Skip to main content

Learn bioinformatics with online courses and programs

Biological data can be used to broaden our understanding of health and manage disease. It’s important to effectively store and analyze this data to achieve positive outcomes. Learn bioinformatics with online courses delivered through edX.

What is bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is the use of computers and technology to store, study, and analyze biological genetic data, such as DNA or amino acid sequences.Footnote 1 Bioinformaticians create and use programmatic tools that filter massive amounts of biological data, develop sequencing methods, and analyze sequences for meaningful trends and insights. When organized properly, biological data can help scientists, programmers, and researchers expand their knowledge of health, diseases, and medical care.

For example, bioinformatics analysis is used in genome sequencing, in which raw data is collected from biological samples, such as blood. DNA sequencing like this can help clinicians make rare diagnoses and track infectious organisms.Footnote 2

The Human Genome Project was one of the first large scale bioinformatics efforts where an international group of researchers spent 13 years figuring out how to generate the first sequence of the human genome.Footnote 3

Bioinformatics | Introduction Image Description

Browse online bioinformatics courses

Stand out in your field

Use the knowledge and skills you have gained to drive impact at work and grow your career.

Learn at your own pace

On your computer, tablet or phone, online courses make learning flexible to fit your busy life.

Earn a valuable credential

Showcase your key skills and valuable knowledge.

Bioinformatics course curriculum

An online bioinformatics course can teach learners how to identify and handle biological and genetic data. This knowledge can have many potential applications, including disease research, genome analysis, medicinal development, and more.

A foundational course in bioinformatics and biological data may cover:

  • Understanding how biological data is collected and processed

  • Using biomedical big data resources such as TCGA, G-DOC, and UNIPROT

  • Analyzing genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data with online tools

  • Finding the value of big data in biomedical research and clinical practice

  • Creating bioinformatic algorithms

More technical courses may be data science-focused, teaching learners about topics such as string processing and pattern matching. Computer science and programming skills can be useful for the development of algorithms that conduct genomic sequencing or statistical analysis of biological data. A bioinformatics curriculum may also cover programming languages such as C++ or Python and software development.

Consider how online learning can help you meet your goals. edX offers learners a variety of educational pathways to upskill, including specialized boot camps and courses.  Learners interested in more comprehensive programs can also pursue bachelor's degrees or, for more experienced individuals, master’s degrees in a variety of subjects

Explore bioinformatics jobs

Bioinformatics influences a wide range of research and clinical areas. Understanding how to collect, study, and analyze biological data is a useful skill in a variety of careers and industry areas. 

Some examples of careers that could use bioinformatics research and programming skills include:Footnote 4

  • Bioinformatician

  • Research scientist

  • Bioinformatics engineer

  • Computational biologist

  • Biostatistician

  • Geneticist

  • Epidemiologist

Your area of interest, prior experience, and goals will determine what career and educational path makes the most sense to pursue. For example, someone interested in biology and epidemiology will need to meet different qualifications for jobs in those fields than someone working primarily in engineering.

How to become a bioinformatics analyst online

Bioinformaticians and professionals in related careers use a variety of skills depending on their focus and job title. More research-based positions will likely require topic-specific knowledge, while programming careers could ask for expertise in coding languages and algorithms. 

Whatever your interest, experience, and goals, there are courses and pathways available to help you. If you are interested in adding new skills to your resume, explore how online learning opportunities such as a coding boot camp can help you build new skills. Every role is different. For example, some employers may ask for a bachelor’s degree in computer science while others may require a master’s degree in data science. Before setting down a specific learning pathway, research the roles that you are interested in and align your coursework with your professional aspirations.

Last updated