I think you should spend the first year on your home PC. Download RStudio and work through a few R Tutorials, then find some data/questions that interest you and poke around. Post your results to a blog so that you'll have something to show for the time you spend and release the code on GitHub so that it's open to future employers.
I'd say get comfortable with a data analysis language (R will probably serve you best currently), and a data manipulation language (Python, Perl, etc.) and start asking questions of data that's around you (your email archives, a log of Internet sites you visit, your spending records, etc.). Once you've found that well-designed algorithms can't handle some dataset you're looking at, then look at Hadoop and other "big-data" projects.
When you're ready, I'd steer your towards Next-Generation Sequencing data. Most of the bioinformatics questions being asked (and funded) now have at least some interaction with NGS, and analysts capable of working with that data are highly valuable. Check out the 1,000 Genomes project when you're ready to start playing with free Sequencing data.