Over at Science Careers this week, Emma Hitt explores bioprocessing, which she says is "an expanding field encompassing any process that uses living cells or their components ... to obtain desired products, such as biofuels and therapeutics." Bioprocessing, Hitt says, offers a wide range of career opportunities. She canvassed training and careers trends within the field, and In spoke with a variety of bioprocessing professionals. According to Hitt, the Research Triangle Park, NC-area is "particularly ripe with opportunity and growth." North Carolina State University "offers one of the first undergraduate degree-granting programs specifically directed towards a career in bioprocessing" and produced its first graduates last spring, she adds. Michael Fino, a lead instructor of the Oceanside, Calif.-based MiraCosta College's Bioprocess Technology Program, breaks it down, telling Hitt:
People who hold certificates or Bachelor's-level degrees are more likely to be involved in actually carrying out the bioprocessing techniques, whereas those with graduate-level backgrounds are more likely to be involved in the development and understanding of bioprocessing techniques.
And, according to Dartmouth College's Lee Rybeck Lynd, "key to the future of bioprocessing ... will be personnel who are qualified to run all phases of operations for bioprocessing facilities and equipment, at the research, pilot, and commercial scale as well as process-related aspects of research and development," Hitt says. "Bioprocessing needs engineers of various kinds [including chemical, biochemical, mechanical, process control, and instrumentation engineers], chemists, and life scientists," Lynd tells Science.