Forum:Is it worth getting a Masters in Bioinformatics, financially?
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10.1 years ago
n00514450 ▴ 20

I already have a bachelor's and I'm planning to go to NYU poly for my master's. I haven't been able to get a job with a bachelor's degree in bioinformatics. My friend, who also majored in bioinformatics and did get a job, is only making $10 an hour and decided he would leave the field because he doesn't think it's financially sustainable for him. I did not go into this field for money, but I want to be able to earn enough to accomplish certain goals. I want to get married, I want to have kids, I want to stop living with my parents. As much as I love science, my priority is to start a family. Is it reasonable to expect to be able to do this, or should I major in something else? Thanks for your help.

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The best advice I ever received : Everyone has advice and most of it is completely irrelevant. What do you want to do? Where do you want to be in ten years? You should major in what you want. The money will come.

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I concur! It sounds cliche, but money only gets you that far!

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I have a B.S. in computer science and a job in this field, but that's a little different than having an undergraduate degree in bioinformatics. If you got a masters in computer science, you would probably be good to go for a lot of jobs, in this field or beyond, if you change your mind. But that might be harder to get than a masters in bioinformatics.

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10.1 years ago

Short answer: yes. There are people hiring MSc level people in bioinformatics, indeed I might be hiring at that level soon. However you need to know what jobs are suitable and how to stand out from the crowd.

Simply having a degree (BSc or MSc) will probably not be enough. To stand out now you will need something extra whether it is demonstrable knowledge via blog posts, an established github page, the ability to show extra knowledge such as advanced programming, or having an active profile answering queries in SeqAnswers or BioStars.

So one approach would be to check your local job ads now and see what is being asked for, noting degree level and experience. If there are MSc level jobs going, see what extra experience is desired and supplement the MSc training with self taught exercises and document these in a blog for proof on your CV. There are plenty free data sets out there to play with and plenty vignettes in R to learn from.

There probably are more lucrative jobs, but if you love the science it can be very rewarding.

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Very helpful answer. Thank you.

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10.1 years ago
Katie D'Aco ★ 1.1k

I would argue that how much money you make is more a function of your ambition, work ethic, willingness to hustle, professional network, intelligence, communication skills, etc than your degree. In general, though, I think potential for earning money in bfx is pretty good.

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