Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Be Part of a Field that Merges Biology and Information Technology by Taking Centennial College’s Bioinformatics Course

In order to understand the bioinformatics field, you must first know that it is an area that merges biology with information technology and computers. Another important fact is that bioinformatics entails the creation and advancement of databases, algorithms, computational and statistical techniques and theory to solve formal and practical problems arising from the management and analysis of biological data. Recently, there has been a demand for professionals who have attended a bioinformatics course at a reputable post-secondary institution. Demand actually exceeds supply, ensuring that graduates of bioinformatics courses will enjoy a meaningful career.

Employment in bioinformatics is found at research centers, universities, private companies and government institutions. However, skills in bioinformatics can also be utilized in the pharmaceutical, agricultural and environmental industries and in all areas of biotechnology. Job titles within the bioinformatics field include: bioinformatics analyst, bioinformatics and research technician, application, software or database developer; and bioinformatics software developer.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular bioinformatics options. One is to become an analyst or programmer. This person builds programs by using computational formulas to determine outcomes based on biological projects or research. Speaking of research, another bioinformatics option is to become a research technician option. These professionals use computer programs to gather, analyze and track data about specific biological functions or characteristics in order to gain a better understanding of complex biological activities. The last option we’ll look at is that of a software developer, who works with the software development team to provide software solutions that address scientific challenges. This person also participates in design, review, coding, testing, troubleshooting and support for custom developed software solutions.

Before launching your career in bioinformatics, professionals must learn the theory behind this in-depth field. This can be achieved at Centennial College’s Bioinformatics of Software Professionals program, which is the first of its kind in Canada to provide 12 months of concentrated training that results in a post-degree bioinformatics certificate targeted to students with existing software backgrounds.

Bioinformatics courses within the program are intensive, hands-on and problem-based. They include course work, an individual research thesis and a co-op component, which provides you with the unique skill set and training that are in high demand in the field. In order to participate in the co-op component, students must obtain a minimum GPA 2.5 or above in their bioinformatics courses. Much of the study level of this curriculum is beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Specific bioinformatics courses within the program include: Biochemistry (an introduction to basic biochemical concepts important for bioinformatics students), Statistics and Data Analysis for Bioinformatics (main categories of topics includestatistical, stochastic, and multi-dimensional analysis), Developing Bioinformatics Tools (students will develop the skills to deal with the increasing computational demands in the rapidly growing field of bioinformatics), and many others.

To apply, students must submit an official transcript demonstrating proof of successful completion of a four-year degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering or related discipline, from an accredited college or university. They are also expected to submit a resume.

No comments:

Post a Comment