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Choosing Bioinformatics as a Career Option

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 5/19/2008

Discoveries in The last century following the DNA exposure have spawned a great deal of research in biological sciences. Aided by the revolution in information technology, we are seeing a coalescence between the research discipline and information technology to seek answers and better treatment.

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    Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field where biology is related to computers or where biotechnology is related to computers. Biotechnology and Bioinformatics are the next wave after IT in the Indian market. But the questions as to how many of us should pursue them at this point and apply our own intellect to reach the truth? One may think of what to do with a bioinformatics or a computational biology degree. One can have many opportunities after completing a bioinformatics or computational degree.

    In reality these are the most exciting fields and also the fastest growing industries in the world since it involves the entire spectrum of ALL biological species – flowers, plants, mammals, reptiles, animals, or in other words, all living things. What, How, Where, Why, When are the key questions that confront specialists in these fields. It is best for those who have a curious mind and want to learn more and more. As new developments take place, the growth in opportunities is exponential in nature. And therefore those with a bioinformatics degree are in high demand and will continue to be so.

    These include computational biologists, computer programmers, molecular modeling researchers, database managers, data analysts, digestion of data, software engineers, computational analysts, sequence assemblers, software developers, technical support, bioinformatic software developers, web developers, etc. Even the information technology companies accept bioinformatics students for work in as bioinformatics analysts, bio-statisticians, database programmers, network administrators, data visualization specialists, data mining specialists, clinical data managers, laboratory information system analysts, etc.

    Job opportunities in Bioinformatics are very wide spread if one thinks of what to do after completing a degree in the field. Now, coming to the career options one can find many colleges which started bioinformatics. Nowadays, bioinformatics has created a boom in the country and many colleges are starting curriculums. Post graduate diploma courses, B.Sc degree, or M.Sc degree are now offered in  Bioinformatics. Some programsinclude system biology with bioinformatics, some club genomics/proteomics with bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is a widely spread field where one can combine any related field to it. As bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field, it can be taken by both the students who have math as well as science as their background. But the main problem is the students with a biology background have to do math and the students of math need to study science which can be a tough, but not an impossible task.