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Wednesday, May 10, 2000

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Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Hiring Patterns Experienced by Students Enrolled in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology Programs
"As expected, salaries for the most part climb as the level of training rises, starting in the $40,000-$50,000 range for BAs and reaching over $100,000 for one post doc. But there are exceptions. For example, two of the three undergraduates who were placed received salaries between $50,0000 to $60,000. This is higher than that earned by seven of the masters students, although ten of the nineteen masters students for whom we have salary information earn more than $60,000. One masters student received a starting salary of over $100,000. Reported salaries for five hires at the doctorate level are over $70,000. One is between $80,000 to $90,000; another is over $100,000; yet another is between $60,000 to $70,000. Three post docs received placements with a salary between $80,000 to $90,000. One post doc was placed at a salary of over $100,000. One institution reported that one or more masters student(s) received a signing bonus."

"The results of our current survey make it clear that the majority of these jobs are not being filled by graduates of formal programs—who by our count represent about 15 percent of the positions advertised in 1997. And, we believe the 15 percent figure to be an overestimate given that ads have been growing over time and our most recent ad count is for 1997, a year earlier than our hiring data. This leads us to infer that most of the advertised positions are being filled by individuals trained in informal programs and by individuals who change jobs. The distinct possibility exists that a number of these jobs remain vacant for a period of time, an issue not studied here. Furthermore, our pipeline estimates (see Table 2) lead us to conclude that the number of individuals currently enrolled in formal programs falls far short of the number of positions that have recently been advertised.

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Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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