How Do You Become a Bioinformatics Developer?

If you’re interested in becoming a bioinformatics developer (also referred to as a bioinformatician), then you chosen the right time to get interested. In recent times, a growing number of private organizations and government institutions have begun to show interest in doubling down on bioinformatics initiatives.

In addition to a greater amount of interest expressed by established organizations, many different research institutes and companies have began to collaborate in order to facilitate the further growth of the industry. The higher investment from the government and company collaboration has accompanied a greater demand for protein sequencing. In addition to protein sequencing demand, has also been a notably higher demand for nucleic acid.

The market is just right for aspiring bioinformatics developers to come into their own, but in order to do so, it’s important to keep the following things in mind about the nature of the occupation.

Education and Skill Requirements

The minimum educational requirement for entry as a bioinformatics developer is a PhD. Prior to acquiring the doctorate, it is common for undergraduate students to participate in a program that especially targeted in not only the bioinformatics field, but other related fields as well. One of the supplementary fields that undergraduate student with an interest in bioinformatics may participate in is biomathematics.

To fulfill the responsibilities of the job, prospective bioinformatics developers will need a strong base of advanced mathematical skill. Beyond simply solving mathematical problems, bioinformatics developers need to demonstrate a substantial affinity for logical yet flexible thinking; this is the best way to approach dynamic problem-solving task which may necessitate an agile change in perception when the nature of problems change.

A bioinformatics developer needs to be both analytical and critical, willing to think outside of the box but not so set in their ways that they never consider alternative possibilities. The basic mathematical skills that a bioinformatics developer hones over the course of their studies can be applied to specific tasks such as data set sequence location. Through education in computational biology, a bioinformatics developer becomes adept at analyzing and abstracting information collected from company databases.

Before becoming an official bioinformatics developer, a certain amount of relevant experience through postdoctoral appointments is commonly gained. Time spent in certain research positions might also be a sufficient form of pre-existing experience for those applying for a bioinformatics developer position, though this will most likely depend on the specific standards set forth by the employer.

Industry Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes categorizes bioinformatics developers as research scientists, for which the median annual salary is about $83,000.

While a greater market interest in bioinformatics has been unquestionably confirmed, there has still yet to be a concrete clarification of the exact standards for data integration and formats.

Related Resource: What is an Infrastructure Architect?

The industry currently has a relatively low number of specially trained professionals that can collectively and credibly clarify concrete standards, which can have contrasting implications for prospective applicants; on one hand, the competition is not saturated and offers those with a genuine desire to participate in the industry a fair chance to distinguish themselves. On the other hand, new bioinformatics professionals may have their hands full with establishing a strong foundation upon which the burgeoning industry can grow and develop.