Bioinformatics is a rapidly growing field that offers many opportunities for career growth. It combines the fields of biology and computer science, making it an excellent choice for those who are interested in both areas. Bioinformatics is used to store, organize, and analyze biological data. This data can include DNA sequences, gene expression data, protein sequences, and more. Bioinformatics analysts are in high demand, and the field is expected to continue growing in the future. If you are interested in a career in bioinformatics, It’s an ideal career choice for you.
What Skills Are Needed for Bioinformatics?
If you want to work in bioinformatics, you must have strong critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, analytical reasoning, and advanced mathematical abilities.
In addition to these, you would need to be proficient in the following technical skills:
- Statistical Knowledge
- Programming Capabilities
- General Biology Understanding
- Understanding of Genomics and Genetics
- Database Administration
Data mining and machine learning are two of the most important aspects of data mining and machine learning.
What Educational Qualifications Are Required for a Career in Bioinformatics?
A Master’s degree is required to begin a career as a Bioinformatic. There are several undergraduate programs in bioinformatics and related interdisciplinary fields available.
On the other hand, applicants for graduate studies do not need to have a BSc in bioinformatics or a related field; instead, they must have a bachelor‘s degree in life sciences or computer science. To begin graduate studies in bioinformatics, one would need to complete coursework in molecular biology, genetics, chemistry, statistics, and computer programming. You may need to specialize in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Epidemiology, or Bio-Statistics at the Master’s level.
Where Do Bioinformatics Work?
Most bioinformatics specialists work for pharmaceutical companies, which use biological and genomic data to develop new drugs. Others work for biotechnology firms, which create new medical treatments and products. Government health agencies and hospitals employ some. Others work for consulting firms that specialize in bioinformatics. Some work in the software industry. Those who work with wildlife and environmental science data are typically employed as researchers or faculty at colleges and universities or as technicians or scientists by nonprofit organizations. They typically work full-time in laboratories and offices and adhere to regular business hours.
What Does a Bioinformatics Scientist Do?
A bioinformatics scientist is a biologist who uses computer science knowledge to study biology. Their duties include creating databases and software for biological advances, improving existing applications as needed, coordinating with various scientists and professionals, and keeping detailed records of all research and transactions. It is critical to review all data, identify problems, troubleshoot, and take corrective action as needed. A bioinformatics scientist in a corporate setting must create progress reports and presentations while adhering to the company’s vision, mission, and goals.
Here are some examples of responsibilities from real bioinformatics scientist resumes that represent typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.
• Manage the informatics LIMS system for sample tracking, reporting, and service project delivery.
• Develop and automate using computational skills to use bioinformatics pipelines and algorithms for NGS and genotyping.
• Create and manage third-party claim investigations and contractor remediation oversight for various insurance companies.
• Propose, win, and carry out a C++ software development project to investigate foliage modeling techniques for airborne LIDAR simulation systems.
• Create analysis pipelines for various assays such as RNA-Seq, ribosome profiling, and whole-genome dilution haplotyping.
• Analyze and evaluate DTED methods for the customer using both LIDAR and SAR.
• Assist customers with DNA, RNA, and protein sequence analysis by providing technical support and developing strategies.
• PHP, CSS, HTML, MySQL, and Java are used to create websites.
• Work in both a Windows and a Linux environment.
• Create the NGS cancer diagnostics report.
• Create intricate target panels for DNA and RNA applications.
• Genome sequencing, mapping, and assembly are examples of project types.
• Analyze biological images quantitatively (using MATLAB).
• Use Postures and SQL databases in a UNIX and Linux environment.
• Perform bug fixes and feature upgrades on LIMS Perl codes as part of software maintenance.
How Much Does a Bioinformatics Scientist Make?
Bioinformatics Scientists in the United States earn an annual salary of $85,147, or $41 per hour. The top 10% earn more than $129,000 per year, while the bottom 10% earn less than $56,000.
What Are the Best Colleges to Pursue a Degree as a Bioinformatic Scientist?
Here is a description and detail of some of the best colleges to help you become a successful bioinformatics scientist.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private university established in 1861. It has a total of 4,36 undergraduate students enrolled. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has ranked #2 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022 edition. The total cost of tuition and fees is $55,878.
University of California–San Diego
The University of California—San Diego is a public university established in 1960. Six undergraduate colleges, five academic divisions, and five graduate and professional schools comprise UCSD. The University of California-San Diego is ranked #34 in the list of National Universities. Admission to the University of California—San Diego is the most selective, with a 38% acceptance rate.
Stanford University was established in 1885 as a private institution. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,366 (fall 2020, and an 8,180-acre campus. It follows a quarterly academic calendar, and it has ranked National in the Best Colleges 2022 edition.
Duke University is a private university, and the academic calendar is semester-based. Duke University has ranked #9 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022 edition. Its tuition and fees total $60,489. Duke University admissions are the most selective, with an acceptance rate of only 8%.
University of California–Berkeley
The University of California—Berkeley is a public research university founded in 1868. The University of California—Berkeley has ranked #22 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022 edition. It charges $14,361 in in-state tuition and fees and $44,115 in out-of-state tuition.
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University is a for-profit enterprise. The admissions process at Johns Hopkins University is highly selective, with a 9 percent acceptance rate. Public Health, General; Neuroscience; Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering; Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology; Computer and Information Sciences, General; International Relations and Affairs; Chemical Engineering; Economics, General; Mathematics, General; and Mechanical Engineering are the most popular majors at Johns Hopkins University.
Harvard University is a for-profit organization. Harvard University has ranked #2 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022 edition. Harvard University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,222 students (fall 2020), with 49 percent male students and 51 percent female students.
University of California–Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public institution. Admission to the University of California-Los Angeles is the most selective, with a 14 percent acceptance rate. The most popular majors at the University of California—Los Angeles is: Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Psychology; Mathematics and Statistics; Engineering; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Visual and Performing Arts; English Language and Literature/Letters; and History.
University of Maryland–College Park
The University of Maryland—College Park is a public university established in 1856. It has a total of 30,875 undergraduate students. The University of Maryland—College Park is ranked #59 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022 edition. It charges $10,954 for in-state tuition and fees and $38,636 for out-of-state tuition and fees.
University of Washington
The University of Washington is a cutting-edge research facility. The University of Washington has ranked #59 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022 edition. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available on all three UW campuses. At the University of Washington, 38% of full-time undergraduates receive need-based financial aid, with the average need-based scholarship or grant-awarding $17,945.
What Are the Best Online Courses for Aspiring Bioinformatics Scientists?
Here are some of the best courses for Bioinformatics Scientists available on Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go to help you advance in your career. These courses may be helpful if you want to improve your skills as a Bioinformatics Scientist.
Plant Bioinformatics Methods Specialization by Coursera
In Bioinformatics Methods I, the Plant Bioinformatics Specialization on Coursera introduces core competencies and resources such as NCBI’s GenBank, Blast, multiple sequence alignments, and phylogeny, followed by protein-protein interaction, structural bioinformatics, and RNA-seq analysis in Bioinformatic Methods II. This course will cover 33 plant-specific online tools in Plant Bioinformatics, ranging from genome browsers to transcription data mining to promoter/network analyses and more.
Bioinformatic Methods I by Coursera
This course covers multiple sequence alignments, phylogeny, gene expression data analysis, and protein interaction networks in two parts.
The first section (this one) covers databases, Blast, multiple sequence alignments, phylogeny, selection analysis, and meta genomics.
Bioinformatic Methods II, the second section, covers motif searching, protein-protein interactions, structural bioinformatics, gene expression data analysis, and sic-element predictions.
Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners by Coursera
This course will cover algorithms for solving a variety of biological problems, as well as a number of programming challenges to assist you in implementing these algorithms in Python. It provides a gradual introduction to our Bioinformatics Specialization.
Network Analysis in Systems Biology by Coursera
The course teaches students to process raw data from genome-wide mRNA expression studies (microarrays and RNA-seq), such as data normalization, differential expression, clustering, enrichment analysis, and network construction. The course includes practical tutorials for using tools and configuring pipelines, but it also covers the mathematics behind the tools’ methods.
Bacterial Bioinformatics by Coursera
This course demonstrates and exercises everyday genomics-based analysis tasks on bacterial sequence data. Participants in the course will learn how to perform a comparative analysis of bacterial genomes, beginning with raw sequence data. The first module’s lessons cover genome assembly, annotation, phylogenetic tree construction, and comparisons of protein families and proteomes. Each lesson builds on the one before it, resulting in a comprehensive baseline analysis workflow.
Differential Gene Expression Analysis – Your Complete A to Z by Udemy
Through this course, You’ll learn about one of the most popular sub-specialties in bioinformatics: differential gene expression analysis. By the end of this course, you will be able to conduct RNAseq and qPCR-based differential gene expression analysis in R independently and independently. Furthermore, you will gain a solid understanding of statistical and modeling methods, allowing you to effectively explain and apply them to bioinformatic differential gene expression analysis problems.
Technical Analysis with Python for Algorithmic Trading by Udemy
We will employ rigorous Back testing / Forward Testing to identify and optimize appropriate Trading Strategies based on Technical Analysis / Indicators. This course will allow you to test your trading ideas and hypotheses. It offers Python Coding Frameworks and Templates, allowing you to code and test thousands of trading strategies in minutes.
Python Data Analysis & Visualization Bootcamp by Udemy
This course will take you from the fundamentals of Python to the exploration of various types of data. You will learn how to prepare data for analysis, conduct simple statistical analyses, create meaningful data visualizations, forecast future trends from data, and much more.
Case Studies in Functional Genomics by EDX
This course will demonstrate how to perform the standard processing and normalization steps, beginning with raw data, to arrive at a point where relevant biological questions can be investigated. They will also cover FASTQ file quality control, aligning RNA-seq reads and visualizing alignments before moving on to analyzing RNA-seq at the gene level: counting reads in genes, Exploratory Data Analysis, and variance stabilization for counts, count-based differential expression, normalization, and batch effects.
Molecular Biology – Part 3: RNA Processing and Translation by EDX-
This course will investigate the translation of mRNA to protein, which is a critical component of biology’s central dogma.
High-Dimensional Data Analysis by EDX-
In this course, You will learn about the batch effect, which is currently the most challenging data analytical problem in genomics, and how techniques can detect and adjust for batch effects. They will specifically describe the principal component analysis and factor analysis and show how these concepts are applied to data visualization and data analysis of high-throughput experimental data.
Bioinformatics is a good career path as it’s an interdisciplinary field that bridges biology, mathematics, and computer science. The term bioinformatics refers to computational methods for analyzing data related to living organisms. Bioinformatics work with biological information, including gene sequences, protein structures, metabolic pathways, and cell signaling networks. It makes this industry a perfect fit for anyone who loves math or computers.