Understanding Biological systems thoroughly come in handy when it comes to application
The choice between a core subject and a professional subject depends on what the student wants to do after graduation. If a student is looking for only a graduate degree and doing something else at the postgraduate level like MBA, then just a degree is fine.
If one is looking at a career in Biology or other related subjects and ultimately taking up research job, classical Biology and Life Sciences are preferable.
If we take the example of DNA, which comes from a system; be it plant or human being; one needs to have a good overview of Biology per se. This probably might get misdirected by comparing it with engineering subjects by putting a tag of technology into it. Anything that relates to technology means it has to be translated into a product; in this case the product may be a quality researcher. Here I am taking into consideration students who want to complete a degree and then go for sales, marketing or other such jobs.
Another trend is that many of the Biotechnology graduates later go for an MBA; here they have some knowledge of biological terms and also of the sector. However, here also they need to understand Biology because after doing MBA they would be most likely be placed in pharmaceutical industry and then you need to go and interact with doctors and other people from the same profession.
When we talk about people who take up Biology as a career, leaving aside the marketing jobs, I would suggest students to take up classical subjects like Botany, Zoology, Microbiology etc. As I said about the DNA system, one needs to develop a good understanding of those systems in order to apply Biotechnology or Genetic Engineering because ultimately they are application-oriented.
So, as a researcher or an academician or an R&D person if you do not understand the Biological system properly, you would lack the ability to apply your knowledge back into the system. This is one of the drawbacks of the system.
If we look at the Master’s courses in universities, we look at Botany or Zoology; we see there is something called special papers like one on Molecular Biology, tissue culture etc. I think they have a very good coverage and presently also it is very comprehensive. So, if students study the core subjects at Master’s, due to comprehensive coverage, they develop good understanding and they can specialize in any field of study.
A student of core subject at the UG level with specialization at the PG level, when compared with a student who has done professional course at the UG would have much better understanding of the subject, as they apply the knowledge back into the system.
So at the UG level doing professional courses in Biology to make a career is too focused, so to say, but in other terms it may sound shallow and specialization has a lot more and you should choose it based on your gut feeling.
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