What are the Pros and Cons of working in Bioinformatics???
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6.4 years ago
scottschu97 ▴ 20

Hi!

I am currently an undergraduate student in the U.S. and I am considering a career working in bioinformatics. I am a Biology major but I love to program and have taught myself R and a little bit of a few other languages. I am pretty proficient in R as my research is conducted in R.

For people who currently work in the field, what do you like about the job and what do you dislike?

Also, If a person has pretty reputable programming knowledge, is there need to get a graduate degree?

Thank you!

career bio • 4.2k views
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If a person has pretty reputable programming knowledge, is there need to get a graduate degree?

To find an industry job, no. Keep in mind that your long term job prospects may be limited in that case. A graduate degree would get you climbing the corporate ladder quickly or you could move sideways into marketing etc over time. In academia without a graduate degree you would definitely run into some wall sooner than later.

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To address the last question first: Programming skills are not worth much without some domain-specific knowledge. The latter is what is documented by getting a degree so unless you manage to get an outstanding reputation as a knowledgeable person in some area, it would be best to get a degree.

There is quite a variety of bioinformatics jobs out there so maybe you could precise what kind of job you have in mind.

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If you get into bioinformatics, you may end up like me, i.e., where there is so much interesting and diverse data to analyse such that you don't even want (or need) a permanent job.

The field needs more bioinformaticians with PhD-level skills.

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