Interested in learning about the types of careers in information sciences there are? Wondering what type of degree might benefit you most or match your career objectives? If you are getting the picture that there are options and choices, you are on the right track. While it is certainly true that computers and information technology are an intrinsic part of our life, many different types of jobs for the information sciences are available, and in some pretty fast-growing fields! From apps, business and computer programming to research, security and top executive roles, read on to take a look at some potential career paths, salary, job outlook and educational requirements for both graduates and undergraduates!
Potential Careers in Information Sciences
The Information Technology Industry continues to grow, creating a multitude of opportunities for individuals with different levels of academic study. With the advent of health care IT, mobile networking, data management, cloud computing and cloud vendors, not to mention the increase in cyber attacks, employment increases are likely to continue. Some of the jobs in the IT industry include:
Computer and Information Systems Managers[i] , also called Information Technology (IT) Managers are administrators and project managers. They plan, coordinate and direct computer-related activities in an organization. There are different types of professionals in this category, for instance:
• Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are tasked with the overall technology strategy of their organizations
• Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) are the ones who evaluate new technology and is tasked with recommending appropriate technology solutions.
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: 15% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $127,640
Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in a computer- or information science–related field for entry-level jobs. MBA required by some employers.
Computer and Information Research Scientists[ii] are responsible for inventing and designing new approaches to computing (think: computer languages and software) as well as uses for existing technology. Different specialties within the field include:
• Data Mining
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: 11% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $108,360
Education Requirements: Ph.D. in computer science or a related field, such as computer engineering.
Computer Hardware Engineers[iii] typically research, design, develop and test computer systems and components (think: processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. They often work with software developers.
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: 9% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $108,430
Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering or computer science; Some large firms or specialized jobs may require a master’s degree in computer engineering or master’s degree in business administration (MBA).
Computer Network Architects[iv] , also called network engineers, are the designers and builders of data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs)
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: 3% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $98,430
Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, engineering, or a related field. Some employers prefer applicants to have a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems.
Information Security Analysts[v] implement and plan out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems from cyber attacks and security breaches.
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: 18% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $88,890
Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field. Some employers prefer prefer applicants who have a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems.
Computer Systems Analysts[vi] bridge business and information technology together, as they study an organization’s systems and protocols to then design information systems solutions with the goal of having the organization run effectively.
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: 21% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $82,710
Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer or information science field is common, but in some cares firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees. If the job is technically complex, it might be preferable to hold a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems or master’s degree in computer science.
Database Administrators[vii] , also called DBAs, use specialized software to store, organize and keep safe different types of information (think: customer shipping records, health information, financial records). Two of the common specialties are:
• System DBAs who are responsible for the technical aspects of installing upgrades
• Application DBAs who take care of things like customer service software or using complex programming languages
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: 11% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $80,280
Education Requirements: Depending on the size of firm; bachelor’s degree in an information- or computer-related subject such as computer science or may bachelor’s degree in management information systems (MIS). Larger firms and more complex jobs may require master’s degree focusing on data or database management, typically either in computer science, information systems, or information technology.
Computer Programmers[viii] write and test the code that allows computer applications and software applications to run properly. They will turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that your computer can follow.
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: -8% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $77,550
Education Requirements: Since technology is constantly changing continuing education and professional development is recommended. Depending on the job, a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree is required.
Web Developers[ix] are the designers and creators of websites, from look and feel to technical and performance aspects. Some specialize in a particular area:
• Back-end developers do the technical construction
• Front-end developers integrate layout, graphic design and other content
• Webmasters maintain and update websites
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: 27% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $63,490
Education Requirements: These vary depending on setting. In some cases an associate’s degree in web design or a related field, in other s a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming or a related field. Sometimes candidates with graphic design skills are preferred.
Software Developers[x] are the innovative and creative minds behind the computer programs. The two main types are:
- Applications software developers who are the designers of computer applications (think: word processors, games, e-commerce)
- Systems software developers who are behind creating the systems that keep our computers functioning properly (think: operating systems and system interface).
Job Outlook 2014 -2024: 17% employment growth
Median Annual Salary 2014: $97,990
Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field, such as mathematics.
Which Career in Information Sciences is Right For You?
Whether you have flair for administration, management and leadership, prefer to research, design or explore a tech-related computer science career, there is a potential niche for every data-driven mind. Make sure that you find a degree that aligns not only with your interests, but with any specific vocational goals you may encounter. Continued Success!
[i]bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm [ii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/computer-hardware-engineers.htm| [iv] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-network-architects.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm | [vi]bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm | [x] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm