Forum:Questions about going into Bioinformatics from an IT career
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23 months ago
Scott S ▴ 10

I am in the midst of deciding on whether to apply for a Masters in Bioinformatics while coming from an IT background. Therefore, I was hoping if people could chime in here, regarding my questions.

I have always had a passion for all things Biology and in another life may have become a wildlife biologist or microbiologist. However, the career path I ended up going down was very different. First starting as an Extractive Metallurgist for seven years, then switching over to IT for the last 21 years. My IT career has had me doing Linux Administration, Development, and Database Administration. After working 21 years in IT and finishing my undergraduate back in 2019, I have come to realize there is still something missing - science. As a result, for the last two years, I have been researching different career options. That brought me to the world of Bioinformatics.

As much as I love Biology, I have only done the equivalent of 1-year pre-med Biology and never got to specialize in Biochemistry or Molecular Biology classes. Therefore, if I pursued a Masters in Bioinformatics from either the University of Maryland Global Campus or the University of Maine, would I be at a disadvantage in terms of my not-so-deep Biology level?

On that note. Would a combination of my IT experience, a Masters and keeping up to date with the latest archived Biology themed research papers, allow me to transition to a more intermediate level? Or would I still enter at an entry-level status?

In terms of entry-level or intermediate level, could somebody point me in the right direction as to where I can find out what the starting salaries might be for these two entry points?

Another question I have is that I have been working fully remote since 2015. Based on the little research I have done on Indeed, I saw quite a few Bioinformatics roles that were remote-friendly. What would the chances be of me getting a remote job if I were to complete a Masters? I am trying to minimize having to uproot the family if possible.

Lastly, I mentioned the University of Maryland Global Campus' Bioinformatics Masters program ( and the University of Maine's Bioinformatics Masters program ( Are there any opinions if one is better than the other? I realize there are other probably better programs out there, but unfortunately, a great deal of those are either too expensive for me or don't have an online option. I am open to any other suggestions for schools with an online option too.

Any information regarding these questions will be most welcomed.

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