Informatics FAQ

Who is this Department of Informatics?

This undergraduate degree educates students for such careers as information technology specialist, records manager, Web developer, database administrator, and others while focusing on interdisciplinary, liberal arts education of our students. Some students enter graduate programs in library science, information science, business, and others. The department also offers an undergraduate minor in Informatics that may be combined with a major in any discipline except Informatics and has cognate options for students with certain departments, that focus on information and technology in that specific field.

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.

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? How is it applied in other fields?

When you use technology to meet a particular need, whether it's creating a uniform health record for patients or improving the water supply in a Third World nation, that is 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.