A geneticist studies DNA  to identify genetic and genomic patterns.

Who's a Geneticist ?

A genome is a person or an organism’s complete set of DNA, including its genes. Genomics is the study focusing on the structure, evolution, mapping and editing of genomes. As a geneticist , you could work in healthcare, either as a genomic technologist or a clinical scientist. Your primary job will be to work with a patient’s DNA to identify genetic and genomic alterations that may be responsible for inherited and acquired diseases or conditions, such as cystic fibrosis or cancer.

Sounds like the perfect career for you? Get to know it better in the following sections!

What will you do?

Detecting genetic diseases.

Your primary role would be using set diagnostic procedures to establish genotypes that will help in detecting genetic diseases. Diagnostic procedures can include taking a blood, skin or hair sample from the patient that contains their DNA. Using the DNA, you can establish a genotype that will help you identify if the patient is suffering – or likely to suffer – from any inherited diseases.

Example: Diseases like breast and ovarian cancer carry genetic markers that can be detected using genotype testing. Not everyone who contracts these diseases will have these genetic markers, but those with the markers can undergo regular testing to catch them at an early stage.

Advising clinicians.

You will write complete interactive reports for clinicians (including family doctors, consultant neurologists, and paediatricians), and other healthcare professionals who request the tests. Furthermore, you will also advise them on additional investigation strategies.

Example: With genomic testing, you can identify psychological disorders and compile a report in a way that the doctor can interpret those markers and advise their patients accordingly.

Devising new investigation strategies.

With countless genotype combinations, it will be one of your responsibilities as a senior-level professional to come up with new strategies for investigating diseases. You will work closely with other clinicians to identify the problems they face while trying to extract data for investigation.

Example: There is a chance that the sample has the potential to be contaminated from the time it is extracted to when it is delivered to you. You can guide the team delivering the sample on the right way to handle it, or devise new ways to transport samples.

Conducting training sessions.

Genomic testing is a relatively new field – a lot of healthcare professionals are not aware of its advantages and limitations. As a genomic scientist, you would educate them by conducting regular training sessions and helping healthcare workers interpret the reports. At a senior level, you will also train juniors and students studying to get into this field.

Example: You can help oncologists understand which types of cancers can be detected by genomic testing, and how to look for those markers in a report.

Updating your professional skills.

You must stay updated on breakthroughs in the medical field and in genomic science. You can do this by referring to science journals or attending training courses and conferences regularly.

Example: If a new genotype marker concerning a hereditary disease is discovered, you should be among the first to know about it and add it to your database while testing.

Take the Mentoria career assessment test, to find out how well-suited you are as a Geneticist.

Where will you work?

Hospital Laboratory

If you choose to work in healthcare, you will have an office-based job within a hospital laboratory. You will assist others with their health needs as a healthcare provider, either on your own or as part of a team of professionals in a large academic research hospital where you can teach, research and treat patients.

Corporate Sector

You can either work for new biotechnology start-ups or large pharmaceutical companies, where you will be instrumental in developing new medications and products to improve/enhance life.


As a plant and animal genomics researcher, you will use genotyping and next-generation sequencing technologies to study agricultural species and gain a better understanding of the genetic variation influencing phenotypes.


You can work towards impacting future generations of scientists and science by educating students and performing groundbreaking research in your laboratory.

How do you get there?

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

STEP 1: Class XI-XII/Junior College

If you want to get into this field, you will need to pick science with biology as your primary subject.

STEP 2: Graduate Degree

You have a variety of options when it comes to pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. You can choose between Botany, Genetics, Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Food Science, Agricultural Science, Zoology, Nutrition, MBBS, BDS and B Pharm.

STEP 3: Postgraduate Degree

It is ideal to pursue your Master’s degree immediately after graduation. Pursue a two-year postraduate degree in Genetics, Human Genetics, Applied Genetics, Biomedical Genetics, Microbial Genetics and Bioinformatics, Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering or Plant Genetic Resources. You need at least 50% marks in your Bachelor’s degree to get into these courses.

STEP 4: Internship

You can take an internship with a hospital laboratory or a private laboratory to learn the ropes of the job and gain some practical knowledge.

STEP 5: Land a Job

Congratulations, you’re officially a geneticist ! You can now continue working as a genetic technologist or a clinical scientist in the same place where you did your internship or look for more opportunities. A PhD in this field will further enhance your employment opportunities.

Thinking of a career as a Genomic Scientist? Take the Mentoria assessment test & talk to our career counsellors to get personalized step-by-step guidance for your future career path.

What skills would you need?

Analytical and Data Skills

Analytical and Data Skills

You will receive huge amounts of data from your client. This data will have to be analysed effectively so you can find ways that will help your client reach their customers is the best way possible. While it is true that the more data you analyse, the more insights you generate; analytical thinking will help you narrow down your search and find your key actionable items, thus saving you a lot of time and resources.

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Technical Skills

Technical Skills

You will be frequently using accounting software and other financial tools as many CAs need to work with technology to analyse data and prepare financial reports. build this skill
Attention to Detail

Attention to Detail

Working with eggs and embryos is a very tedious task. Every little detail matters when you are observing them. If you are good at giving attention to detail, then your job at the laboratory will be made much easier.

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Scientific Skills

Scientific Skills

A logical mind can reason well, and reasoning before reaching any conclusions is very important in any scientific field. You must, therefore, have a scientific bent of mind along with an interest in life sciences.

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Time Management

Time Management

The best - and worst - part about marketing is that there is never a dull moment. But this also means that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT. Be prepared to be working on several tasks at once. That means that there are times when you will have to put certain projects on the backburner. You will have to know how to prioritise so that you don’t lose out on any opportunities.

Problem-solving Skills

Problem-solving Skills

Patients will be coming to you with different issues with fertility. You must be able to assess their problem, analyse the reason and work on coming up with a solution.

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How do you make it to the top ranks?

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You will be tasked with shadowing other technicians or scientists. You will also be able to gain a lot of practical knowledge at this level.

Junior Scientist/Technician

You will be working with the most basic analyses. Your work will involve following protocols that have been set by the seniors.

Mid-Level Scientist/Technician

You will be working with all the analyses that go through the lab. You can also set new protocols for your juniors to follow with a senior’s approval.

Senior-Level Scientist/Technician

You are the one who oversees everything in the lab. You will be in charge of training new people while handling certain administrative roles.

Pursuing your career locally VS abroad

There are a lot of courses available for genomics in India. With more importance given to the field, there will be a higher demand for Geneticists  in India over the coming decade. Depending on the college and the course you opt for, it will cost you anywhere between INR 70,000 – INR 10,00,000. Top colleges to pursue this course in India are SRM University, Bharath University, Aryabhatta Knowledge University, and Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research. While a graduation course is enough to land you an internship here, you should pursue a master’s in the field to enhance your knowledge in the field if you wish to settle abroad.

If you are planning to study abroad, you can start at a bachelor’s level. While choosing a university, try to look for one that offers you relevant placement upon the completion of your course. You can also finish your undergraduate studies in India and go abroad for master’s or doctorate degree. Studying abroad would cost you an average of INR 10,00,000-INR 50,00,000, depending on the university and course you opt for. The top countries to study and work as a geneticist are Switzerland, the USA and England.

How much would you get paid?

The pay scale usually depends on the country/organisation you work with, and the level you'll be working at.

What are your career options?

Clinical Scientist

There are different types of clinical scientists, but those working in genomics are trained at the postgraduate level in genomic science. They work closely with medics, who have expertise in the clinical presentation of genomic variants, to find a genomic diagnosis for patients. Clinical scientists in genomics may specialise in either rare disease or cancer.

Genetic Technologist

Genetic technologists are experts in the appropriate handling and processing of a range of patient samples that will be sent specifically for genomic testing. They are responsible for ensuring that each patient sample follows the correct pipeline. Genetic technologists have the skills required to prepare various types of samples and extract DNA so that genomic testing can be performed. They adhere to strict protocol to ensure the integrity of DNA is maintained as much as possible and that the DNA sent for sequencing will yield a result.

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