Those who graduate from Biotechnology college programs must be prepared to work in a number of areas. That's because their main job of assuring quality control can be applied to all areas of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturing. More specifically, bench technicians (as these professionals are known in the field), should have the know-how to: prepare microbiological media and reagents, and culture pathogenic microbes; prepare specimens for staining; isolating, enumerating and identifying microorganisms from many types of samples (water, soil, air, body, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products); design and perform microbiology experiments; handle materials and instruments such as pH and BOD meters, Gas Chromatographs, spectrophotometers (regular/IR/UV), HPLC's, and more.

It takes students two years at Centennial College's Biotechnology program to learn the skills they need to carry out the above tasks. It is worth noting that eight up-to-date laboratories and modern wireless lecture facilities housed at Centennial's most technologically advanced campus assist students in their studies as theory is combined with ongoing laboratory work. Additionally, qualified faculty and staff member provide individual attention in laboratories while encouraging teamwork skills.

While all 23 classes are vital to students' post-graduate success, here is a closer look at five of the program's most essential courses.

Recombinant DNA Technology: A combination of theory and practical application, this class first covers the theoretical and applied aspects of basic biotechnology techniques for the study of DNA and proteins. Students then apply theory and practical skills to perform standard molecular biology techniques for the isolation, manipulation and analysis of DNA as well as the expression and purification of protein.

Microbiology Techniques: Students acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to work in a microbiology lab by learning to perform safe, up-to-date methods to identify microorganisms. This hands-on lab course allows student to grow microorganisms and identify them using microscopes, staining and biochemical procedures.

Food Microbiology: Emphasis in this course is on quality control of raw materials and finished products, microbial metabolism, established food and drug regulations and guidelines. Theory of good manufacturing practice for food manufacturers, and hazard analysis and critical control point programs field assignments and applications assist students in applying the theory.

Pharmaceutical Microbiology: Students learn concepts of quality control and assurance as they apply to the pharmaceutical industry, based on current government regulations. They get to perform laboratory procedures while practicing safe, aseptic laboratory technique.

Microbiology Projects: With the first Microbiology Project course, students learn to locate, collect and interpret scientific information for the purpose of designing laboratory procedures. Meanwhile, in the second Microbiology Project, students choose a project topic, gather information through literature search, select a protocol and perform a microbiology experiment over the course of six weeks. Students submit several written reports as well as a final project thesis upon conclusion of the laboratory component.

Biotechnology technician applicants are asked to have completed an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Also required is completion of compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent and Math 11M or U or 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent.