Careers In Genetics

Two decades ago Dolly, the cloned sheep, hit headlines and genetics, a science then in its nascent stages, was heralded as the next big thing. The furore has, of course, died down. Nevertheless genetics does offer some excellent career prospects.


Students of genetics have a number of options to choose from. One of the primary areas is research. And if someone is interested in the applied area, they could find opportunities with certain hospitals in the area of genetic counseling. Besides basic research in genetics students can also opt for –

Laboratory genetics

It focuses on applying genetics to areas like pharmaceutical research and development, agricultural development, legal and police work. Laboratory genetics requires scientists trained in molecular biology, cytogenetics, biochemical genetics, immunogenetics and related disciplines.

Genetic counseling

It involves determining whether a person is likely to contract an inherited genetic disease and provides information on how to deal with it.

Clinical genetics

It involves diagnosis and treatment of people with genetic disorders. In medicine genetics is useful in understanding inherited diseases and subsequently carrying out research and scientific investigation to affect a cure. Human genetics involves a study of genetic traits starting from the colour of ones eyes to inheritance of diseases. If the disease gene is identified and you know which chromosome it is, then it helps determine the chances of it being transmitted. With genetics you can calculate the chances of someone, who is now normal, acquiring a numerological disease like Alzheimer’s or perhaps cancer.

Other options

Genetics is much more than just human genetics. It also includes plant genetics and microbial genetics. The science is applied to the breeding of new crops and livestock. And with the emergence of biotechnology as flourishing field, genetics forms the basis of developing pharmaceuticals or microchips.

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