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Scientists are responsible for conducting research that improves lives and advances society. Scientists are involved in the fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, energy, environmental science, forestry and transportation. Biotechnology fuses science with engineering and technology, making science more relevant than ever in our day-to-day lives.

What you can learn from online master's degree programs in science and biotechnology

Online master's degree programs in science and biotechnology can teach you the skills you will need to contribute to advancing civilization. You can earn a general master's degree in biotechnology or focus on a concentration within the field. For example, there are graduate degrees in biotechnology, biodefense and biosecurity, representing a field growing in demand since 9/11. Other concentrations include:

  • Molecular biotechnology
  • Biopharmaceutical and biotechnology engineering
  • Computational biology and bioinformatics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology management

Also available are online master's degree programs in environmental management. Whatever degree you pursue in biotechnology, your core curriculum should include courses in biochemistry, biotechnology and genetic engineering. Whatever specialization and courses you choose, your program should focus on preparing you for your chosen career.

Sample careers for science and biotechnology degree holders

While no degree program can guarantee a particular career or salary, completion of online master's degree programs in science and biotechnology can help prepare you for countless career opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median 2009 salary for biological scientists was $66,510. Below are some potential careers for graduates of online master's degree programs in science and biotechnology, along with relevant BLS employment and salary figures.

    • Biological technicians assist medical and biological scientists in laboratories. The BLS projects strong growth in jobs between 2008 and 2018, an anticipated 18%; 2009 median salary: $38,700.

    • Biomedical engineers combine biological and medicinal engineering to create innovative products and systems such as artificial limbs and organs, surgery monitors and medical information systems. The BLS projects enormous growth in jobs between 2008 and 2018, an anticipated 72%; 2009 median salary: $78,860.

    • Plant breeders cross-breed plants to develop hybrids, creating plants and seeds with superior traits. The BLS projects steady growth in jobs between 2008 and 2018, an anticipated 15%; 2009 median salary: $59,180.

  • Computational biologists use computer models and programming in the field of biology, including in medicine, agriculture and forestry. The BLS offers no salary or job growth information for computational biologists, but 2008-2018 projected job growth and 2009 median salaries in related fields include: Statisticians: 13% projected job growth, 2009 median salary of $72,820; Biologists: 21 percent projected job growth, 2009 median salary of $66,510.

The U.S. Department of Labor has identified biotechnology as a high growth industry, noting that in 2005, 329 public biotechnology companies in the U.S. earned a combined revenue of $47.8 billion. 1,086 private American biotech firms earned a combined $2.9 billion.

For more in-depth information, visit WorldWideLearn.com's Guide to Majors in Biotechnology. The Guide to Master's Degrees in Science offers more insight on potential graduate-level degree programs. You will find information on specializations such as biology. Alternatively, you can look below to compare graduate degrees in biotechnology, biodefense and biosecurity and other biotechnology fields. When you find a suitable program, fill out the simple form and an admissions representative from that school will contact you.

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