1 Understand what Bioinformaticians do.
- Broadly, computational biology is involved with developing and implementing tools in order to use and manage biological data.
- The medical field is a major employer of Bioinformaticians, but they are also needed in industry and agriculture.
2 Stay abreast of new developments in Bioinformatics and biotechnology.
- This highly technological field is undergoing rapid changes.
- The Bioinformatics Organization offers continuing education courses.
3 Become proficient in computer science.
- This includes database administration and programming skills.
- UNIX is currently the preferred operating system platform.
- Be able to write programs in computer languages such as PERL, SQL and C.
- Learn to use genomic sequence analysis and molecular modeling programs.
4 Study college level biology.
- Biology courses should include analytical techniques and molecular biology.
5 Take math courses, particularly those for biologists.
- Biostatistics is an important discipline in Bioinformatics.
6 Pursue higher education. Undergraduate degrees can be in biology, computer science or biotechnology.
- In graduate school, find a program that combines both disciplines, if possible; however the emphasis seems to be on molecular biology study with the acquiring of information technology skills.
- Bioinformatics or computational biology programs are still fairly new.
- Researchers should have a doctorate in biology, statistics or math.
7 Learn to identify the right questions to ask in addition to the methodologies to apply.