How to Become a Bioinformatics Professional

1 Under­stand what Bioin­for­mati­cians do.

  • Broad­ly, com­pu­ta­tion­al biol­o­gy is involved with devel­op­ing and imple­ment­ing tools in order to use and man­age bio­log­i­cal data.
  • The med­ical field is a major employ­er of Bioin­for­mati­cians, but they are also need­ed in indus­try and agri­cul­ture.

2 Stay abreast of new devel­op­ments in Bioin­for­mat­ics and biotech­nol­o­gy.

  • This high­ly tech­no­log­i­cal field is under­go­ing rapid changes.
  • The Bioin­for­mat­ics Orga­ni­za­tion offers con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cours­es.

3 Become pro­fi­cient in com­put­er sci­ence.

  • This includes data­base admin­is­tra­tion and pro­gram­ming skills.
  • UNIX is cur­rent­ly the pre­ferred oper­at­ing sys­tem plat­form.
  • Be able to write pro­grams in com­put­er lan­guages such as PERL, SQL and C.
  • Learn to use genomic sequence analy­sis and mol­e­c­u­lar mod­el­ing pro­grams.

4 Study col­lege lev­el biol­o­gy.

  • Biol­o­gy cours­es should include ana­lyt­i­cal tech­niques and mol­e­c­u­lar biol­o­gy.

5 Take math cours­es, par­tic­u­lar­ly those for biol­o­gists.

  • Bio­sta­tis­tics is an impor­tant dis­ci­pline in Bioin­for­mat­ics.

6 Pur­sue high­er edu­ca­tion. Under­grad­u­ate degrees can be in biol­o­gy, com­put­er sci­ence or biotech­nol­o­gy.

  • In grad­u­ate school, find a pro­gram that com­bi­nes both dis­ci­plines, if pos­si­ble; how­ev­er the empha­sis seems to be on mol­e­c­u­lar biol­o­gy study with the acquir­ing of infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy skills.
  • Bioin­for­mat­ics or com­pu­ta­tion­al biol­o­gy pro­grams are still fair­ly new.
  • Researchers should have a doc­tor­ate in biol­o­gy, sta­tis­tics or math.

7 Learn to iden­ti­fy the right ques­tions to ask in addi­tion to the method­olo­gies to apply.


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