Bioinformatics curriculum development and skill sets for bioinformaticians

Huanmei Wu, Amrith Palani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


The rapid advancement in biological data acquisition technologies has led to massive biological datasets, which requires the development and application of computational methods to analyze and interpret the information. Bioinformatics is the confluence of biology, computer science, and information technology. The Bioinformatics programs are offered by more than 100 universities in the United States, and much more worldwide. Different degree (including BS, MS, and PhD), and certificate programs in Bioinformatics have been performed. The current bioinformatics programs in the US have been studied, regarding their curriculum, program competencies, sizes of the faculty, and student enrollments. The job market is also explored for bioinformatics professional training and career planning. The bioinformatics skill requirements are analyzed. Systematical analysis is carried out by integrating the core competences and curriculum improvements in bioinformatics. The potential employers for bioinformatics professionals are analyzed according to the properties of the companies, such as the sizes, the focus areas, the locations, the skill requirements, and other information. The results provide guidance for bioinformatics curriculum development, such as the minimized courses to cover the basic required skill sets for a bioinformatics student to be a successful bioinformatician. In addition, the analytical results are applied to the redesign of the curriculum in our bioinformatics program which offers MS, PhD, and PhD Minor. In summary, the systematic study of the existing bioinformatics programs in the US and the current market needs for professionals in bioinformatics provide great insight for education in bioinformatics. It helps the curriculum development and reexamination. It also provides the students with the required knowledge for their future career.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLaunching a New Vision in Engineering Education, FIE 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479984534
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Event2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015 - El Paso, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2015Oct 24 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015
CountryUnited States
CityEl Paso


  • Bioinformatics
  • Competencies
  • Job Markets
  • Skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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