What is Bioinformatics?
Bioinformatics is the study and analysis of complex biological data, such as genetic codes. These studies are conducted with the help of scientific computer technology to capture and interpret the data in an effective and efficient manner.
When you work in bioinformatics, you will be developing these computational methods and tools for understanding and breaking down different types of biological data.
Computer technology is needed as biological data sets can be expansive and complex. The role of a bioinformatics scientist is to develop efficient computer systems, meaning that these data sets can be analysed in great detail.
Benefits of Bioinformatics Careers
If you want to look for jobs in bioinformatics, you'll be glad to know that there are many benefits for pursuing a career in this field.
It's Intellectually Stimulating: due to the niche skill set that bioinformatics is, your role will be ever-developing on a day-to-day basis.
It's Rewarding: when you work in bioinformatics, you will be a part of a group of scientists and researchers working to understand the human genome. This will allow for new biotechnologies, advanced medical treatments, and an opportunity to create personalised medicine for extremely rare diseases and illnesses.
It's Well Paid: the starting salary for an entry-level bioinformatician is a generous £37,060 per year.
It Has Great Job Progression Prospects: Bioinformatics jobs are in increasingly high demand, especially since the introduction of the Human Genome Project which was completed in April 2003.
What Qualifications Do I Need For a Job in Bioinformatics?
To become a bioinformatic scientist, you will need a 1st or a 2:1 in an undergraduate and/or master's degree in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology or Computer Science.
You will then need to enroll onto the NHS Scientist Training Programme where you will integrate into a clinical genetics setting. If you already have experience as a registered clinical scientist, you can apply for Higher Specialist Scientist Training.