What Degrees are Offered in the Department of Informatics?

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major in Information Science)

Minor in Informatics

What is informatics?

Information science investigates the uses and impacts of information and technology on individuals, organizations and society.

Why study Informatics?

Informatics is technology applied to specific fields. Informatics serves as the bridge between computing and information technology and specific application domains, ranging, for example, from the government and public policy to economics to health care. As computing and information technologies become increasingly embedded in the day-to-day operations of commerce Informatics as a field will become increasingly important. We will need more individuals who understand a diverse set of technologies and how to apply them across fields. To illustrate this point we can look to the case of “big data” today. Organizations are producing immense amounts of data and emerging technologies are now making it possible to collect that data and use it to answer questions. This has created the need for individuals who understand how to use those technologies and how to get information out of large data sets.

So, what else does it cover?

Students learn how information is created, organized, represented, stored, accessed, retrieved, managed and protected in both traditional and non-traditional media.

Who should study information science?

If you’d like to help people navigate through the flood of today’s traditional and cyber-based information to reach their goals, or, if you are interested in helping organizations manage, use, and preserve the information they collect and create, a degree in information science can give you the knowledge, skills, and experiences to prepare you for these professional roles.

What kind of jobs can I get with this degree?

The undergraduate degree provides students with essential skills and a sound knowledge base with which to enter the information industry or to pursue graduate studies. Information science prepares students to pursue careers in web development, call center support services, and technology in government.

Am I limited to one career option?

It is quite possible that students in one concentration are qualified for careers from another concentration just by the nature of the core courses and their extra-curricular energies. For instance, someone studying cyber-security may be designing websites on the side and can use the two experiences together to work on social media. Finally, it should also be noted that some of these areas are so new, there are not well-defined job titles yet, especially within the data analytics concentration. Employers told us they know what they are looking for, but there is no specific title for it yet. This is to be expected with such a rapidly-changing field.

What skills will I learn?

Informatics is offered within the context of a liberal arts degree. Students will complete a broad-based academic degree with the in-depth training and educational experiences necessary to prepare them for specific technology-focused careers. Among other things, the liberal arts foundation of this degree will help promote skills such as critical thinking and in general promote lifelong strategies. Given the rapid pace of social and technological change, these skills are particularly important for students in Informatics.

What if I want to major in something else, but I like technology?

No matter what your major is, an Informatics minor can make you more productive and valuable in your field.

What kind of jobs can I get with a Minor in Informatics?

Students with a B.A. or B.S. who majored in any subject acquire extra professional clout with an Informatics minor. Informatics teaches students how to think about their fields from a computing and information perspective and prepares them to meet these challenges in their careers.