[Bioperl-l] Is it worth it?

Boris Steipe boris.steipe at utoronto.ca
Mon Feb 27 15:42:54 UTC 2006

I'd put I slightly different emphasis on this: obviously most of  
those in the field can't have a degree in bioinformatics because such  
degree programs haven't been around for all that long. One shouldn't  
conclude that graduate programs are therefore somehow less relevant.  
To successfully apply for a paid job, you need credentials for your  
ability to be productive.

Credentials can come from open source projects IF you can document  
the scope and quality of your contributions.

Credentials can come from a graduate degree IF your thesis appears  
relevant, original and well executed.

Credentials can come from peer-reviewed publications.

Credentials can come from personal references of collaborators.


On 27 Feb 2006, at 06:39, Sean Davis wrote:

> On 2/26/06 10:12 PM, "Joel Dudley" <joel at macresearcher.com> wrote:
>> It seems to me that your mind is already made up. By asking such a
>> question I think it's safe to say a PhD program in Bioinformatics
>> would not be your cup of tea. This is not to be negative. If you like
>> bioinformatics, do bioinformatics. Join an open-source project, or
>> start one of your own. If you live in a town with a University, find
>> a lab that needs bioinformatics work and volunteer your time. If you
>> really have a passion for bioinformatics, just do bioinformatics and
>> your path will become clear, opportunities will arise, your salary
>> will be what you need. Just my two shekels of course.
> I would second this sentiment.  Most of the folks that I know that  
> are doing
> bioinformatics are doing it WITHOUT a degree in it.  The trick is  
> to have
> both computational skills AND domain-specific knowledge.  Just find a
> project that will require you to gain some domain-specific  
> knowledge (which
> can actually happen pretty quickly) and go for it.  As Joel said,  
> there are
> dozens of open source projects that would love a helping hand.  If  
> you need
> more face-time, do as Joel suggests and work with a local  
> university (or
> even high school) to design some web-based tools or something like  
> that to
> do things that would be either educational or novel.
> Sean
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