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The Field

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.

In order to succeed in biotechnology, students should be able to work independently and as part of a team and demonstrate strong verbal and written communications skills along with strong analytical and problem solving skills.

The Biotechnology Program at Skyline College

Skyline College’s Biotechnology Program provides a broad foundation of scientific education and lab-based hands-on experience to help prepare students with a sound knowledge of the principles of biotechnology. With due diligence, students will emerge from the program with the creativity, reasoning ability and persistence needed to apply these principles to technical and practical issues.

Skyline College offers an Associate Degree in Biotechnology for students who are looking for a clear path for transfer to a four-year institution.

Career Outlook

Biotechnology is a swiftly expanding field in which a bachelor’s degree or higher is needed to secure entry- to mid-level jobs. Persons with bachelor’s and/or graduate level training in the biosciences hold a variety of positions as researchers, bioscientists, bioprocess engineers, managers, technicians and teachers. Specific job functions may include responsibility for testing procedures, developing new production processes, product manufacturing, material processing, monitoring and record keeping, equipment maintenance, collection and evaluation of data, and research. The Skyline College program is an excellent resource to get you on the path to a higher degree.

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.