Hi, I'm new here. As my user name likely indicates, my name is Sean Senko, and I am currently at a crossroads so the speak in my career. I completed my Master of Science in Data Analytics in October of 2020, and for various reasons I have not been doing well with the post-graduation job search. One of my long-time correspondents who is also on this site said that this is an adequate starting point in Bioinformatics.
However, I understand that a PhD is often helpful in this field, and I am not sure I want to spend more time in academia at this point. Additionally, with the job searches I have done, it seems some focus on biology (which I do not have explicitly in any of my four higher educational degrees) is often helpful. With that said, it seems that in some cases a Master of Science in a relevant field is perfectly adequate for an entry-level position.
But this begs the question: what is most relevant regarding bioinformatics? Is it formal training in biology and/or the other sciences, or is it more about the analysis? Despite my formal university-level education in biology being laughably low (it was limited to a biology class for NON-SCIENCE majors, though I studied biology heavily before college), I do have the natural curiosity of a scientist. My terminal (unless I go on to get a PhD, which is possible) degree is the Master of Science in Data Analytics I previously mentioned.
I have also looked specifically into the domestic statistics (American only) regarding job openings in bioinformatics, and compared with operations research analysts (a similar job I type I have considered), it's a difference of 3,600 openings over the next eight years for the former and 9,600 openings over the next eight years for the latter. But, the latter job also tends to have a Bachelor's degree with 2-5 years of experience as the base requirements.
So I am curious... Am I right in my assumption that I can potentially make it into the field of bioinformatics with a background in statistics and mathematics, or would I need an extensive biology background as well?