Information science is a field of study primarily concerning the retrieval, storage, analysis and communication of information. The field is generally interdisciplinary, meaning that students study various related subjects, such as computer science and mathematics, in order to gain a better understanding of how to efficiently organize and manipulate information.
An information science degree typically requires the same amount of hours to complete as several other bachelor's degrees. Generally, this is between 120 to 135 hours, which typically takes four years to finish. Students may be responsible for taking core coursework such as introductory courses in science, humanities, information processing, and programming, in addition to foundation courses that delve deeper into the issues related to designing and programming information systems.* Multiple programming languages are generally studied as part of the program, including Java, C+, Python and others. This not only allows the students to gain a greater understanding of information systems, but may also prepare them for various careers once they have successfully graduated from the program. Furthermore, it generally allows students the opportunity to explore the more practical side of information science as opposed to simply dwelling on the theoretical side. Several programs generally focus more on problem-solving and real world applications than theory.
Undergraduate programs generally give students the opportunity to pursue other interests and areas of study beyond the core classes. Examples of this include linguistics, cognitive sciences, biology, and communications, all of which are related to the science of information. In addition, general education credits and other requirements set by the university or college typically must be met before the degree is awarded.**
There are several different jobs generally available for information science graduates. Some of these may include a career as a security analyst, network architect, or web designer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these jobs are expected to grow by 22 percent in the next ten years. The biggest increase will be in security-related positions that are needed to protect and analyze data collected by corporations, governments, and other entities. The average pay for these jobs is generally around $36.37 per hour, or $75,660 per year.***
We currently live in a period that is typically described as the information age, therefore, information scientists are generally in high demand by various industries and governments. Individuals who are motivated enough to pursue the rigors of interdisciplinary study required to earn such a degree may be rewarded with favorable job prospects in the years to come.
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