I'm considering a crazy question but one that needs careful thought.
I have a BSc in biological sciences and will soon complete a MSc in bioinformatics. Which of the following is better for my career?
A) BSc Biological sciences + MSc Bioiinformatics + PhD Bioinformatics
B) BSc Biological sciences + MSc Bioiinformatics + A computer science degree
Here are my thoughts:
- A bioinformatician is basically a computer sciencist/biostatistician first and biologist second.
- Both paths will take the same length of time (3-4 years) to complete.
- I am very aware of both the depth of my biological knowledge and the limits of my computing skills.
- An MSc in bioinformatics really is just an introduction to a vast set of computer based skills.
- A PhD in bioinformatics makes me an expert in a very narrow area (GREATER DEPTH)
- A degree in computer science gives me a greater knowledge base (GREATER BREADTH)
EDIT: My preferred career path would be in research at a large institute supporting multiple research teams with bioinformatics analysis of their data.
EDIT 2: I am tempted to delete the above edit to prevent it directing the discussion but I wont. The point of this question is for others to read and see a balanced view of the pros and cons of choosing either path. It is clear that there are probably strong benefits for choosing either one....so what career paths would each option lead to? Clearly a PhD is required for academia (by which I mean university research and professorship). Is this the only benefit of a Phd? Surely there is more.
Edit 4: From my own career goals, the discussion below, and some extra reading.... I'm now inclined toward doing a PhD followed by Post-Docs in industry. MY goal is to earn a decent wage in industry in a settled long term job. I believe a Phd will give me a better chance of achieving this than a CS degree. Some have also advised that post-docs in academia may make it harder to get into industry. This is a fluid plan of course...Im still doing the MSc. But thank you all for the guidance. :)
Hope to read a good discussion here.
Thanks for your input. Kenneth