Is biotech better than bioinformatics

The bioinformatician

Tasks | Career prospects | Salary | Current jobs

The job as a bioinformatician is
  • modern
  • complex
  • an office job
  • exciting
  • demanding
  • well paid
Tasks as a bioinformatician
  • To research
  • Generate and analyze data
  • Create and present presentations
  • Simulation of biological processes
Annual salary:
42.000 € – 84.000 €

Depending on

  • Branch
  • Experience
  • Personnel responsibility
  • Companies

Are you looking for your calling? Maybe that is Bioinformatics the right industry for you! In this post you will find information about what a bioinformatician does, how you can become a bioinformatician and what earnings and career prospects a bioinformatician has.

Current job offers as a bioinformatician

Bioinformaticians: definition

Bioinformaticians are data specialists who deal with the research, development and application of computer-aided methods. It is about the data that can be obtained through biological, biochemical or molecular biological processes and that the bioinformatician then further digitizes. Thus, different sciences are linked together in one profession: the so-called life sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry and pharmacy) and computer science.

The professional field is still relatively young and well-trained bioinformaticians have great opportunities to enter professional life. Because the enormous breakthroughs in biology, especially at the beginning of the current century, resulted in so much data being obtained that only specially trained specialists such as bioinformaticians can process it accordingly and make it digitally available.

Bioinformaticians: tasks

If you want to become a bioinformatician, you have to be prepared to work almost exclusively in the office and laboratory. The bioinformatician dedicates his professional life to solving complex problems in the fields of biology, chemistry, pharmacy and biotechnology. One focus of this activity is to evaluate, process and present data. Analytical thinking skills are just as important here as rhetorical skills.

As a bioinformatician you ask yourself the following questions:

What kind of data do you have?

How and by what means does this data have to be processed and used?

Another essential work focus of a bioinformatician is to compile and evaluate statistics. In order to gain a better understanding of complex processes, biological processes may also have to be simulated by the bioinformatician. Furthermore, in many cases it also makes sense to create computer models of biological or biochemical structures in order to be able to continue working and research better with this digital form. This is also part of the bioinformatician's field of activity.

By the way, a typical field of work for a bioinformatician is the analysis of DNA. Due to its high complexity and the large amount of information, DNA strands are extremely rich in data. All this data must be examined, stored, analyzed and further processed using special techniques.

Dealing with computers is a very important part of the job of a bioinformatician. His area of ​​responsibility also includes the establishment, further development, care and maintenance of IT systems. If an error occurs here, the bioinformatician must make the system ready for use again as quickly as possible.

Last but not least, knowledge of programming also plays a role in the everyday work of a bioinformatician. The bioinformatician independently writes computer programs that have to perform various tasks in various programming languages.

Bioinformaticians: requirements

Before you enroll and take the first steps towards a career as a bioinformatician, you should consider whether this is the right job for you. You should of course have a keen interest in biology and computer science. At the same time, you should like to analyze data and be very precise.

A bioinformatician bears a lot of responsibility and should therefore always be well organized and show perseverance even in difficult projects without lacking care. You will most likely work in a team. Independent work and teamwork should be equally available for you.

If these things happen to you and you also enjoy continuous learning, the bioinformatician could really be something for you.

Your skills

You should also be aware that you will need very specific professional skills in everyday working life as a bioinformatician. Perhaps it will help you to take a look at the contents of the course that you will inevitably deal with:

  • Practical computer science
  • Theoretical computer science
  • Technical computer Science
  • biology
  • biochemistry
  • genetics
  • mathematics

Mathematics in particular is perceived as challenging in the bioinformatics studies. Here you should definitely be genuinely interested in the content in order to be able to complete the sometimes difficult modules.

Bioinformaticians: training & studies

In order to become a bioinformatician, interested parties must successfully complete a degree. There is a choice of courses that convey biological and information technology content in equal measure. Of course, you can study bioinformatics in the classic way and then apply for a position as a bioinformatician, preferably with a master's degree.

Courses such as biotechnology and laboratory and process engineering are also a guarantee for a good start into the professional life of a bioinformatician.

This table shows you various courses of study that you can complete in order to become a successful bioinformatician.

If you only study biology or only computer science, you have to study yours canditature As a bioinformatician, you can prove your skills in both areas. A biologist without verifiable computer science knowledge will have no chance of a job as a bioinformatician. Of course, this also applies to computer scientists who have no knowledge of biology.

Current vacancies & jobs

Bioinformaticians: Entry

There are basically three options for entering professional life:

Graduate (studies / training)

Getting started as a bioinformatician is currently relatively easy and problem-free, provided you have the right degree. Companies are urgently looking for skilled, properly trained personnel, so there are very few unemployed bioinformaticians. Of course, the chances improve if you have a few years of professional experience in addition to the technical training - as is the case in almost all professional fields.

A typical lateral entry without any knowledge will not be possible, since the bioinformatician is a profession that does not focus heavily on soft skills. Despite great communication skills and the ability to work in a team, you will not be able to score points with your application without the appropriate training / degree.

Helpful soft skills as a bioinformatician

Soft skills are also not entirely unimportant for bioinformaticians, even if they are clearly behind the technical competencies. A bioinformatician usually works in a team with other bioinformaticians or specialists in related professions. He not only has to discuss and discuss the methodological procedure with them, but also be able to present data if necessary. In general, the following soft skills, among others, are decisive for the bioinformatician:

  • Communication skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Presentation skills
  • Social competence
  • creativity
  • Resilience
  • Self-motivation
  • Independent way of working

Bioinformaticians: Industries & Areas

A bioinformatician can find employment in various industries and areas. Among other things, it is possible that he will be employed in pharmaceutical or chemical industrial companies, including not only the pharmaceutical industry, but also the cosmetics and food industries.

In addition, IT service providers as well as software and database providers for scientific applications are looking for trained bioinformaticians. Last but not least, this professional group and thus bioinformaticians play an increasingly important role in research and development, for example in genetic research and medicine.

Bioinformatician: The salary

Bioinformaticians can expect gross salaries between 42,000 and 84,000 euros in the course of their careers. The high amounts are due, among other things, to the shortage of skilled workers: more bioinformaticians are needed than are currently available. Becoming a bioinformatician is not only worthwhile because of the interesting professional field and the low unemployment rate, but also because of the excellent earnings prospects.

Career prospects& Career opportunities

further education

Those who hold a Bachelor's degree in bioinformatics can continue their education by continuing their studies at the university. In the master’s degree (bioinformatics or computer science), the title of master can be achieved within a few semesters. If you want to pursue a career at a university, you should find out about the possibility of a doctorate. Only on this basis can the academic career at the university, which includes the appointment as a university professor, be realized. But a doctorate can also prove to be effective for applicants in the private sector in order to have better chances as applicants.

Promotion opportunities & career prospects

As in almost all professions, the bioinformatician can also advance by assuming personnel responsibility and thus receive a higher salary. Sometimes switching to a different company or branch is an improvement. Large international companies generally pay the bioinformatician more.

Further training measures in certain areas can also significantly advance you as a bioinformatician. Often, such measures are financially supported or fully paid for by the company in which you are already employed. Because the industries have a keen interest in ensuring that their bioinformaticians always stay up to date. However, if you would like to do further training as a bioinformatician, you will unfortunately have to reckon with very high costs.

Current jobs as bioinformaticians

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