the risky jobs done.
Good research, problem-solving and
Good written and oral communication skills
Sound knowledge of computers
A love for study and experimentation
Above average abstract reasoning skill
Nuclear physicists should have some technical ability, because often they must build and adapt their own equipment. Good planning and organisational skills are just as important as is an eye for detail. You must be self-motivated, accurate, patient and dedicated, as you may need to spend long hours observing the results of experiments. You also need to be creative and imaginative.
For entry into this field, you will
require a BE/BTech/ME/MTech in any of the following subjects:
Mechanical, Chemical, civil, metallurgy, electrical, computers, instrumentation, engineering physics.
Alternatively, you could also go in for MSc in physics, chemistry, applied physics, medical physics, biomedical science, environmental science or radiation.s
Even professional with MBBS degrees can enter this field.
As a nuclear physicist, you will be employed in:
Government research organisations such as the BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, and other research centres under Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India.
Defence Research organisations like DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation)
Colleges and universities
Nuclear medicine departments of hospitals, medical research organisations and pharmaceutical companies
Nuclear power companies like Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. and organisations involved in nuclear fuel and raw materials like Uranium Corporation of India Ltd., Heavy Water Board and Indian Rare Earths Limited.
Money & Other Benefits
Government jobs pay you in the range of Rs 12,000 - 16,000. With experience and successful projects under your belt it could reach up Rs 22,000 - 24,000. After your MSc, if you join in as a teacher, you will be paid about Rs 12,000 - 14,000 a month. Jobs in private firms are marginally higher but they usually equire some amount of work experience.
The outlook for nuclear physicists
looks average, and employment numbers are likely to remain stable over the next
two to three years. However, there are some good employment opportunities for
physics graduates abroad. NASA's famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a strong
liking for Indian Physicists and one of the major projects in progress is the
development of nuclear powered space vehicles. Most students who pursue
postgraduate studies in Nuclear physics abroad are usually absorbed by the
local industry and government agencies.
Do you want to research to develop a membrane that will produce pure oxygen which could be used eventually to generate enough electricity to drive cars with much less pollution and cost? Or may be develop chemical sensors that can detect chemicals in the air or water, which will then serve as a warning system for poisonous or flammable gases. Then you got to be a Physicist…
A branch of the physical sciences, physics is the study of energy and the behaviour of single atoms and their component pieces. Physicists consider themselves the most fundamental of scientists, for they are the ones who examine the basic laws of nature. They study what happens when atoms and subatomic particles break down and assemble, how they react to collisions with each other.
Physicists use mathematics to understand, explain and predict their theories and equations. They often apply their theories to other fields like chemistry, biology, geophysics, engineering, communication, transportation, electronics and health.
Physicists work by determining the basic laws governing phenomena such as gravity, electromagnetism and nuclear interactions that lead to discoveries and innovations that advance nuclear energy, electronics, communications aerospace technology and medical instrumentation.
Physicists also study the properties and interactions of matter and energy in all their forms. Their interest may range from understanding fundamental physics to developing new technologies in applied physics. They test their observations against the present theories of physics and new hypotheses.
Classical physics refers to the science prevalent prior to the twentieth century. It begins right from the inventions and discoveries of scientists like Galileo and Newton. The studies are broadly classified under five headings, namely Mechanics, Heat and Thermodynamics, Sound, Electricity and Magnetism and Light. Generally, although a physicist should have a broad background of all the five areas of physics, he/she specialises only in one of them.
Geophysicists combine the knowledge of geology and physics. Geophysics is used in the study of meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, seismology, radioactivity and magnetism
Biophysicists study living organisms and life processes
Medical physicists play a vital role in the designing and use of electronic equipments for use in the medical sector
Astrophysicists design equipment for astronomical study and also interpret the research findings of astronomers, particularly in thermonuclear research related to space sciences
A physicist can be either an experimentalist or a theoretician. Almost all have doctorates, which are essential for college and university teaching and research, upper level research positions in government and industry, and higher administrative positions. Those with bachelor's degrees may work in applied research and development as research assistants or in design, administration or engineering.
Specialised areas for physicists are mechanics, atomic and molecular physics, heat, optics, acoustics, electricity and magnetism, electronics, nuclear physics, physics of fluids, solid state physics, or classical theoretical physics. Emerging areas of study for physicists are cryogenics, crystallography, and plasma physics.
Research in physical sciences is broad ranging and includes, for example, observations on how weather systems develop, laser physics and the production of anti-tumour drugs from marine organisms.
Physicists must have a detailed understanding of basic physics, such as classical mechanics (the branch of mechanics based on Newton's laws of motion), quantum mechanics (theories concerned with the properties and behaviours of particles), and thermodynamics (the branch of physics concerned with the conversion of different forms of energy).
Physicists must have good research, problem-solving and mathematical skills. They need to have good written and oral communication skills in order to describe complex ideas to a wide range of people, including non-scientists. They should also have a good knowledge of computers.
Physicists should have some technical ability, because often they must build and adapt their own equipment. Good planning and organisational skills are important, and an eye for detail is essential.
Good mechanical knowledge and ability is needed. You shouldn't be afraid to build things and find out how they work. Physicists must be self-motivated, accurate and inquiring. They need to be creative and imaginative when solving problems. They should also be patient and dedicated, because it may take a long time to observe the results of experiments.
To become a Physicist, you should have at least a M.Sc. in Physics/Applied Physics/Astrophysics & Astronomy/ Biophysics/ Materials Science/ Medical Physics/Geophysics/ Atmospheric Science/Oceanography/Geophysics/other related subject. You can also have an Engineering degree in Engineering Physics or Materials Science. You will do well if you have a doctorate degree.
Physicists are employed in a wide range of fields from computing, patent law and in the financial field. They work for colleges, universities and schools, research centres and hospitals. They even travel to conferences overseas to present research papers.
Useful experience for physicists includes work as a laboratory technician or engineering work.
To sum it up, Physicists work:
· In industries, they conduct
research for improved methods and technologies
· In the communications industry, physicists work in sectors such as television, telephone and radio
· In the petroleum industry, they are engaged in laboratory work for finding improved methods of processing crude oil
· In the aerospace industry, physicists work on technological innovations
· Physicists work with mathematical and statistical scientists and with engineers
Money & Other Benefits
After your MSc, if you join teaching, you will be paid about Rs 12,000 - 14,000 a month to begin with. If you join a university department as a research fellow, then you will get about Rs 6,000 a month. In other jobs, you are paid in the range of Rs 5,000 - 7,000 per month in the beginning.
The outlook for physicists looks average, and employment numbers are likely to remain stable over the next two to three years. However, there are some good employment opportunities for physics graduates with Master's level qualifications, especially in research and development, product design and manufacturing.
Most physicists work in research and development in small or medium-sized laboratories. Many physicists are employed by government-funded research centres or private research companies. A small number also work in the area of information technology.
There is great scope in both industry and in the defense fields. For those academically inclined, there is plenty of scope for research and development. Elementary Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics, Atomic Physics, Molecular Physics, Physics of Condensed Matter, Optics, Acoustics, Plasma Physics and the Physics of fluids are some of the super specialisations with research possibilities.
Technology is important in research and development, and physicists are at the forefront of developing and using new technologies.
Many physicists have been able to use their skills to move into the information technology industry.