Bioinformatics and biomedical engineering are two closely-related fields with overlapping career opportunities.
But can you switch from one to the other?
Follow along to learn how to specialize in or transition completely into biomedical engineering.
Can Bioinformatics Do Biomedical Engineering?
Students in bioinformatics programs learn how to read, organize, and process biological data and how to build software programs storing and supporting that data.
Biomedical engineering students learn engineering principles and biology to develop and build innovative machines and technology for healthcare purposes.
These two fields can overlap because biomedical engineers and scientists rely on biomedical and biological data to develop effective and safe technology.
Likewise, bioinformatics can work with biomedical data to develop relevant and sufficient software for biomedical specialists.
So, bioinformatics students can specialize in biomedical engineering to focus on advancing one healthcare field.
Alternatively, students who do not enjoy bioinformatics may prefer to transition to biomedical engineering.
They may find their analytical mind, ability to find and read data, and knowledge of biology helpful in switching to biomedical engineering.
Are Biomedical Engineering And Bioinformatics Same?
Biomedical engineering and bioinformatics are two different fields, although they rely on each other for foundational data.
Biomedical engineers use the data stored in systems made by bioinformaticians.
They analyze the data to design and create technology, such as medical imaging machines, artificial limbs and organs, and corrective lenses.
In contrast, bioinformatics engineers create the systems for the data found by biological and medical researchers and scientists.
They create databases and software programs for biomedical scientists.
In other words, bioinformatics streamlines biomedical breakthroughs.
Regarding education, biomedical engineering programs require biology, biochemistry, physics, math, and engineering.
Bioinformatics programs need biology, chemistry, math, computer science, and software engineering.
The two fields accomplish different feats as steps toward healthcare progress.
Learn more: Bioengineering Vs. Bioinformatics
It can be challenging to choose between biotechnology and bioinformatics. But analyzing the academic and career details can help you decide.
Both fields are notoriously tricky; however, most students find biotechnology, specifically biomedical engineering, very difficult.
Students must split their attention between biology and engineering.
In bioinformatics, students may take software engineering, but only if they pursue bioinformatics engineering.
Otherwise, they must concentrate their efforts mainly on math, biology, and computer science.
The government expects bioinformatics to grow faster than average, opening many job opportunities in the coming decade for graduates.
They project that job opportunity for biotechnology and biomedical engineers will maintain an average growth rate.
Naturally, salaries are a determining factor for most career choices.
These salaries increase depending on education, experience, and the hiring company.
Engineering professionals have access to excellent benefits packages, including healthcare, mental health support, paid time off, vacation days, retirement planning or matching, regular career advancement opportunities, and flexible scheduling.
These benefits may not be as predominant in the bioinformatics field, although with the right employer, you may significantly improve your chances of great benefits, including the chance to work from home.
If you wish to become a biomedical engineer, you should follow these steps:
Earn an Undergraduate Degree
You can study biotechnology, bioengineering, or biomedical engineering.
You can also take a related degree in engineering or life sciences, although you may need to take supplemental biomedical or biology courses to apply for graduate school.
It is important to ensure your academic institution is an accredited university.
Obtain a Graduate Degree in Biomedical Engineering
Although you can find some entry-level positions in biomedical engineering without a graduate degree, it will increase your candidacy for preferred jobs and higher salaries.
Again, it is crucial to make sure your graduate school is an accredited university.
Increase Your Expertise
Acquire experience at a biomedical engineering firm. You can earn sufficient experience volunteering while completing your academic degree/s, or you can pursue an internship.
Receive a Professional Engineering (PE) liscence. Although the states do not require biomedical engineers to have a liscence, some individuals prefer to earn PE.
Useful Online Resources For Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical engineering can be exciting, but it can also be challenging at times.
Rather than spend your time searching endlessly, try any of these helpful and informative online resources:
- Biomedical Engineering Society (BMS): Watch webinars and virtual symposiums regularly.
- Venture Well: Find numerous online resources and helpful tools courtesy of Venture Well.
- BioMed Central: Discover open-access journals covering biomedical and biological research.
- Engineering Source: Take advantage of this high-quality database with journals, magazines, and other publications.
- Biological Science Database: Access excellent articles on numerous biology topics.
- Biomaterials Network: Keep up-to-date with the latest news and trends within biomedical engineering.
- National Science Digital Library: Search for educational courses, guides, and tutorials for any scientific subject.
- IEEE Life Science Technical Community (LSTC): Look for news, conferences, and educational resources for the life sciences.
- So You Want to Be a Biomedical Engineer: Learn the details about pursuing biomedical engineering as a career courtesy of this free course offered by the University of California San Diego.
- Introduction to Biological Engineering Design: Take this introductory course on biological systems and engineering launched by MIT Open Courseware.
- Biomedical Engineering Course: Watch and listen to this exciting course about Biomedical Engineering from Yale University.
Biomedical engineering may be the perfect field for you if you are passionate about biology, medicine, and engineering.
You may like to combine bioinformatics and biomedical engineering, allowing you to design and build helpful software programs for the biomedical field.
In either case, you will encounter exciting topics, design innovative technology, and benefit the healthcare community.