Biotechnology professionals produce materials and technologies used in health care, agriculture and scientific research. Candidates who combine traditional biotechnology skills with business and management training often find increased opportunities and higher earning potential than those with more specialized skills. This can be accomplished by earning a dual degree in science and business, or by applying an MBA to a biotechnology career.
Dual Degree Programs
Schools offer a variety of dual degree programs in biotechnology, business and related fields for students pursuing jobs in these industries. Rochester Institute of Technology offers a dual MBA and bachelor's in biotechnology, which takes five years to complete and features an average starting salary of $50,000 as of 2011. A 2010 article in Pharmaceutical Commerce describes a similar program at Rutgers University. The Rutgers program offers an MBA with a focus on biotechnology, or pharmaceuticals. As of 2010, graduates from this program earn an average starting salary of $90,000.
The South Carolina College of Pharmacy combines a traditional medical degree with an MBA. Students earn a doctorate in pharmaceuticals along with a Master's in Business Administration. As of 2008, graduates report an average starting salary of $110,090, with total average starting compensation of $127,290.
MBA Careers in Biotech
Students with an undergraduate degree in a scientific field may pursue an MBA to help them secure jobs in biotechnology. A survey of Yale School of Business graduates in 2010 reveals that students with an MBA who accepted jobs in biotech fields earned a starting salary of $102,778. The mean starting salary for Yale MBA graduates in all industries was slightly lower, at $98,778.
Graduates of the University of Texas at Austin's MBA program earned a mean salary of $102,942 in 2011. Those who accepted jobs in biotechnology firms earned an average of $107,333.
Students with a master's degree in biotechnology who do not pursue an MBA earn less on average than those with an MBA. For example, graduates from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's in biotechnology and related fields report an average starting salary of $49,500 as of 2011. After five years of experience, this average income increases to $74,500.
A 2006 Forbes articles estimates the average starting salary for MBA graduates at $95,781, with an average signing bonus of $17,511. This applies to candidates across many fields, including biotechnology, as well as finance and management.
The Class of 2012 at the University of Texas at Austin reports a mean internship salary for MBA students of $6,667. UT Austin MBA students who participate in biotechnology internships earn an average of $5,913.