Scientific progress without information technology seems unthinkable today. Current research in the fields of biology , biochemistry and biotechnology generates incredibly large amounts of data. Their evaluation can only be done with the help of special computer programs.
What do bioinformaticians do?
Bioinformaticians work at this interface between biology and computer science . You design databases and algorithms to manage and process data. Thanks to their work, it became possible, for example, to decipher the human genome. Bioinformaticians drive the solution of current medical, biochemical and biotechnological questions.
As the name suggests, the study of bioinformatics is made up of the fields of computer science and biology. Depending on the university, the focus is more on one or the other subject area.
Bioinformatics prerequisites and course content
Bioinformatics courses are available at both universities and technical colleges. The affinity to computer science is an absolute prerequisite for studying. In addition, the students should of course be enthusiastic about basic research in biology and chemistry .
Those who also had good grades in mathematics , natural sciences and computer science on their Abitur certificate are probably in the right place in their studies. Knowledge of English is also required in the master’s degree at the latest.
In the bachelor’s degree
At the beginning of the bachelor’s degree, mathematical and scientific basics are initially on the curriculum. The students learn algebra, analysis, biology, genetics and chemistry. Also, the programming is not too short. The students get to know the basic procedures of bioinformatics, for example the sequencing of genomes.
In the higher semesters, the proportion of bioinformatics studies increases. The students get to know different algorithmic processes and design their own databases . Depending on the course, you can choose a major, for example genetics, pharmacy or biochemistry.
In the master’s degree
If you want to go into research, you should add a master’s degree to the bachelor’s degree, as this is the prerequisite for a doctorate . A master’s degree is usually also a prerequisite for a managerial position in industry.
The master’s courses offer students the opportunity to specialize in a field of bioinformatics that interests them particularly. You can choose from about genome computer science or chemistry computer science .
Career prospects for bioinformaticians
The demand for bioinformaticians is particularly high in industrial research. Many graduates work in companies in the pharmaceutical industry . The knowledge of bioinformaticians is also indispensable in the research area of molecular medicine.
You are mainly active in application-oriented research and analysis, but you are also used in process control. Other employers are universities and state and private research institutes where bioinformaticians conduct basic research. At universities in particular, their research work is often linked to a teaching position.
Study bioinformatics globally
In the master’s program in particular, study visits abroad are expressly welcomed by the universities. During a semester abroad, participation in international research projects is desirable in order to sharpen your academic profile. In addition, there is the unique opportunity to get to know another country intensively, to make international contacts and to improve foreign language skills.