How to start a career in Bioinformatics

What is Bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is the scientific discipline that uses information technology to query, interpret and draw meaningful insights from biological data.

This multidisciplinary field is relatively new and encompasses disciplines such as statistics, maths, biology and computational science. It is already becoming much more of an essential skill and has seen quite a boom in the last decade.

By being able to better and more efficiently process extremely large data sets of genetic/biological data, it has added significantly to our understanding of both plant and human genetics.

In plant genetics, it has allowed us to better identify and understand desirable properties in agriculturally important species like wheat, tomatoes and other cereal crops. This has led to new and novel practices that increase crop quality, productivity and make movements to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production, and food security. Industry and Academia have come together to work on large data projects such as BBSRC’s funded programme Designing Future Wheat (DFW).

In human genetics, it is commonly used to identify candidate’s genes and has added to our understanding of the genetic basis of diseases. In particular, it has led to advances that are making a big impact and improving; oncology, non-invasive genetic testing, rare genetic diseases, scanning of IVF cells, etc. Industry and Academia have come together to work on Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes Project.

How to start a career in Bioinformatics?

It should be noted that there is never only one route into a career.

However, the majority of Bioinformaticians have taken one of two routes:

  • Science -> Bioinformatic specialism
    1. Undergraduate or MSc in a science (biology, genetics, physics etc.) or maths subject
    2. MSc or PhD in Bioinformatics /Computational Biology
  • Software Engineer -> Bioinformatic specialism
    1. Undergraduate in a computer subject
    2. A strong interest in biology which leads to strong biological understanding and or qualifications
    3. MSc or PhD in Bioinformatics /Computational Biology

We have found 27 Postgraduate Courses for Bioinformatics in the United Kingdom here.

 

Looking to start a career or looking for a new opportunity in Bioinformatics?

We are currently looking for skilled and motivated candidates to match our portfolio of Bioinformatic opportunities.

Some of the job roles that we recruit for in Bioinformatics are:

  • Bioinformatics Scientist
  • Bioinformatician
  • Bioinformatics Software Developer
  • Computational Biologist
  • Bioinformatics Manager

If you would like to discuss Bioinformatics further, whether it be a job vacancy you need filling or a job role that you would like to apply for, please contact our specialist Recruitment Consultant Chrissie on 02392 314 782 or alternatively email chrissie@blackfieldassociates.com.

 

References:
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioinformatics
  2. https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/what-study
  3. https://www.postgrad.com/courses/bioinformatics/uk/
  4. genomicsengland.co.uk/the-100000-genomes-project/
  5. http://www.wgin.org.uk/information/documents/Stakeholders%20Meetings/SM_30Nov2017/7%20Designing%20Future%20Wheat-WGIN.pdf

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