Forum:Which is better for job opportunities: Metagenomics OR Plant biotechnology
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9.2 years ago
anokimchen • 0

Hello

I have done my masters in Biotechnology. I have equal interest in meta-genomics as well as plant biotechnology. However, I am not sure which one I should specialize. I would like your suggestions on which of the two fields has better job opportunities after PhD..

Thank you.

Metagenomics Plant-biotechnology career • 3.5k views
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This question is very subjective and the question cannot be answered because it depends on so many factors. I think what we can say in general is that we cannot tell you what to do with your life. Mostly, your job opportunities depend on your skills and interest in the field. For these reasons we should rather not answer such questions.

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also, the fluctuations in job opportunities are a function of time and unpredictable.

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Hello anokimchen!

We believe that this post does not fit the main topic of this site.

This answer is subjective and is dependent on qualities of the OP we can't ascertain on this forum

For this reason we have closed your question. This allows us to keep the site focused on the topics that the community can help with.

If you disagree please tell us why in a reply below, we'll be happy to talk about it.

Cheers!

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in the US the plant people end up bouncing around between the same major plant companies - Monsanto, Pioneer, Syngenta, etc. It's a much smaller community than the biomedical side, although I will say for some reason the plant people are much more pleasant to work with than scientists at hospitals

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9.2 years ago
Dan D 7.4k

I'm reopening this post. I don't think the original question can be answered directly, but as a "Forum" post it brings up some interesting and important topics in the bioinformatics field.

I think plant biotech and metagenomics both have huge potential in the research and commercial venues.

With plants, there's always going to be a need to engineer plants to be more drought-tolerant, be more weed resistant, and produce a more nutritious and substantial product with more yield. There are countless plant genomes to sequence, and orders of magnitude more questions to answer with those data.

Metagenomics is another big thing. There are so many stories which can be told by simply swabbing a surface and seeing what organisms are represented, along with their relative quantities. I've been doing a lot of work in that area and believe me, if you want to get pretty much anyone's attention, show them some of the patterns you see in metagenomics data related to a familiar location. Once the science behind it gets a little more reliable, there are going to be hundreds of interesting stories coming out in that area.

Like other posters mentioned, it's impossible to know which one will have better job opportunities, but if that's your basis for choosing a Ph.D. you're probably gonna have a miserable time pursuing it.

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I was on the fence for a while about closing this question but I decided to close it because I felt like any answer would have been subjective. I'm glad you felt strong enough to re-open Dan D -- I was having second thoughts myself.

In the end, I do feel like there could be any number of questions -- should I pursue X versus Y? How about Z versus Y? Y versus W? I didn't want to encourage this type of forum popping up here.

I do think that (and these are two great examples asked in the OP and I should disclose that I would say I do both of these disciplines) these two examples are areas which are on the way out. If one would really like to be poised to get a good job in the future one should look to new areas of research. No one I know is talking about Metagenomics now (and this is what I do) -- I keep hearing all about proteomics and meta-proteomics, metabolomics and meta-metabolomics, etc. etc. It's hard to have a crystal ball but choosing either of these topics as areas of study would not be on the cutting edge or even in the middle of the wave of adherents.

With all of this, it's becoming more evident to me that getting a job now (when everyone has skills and there are hundreds of applicants for each job) is much more dependent not on what you study, but how successful that study has been and how many "extra" skills a job applicant might have (communication skills, personality and the ability to work with others, diversity of skills and knowledge outside of bioinformatics).

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Thank you so much for the reply, sir. I am very pleased with by your detailed response.

I have worked on 2 projects in plant biotechnology related to plant tissue culture, secondary metabolites and heavy metal stress. I found it quite interesting. And left me wanting to work more in the same field. Regarding metagenomics, I have no practical experience but theoretical. using the 16s rRNA and other molecular markers for the phylogenetic analysis and abundance seems pretty interesting with the fact that currently only ~1% of the bacterias can be grown in lab.

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