Bioinformatics: Online Master's Degree

A master's degree in bioinformatics can lead to a career in genetics, biotechnology or the pharmaceutical industry. Read on to learn about program courses and career descriptions. Schools offering Bioinformatics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Bioinformatics Online Master's Degree Program Involve?

Bioinformatics is a field combining information technology with biology, and is one of the newest and fastest growing branches of the biological sciences. Specifically, bioinformatics involves the use of computers to organize and draw inferences from biological data. This is especially important in fields like biotechnology and genetic engineering. The Human Genome Project and other efforts to sequence DNA relied heavily on bioinformatics.

An online master's degree in bioinformatics could give one an entry into this advanced branch of science. In these programs, you will likely learn about molecular computer modeling techniques and their application in the study of genetics, genomics and general molecular biology. You can also acquire the skills to deploy, evaluate and develop computational biology and bioinformatics applications, as well as computational, programming, IT and quantitative skills. You should gain the strategic, practical and theoretical skills necessary to manage, analyze, understand and collect bioinformatics data.

Field DescriptionInvolves using computers to organize and analyze biological data
Skills LearnedData management, application development, computer modeling, data analysis
Common CoursesMolecular genetics, computational methods, functional genomics, macromolecular structure
Career OptionsBiomedical engineer, database administrator, microbiologist, research scientist
Median Salary (2018)*$93,280 (for biochemists and biophysicists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)*11% growth (for biochemists and biophysicists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Could I Take?

Some bioinformatics master's degree programs are offered virtually. If you enroll in such a program, your classes will be delivered fully online via your institution's distance-learning software. In this format, you may have some flexibility as to your study times, but your assignments and tests may still have set deadlines. Some of the classes you may be expected to complete include:

  • Molecular genetics
  • Macromolecular structure
  • Functional genomics
  • Computational methods of molecular biology

What Could I Do After I Graduate?

Bioinformatics is a new and emerging field with positions available in university research, public research and various private industries. Jobs may be found with biotech and pharmaceutical companies, public institutions and IT companies. There is a shortage of graduates with life sciences and computing skills necessary to work in the bioinformatics industry. As a graduate, you could work in the following careers:

  • Biomedical engineer
  • Microbiologist
  • Computer and information research scientist
  • Database administrators

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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