Thursday, 2 September 2010

Core Cheminformatics Competencies

One article I found on line that interested me was "10 Useful Bioinformatics Skills to Have". Clearly all ten points apply to a professional in the field of cheminformatics. However it would be interesting to know what qualities are considered most highly amongst employers.

For this purpose, I have reviewed the jobs advertised on the Computational Chemistry List from the 19th of February 2010 to the 1st of September 2010. Alternative job sources could have been found, I agree, however the site is fairly representative of the types of jobs people having finished a degree in computational chemistry may consider.

Have Your Cake and Eat It
Of the 125 jobs, the pie chart above shows the distribution of cheminformatics jobs by country around the world. Clearly the cheminformatics job market is dominated by the USA, taking just over 50% of all the jobs advertised on the over the last 8 months. Germany has taken silver on the podium with 16 positions available, whilst the UK has taken bronze with 10.

What skills are employers seeking?
Well this is a good question, now that we've established where the main job market / demand for cheminformatics jobs are.

The top ten skill expected by an employer are:
1. PhD (75).
2. Experience in Molecular Dynamics (36).
3. Experience in programming (34).
4. Simulation experience (29).
5. Strong oral communication skills (26).
6. Strong written communication skills (26).
7. Experience with Linux (22).
8. Python programming (22).
9. Team player (17).
10.Experience with docking software.

For the more interested reader, I have given a more detailed breakdown of the results in the table below.

Linux 22
Molecular Dynamics 36
Programming Language 34
Organization skills 2
Oral Communications 26
Written communications 26
Working in a team 17
PhD 75
Simulation Experience 29
Docking 17
Python 22
R 5
Java 13
C 16
C++ 16
Tcl 1
C# 2
Ruby 1
Perl 8
Fortran 7
Matlab 4
Database Knowledge 5
Molecular Modeling 18
Virtual screening 11
Genomics 3
Pharmacophore Elucidation 5
Quantum Mechanics 19
Conformational Analysis 1
Homology Modeling 8
Ligand based design 7
Structure based design 9
Super computing experience 3
Parallel programming 3
Experience in force field development 3
Willingness to travel 3
Scripting 10
Workflow experience 3
Machine Learning 4
Chemogenomics 2
Semantic Web technologies 1


  1. Ed, really interesting post, but I have to see, that black background is not really working for me: the fonts are too small, and some even dark grey, making it really hard to read what you post :(

  2. Thanks Egon! Will look into enlargening the fonts / making it a little clearer next time.