Bioinformatics Curriculum Development and Skill Sets for Bioinformaticians
Due to the rapid emergence of biological data acquisition technologies, the explosion of biological data sets has created a need for bioinformatics programs and applications. Bioinformatics is a discipline that is an interwoven network of biology, computer science, and information. The applications and programs in bioinformatics allow for the analysis and interpretation of biological sets. Analyzation and interpretation of these biological data sets provide pertinent information, such as data from electronic health records and the human genome project. This data is synthesized through bioinformatics’ computational methods and machine learning. Bioinformatics has also considerably contributed to improvements in crop quality and production, novel applications to medicine and industries, and cures for human diseases. As a result, the curriculum for bioinformatics must be thorough and address the academic and current professional needs of the future bioinformatician.
Bioinformatics programs in the United States and the current job markets have investigated this in the article “Bioinformatics curriculum development and skill sets for bioinformaticians.” This investigation was done to assist educational professionals in improving existing bioinformatics programs based on specific requirements and to equip students with the necessary skills for bioinformatics jobs. The programs were studied based on two sources that provide various bioinformatics programs. These sources were:
- Bioinformatics Organization, which lists bioinformatics programs that are arranged for each state and university
- Startclass.com, which provides detailed comparisons of the different degree programs such as smart ratings, acceptance rate, average SAT range, and the total number of enrolled students
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These comprehensive sources allowed educators to take a more comprehensive look at bioinformatics curriculums to determine the need for which skill sets needed to be taught.
In this investigation, academic structures of existing bioinformatics programs were also examined. This examination’s first part was divided into three parts: host departments and schools; degree programs in bioinformatics, curriculum, and program competencies; and bioinformatics program sizes. This part of the examination helped educational institutions to determine if bioinformatics needs were adequately addressed in areas of higher education. The next part of the examination involved the job market for bioinformaticians, utilizing major job posting sites such as indeed.com and monster.com. This portion determined the specific skill sets for the professional bioinformatics arena. In addition, it was done to make sure that curricula properly addressed the needs of the job market.
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The article “Bioinformatics curriculum development and skill sets for bioinformaticians” contains several key points and information surrounding bioinformatics curricula and job markets. Educators in this investigational study were tasked with ensuring that curricula and skill sets for bioinformaticians met or exceeded the need for well-educated and informed leaders in bioinformatics. In addition, the methods and analyses of job market needs and current curricula at numerous colleges provided needed information for the educators to ensure that their curriculum was top tier.