Biotechnology has been around for centuries. From farming to food production and storage, biotechnology has touched our lives in numerous helpful ways.
As baby boomers age, there has been an increased demand for new medical procedures and equipment. As a result, biomedical engineering, a field that combines medicine with engineering and biology, is expected to grow in the next decade and beyond.
With an insight into both medical and engineering fields, biomedical engineers work effectively in hospitals, research facilities, academia, government regulatory agencies or as consultants.
Biomechanics, which applies biomechanical engineering to biological or medical problems, utilizes scientific principles to produce new ways of keeping the body functional and healthy. These include the creation of synthetic organs and joints, as well as machines that control body functions, imaging systems like X-ray and ultrasound, and the laser systems used in corrective eye surgery.
As a result of these advances, the medical community has a better understanding of how certain organs and musculoskeletal systems function.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, biomedical engineering is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. While a bachelor's in engineering is required, a graduate degree in engineering is also recommended for most entry-level bioengineering jobs. Many universities offer accredited engineering graduate programs.
Professional organizations, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), can help students interested in pursuing biotechnology careers.
ASME promotes the interests of its members and keeps them informed of industry developments. Additionally, networking opportunities offered by the organization can help students find jobs and get on the right career track.