JAM Biological Science or Biotechnology? Which is the best career option for you?
Being one of the top-chosen subjects in IIT JAM, Biological Science(BL) & Biotechnology(BT) have their own advantages and disadvantage.
What are they? Let's hear it from an IIT JAM cracker himself. Sourik Dey is presently studying M.Sc Biotechnology at IIT Roorkee. He bagged 2-digit ranks in IIT JAM exams in both Biological Science(BL) & Biotechnology(BT).
His JAM Ranks were - Biological Science(46) & Biotechnology(23). When we asked him about sharing his views and words of wisdom on this ongoing JAM Biological Science vs Biotechnology debate, he readily agreed to share it with Eduncle.
Important Note - IIT Kanpur has removed the Biological Science subject, the JAM exam will be conducted in only seven subjects from 2021.
Q: Is it possible to appear for BL and BT both in IIT JAM?
From 2020, Biological Science is not in the subject list of IIT JAM, so candidates can only apply for Biotechnology subject. Here are the session timing and fee details:
|Session||Time||Test Papers and Codes|
Mathematical Statistics (MS)
IIT JAM Fee for one test paper - INR 750 for female/reserved category & INR 1500 for UR category candidates.
IIT JAM Fee for two test papers - INR 1050 for female/reserved category & INR 2100 for UR category candidates.
Q: Which subject one should choose over another among JAM BL and BT?
Although the subject preference depends on the candidate but I would suggest BT exam should be the first choice of all students interested in the subject of Biology because JAM BL will not help you secure a seat in the IITs.
It can only be used for shortlisting students for conducting interviews at specific research institutes. However, BT rank is also sufficient for that. In the long run it is of no importance and I will suggest one to focus on his/her BT paper more because it will bring all the benefits that JAM can provide. Also, the competition is lesser here compared to BL because people think that BT paper is not their cup of tea. However, I can assure you that with dedication and sufficient practice one can easily crack the exam.
Q: Considering future job aspects and salary, is Biological science the right choice?
At least the students selected in the IITs will get to know about the placement opportunities and can prepare accordingly to secure a job from IIT placement drive itself. Although, it is not going to be a piece of cake, as they have to compete with engineers for the job.
However, there are many examples from our senior batches (mainly from IIT Bombay) where M.Sc. students were able to get jobs in Research & Development, Coding, and Coaching Institutions. Thus, it is proof that even postgraduates of Biotechnology can secure jobs with packages as high as 12 LPA.
If a student wants to pursue an academic career then he can do it from anywhere. However, getting an IITian tag will add to his/her benefit in the long run and will make one stand out in the crowd. The rest of the process is the same for any postgraduate student who wants to pursue higher studies in India.
Q: As none of the IIT offer courses for BL students, what are the good options left?
There is no separate course for biological sciences at IITs. Through CCMN, a potential candidate can study M.Sc in Life Sciences at NIT Rourkela or M. Sc in Food Technology at IIEST using his/her BL rank.
However, there is good news also for biological science candidates. If they want they can pursue the Integrated M.Sc-PhD course offered by IIT Kharagpur and IACS. It is becoming quite popular nowadays and the degree will be offered by IIT KGP. Apart from that, IIT KGP also provides courses in Medical Microbiology, Nuclear Medicine, and Radiation Technology.
One can use the JAM BL rank to qualify for the interview round of IISERs and IISC (the main reason why people give BL paper). Students are scared of the BT paper because of the Physics and Maths questions that are asked in it, but if one wants to study at an IIT, he should earn it. So, fear is not an option.
Q: Would you like to share some other exams for Biology students to get into IITs or other premier institutes?
Many prestigious institutions like RCB, TIFR, TCIS, NCBS etc. use the JGEEBILS rank. The JNU CEEB rank is used by more than 50 different institutes in the country.
Apart from this, one can give the CUCET, SPPU & Hyderabad University entrance exams. One can apply for NIV, MKU, Centre of Human Genetics, DU, etc, and these are only some of the names that I have mentioned here. There are many such institutes and depending upon one's interest, he/she should very carefully explore all the options available and make the best decision that will shape their academic career.
I hope that this information will help JAM aspirants and I would like to congratulate Eduncle for taking this initiative to spread awareness among JAM aspirants regarding these crucial details.