Forum:I have a Master's and little experience in Bioinformatics - what would be the next best step?
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9 months ago
RM123 ▴ 10

Hello to all,

I see that in this forum people often ask for opinions on bioinformatics career, so I decided to join in and ask for yours.

I am currently finishing my Master's Degree in Health Sciences, in Portugal. In this master's I entered in the immuno-oncology field were I worked wet lab and in silico.

The in silico part was new to me. In order to analyze gene expression data that my team possessed I learned by myself how to code in R and do differential expression analysis, statistical tests and packages that with algorithms for immune cell infiltration and plots for visualization. And, after all this, I actually developed a liking for this field of gene expression analysis. So, naturally I started thinking on how I could improve my skill set in this field and pursuit in the future.

However, the way I learned how to make gene expression analysis in R was not ideal and I know that I need to further develop my skills so I can obtain better and more complete results and have also higher trust in what I do...

Right now I have some options to choose from:

1 - I can continue to a PhD with my current master's project. This would allow me to enhance the analysis I already made, as well as starting analyzing single cell data. It would allow me to develop my knowledge in this field by taking courses that I could eventually pay for.

1.1 - Pros//Cons - This is an easier way. My project is good and the chances of getting a PhD scholarship are high. Allows me to go abroad for 2 years and continue with wet lab protocols that I also enjoy. I would have the scholarship during 4 years // Although I like the project I have interest in studying other cancer types. Also, the team is not very directed to bioinformatics and gene expression analysis, I would have to make it on my own with courses and maybe try and find people that could help me when I have problems.

2 - I could try for a different project, more bioinformatics related, in a different team.

2.1 Pros//Cons - it allows me to pursuit different tumor types and environments // however, not having that much experience with R and this kinds of analysis I wonder what my chances of getting a scholarship are.

3 - I could try a paid internship in some bioinformatics company that could teach me and give resources to develop my skills and apply it to their work, and in the future would maybe be able to stay on that same company.

3.1 - I did not actually researched a lot on this point, so in my country I do not know I many possibilities I have. However, a scenario in which a company would give me the tools to first learn and then apply bioinformatics would be great. if anyone knows something about companies in Portugal that can do this, please tell me :)

I want to know your opinions mainly because of the fact the my experience in bioinformatics analysis of gene expression is small and I need to understand whether I should develop them any further before going to something more bioinformatics related. I'm sorry if the text is to extensive, but I am actually lost in this moment and appreciate any insight you can give!

Best wishes for you all,

Thank you

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