Careers & Opportunities for Life Sciences Students @ VIT

Moumita Boral

If you are fascinated by the intricate workings of life and keen to delve deeper into the secrets of the natural world, then Life Science courses that help you explore the world of biology, genetics, microorganisms, and much more are the right choice for you.

VIT (Vellore Institute of Technology) offers a wide array of programs in different streams both at the engineering and non-engineering level. The School of Biosciences and Technology (SBST) at VIT consists of 4 departments namely Biotechnology, Integrative Biology, Biosciences and Biomedical Sciences. The school offers an undergraduate (B.Tech Biotechnology) and six postgraduate (M.Sc. and M.Tech) programs. It also offers Integrated PhD programs.

Courses in Life Science – be is at the Undergraduate or Postgraduate or at the PhD level helps the students to explore their passion towards research and find scientific solutions on contemporary issues. At SBST, we have programs like B.Tech & M.Tech in Biotechnology, M.Sc. in Biotechnology, M.Sc. in Applied Microbiology, M.Sc. Food Science and Technology, M.Sc. in Biomedical Genetics and Five year M.Sc. Integrative Biotechnology. The curriculum of the program provides holistic development to students through its practical knowledge, which helps the students start their careers in the fields of research and industry while receiving good placements.

All core life science companies visit to VIT to recruit our students, such as Serum Institute of India, Biocon Ltd, Syngene International, Dr. Reddy’s, Fortrea, Zifo, ITC, Tosoh India, Pharma Ace, Stryker, OG Healthcare Unilever etc., VIT stressed the fact that “the popularity of Life Sciences and Biosciences will rule the world, as without life science we wouldn’t have found a cure for COVID.”

One of our alumni, Dr. Saugata Majumder, was part of the team for the research and development of COVAXIN at Bharat Biotech International Ltd. Currently, he is placed as a research associate (staff scientist) at Albany Medical College, New York. Saugata feels that the curriculum of VIT, Vellore, made him more inquisitive about research and development, and despite the advancement of the IT sector, the importance of life sciences will never diminish and will witness rapid growth. Arpita Das, an M.Sc. Applied Microbiology Student at VIT, went to Germany and was part of the team to first develop the COVID Diagnostic Kit.

Additionally, many of our SBST students achieved good placements in reputed biotech industries such as such as Biocon, Gennova Pharmaceuticals, Intas Pharmaceuticals etc. All these students credited VIT for its excellent research facilities and CDC – the placement cell, for bringing in dream internship and placement opportunities.

Apart from the life sciences companies, there are many CROs (Clinical Research Organizations) like IQVIA, Cerner, Labcorp drug development and PPD that recruit many of our SBST students into their organizations. According to Dr. Mohanasrinivasan, CROs providing more opportunities to our students, and they are one of the major recruiters for life sciences at VIT. Every major global company has its research outlets in India, like Pfizer, because of less stringent measures to conduct research and reduced costs.

With AI and ML booming like anything, it will definitely have an impact in the healthcare sector, resulting in life science students getting more jobs. In addition, with increased climatic changes, students can be part of the research process that deals with environmental causes like pollution, an increase in temperature, and toxic chemicals damaging marine life, among others. There will be a lot of opportunities for students who want to build their career in research in the life sciences.

The current Dean of SBST, Prof. R. Siva encourages students to carry out research and development work to solve practical problems, to manage information efficiently, and to engage in lifelong learning. He boast some of the advanced infrastructure that are World class such as the Biosciences Lab, Bioinformatics Lab, Central Instrumentation Lab, Scanning Electron Microscopy Lab, Animal House, Histopathology Lab etc; to help students conduct experiments and advance their careers in research.