Bioinformatics Scientist|Career Outlook
Bioinformatics scientists study and dissect large amounts of datasets at the molecular level such as proteomics, raw micro array, and genomic sequence data. They also manipulate databases that are commercially or publicly accessible, which contain genomic and post genomic data. They design and update any web-based informatics tools they may need. They will also change existing software applications to fit the needs of any projects they may be working on, and, if necessary, create a whole new software application for the job.
Bioinformatics scientists often have to come up with creative means both analytically and computationally to solve many biological mysteries in order to meet research goals. They typically work with other biologists, microbiologists, plant scientists, and computer research scientists to develop biological databases in order to decipher all the information they have collected, and to look for future product development opportunities.
Together they troubleshoot any errors that occur and determine the next best course of action. Bioinformatics scientists also consult with other laboratory scientists to design bioinformatics efforts that may be of value to the health or pharmaceutical industries.
How to become a Bioinformatics Scientist
A love of science, especially in biology, along with a knowledge of computers and electronics is a requirement for bioinformatics scientists. A master’s degree in bioinformatics, computational biology, or genomics (a specialization within a genetics degree program) is the minimum educational requirement for a scientist in the bioinformatics field.
The workplace of a Bioinformatics Scientist
Bioinformatics scientists may work either in an industrial, laboratory, or college classroom setting. They may work individually or in groups depending on the project. Inside work is typically air conditioned, quiet, and well lit. Those working for the government or private sector labs usually work Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week, while those working at universities or colleges may have varying hours.
Bioinformatics scientists working in a lab will typically spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen and looking into a microscope, and they will be required to wear special clothing while in a dust-free environment. They will also be required to wear special protective clothing when dealing with corrosive or poisonous chemicals and infectious organisms.