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Career in Bioinformatics: What Skills do You Need?

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 7/18/2008

Bioinformatics is an emerging career path that combines the use of information technology and biology research into an exciting job opportunity.

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    If you are familiar with the scope and methodology of bioinformatics, you are probably aware of the emerging career opportunities for new graduates in the information technology and biological fields. You may be wondering if you have what it takes to pursue a career in this exciting field.

    The exciting new world of bioinformatics is making a splash in the career fields of biology research and data management. It involves the techniques and tools of mastering mathematical, computer science and biology methods and skills.  In order to be able to pursue a successful career in bioinformatics, you should be keen to the idea of being familiar and proficient in those key areas.  Because of the newness of the career, many professionals in similar fields are making the transition to this new career.

    There are numerous campuses worldwide that offer studies in bioinformatics; some of the leading institutions are located in India in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Some of the key areas that are focused on at these campuses include HTML, Perl, JAVA, C++ and other operating languages and programs.  In addition the traditional biology core classes are required.

    There is an increasing need and scope of bioinformatics in India. Many leading research companies are working hard to get the credibility and respect that they need to receive to support the needs for bioinformatics. If you are considering pursuing a career in the bioinformatics industry, be assured that it can be a very lucrative career and has virtually unlimited possibilities in the future. The use and applications of bioinformatics are still new and it is likely to continue and expand in the years to come.

    Across the United States and in India, there is a gap between the expertise in the world of bioinformatics and the demand. Bioinformatics is primarily being used today in the speeding up of delivery and development of drugs. But the potential areas and fields that could use bioinformatics are continuing to grow. Areas such as bioengineering, bioinstrumentation, diagnostics, vaccines and biotherapeutics are just a few examples of industries that are beginning to use and benefit from implementing bioinformatics into their research studies, as well as the management of data systems and information technology. If you are looking for a career in an exciting new field that continues to grow, a job in Bioinformatics could be right for you.