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Which courses in high school can help me prepare for biotechnology??

I am currently a junior in high school. I want to decide my senior year courses and also I am taking a lot of health science courses. But I want to keep my options open to other careers in biology.

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Meghana,

While in high school, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare for a biotechnology career. Physics, chemistry and biology will be the core science courses. For math, algebra and calculus will be needed. Both concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail; etc.

Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration amongst team members, partner departments and clients occur on a daily basis. A college course in public speaking will help with one's communication skills.

If there is a debate club in your high school, it is highly recommended to get involved. Debate clubs will help one to prepare one's standpoints backed up with factual information. It's all about preparation which will carry over to college and eventually the workplace.

Within the United States, here are the 10 Top Colleges and Universities for Biotechnology majors:

- John Hopkins University
- University Of Pennsylvania
- University of Wisconsin
- Purdue University
- University of Georgia
- Boston University
- University of Rhode Island
- Northwestern University
- Columbia University
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Here are some careers in Biotechnology:

- Biomedical Engineers
- Biophysicists and Biochemists
- Medical Scientists
- Epidemiologists
- Bio Technicians
- Microbiologists
- Process Development and Research & Development Scientists

Best wishes for your education and future career in Biotechnology!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Your answer is perfect! Meghana
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Acacia’s Answer

Biotech is an integrated science, so students will be engaged in learning biology, chemistry, math, and physics. Higher level science courses like (AP Biology) and chemistry (AP Chemistry) have a higher success rate when students learn biotechnology courses earlier as they are well prepared for these AP courses.
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David’s Answer

I decided I was going to enter the biotech field when I was in high school and these were the courses I took that helped me get into the Bioengineering Department at UCSD:

- AP Biology
- AP US History
- AP Chemistry
- AP Economics
- AP Calculus
- AP Literature
- AP English
- AP Government

If it is available to you, I recommend taking AP Physics as well, that was an area I was severely lacking in when I entered college and I definitely took a hit to my GPA for not having solid understanding of physics. If AP is not offered in your high school, then take the IB equivalent courses. Also, this is really important, if your school offers any kind of programming courses or extra curricular activities, take them. It may not seem important if you are in junior high now, but believe me, as someone who didn't touch a terminal until I was 20, I wish I was exposed to programming at an early age. Even if you want to do wet lab work, I can almost guarantee that you will perform some level of data analysis which requires programming, specifically Python or R. Good luck with your journey, biotech is a long ride.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Do you recommend taking any comp sci courses? Because I haven’t taken any of them yet Meghana
Thank you comment icon Absolutely 100 %. Computer science is important to everything, regardless of whether or not it's STEM related. For bio related comp sci, you will need to know how to use Python. Python is the go-to language for data analysis and visualization, although you can do a lot more than that like build websites, although I recommend using a language more suited for that task. If your school doesn't offer any computer science classes at the moment, don't wait till you're in college to learn. Go on YouTube and start your computer science journey as soon as you can. There are countless resources on getting started, I recommend: - Neat Code - FreeCodeCamp - MIT OpenCourseWare - Code Academy - Coursera - Udemy - ChatGPT: This is a game changer. You can use this to code anything. David Nauenburg
Thank you comment icon Thank you! I’ll start looking into them soon. Meghana
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Calvin’s Answer

I believe math and science are critical subjects for biotechnology studies in high school. Algebra and calculus are critical.
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