Forum:"An Explosion Of Bioinformatics Careers" - from Science Careers
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9.7 years ago

I'm not sure if that was already posted, but I had found it interesting, especially with the growing amount of questions "should I get to bioinformatics". Last paragraph of this piece from Science:

Data scientists can expect the field to change and evolve in novel ways in the near future. But the bottom line is that "companies are growing their bioinformatics," says Kaleck. "There are 100% more job opportunities opening up in bioinformatics than ever before," much of which is driven by an increase in venture capital investment.

Given that big data "is the hottest field on the planet," says Agrafiotis, those who have the requisite skills and expertise often have their pick of opportunities. "I have to fight Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, and hedge funds to hire the top people. They are valuable in any industry."

In particular, the future of big data in big pharma and biotech sectors is bright and exciting. "Bring your expertise to health care," says Telthorst, "and you'll know you're going to make a difference, at the patient level and at the societal level."

career • 6.9k views
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Read all the way to the bottom: "This article was published as an advertising feature" supported by Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. I do think there is undoubtedly growth in bioinformatics/computational biology, but one should always be skeptical of biases of paid content.

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I didn't notice that. I didn't buy the main thesis (see my comment to Pierre's reply), but I thought it is a regular article, not an advertisement.

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Wow, missed that completely. Interesting.

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I think it's real. There is really a larger demand for data scientists and bioinformatics than a few years ago.

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13
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9.7 years ago

In my mind bioinformatics as a field is somewhere at the caveman era. We are sent out to kill the mammoths with sticks and stones, then, once we bring the bounty home we watch the great shamans perform rituals that they say will bring more abundant rains.

It is a real challenge to become a good bioinformatician, it is a job where the more you know the less certain you become that you are doing the right thing. I am certain that today's skills will radically change in the next ten years, just as few of the tasks that we do today existed a decade ago.

This knowledge, the abilities will be well paid well respected.

Yet it would be foolish to pick this field for these reasons. It will never be an easy, comfortable job where on most days one can go home knowing that they have accomplished something well. Instead will be a constant battle, at the edge of complexity, where, on many days the complexity wins out and you just have to go home defeated and recharge, come back and try your luck another day.

At the same time being in the caveman era is good, it is a great equalizer. The potential to improve is gigantic and no one is yet locked out simply for coming too late to the party.

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Also it is very much like software engineering in that you constantly have to work at keeping up to speed on the latest tools, technologies, and algorithms. The field is very fast-paced and methods are always changing and improving. So it helps to be very good at absorbing new information quickly and critically.

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I tell my students that it's a "bleeding edge science" and it will become "avant-garde science" next ;).

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I think high-throughput methods are employed in pretty much every research group now, which was not the case in the past, so there is definitely more demand for bioinformatics skills within your average Biology department.

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9.7 years ago

<rant>... on the other side, *one* position for a bioinformatician was created by the French-CNRS in 2014 ... http://www.dgdr.cnrs.fr/drhita/concoursita/consulter/resultats/consulter.htm (vs 28 administrative positions... )</rant>

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My impression was that the article in Science creates reality rather than describes it. On the other hand, one created position a year is 100% more than one position created every two years, isn't it?

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Nice comment! lol. I guess it's a local French phenomena.

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