Bioengineering and bioinformatics are popular fields combining technology and biology.
Students should make an informed decision when choosing between the two academic paths and careers.
This guide will distinguish between bioengineering and bioinformatics and provide crucial comparison points for your consideration.
Bioengineering focuses on developing machines for biological analysis, assessment, and diagnosis.
The field also focuses on technological solutions for any biological concerns or issues.
There are many specializations of bioengineering, allowing for application to agriculture, food, environment, and healthcare.
Bioinformatics concentrates on building software programs and tools for reading and manipulating biological data.
Researchers, analysts, and scientists can use bioinformatics systems to easily pull specific data sets or share important information with others.
Similar to bioengineering, bioinformatics applies to many fields such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and zoology.
Bioengineering and bioinformatics have the same goal: to find solutions for biological concerns.
They are two different stages in the race towards that objective.
Bioinformatics builds and manages software for experts to advance research and solve problems.
Bioengineering designs and develops solutions for problems.
So, bioengineering relies on bioinformatics to achieve the overall goal.
Students from bioengineering and bioinformatics report that each discipline is challenging in its own way.
That said, bioengineering programs may be more difficult due to the deep dive into chemistry, biology, math, physics, and engineering courses.
Bioinformatics requires a focus on math, biology, and computer science.
Bioinformatics students will need to pursue a graduate degree, while bioengineering students only need an undergraduate degree.
When deciding between becoming a bioengineer or a bioinformatician, it is an excellent idea to analyze salary, job outlook, and potential career positions.
A bioengineer makes an average annual salary of $94 410, although this can increase significantly depending on the specialization.
Biomedical engineers make an average of $113 055 annually, reaching as high as $214 000 annually.
On average, Bioinformaticians earn $102 270 annually, which may increase depending on the specific industry.
Regarding job outlook, prospects are excellent for bioinformaticians: job opportunities will grow 22% in the next decade.
Yet, bioengineering positions will grow by 6%, slightly less than the average growth for engineering jobs.
Bioengineering graduates can increase their employment opportunities by earning higher academic degrees, or specializing in a high-demand field.
|Average pay||$94 410 annually||$102 270 annually|
|Ease of finding a job||Difficult||Moderate|
|Types of jobs you can qualify for||Bioengineer |
Biostatistician Research Scientist
Stem Cell Engineer
|Difficulty of the major||Difficult||Difficult|
|Key things to note||Bioengineering students only need to hold an undergraduate degree for entry-level positions but may benefit from a higher degree||Bioinformatics students must earn a graduate degree or higher|
Bioinformatics is a large field, encompassing numerous occupations, including bioinformatics engineering.
Bioinformatics engineers research and analyze complex biological data, design databases to store and organize the information, and design software tools to retrieve, sort, or process the data.
If students wish to become bioinformatics engineers, they must take software engineering courses alongside bioinformatics courses.
They may also require a deeper understanding of the core topics as they should be experts in their field and craft.
Also read: Can Bioinformatics Work As Data Scientist?
Is Bioinformatics a Type of Bioengineering?
Bioinformatics is a part of bioengineering, as it enables bioengineering to complete its overall goal.
It facilitates storing, sharing, and reading specific biological research and results.
When bioengineers can access this wealth of information, they can design and develop better technology.
Bioinformatics may be a better choice for some individuals, especially if they wish to focus more on computer science or programming than on technology that may involve several different elements.
It is also an excellent domain for students who enjoy developing new technology without engineering knowledge.
Naturally, if they wish to pursue more responsibility in this regard, they can complete engineering courses and certificates.
Bioinformatics is also a quickly growing field, demanding more informaticians and informatics specialists yearly.
They need experts to assist in important research and contribute to innovative advancements in scientific and medical fields.
So, there may be more job opportunities in bioinformatics than in biomedical engineering.
That said, if students do not wish to earn at least a graduate degree before entering the job market, they may want to re-evaluate their job expectations or pursue a different line of work.
Students who wish to become bioinformatics engineers may enjoy pursuing biomedical engineering as an undergraduate degree and bioinformatics as a graduate specialization.
With an excellent foundation in biomedical engineering, they will understand how to read, analyze, and interpret biological data and its relevance to healthcare and medicine.
As they acquire bioinformatics knowledge, they can know how it applies to the biomedical field.
Notably, they can grasp how altering software systems and databases could significantly assist the field and its advancements.
Learn more: Can Bioinformatics Do Biomedical Engineering?
Undergraduates looking forward to a graduate program in bioinformatics may need to complete specific requirements before applying for their dream degree.
Most universities look for students with bachelor’s degrees in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology or bioengineering, biomedical engineering, food sciences, or agriculture.
They may also accept students who have computer science or programming undergraduate degrees.
In some cases, students need to take additional classes before attending the university.
Depending on the undergraduate background, these may include molecular biology, genetics, statistics, or biostatistics.
Additionally, they must have excellent grades, typically a letter grade of B or higher.
Whether you choose bioengineering or bioinformatics, you will have the opportunity to work in an exciting and engaging domain.
If you enjoy computer science and programming, they may find bioinformatics interesting.
Alternatively, students who are passionate about biology, medicine, agriculture, or food sciences may enjoy bioengineering more than bioinformatics.
If you cannot decide between the two, you can combine them to pursue bioinformatics within bioengineering.
Fortunately, you have many choices and can quickly transform your career paths towards the other if you change your mind.