Advances at the intersection of biomedical devices and tissue engineering are creating new workforce demands for advanced technological education. With the development of combination devices, sensors, photonics, and implantable systems, employers need technician-specialists who understand more than classical biological and chemical sciences and traditional engineering. The emerging technician-specialist will also need to understand fundamental principles of electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, nanotechnology, optics, photonics, and process-control/quality assurance. Through its National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce, Forsyth Technical Community College will lead the effort to define the skills and knowledge needed by these technician-specialists, and develop educational strategies that can help students learn those skills. This project includes a collaboration between Forsythe Technical Community College (NC), Ivy Tech Community College (IN); Anoka-Ramsey Community College (MN); and College of the Canyons (CA). These four states account for 25% of the employment nationwide across all biosciences industry subsectors and 32% of jobs in medical devices and equipment. The project goal is to initiate, support, and nurture a national effort for advanced technological education that reflects the convergence of science and technology at the interface between biomedical devices and tissue engineering.
Skills for Biomedical Emerging Technology Applications (BETA Skills) will be defined in collaboration with multiple employers, industry groups, educators, workforce agencies, researchers, innovators, and other stakeholders, radiating outward from the four institutions. The project has two objectives: (1) Define BETA core skills for national use by educators, industry, researchers, and employers, and (2) Connect BETA core skills to educational and career pathways with multiple on- and off-ramps. The Biotech-Careers.org website will provide an online platform to curate national information about jobs and opportunities related to BETA core skills.