NEW YORK, Aug. 6 - The number of card-carrying bioinformaticists entering the job market more than tripled in 2002, according to a recent survey of US university degree programs.
This year US-based universities expect to release 164 newly minted BS-, MS-, or PhD-level bioinformaticists, a considerable increase from the 53 grads in 2001, according to the second-annual survey compiled by GenomeWeb sister publication BioInform.
This new wave of graduates -- not to mention their prospective employers -- are the first beneficiaries of the remarkable growth seen over the last few years in the number of degree programs: While only six dedicated bioinformatics-degree programs existed before 1997, 13 universities added new programs in 2001, and seven schools are adding bioinformatics-related degrees in 2002.
There are now 45 universities in the US offering formal bioinformatics or computational biology degrees: 13 BS programs, 33 MS programs, and 33 PhD programs. Five schools, including Carnegie Mellon, Drexel University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and the University of Pennsylvania, offer all three degree levels.
A more detailed version of this article appears in BioInform.