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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 181-183

Career prospects and awareness regarding field of biotechnology among peshawar university students

Centre of Biotechnology and Microbiology, University of Peshawar, Pakistan

Date of Web Publication6-Sep-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fahad Hassan Shah
Centre of Biotechnology and Microbiology, University of Peshawar, Peshawar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bbrj.bbrj_76_18

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Background: Revolutionary biological sciences such as biotechnology is taking over the million-dollar industries due to their imminent applications as well as their importance in the well-being of living organisms. However, its scope remains a question for students when they opt for their career after passing out from their respective department. The objective of this study is to determine the factors involved in electing this field, their career preferences, attitude and knowledge regarding biotechnology profession among University students. Methods: The study was conducted in University of Peshawar, Pakistan through a prevalidated questionnaire which was given to the students enrolled in biotechnology department. The sample of 200 students was randomly selected. Their responses were collected, organized in excel sheets and then analyzed through SPSS 17.0. Results: Out of the 200 participants, 168 students filled the questionnaire; therefore, the response rate was 84%. A total of 110 (65.5%) students out of 168 respondents were not aware of the scope of biotechnology before getting admission in biotechnology program. Moderate number of students (62 [36.9%]) paid heed to research, while (16 [9.5%]) were either uninterested or uncertain about their options. Conclusion: Nearly all respondents (74 [44%]) were willing to pursue careers in biotechnology after their graduation and Personal Interest was the notable factor (76%) involved in the selection succeeded by status and income respectively.

Keywords: Attitude, awareness, biotechnology students, career preferences, knowledge

How to cite this article:
Shah FH, Khalid O. Career prospects and awareness regarding field of biotechnology among peshawar university students. Biomed Biotechnol Res J 2018;2:181-3

How to cite this URL:
Shah FH, Khalid O. Career prospects and awareness regarding field of biotechnology among peshawar university students. Biomed Biotechnol Res J [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Jan 28];2:181-3. Available from: https://www.bmbtrj.org/text.asp?2018/2/3/181/240711

  Introduction Top

The circle of biological sciences and its applications covers different and diverse techniques which involve organisms.[1],[2] Many advancements in the field of agriculture and medicine have been made possible by biotechnological applications such as transgenic crops, gene therapy, and infectious disease treatments.[3],[4],[5],[6] Biotechnology with the service of microbiology has revolutionized medical sciences by introducing numerous drugs and proteins which are currently available either in the market or in advanced experimental stages.[7],[8] Genetic engineering with no doubt has, on the one hand, provided some miraculous products, but some ethical, moral considerations can be a point of concern for humanity.[9],[10] It is the need of the day to make students aware of all the pros and cons of biotechnology products/study for the sake of future of science. This article encompasses all those factors involved in electing this field, their career propects, attitude and knowledge regarding biotechnology profession among the students of Centre of Biotechnology and Microbiology, University of Peshawar, Pakistan.

  Methods Top

This study was carried out through a predesigned questionnaire which was conducted among randomly selected students (n = 200) of the Centre of Biotechnology and Microbiology, University of Peshawar. Students who participated in this study gave their consent to record their respective responses. Various questions were asked regarding career preferences, attitude about the scope of biotechnology, perception regarding these fields, their impact on health-care system, and factors inducing their selection and postgraduate studies. The responses were gathered and saved in excel sheets which were further analyzed by Statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) 17.0 software for average mean analysis.

  Results Top

The overall response rate was 84%, and mean age was 21.1 years. [Table 1] shows the attitude and knowledge of students concerning about the scope of biotechnology. 110 (65.5%) students knew about the scope of biotechnology before admission. Most of them (140 [83.3%]) thought that biotechnology education and practice affect the health-care system, while 114 (67.9%) did not know about their professional role. More than 30% participants weren't aware about postgraduate opportunities in their respective field according to [Table 2] whereas remaining students were either not interested or unsure about their decision (16 [9.5%]). In [Table 3], a handful of students wanted to pursue other fields rather than biotechnology and most of them were discouraged strongly by their superior fellow students. Majority of the respondents (154 [91.7%]) assumed that they have to acquire much more knowledge and skills than other health-care students. Numerous students (84, 50%) considered that biotechnology is a risk to environment and humans, however, in [Table 4], above 80% of the respondents encouraged genetic modification of different organisms for a better variety of food, breed, and protection against various pathogens through vaccines. Preferred area of specialization after graduation was medical biotechnology (68 [40.5%]), industrial (52 [31%]), teaching based careers (30 [17.9%]) and other areas were oncology (16 [9.6%]) research-related jobs (2 [1.2%]) [Table 5]. Personal interest (76.2%) was the most common factor which was involved in the selection of biotechnology field as a career, followed by status, salary (7.1%), family influence (6%), and other understated causes (3.6%).
Table 1: Attitude and knowledge of students regarding biotechnology scope

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Table 2: Preferences and knowledge of students toward professional role and postgraduate studies

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Table 3: Career prospect-related question and student' responses

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Table 4: Students' knowledge and understanding of biotechnological issues and concepts

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Table 5: Influencing factors and area of specialization

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  Discussion Top

Biotechnology is an intricate branch of science and students' insights toward this field mainly rely on their sufficient understanding and knowledge of major concepts. Those students who were familiar with biotechnology education had a favorable attitude toward this field and they were able to chose a field of research as compared to other students. However, majority of the students do not know about the scope of biotechnology prior to admittance. Hence, therefore, upon admission, they remain tangled and suffer from an extreme level of anxiety when opting for a field of specialization in their final year.[11],[12] Nearly all the students of Pakistan and some other countries desire to get into medical school after passing their Higher Secondary School examinations.[13],[14],[15] Consequently, almost every student of science knows about the scope and importance of medical professions but remains unaware of these fields. This is due to various reasons and some of them are attenuated curriculum with outdated design of courses being taught at primary and secondary level, lack of career counseling sessions in educational institutes, pessimistic views and religious controversy showed by general population towards biotechnology and genetically modified organism causing hindrance in the promotion of this field.[16],[17],[18] Our study results are in conjunction with other studies that determined inadequate knowledge and attitude of university students toward biotechnology and other related fields.[19],[20],[21],[22] To spread awareness about this field, amendments should be made in the curriculum to make students to be more informed about biotechnology. A similar study revealed that students of United Kingdom and Taiwan possessing more knowledge about biotechnology at the primary level had more interest in this field as compared to those who had insufficient acquaintance with biotechnology basics in the initial stages of their studies.[23] Thus, there is a strong need in a developing country like Pakistan to make their students of schools and colleges be much more aware about biotechnology and their subfields. Several participants had lessened response regarding postgraduate studies, which shows loss of creativity in them which may be the result of depression and anxiety about their professional role will be in future.[24],[25] Nevertheless, Few number of students were interested in research and wanted to pursue careers in it.

  Conclusion Top

From this study, it is quite clear that students believed that biotechnology education and practice strongly influence health care services. Their most favorite professions were medical biotechnology, industrial biotechnology, and teaching. Personal interest was the most influencing factor involved in this selection. Several respondents were uninterested in research-related activities while a large proportion of students (44%) were willing to progress their careers in biotechnology after graduation.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]


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