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Careers in genetics

Your origin story awaits


A Genetics Degree from the University of Otago gives you knowledge and skills that could take you beyond today's horizons. You need not look far for inspiration. One of the world's most influential geneticists began his story as an undergraduate at Otago: Allan Wilson. He went on to develop the ground breaking theory that all humans descend from one woman who lived in Africa 10,000 generations ago, as well as the influential theory of the molecular clock.

Allan Wilson's work has inspired generations, and today the University of Otago has an impressive number of genetic researchers at the global forefront of their field. Many of them teach and contribute to Otago's Genetics Teaching Programme. Find out more about this research by reading about our current and former students' exciting journeys into genetics and the amazing genetics research going on at the University of Otago today.

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Career information evening

Aimed at 300 and 400 level Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology students, this is a yearly event hosted by Genetics Otago. For 2019, this will be held on 4 September, and will feature representatives from a range of industries.

RSVP by registering your interest:
https://careerhub.otago.ac.nz/students/login

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Genetic counselling

Genetic counsellors provide informed advice on all aspects of genetic disease. They help families to make informed decisions on genetic testing and understand the implications of results. To become a Genetics counsellor, you must gain a professional accreditation.

In Australasia, Genetic counselling qualifications are accredited by the HGSA (Human Genetics Society of Australasia). Master of Genetic Counselling courses are a 2-year postgraduate course and are currently run by:

A Genetics degree from the University of Otago opens doors!

The sectors requiring genetics graduates are only expanding: you could be a researcher, lab technician, innovator, genetic counsellor, bio-science marketer, forensic scientist, agricultural consultant, museum professional, science writer or journalist, policy advisor, environmental worker, teacher, patent specialist, and more.

Genetics graduates can bring their knowledge and lab skills to research environments in academia, institutes and business, or go on to postgraduate study to enhance their career opportunities. Research employers in New Zealand include Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), Universities, and biotech businesses in the agriculture, medical and other fields.

A BSc or a BSc(Honours) in Genetics can carry you into a research technician or an assistant research fellow position in a CRI laboratory. CRIs that employ Genetics graduates include AgResearch, Environmental Science & Research (ESR), Plant and Food Research, Scion, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and Landcare.

Many PhD graduates go on to become postdoctoral research scientists and with further experience, scientists who manage their own research groups.

Hospitals and health organisations offer varied opportunities for Genetics graduates, such as a diagnostic technician in cytogenetics or molecular lab, or as an embryologist in a fertility clinic.

Rapid advancements in genetics and its contribution to society means that government departments (or non-government organisations) also need genetics graduates - for example to develop policy or manage and assess research applications.

Government departments and Crown entities that might employ Genetics graduates include Department of Conservation (DoC), Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI).

With a Genetics degree, you can offer these organisations the knowledge and skills to help them solve new problems and make life better for people and the environment - making for an exciting career right from the start. Interested?