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Where does a career in Bioinformatics take you in India?

Bioinformatics is relatively a new line of study as far as India is concerned. However, it is fast catching up with the new generation and more and more number of students are taking it as a career option as opposed to traditional lines of science. This article discusses what exactly is driving this change.

Introduction

Bioinformatics, also referred to as computational biology combines the study of information technology with molecular biology. It can be understood as the line of study dedicated to the application of computer technology in the analysis and management of biological statistics. While the subject has had profound impact on every part of our living, it is recently getting considered as an important subject matter. While very few colleges are offering the study, there are many students who are eagerly looking for a scope.

BioInformatics

BioInformatics: Vast Career Scope

Bioinformatics have always been a hot cake in countries like US and UK. The number of jobs posted in Science Magazine increased by 96% between 1996 and 1997 and with salaried ranging between $40,000 and $65,000. Several education institutes across India are now opening up courses in Biometrics after the subject gained importance in the job market. Students completing a degree in Bioinformatics from premier institutes can be a part of leading IT firms. Many software companies recruit bio-informationists from time to time.

Non IT Scope

Apart from getting a job in the IT sector, candidates with the right skill set and knowledge can apply with pharmaceutical companies, biomedical organizations, biotech research centers, agricultural companies and even NGOs that need a bioinformationists. The option to become and academician too is an option after completing the studies. The various positions that a candidate can hold with a degree in bioinformatics are:

  • Proteomix
  • Researcher
  • Sequence analysis
  • Pharmacology
  • Computational chemists
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Bioanalysts
  • Content editor
  • Bioinformatician
  • …and many more

Salary Expectations

A degree holder in bioinformatics can expect a handsome pay. The average income should be somewhere between INR 10,000 and INR 50,000 per month as you start and depending upon your skills, your experience  and the institute you have passed out from. Most of the best candidates are offered good opportunities in foreign firms and laboratories.

Top companies that hire Bioinformaticians in India

Job prospects for Bioinformaticians are applicable to a variety of sectors – pharmaceutical, biotechnological, research laboratories, hospitals, and other private and public sector industries.

As per a survey made by NASSCOM in 2010, there are many Indian companies who have emerged as the leading recruiters in bioinformatics. These include:

  • Ranbaxy
  • GVK Biosciences
  • Torrent Pharmaceuticals
  • AstraZeneca Research Center
  • Biscon
  • Dr Reddy’s Laboratories
  • Strand Life Sciences
  • CuraGen
  • Celera Genomics
  • Avestha Gengraine Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

The investment to get into a bioinformatics course could be a pinch in the pocket. In average colleges in India, the tuition fees could be anywhere between INR 70,000 and INR 1,00,000. Further, students will have to pay laboratory fees, security deposits and other fees and the overall fee may stand out to be a headache. However, the same investment is done to get and MBA degree and this is certainly a less explored and better option.

In the past, there were various reasons for the limited availability of Bioinformaticians. Less than 20% of the employee workforce in a scientific organization was Bioinformatician. Neither were there enough companies to absorb the pass outs. As a result, students had to depend upon low salaries, change field of education or look for a foreign firm. If you weren’t a good enough candidate, you had no chance of getting placed.

However, more companies are making their mark in the Indian territories and the level of education in this field of study is increasing. The talent pool is growing as a result of growth in the number of jobs. Today, even RPOs and KPO’s are employing Bioinformaticians and they play a vital role in the organization.

The job market for a Bioinformatician has definitely improved in the past few years and this can be attributed to a number of collaboratively working factors. The Indian Government is seeking more investment in the sector and private firms are eager to take advantage. The talent pool helps their cause.

What Next?

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