What is a bioinformatics degree program all about? A bioinformatics program focuses on the application of computer and information technology and services to biological, biomedical, and biotechnology research. The field of Bioinformatics is one that is emerging as an area of science which is concerned with the management, analysis and visualization of data generated in molecular and cellular biology, genomics and other areas of biomedicine and biology. Most people have multiple fields that they are interested in. The trick is to take the types of things that you are interested in find a career that will let you use your interests.
Bioinformatics Education and Training
In addition to traditional schoolwork, students who are working towards a degree in bioinformatics also need to look for internships. Currently there are several exciting internships in the bioinformatics degree that will provide the student with more experience than any college class. Generally the program is offered at the graduate level of study including the masters and PhD program, which requires students to take advanced level courses as well as research-intensive curricula. Courses may include:
- Molecular Genetics
- Macromolecular Structure
- Ethics in Research
- Cellular Biochemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Web Development
- Experimental Statistics for Biological Sciences
- Genetic Data Analysis
- Software Engineering
After graduating form high school the student will need to look for a school that offers an bachelors degree in bioinformatics. Most people find that it is very difficult to get a job in this field until they have gotten a masters bioinformatics degree. Many continue their education until they have earned their doctorate degree.
Too often, people assume that they have to focus on one thing. What they don’t understand that there are many career opportunities that allow you utilize many of your interests. For example anyone who is interested in biology, computers, and research should seriously consider getting a bioinformatics degree. Bioinformatics is a fast growing interdisciplinary field that combines mathematical and computer sciences with biology and medicine. With advancements in biotechnology, bioinformatics provides tools to understand complex biological systems in ecological systems, specific human diseases, cellular and molecular networks, etc.
When a person has a degree in bioinformatics they will be able to get a job that allows them use computers while studying various aspects of molecular biology The average bioinformatics spends a great deal of their professional time studying organisms and their unique biological processing. They also spend time trying to determine the molecular causes of diseases. Master in Bioinformatics may be required to take courses in areas such Computational Methods of Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics Foundations, Molecular Genetics, Macromolecular Structure, and Functional Genomics.
Many bioinformatics professionals pass their days working on the development of gene-based drugs that could be used to treat and possibly cure disease in humans. Many of the job opportunities are working with stem cells. It is impossible to work in the field of bioinformatics if you do not have an education that is heavy in science.
Bioinformatics also requires that the individuals who are employed in the field should also be able to use and write computer software and that they can educate the other people who are employed in the company on how to use the computer to retrieve information. Most of the organizations who are currently hiring individuals who have a degree in bioinformatics include a variety of government programs, pharmaceutical research companies, universities, and some think tanks.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
The future for anyone with a degree in bioinformatics looks promising. Programs like the Human Genome Project means that new bioinformatics opportunities are opening up all the time. At the current rate of growth there will be nine percent more bioinformatics jobs in 2016 than there were in 2006.
The average pay scale for an individual in bioinformatics ranges from $63,117 to $85,797 with an average of $75,000 for 2012. In addition to working in the actual field of bioinformatics, the continued growth of the field means that more teaching opportunities will also become available. If you are interested in pursuing a career in this field, it starts with acquiring the bioinformatics degree.