The convergence of biology and technology has created some of the greatest and most controversial innovations in history. From the chemicals in our food to the clothing that we wear, bioinformatics impacts many aspects of our everyday life. Bioinformatics is the use of technology and biology to solve some of today's most urgent cultural and scientific issues. Bioinformatics professionals are integral to evolving biotechnology in many industries, including aerospace, medicine and pharmaceuticals, textiles and agriculture. A bioinformatics program is designed to teach you the fundamentals of biotechnology to prepare you for a career in bioinformatics. So if you're considering a career as a bioinformatics specialist, now is a good time to consider the right bioinformatics program for you.
Bioinformatics Program Success Factors
Successful bioinformatics professionals are typically proficient in math and science, are commonly detail-oriented, enjoy problem solving, have strong written and verbal communications skills, and display strong perseverance and patience.
Bioinformatics Program Curriculum
A bioinformatics program curriculum is design to prepare you for a specialized career in bioinformatics. A typical bioinformatics curriculum includes courses in biostatistics, databases and data structures, algorithms, gene expression analysis, manufacturing practices, the molecular basis of carcinogenesis, food biotechnology, biological computation, and drug design.
Bioinformatics Program Degrees
Generally, there are six types of bioinformatics programs: certificate, associate, bachelor's, master's, PhD, and dual degree programs. A biotechnology certificate or diploma paves the way to a job as a laboratory or research technician. An associate degree is similar to a certificate program and typically lasts two years, preparing you for a bachelor's degree or for entry-level lab assistant positions. It is rare to find a college or university that offers a bachelor's degree in biotechnology, but bachelor's programs that do exist stress a particular aspect of biotechnology. Master's degree programs typically last about two years, during which you'll develop the independent research that may ultimately lead to a dissertation and doctorate. The most common programs combine an M.S. or PhD in biotechnology in conjunction with a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Bioinformatics jobs are on the rise as the field of bioinformatics has exploded in the last couple of decades. Career options for aspiring biotechnical scientists include bioinformatician, biotechnical scientist, consultant, director, industry researcher, investigator, professor, project leader, research associate, and senior scientist.