If you love computer technology and have a challenge determining whether you love biology more, you may find a career as a bioinformatics scientist attractive and fruitful. A bioinformatics scientist integrates computer science and IT with biology to provide solutions for the agricultural industry. This article will show you where your journey begins as a bioinformatics scientist, what you should expect as an established professional, as well as your future once you have placed your mark in the industry.
Zooming in on the bioinformatics scientist
Due to the sophisticated nature of biological processes involving gathering, management, and storage of biological data, it is essential to have a way to effectively and efficiently study and manipulate that data. Bioinformatics scientists assume the role of analysing vast molecular datasets like raw microarray, genomic sequence data, and proteomics. In addition, they deal with publically or commercially available databases containing genomic and post-genomic data. They may develop various technologies to facilitate the process of gathering, analysing, or manipulating biological data. For instance, they may enhance, update, or develop any software necessary to handle a particular project effectively.
Creativity and problem-solving skills are critical for bioinformatics scientists because they often have to formulate methods to handle biological challenges computationally and analytically before deadlines. Often, they will work with other biologists (such as plant biologists or microbiologists) and software engineers to come up with functional database solutions to understand the data they have gathered. Some useful technologies for the agricultural industry that bioinformatics scientists have formulated include automated data mining and integration, which enable other scientists in agriculture to process data easier and faster. Some responsibilities of bioinformatics scientists include but are not limited to:
• designing reusable libraries
• making reports on objectives and crucial benchmarks
• assessing risk factors during research
• developing software for efficient data mining and integration
• working with users to identify and resolve issues with bioinformatics applications
• collaborating with professionals and scientists across various disciplines
• enforcing best coding practices when developing and maintaining software
• recommending modern bioinformatics solutions and computational methods
• employing computer resources to alter genomics data into pest control and crops with higher produce
Where does a bioinformatics scientist work?
Depending on the project at hand, bioinformatics scientists may work at a university or college, laboratory, or an industrial (information technology, government research, or pharmaceuticals) lab. Some projects require teamwork; therefore, they may work in groups, but if it is not necessary to involve other professionals, a bioinformatics scientist will work alone. Due to the nature of the field involving a lot of data research and analysis, bioinformatics scientists spend most of their time in front of a computer screen and looking into a microscope. When working in dusty areas, they will be required to wear special clothing. Also, when dealing with poisonous, toxic, or corrosive chemicals, they will have to wear protective clothing. Bioinformatics scientists working in university or college labs will often have flexible working hours that may vary depending on the nature of the project. However, those working in industrial settings like the private sector or government often work for fixed hours from Monday to Friday. Most bioinformatics scientists work full-time.
The ideal candidate for a bioinformatics scientist career
A love for computer technology and a passion for biology are essential in the bioinformatics scientist field. Every skill you acquire will be used in either or both of these two areas in one way or another. Bioinformatics scientists are inclined to investigative tendencies; they are curious, inquisitive, organised, and detail-oriented. They spend a lot of time in their heads and prefer working in a structural atmosphere. Since they deal with a lot of biological data (gathering, sorting, analysing, storing, manipulating), you get a sense of why the above qualities are not only essential but also preferable for anyone working in this field. If you like what you have read so far, here is what you should know when it comes to education.
The minimum requirement to start a career as a bioinformatics scientist is a master’s degree in genomics, chemistry, bioinformatics, computer science, or computational biology. For better chances in the field, a PhD in any or more of the above disciplines is preferred because it indicates more experience with the technologies and skills necessary for the industry.
If you are in high school and interested in becoming a bioinformatics scientist, paying attention to computer skills, agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, biology and physics will prove valuable when you advance to college or university. Possible positions in a company as a bioinformatics scientist include but are not limited to:
• software application developer
• bioinformatics programmer
• research statistician
Fulfilment in a bioinformatics scientist career
Fulfilment comes from loving what you do and doing it to the best of your ability. Most bioinformatics scientists are relatively happy with their industry considering that most of them rate their happiness above-average at (see: https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/bioinformatics-scientist/satisfaction/">60% happy</a>. )
At the entry-level, a bioinformatics scientist will earn roughly £31,000 per year. Established and highly ranked bioinformatics scientists make around £51,000 per year. This field is one of the highest paying fields not only in agricultural jobs but also in other disciplines. As you may have noticed, it has quite flexible hours considering how much it pays. Nonetheless, the nature of the work involved is demanding, as is evident in the kind of qualifications necessary even at an entry-level.
Averaging things up
The bioinformatics scientist career is for those interested in computer technology and biology. It requires problem-solving skills and creativity. It is demanding in terms of education and training but rewarding once you find employment as you have the option for various crucial positions in a company with this qualification. An individual with this job title typically enjoys flexible working hours, an above-average pay compared to other careers, and many bioinformatics scientists report that they are happy and fulfilled. To find out more about working as a bioinformatics scientist or any other role in agriculture, browse our recruitment website today.
If you're looking for work in the agricultural sector, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists can help you find the right niche in the UK, Europe and beyond. We can assist in finding which doors are open for you with your specific background and even advice on what you could do to improve your prospects.
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