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What is the job outlook for bioinformatics professionals in the coming decades?

I'm planning on earning a bioinformatics degree during my undergraduate degree, and I was hoping to learn the prospects of the career, itself, should I choose to pursue further education in the field. I was hoping to hear about how demand is predicted to rise/fall in the coming decades and whether it is a job that is easy to outsource. #bioinformatics


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Mikhail’s Answer

As far as an undergraduate career goes, as a recently graduated student trying to find a job in Bioinformatics, I'd say that the industry has literally exploded in the past decade. As an example, in the early 2000s, it took 2.7 billion dollars to put together one human genome. Today, we can do that for a little over a thousand. Relatively speaking, we're at the point that Computing was at in the 80's, when the personal computing revolution happened. As well, it's fairly easy to go from a bioinformatics degree to working in data science or computer programming. So finding a job won't be too much of a problem even if the whole industry collapses for some reason. There are a few important caveats, however. Most bioinformatics programs only give you a brief overview at an undergraduate level, and focus on classes to do with computer science or biology / biochem separately from each other. This is certainly helpful if you decide you want to double major / switch majors.
As for programming, the 2 most useful languages to you will be Python, and Perl. R is also used a lot, but is more specialized in statistics and is more of a statistical computing language than a programming one. C and C++ aren't often used at a beginning level, but are useful once you get into the advanced software.
As such, it's very important to get involved in research or an internship of some sort so that you have work experience when you graduate. Maybe do some work helping with the open source software available (another point where bioinformatics differs is the prevalence of open source software and data, that you can usually get for free). Practically every entry level job demands at least a year of work in the industry, and a lot of internship programs are for current students only.

Mikhail recommends the following next steps:

Apply for undergrad.
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Learn Python.
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Get involved in research / working on open source software.
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Graduate.
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Apply for a Master's / PhD
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Yuezhe (Rachel)’s Answer

The demand for bioinformatics professional is rising, and probably will keep rising. I would recommend you focus not only biology, but also on programming and statistics for your future education. Bioinformatics is heavily based on statistical modeling, and programming helps people to solve questions efficiently.

Yuezhe (Rachel) recommends the following next steps:

learn statistics. You should be familiar with most of the statistical models that used in genomics
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learn programming. Maybe learning Python would be a good place to start.
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Hi, I am very interested in the field of bioinformatics! Can you recommend anything such as internships which can increase my experience in this field. Taehyun Yoon

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Amrita’s Answer

Hi Bhavani,

Congratulations on taking this step!

Bioinformatics is no longer a new field. With the advent of new profiling technologies it’s relevance to a number of health related industries as steadily grown. Earlier days largely saw importance of bioinformatics in the medical arena. More recently, this field has become of interest in the agriculture, chemical, consumer/beauty and genealogical focused industries.

In short, its overall relevance is growing and will continue to do so.

All the best!

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RAJESH’s Answer

The demand for Bioinformatics professionals is rising now, and it continues in the future too. Where bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary subject, you should be proficient in both biological sciences and computer sciences. If you are from the biology background, you should master logical and programming skills including data analysis and statistics. If from computer science background you must become fluent in the genomics and cellular biology.


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Daniel’s Answer

There are plenty of bioinformatics jobs out there for those so inclined. You'll be well rounded and communicate with many different kinds of scientists. Your perspective will continue to morph. Always use your inner judgement rather than the tool you are using. Yeah, computer scientists must consider the genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. The closer they get to computational biology they are able to make a an impact on the modeling aspect. Statistics is always a class you should take and keep with your in your kit. A Bioinformatician being able to apply a programming language alongside that is pertinent. The fact that they are offering so many biological subset degrees is proof that the workforce is willing to accept multiple career paths.

Daniel recommends the following next steps:

Apply to undergrad
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Graduate.
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Venkatesh’s Answer

Hi, bioinformatics opportunities are growing year over year... Since illumina is expanding genetic testing and its compact table top sequencers .. This field only grow for next 2 decades.


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