Based on consultation with individuals within the industry nationwide, the job market is rich with opportunities for those who obtain a graduate degree in bioinformatics, particularly when coupled with industry-sponsored research as thesis work. This research provides exposure to real-world problems—and their solutions—not otherwise attainable in an academic setting.

The program provides students with the capability to enter the bioinformatics workforce and become leaders in the field. The curriculum is designed to fulfill the needs of students with diverse educational and professional backgrounds. Individuals entering the program typically have degrees in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, statistics, computer science, information technology, or a related field. The MS program accommodates this diversity in two ways. First, a comprehensive bridge program exists for students who need to supplement their education before entering the program. Second, the program itself consists of two tracks, one for students with backgrounds in the life sciences and one for those with backgrounds in the computational sciences. Regardless of the track pursued, students are prepared to become professional bioinformaticists upon graduation.

The program is offered on a full- or part-time basis to fulfill the needs of traditional students and those currently employed in the field.


To view the a more detailed list of courses for this program, click here.
Rochester Institute of Technology College of Science

Bioinformatics Jobs come with several different areas of focus, which are less strictly hierarchical than bioscience discovery researchjobs. The analyst/programmer job provides more focused computational analysis support. Analyst/programmers design and develop software, databases and interfaces used to analyze and manipulate genomic databases. They collaborate with production to develop high-throughput data processing and analysis capability and to design and implement data queries, novel algorithms, and/or visualization techniques. Analyst/programmers also maintain large-sacale DNA databases, prepare data for other scientists, monitor new data from integrating sequence-based/ functional knowledge about genes to help scientists analyze and interpret gene-expression data. They also analyze DNA information and identify opportunities for innovative solutions to analyze and manage biological data. In addition, they often assist in developing software and custom scripts to automate data retrieval, manipulation, and analysis; application of statistics; and visualization tools. 

(Source: Vault Career Guide to Biotech; The Jobs in Lab Research)

Within the bioinformatics field employers tend to look for the following skills/strengths: fundamental training/knowledge in molecular biology, biochemistry and biotechnology, particularly, genomics, relational database administration and programming skills/e.g. using SQL, PERL, C,C++, etc. on a UNIX operating system, strong analytical abilities using relevant mathematical/statistical tools, a strong interest in utilizing computational skills to leverage the data outcomes of those working in the laboratory, Meticulous, independent, patient to do the same task repetitively and multitask.

(Source: www.geocities.com/bioinformaticsweb/carrier.html)

Graduates of the program are well-prepared for careers in the biotechnology, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical, and vaccine industries.

Some bioinformatics professionals believe this field will continue to be insulated from all but major economic shocks, for several reasons. It is still a relatively new field and there are not enough qualified people to fill the need. Also, companies and academic centers continue to realize additional needs for such persons and thus create more new positions, particularly for MS and PhD graduates. On the other hand, in the past few years, the number of related academic programs (and job-seeking graduates) has increased significantly, while the rate of increase in new jobs has somewhat declined. There has also been a recent shift towards increasing academic jobs and decreasing industry jobs. However, the bioinformatics market is still growing rapidly worldwide and expected to surpass the 50 billion $ mark soon, especially in the pharmaceutical and personal care product industries. 

(Source: Biohealthmatics.com & Chemical & Engineering News) 

 

A minimum of 30 semester credit hours is required for completion of the program. A number of graduate electives are offered for students to pursue areas of personal or professional interest. In addition, every student is required to complete a research project that addresses a relevant and timely topic in bioinformatics, culminating in a thesis. Graduate electives may be chosen from relevant RIT graduate courses.

Computational Biologist, Gene Analyst, Bioinformatics Software Developer, Research Assistant/Associate, Biologics Database, Programmer/Administrator, Computer Analyst/Programmer, Molecular Modeling Assistant 

 

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Pfizer, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Anthony IT, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Life Technologies, Applied Biosystems, The J. Craig Venture Institute, Indsoft Inc., 5Linx Enterprises, Childrens’ Hospital (Cambridge MA), Baylor College of Medicine, F.H. Hoffman/LaRoche Ltd., Broad Institute (at MIT), 454 Life Science, McNeil Consumer Products, The Institute for Genomic Research, Knowledge Computing, Agriculture Consulting Services, Automated Computer Solutions, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, FM Global, UCB, Inc., US Food & Drug Administration, University of Rochester Medical Center, and US Dept. of Agriculture.