One of the most up-and-coming fields in biosciences, Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that combines biology and computer science. Bioinformaticians are responsible for several important arenas like analyzing the variations and the expressions in the human gene and using data to analyze protein sequences.
In the time of a global pandemic, this career has gained enormous significance and is more lucrative than ever.
Bioinformatics is a diverse field, which can make it appealing for many professionals. You can become an expert in very different areas—from molecular biology to computer programming. If you think applying research and analytics to biology to create innovative cures and processes is interesting, then you may want to pursue a career in bioinformatics.
A bioinformatics scientist is someone who uses technology and computer science to find answers in the area of biology by researching and generating information about various biological topics as well as developing the computational means to get that knowledge.
Apart from conducting research using bioinformatics theory and methods in areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical technology, biotechnology, computational biology, proteomics, computer information science, biology, and medical informatics, a bioinformatics scientist may design databases and develop algorithms for processing and analyzing genomic information, or other biological information.
Bioinformatics scientists may work either in an industrial, laboratory, or college classroom setting. They may work individually or in groups depending on the project.
Most bioinformatics scientists work full-time, typically at an air-conditioned, quiet, and well-lit workplace.
Bioinformatics scientists typically work in industrial laboratories. They are also employed in an academic field where they serve as professors or work in college classrooms. A Bioinformatics career may involve working with hazardous chemicals or infectious organisms that may turn it into a dangerous experiment. Thus, professionals in the field may be required to wear protective clothing while working in a laboratory.
The overall job outlook for Bioinformatics Scientist careers has been positive since 2004. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median annual salary of $98,230 for bioinformatics technicians as of May 2020. However, salaries vary depending on the field of application, experience, education level, location, and other factors.
Job growth in this field is projected to grow at a rate of 31?tween 2019 and 2029. It should be noted that opportunities for bioinformatics specialists supporting grant-funded research depend on the availability of funding.
If you're interested in becoming a Bioinformatics Scientist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. Entry-level opportunities are available to those with a bachelor's degree. These workers generally have degrees (B.S.) in biology, bioinformatics, or computer programming. Courses in statistics, math, and chemistry are also advised. However, 41% of bioinformatics specialists hold master's degrees, which opens up many more opportunities for advancement. A master’s degree usually requires 2 to 3 years of study after earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a Ph.D.
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are willing to commit to pursuing the career.
If you are an investigative individual with a curious, methodical, and rational mind, bioinformatics is probably the right fit for you.
However, if you're unsure, take InternMart's Career Map Test to know if it's your calling and get a detailed breakdown of why you may or may not make a good bioinformatics scientist.
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