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Biotechnologists at work
Biotechnology lab
Biotechnologist examines plants

Are you fascinated by biology and how living organisms work? Would you like to be at the forefront of scientific advancement in a field that touches almost every part of our lives?

Biotechnology may not be a career field that you’ve considered — but exciting and challenging jobs are possible with today’s rapidly expanding technologies.

Biotechnology at a Glance

Looking for a quick overview of the Biotechnology program? Take a look at Biotechnology at a Glance for a summary of what a biological or clinical lab technician does.

Get started in Biotechnology today!

What Is Biotechnology?

By its simplest definition, biotechnology is using living things to make products or processes. Used for centuries, traditional biotechnology techniques include using microorganisms to:

  • Make bread (yeast is a microorganism)
  • Produce food and beverages such as beer, wine and cheese through fermentation
  • Selectively breed plants and animals to improve genetic qualities

Biotechnology can also refer to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or the manufacture of products from genetically modified microorganisms, including:

  • Genetically engineering crops for higher and better food production
  • Using biopesticides to improve food plants and reduce dependence on conventional chemical pesticides
  • Creating medical diagnostic tests
  • DNA fingerprinting for criminal investigation and forensic medicine
  • Using microbes and genetically engineered plants to clean up environmental pollution

Biotechnology Degree and Certificate Options

El Centro College

Many students who earn an associate degree in Biotechnology double-major in Medical Laboratory Technology at El Centro College.