Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog
2016-17

Bioinformatics And Computational Biology - Careers

Career Information and Further Study

Companies need a cross-functional workforce skilled in information technology and with knowledge of the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics. Bioinformatics is a fast-paced, growth-oriented, multi-billion dollar industry with applications that affect virtually every aspect of daily life. Bioinformaticians should be prepared to offer complete cost-effective database solutions to genome-based biotech companies all over the world.

According to a study conducted by RIT, biotechnology companies located in Western New York seek individuals highly skilled in the disciplines of microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and information management. In addition, companies reported a need for graduates who have a better knowledge and understanding of topics not typically found in college curricula, such as: good laboratory practices, good manufacturing practices, regulatory issues, instrument validation, and laboratory notebook and record keeping skills that conform to industry and government standards. Practical experience, such as participation in co-op or internship positions in this industry, is also key to finding employment in this area.

Careers That Graduates Pursue
Bioinformatics prepare students for graduate studies in either a bioinformatics-related field or in a traditional discipline, as well as for immediate entry into the job market. Some career opportunities in related areas are:
  • Life Sciences: Scientific curator, gene analyst, protein analyst, phylogenitist, research scientist/associate.
  • Computer Science/Engineering: Database programmer, bioinformatics software developer, computational biologist, network administrator/analyst.
  • Applied Science: Structural analyst, molecular modeler, biostatistician, biomechanics, database programmer.
  • Pharmaceutical Science: Cheminformatician, pharmacogenetician,research scientist/associate.

Percent of Graduates Who Find Related Employment
This degree is too new to report such data for UB. Literature tells us, however, that there is a growing need nationally and internationally for bioinformaticians, especially graduates with a good grounding in computer science and software engineering, and an appreciation of the biological aspects of the problems to be solved.

According to the RIT survey, most biotechnology companies in Western New York indicated that the majority of new employees will be hired at the bachelor's degree level or above and that most companies prefer hiring employees with either a bachelor's degree (84.2%) or a doctoral degree (76.3%), and they predict that this hiring trend will continue. The study also indicated that graduates from schools lacking a biotechnology program show a low success rate in finding employment in the biotechnology sector. On the other hand, more than half of the respondents from schools with a biotechnology program reported that more than three-quarters of their students were successful in finding employment in the biotechnology field. Success in obtaining employment, particularly in high-tech fields, also depends on experience. Employers seem to favor those candidates who have both the academic credentials and some level of experience, particularly if that experience is in an industrial setting.

Graduate Opportunities at UB
  • Biomaterials
  • Biophysics
  • Biophysics (Interdisciplinary)
  • Biophysics (Molecular and Cellular, Roswell)
  • Biostatistics
  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Roswell Park Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Science
  • Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Structural Biology

Additional Resources
Career Resources Center

Last updated: February 22 2022 21:08:39