Science and technology are increasingly linked, and this is very apparent in the rapidly growing field of bioinformatics – an amalgamation of biology and informatics, which is now a discipline in its own right.READ MORE
In short, bioinformatics describes the branch of life sciences which uses computational methods to analyse biological data. People working in this sector are predominantly ‘bench’ scientists, who prepare samples (e.g. blood, saliva) and sequence them using special analysis machines to collect genetic and biological information for medical research and drug development purposes. The machines analysing the samples create massive amounts of data, which then needs to be analysed to spot patterns and trends.
For life scientists with expertise or an interest in bioinformatics, computer science and statistics – or indeed computer scientists with an interest in biology – there are a vast array of opportunities within this up and coming specialism.
Genomics, for example, is one of the fastest growing areas of research and development and as it expands, so too does its demand for people with bioinformatic-based skill sets. Each human genome creates 700MB of data, so to draw any meaningful conclusions from the data and to compare it and analyse it with other data requires people who can provide the necessary tools and resources to manage the Big Data.
In addition to arise in demand for candidates to fill bioinformatician jobs in the field of genomics, we are also seeing a sharp incline in computational science jobs in the pharma industry. Pharma companies are increasingly investing in genomics-based R&D, as the industry takes steps towards creating drugs which will be tailored to an individual’s genetic responses. The so-called ‘pharmacogenomics’ global industry is expected to be worth in the region of $11.94bn by 2024, and will have a large demand for data scientists to make the concept of personalised medicine a reality.
For candidates looking for Bioinformatic roles in the UK, the roles are many and varied and can be based in research and academic institutions as well as commercial organisations. Most people working in the field will have degree-level education and experience in both computers and science. Some candidates will come into the sector as computer scientists and transfer their skills to biology; others will be biologists who have learned computer programming.
Bioinformatic jobs include: Bioinformatician, Computer Biologist, Software Engineer, Data Scientist, Statistical Geneticist, Data Manager, Data Curator, Computational Biologist, Cancer Analyst, Rare Disease Analyst, Genomics Scientists, Genetic Councillor, Statistician, Biostatistician. Follow the hyperlinks to find out more about these roles and the latest vacancies in each field.
Starting salaries for bioinformatic jobs depend on skills and experience – for an entry level position, such as Bioinformatics Support Scientist, Post Doc Researcher, candidates will earn £30,000 – £35000. For Bioinformatician, Data Scientists and Analyst roles, the salaries increase to £40,000 plus. Jobs may be based at a research facility, a university or institute or at a pharma company.
A survey was undertaken by Front Line Genomics and Paramount Recruitment in the last quarter of 2017 in order to benchmark salaries and identify key trends within the worldwide Genomics labour market.
More than 1,200 Genomics professionals completed the survey and the results were published in February 2018. Read the full report by clicking on the image to the right or click here.
Paramount Recruitment searches the UK and beyond to find the best talent for the bioinformatics sector. We work with clients to fill ad hoc vacancies, but can also work strategically to build whole teams and manage recruitment campaigns or projects. We understand the needs of the industry, from talent spotting recruits for entry level positions, to securing the right people to drive an organisation at senior and executive level.
If you have a mind for computers and science, check out some of the roles that this growing sector offers below or see our current bioinformatic job vacancies here.