Hi again all. First off, thank you to everyone who has replied to my previous perl & bioinformatics thread. Your responses have been very helpful! I hope this is okay, but I have a followup question that is not so much perl oriented. I was wondering if people could give me insight into the various long-term jobs and fields that one can pursue with a PhD in bioinformatics (and for the sake of this discussion board, with a good background in perl? ; ))?
My current understanding of programming and biology related fields is primarily in academia. This is what I've been surrounded by most since college. However, that job track does not seem to be the most motivating to me right now. Work in a lab, do a post doc, and then start your own lab. For some reason, it seems like a lot of pressure too soon -- I'd like a little more experience before I'm suddenly bestowed an entire lab to myself! However, it seems like that path is also the most stable, compared to other options. Post-doc'ing has a limited time frame. And the bioinformatic programmers I know are hired for specific projects, which may last three or four years. After that, they're probably going to have to find new jobs, elsewhere.
So aside from industry (which I'm trying to avoid), are there stable, worthwhile career tracks in bioinformatics? Where you can do really cool research, help develop methodology and get your programming on, all the while actually building a career and resume beyond 3 / 4 year stints? I may be really unaware of things, because I am coming off of doing a B.S. primarily in Biology. I only took one or so courses in real, hardcore programming, and never got any advice or information about this field from professors while I was still at school. All I asked at the time was 'what should I learn' language wise. Now, I'm out of school, and with a lot more questions! So thank you to anyone who responds. Any thoughts or comments are going to be very much appreciated.