Coined by Paulin Hogweg and Ben Wisper, Bioinformatics is a unique and emerging field of study which is an amalgamation of the two prominent domains of Science, i.e. Computer Science and Biology. It aims to analyse the informatic processes in biotic systems and comprises varied applications of computer science, statistics, mathematics into molecular biology. As it is a lesser-known yet impactful branch of Biomedical Science, the career scope of bioinformatics is filled with an array of opportunities and prospects. Through this blog, we aim to understand what this field comprises of, courses you can choose from as well as the varied job profiles you can opt for.
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Bioinformatics: Course Overview
In simple terms, Bioinformatics can be termed as the science of collecting, restoring and assessing bigger chunks of biological information. For those wanting to study this specialised field, there is a multitude of courses available in this field such as BSc Bioinformatics, MSc Bioinformatics, amongst others which aim to provide students with an insight into the concepts of biomolecules with the help of machine learning, evaluating the evolutionary genetics, visualization software, DNA sequencing, data analysis, medicine precision, etc. Courses in Bioinformatics will equip you with the knowledge of carrying out the comparison of genetics data, analysis of proteins and their interactions, drug designing using the models and computational chemistry along with genomic analysis.
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List of Courses in Bioinformatics
With the emerging scope of Bioinformatics in the domain of medicine and technology, a multitude of programs are available for those interested in exploring this interdisciplinary field. Here are the prominent degree and diploma courses in Bioinformatics which you can opt for.
- Diploma in Bioinformatics
- BSc Biotechnology and Bioinformatics
- BTech Bioinformatics
- BSc Bioinformatics
- Advanced Diploma in Bioinformatics
- Certificate in Bioinformatics
- Masters in Bioinformatics & Systems Biology
- Masters in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
- MSc in Biotechnology & Bioinformatics
- MTech/MS in Bioinformatics
- PhD in Bioinformatics
Generally, after getting a degree in Biology, graduates can get a postgraduate qualification in Bioinformatics or any Computer Science related program to attain specialised knowledge of this domain and follow the career pathways offered in Bioinformatics.
Scope of Bioinformatics: Skills Required & Prerequisites
To establish a career in the springing field of bioinformatics, candidates need to have certain essential requisites. In order to avail the vast scope in bioinformatics offering high-end jobs in the leading sectors, you need to possess the following skills:
- Proficient in the use of programming languages and software like basic C programs, C++, Perl, Python, MATLAB, Galaxy, etc.
- Core knowledge of bioinformatics tools such as Clustalw, Blast, BLAT, T-coffee, clustering tools and analysis algorithms.
- It would be beneficial for candidates to have prior knowledge of software toolkits like Scaffold, UCSC, Enalos, Entrez etc.
- Knowledge about the interpretation of modules from extracted data out of multiple resources.
- Understanding of Genetics and molecular biology
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Specialised Areas of Employment
With the amalgamation of Molecular Biology with Information Technology, graduates in both these fields can delve deeper into the scope of bioinformatics by finding prospects in different sectors. Some of the major specialised career fields for those planning to build a career in Bioinformatics include:
- Clinical Pharmacology
- Sequence Analysis
- Computational Chemistry
- Informatics Development
- Database Management
- Medical Technology
- Information Science
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Scope of Bioinformatics: Major Career Profiles
Owing to the wider scope of bioinformatics, one can explore an array of career prospects available in both public as well as private sector. As it brings together the domains of molecular biology and information technology, you can explore opportunities in pharmaceutical science, biomedical science, biotechnology, amongst others. In the above-mentioned sectors, there are varied job profiles offered, some of which have been given a rundown below.
Under this profile, one needs to facilitate various DNA and molecular biology-based research projects and enter them into the computational programming systems, thus working on the automation of genomic processes as well as simplifying the assessed information in computer systems. Knowledge of coding along with programming languages like C, C++, Python is incremental to pursue the role of a Bioinformatics Programmer.
As more of an entry-level position, a Bioinformatics Analyst carries out research projects in labs and work on the development of informatics algorithms as well as bioinformatics databases which can assist in detecting diseases and different physical ailments. In order to avail the scope of Bioinformatics in this profile, a PhD in this field or any other related one is a common prerequisite.
If you are planning to discover the vast arena of research and development, then opting for the role of research assistant or associate is a suitable one. You can explore positions available at academic and research institutions working towards creating effective bioinformatics databases or finding cures to physical diseases with the help of this domain of study. While a doctoral degree is preferable, a postgraduate student can also work under this job profile.
One of the most opted job profiles under the vast scope of bioinformatics, an Assistant Professor is preferred by those wishing to work in the academic arena. Moreover, a doctoral degree is the main prerequisite that you need to accomplish. Further, you will be imparting students with the knowledge of collecting, storing as well as assessing data related to genomic information and algorithms along with a comprehensive overview of human genetics and bioinformatics.
Under the career scope, Computational Chemist is quite an intensive profile that concerns itself with a multitude of responsibilities. From assisting manufacturers in creating more productive and efficient procedures to helping researchers derive important knowledge from bigger chunks of data, computational chemist utilise statistics and data analysis procedures to develop effective models and simulations of physical methods.
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Apart from these top-notch work profiles, candidates can also carve out a career in the below-mentioned positions:
- Junior Research Fellow
- Clinical Pharmacologist
- Database Design and maintenance
- Informatics Developer
- Sequence Analyst
Top Universities for Bioinformatics Courses
Now that you are familiar with the advancing scope of Bioinformatics and the diverse job prospects it has on offer, here are the top universities in the world for Bioinformatics courses:
|University of Auckland|
Xi’an Jiantong Liverpool University
|BSc Hons in Bioinformatics|
|University of New South Wales||BEng Hons in Bioinformatics|
|Technical University of Munich|
University of Calgary
University of Toronto
University of Saskatchewan
|Bachelor’s in Bioinformatics|
|Universidad Autónoma de Madrid||Master’s in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology|
|Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam||Masters in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology|
|University of Pretoria|
The University of Melbourne
University of Auckland
|The University of Queensland||Master of Bioinformatics|
Master of Bioinformatics (Research- Intensive)
|Università di Bologna||Masters in Bioinformatics (IBMB)|
Edith Cowan University
|Master of Bioinformatics|
|Deakin University||Master of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics|
|Australian National University||MSc in Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics|
Hence, we hope that this blog has assisted you in exploring the springing scope of bioinformatics as well as the career profiles one can choose from. If you are planning to study a degree in Biology or its specialisations and don’t which one to opt for, sign up for a 30-minute free career counselling session with our Leverage Edu experts and we will help you in finding a suitable program and institution as well as throughout the admission process to ensure that you get successfully shortlisted.