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Biotechnology

What is biotechnology?

Biotechnology harnesses biology – cellular and biomolecular processes – to develop technologies for industrial, medical, and other purposes that aim to improve our lives and the health of our planet.

Biotechnology is a fast-growing and exciting field, where discoveries are made to cure diseases, battle climate change, develop new fuels, solve limited global food supplies, and more. Individuals in the field should be problem solvers who are curious, imaginative and persistent.

The Biotechnology Program at Skyline College

Skyline College’s Biotechnology Program aims to prepare students to enter the workforce in the biotechnology field. Students in the program have access to fully stocked and functional labs where they will take courses and gain hands-on experience working with the tools and materials they'll need when they enter the workforce. 

Faculty guide students through the current trends and processes in the biotechnology field using contextualized science, math and even English skill-building. Students emerge from the program ready for an entry level position working in a lab.

Skyline College offers an Associate Degree in Biotechnology for students who are looking for a clear path for transfer to a four-year institution in addition to the BioBridge Program, which offers a two-semester program that develops students' workforce readiness and soft skills so they can obtain hands-on work experience. The Skyline College program is also an excellent resource to get you on the path to a four-year degree.

Career Outlook

The Skyline College Biotechnology Program aims to prepare students to find work in a variety of jobs, including bioprocessing technicians and engineers, researchers and research associates, lab technicians, bioscientists, as well as jobs in materials handling and quality assurance and quality control (QAQC).

The biotechnology sector is growing fast and potential employers include biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as clinical laboratories in hospitals, universities, government, and independent settings. Within biotechnology, wages and demand for jobs vary across different careers. Biological technicians (usually requiring a bachelor’s degree) in California make an average of $49,300 per year according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Biochemists and Biophysicists (often requiring a Ph.D.) in California make an average of $101,750 per year.