Forum:Stanford HCP MS Biomedical Informatics vs Johns Hopkins MS Bioinformatics
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4.3 years ago

I'm considering the bioinformatics graduate programs at Stanford and Johns Hopkins. Both courses are available online, I believe.

Stanford: http://med.stanford.edu/bmi/prospective-students/masters-degree-distance-education-biomedical-informatics.html

Johns Hopkins: https://advanced.jhu.edu/academics/graduate-degree-programs/bioinformatics/

Which program is better and why?

About myself:

I have an MPhil Medicine degree and a background in cancer research. I intend to combine both wet lab and dry lab after I complete the Bioinformatics program.

career • 1.9k views
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You oversimplify reality quite a bit. There is no "better" or "worse", given that you provide zero details towards your current skillset and the direction you want to develop yourself into. If you add some details about your interests maybe people who took these courses can comment. I will switch this post into Forum.

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What does MPhil Medicine refer to? Are you a physician/doctor or an experimental scientist?

Are you looking at these programs to gain a formal degree that you intend to use for future job search? Both probably need you to apply (so the one you can get into would be the first natural selection) and both are probably pricey (online only programs are not that much cheaper in terms of tuition).

Stanford's program is for biomedical informatics where as the other is for bioinformatics. So if you intend to continue working in medical field then the program in biomedical informatics would likely be more relevant for your future goals.

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Thank you for your questions!

MPhil Medicine is akin to Masters-by-Research. I'm an experimental scientist and am predominantly in the cancer research field.

I'm looking for a formal degree. Applying to both schools. The advantage of the JHU program is that it permits an optional research component, which I can pursue in anywhere in the world. On the other hand, Stanford is more prestigious but the online program does not have a research component.

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I assume you are currently employed and that is a reason you are looking towards an online degree. While research component sounds well and good it may or may not work well in practice. You are going to be subject to the distance/time issue and finding a local project (and a good mentor) may be challenging (unless you have something in mind already). Health care is a safe bet, so informatics related to that is likely to continue to have better job prospects compared to just bioinformatics.

BTW: Please use ADD COMMENT/ADD REPLY when responding to existing posts to keep threads logically organized. SUBMIT ANSWER is for new answers to original question.

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4.3 years ago

Early in my career (with a Ph.D. in Physics), I've enrolled in a non-degree graduate certificate in bioinformatics from Stanford. (It looks like that particular training is not offered anymore).

I thought the program was well done and helped my career a lot. Specifically, what I liked the most about the graduate certificate program was that it did not require taking too many courses only four if I recall it correctly. This was especially handy as I already had a degree and a job.

In my opinion, adding another MS degree is only marginally more impactful than adding a graduate certificate level training. You either get bioinformatics and love it and your skills skyrocket or not. It is best if you figure that out fast. There is not that much correlation in the length of the training to the ultimate skills one has in the field - it is a lot more important to get started efficiently see if you like doing it.

With the certificate, I was able to select courses that I really needed, rather than re-doing subjects that were neither my interest nor aligned with my future goals. Plus the training was much cheaper and I was done in about a year. Both of these were a major factor for me in selecting the program.

Thus, long story short, I would recommend Stanford, but I would also seriously look at graduate certificate programs rather than getting an academic degree.

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