Bioinformatics is a degree program that combines mathematics, computer science, and biology. There are three main scientific applications of bioinformatics: genome mapping, evolutionary biology, and protein modeling. Bioinformatics is essential to the use of genomic information in understanding human diseases. Those who have a degree in bioinformatics develop and improve methods for storing, retrieving, organizing, and analyzing biological data. Bioinformatics is found to be the most useful in genetic engineering and biotechnology; however, more career possibilities are available. There are career opportunities within the federal government, state government, post-secondary schools, scientific research and development, and pharmaceutical companies. Because it is such a new field, expect to see proportionate growth in the job market in the future.
Bioinformatics students learn how to interpret complex biological information, model and research DNA, and perform analysis of sequence data using sophisticated software. Course instruction includes molecular genetics, statistics, calculus, chemistry, programming structures, computer science, cell biology, and genomics. Important skills to have are observation, data-analysis, and communication.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists the median annual wage for biological scientists as $72,700 in which the lowest ten percent earned $41,890 and the highest 90 percent earned $112,400 in May 2012. In addition, the BLS listed the top paying states for biological scientists as Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Indiana, and the District of Columbia.
|School||Average Tuition||Student Teacher Ratio||Enrolled Students|
|Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY||19 : 1||31,456|
|University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA||28 : 1||38,736|
|University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA||18 : 1||26,675|
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN||21 : 1||51,327|
|Harvard University Cambridge, MA||17 : 1||31,655|
|Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD||18 : 1||27,079|
|Boston University Boston, MA||18 : 1||33,720|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC||21 : 1||36,304|
|University of California-Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA||29 : 1||19,494|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI||20 : 1||44,257|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC||18 : 1||29,877|
|University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA||21 : 1||44,371|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY||16 : 1||7,528|
|University of the Sciences Philadelphia, PA||14 : 1||2,285|
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI||12 : 1||48,090|
|University of Chicago Chicago, IL||12 : 1||17,452|
|Brandeis University Waltham, MA||15 : 1||5,825|
|George Washington University Washington, DC||24 : 1||27,814|
|Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO||16 : 1||16,191|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA||18 : 1||36,383|