Question: Wondering about prospects in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology
gravatar for harshitsahay.iitb
3.0 years ago by
harshitsahay.iitb0 wrote:

Hi, I'm posting this in order to gain some advice. I'm currently completing my final year of engineering from one of the most prestigious institutes in India. However, the equivalent of my major (Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science) is not what I'm interested at in all. Over the course of my stay in the institute I got interested in Biology, and am completing a minor in it. I took up some biology lab work in my second year summer, that essentially involved wet lab work in genetics. Currently, I'm doing an internship at the University of Florida, again in the field of genetics, however, more on the computational path. While neither Biology or CS is my major, I've a decent background in coding due to my engineering degree, and have done courses in Biology before. That and this experience in the field as an intern has given me a good understanding of it, which I have (and still am) supplement through reading things and doing courses online. At this point, I'm really interested in pursuing grad school in Bioinformatics or Computational Biology, and feel like these areas offer problems that interest me the most.

What I was wondering was, what the prospects for this would be with the background that I mentioned?

education forum career • 1.4k views
ADD COMMENTlink written 3.0 years ago by harshitsahay.iitb0

Stay where you are as there is too much competition/hassle/sacrifice-to-be-made on this side of the road. Grass is always greener on the other side.

ADD REPLYlink written 3.0 years ago by MAPK1.4k

@MAPK - The OP says they have no interest in their current field so I don't know if "Stay where you are" is the best solution to this problem.

I think if you are interested in pursuing bioinformatics seriously, you should begin with a degree in a relevant field. My top picks would be: computing, maths and stats and/or biology. I would begin by rounding out your degree with a major in one of those fields. If you've already completed units, you can probably claim credits and would only need to tack on a few more semesters to do this. Otherwise, I suspect you would struggle to be competitive.

ADD REPLYlink written 3.0 years ago by jotan1.2k

The education system being different here doesn't allow multiple majors, or switching. I am doing courses that I find relevant and picking skills up online to be able to apply for grad school in a relevant field. Does that seem relevant?

ADD REPLYlink written 3.0 years ago by harshitsahay.iitb0

I'm obviously not very familiar with your education sector so I'm not very clear what grad school might entail. I can only say that if you were applying for a bioinformatics Masters/PhD in my lab, you'd be competing against 30-50 applicants who would have more relevant degrees. You'd really need to be outstanding to be considered.

If you can get into a graduate program, then your undergrad would not matter so much.

ADD REPLYlink modified 3.0 years ago • written 3.0 years ago by jotan1.2k
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