Informatics FAQ

What is Informatics?

The short answer: Informatics is the bridge between information technology and other fields; from fine arts to physics, from communication to criminal justice.

A fuller description here: 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, 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. Besides applying technology to a specific field, informatics often includes a focus on social and behavioral aspects of information and technology.

Why study Informatics?

Learning the effective use of technology helps people to succeed in any field, whether it be art, science, business, education or government. Informatics will prepare students for specific workplace opportunities in today's competitive global environment and will allow them to more quickly refine their career decisions and life objectives.

Who should study Informatics?

To be successful in the information age, students need a greater technology capability than just using MS Word and Google. Professional jobs depend on acquiring and applying accurate information on a timely basis. Informatics is valuable to anyone interested in applying technology to their 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.

Am I limited to one career option?

Graduates can look forward to excellent job opportunities, whether directly in the field of computing and information science, or by applying this expertise to positions within business, government, education or nonprofit sectors.

Well, is it more about computing or information?

Actually, it's about both! Informatics includes hands-on use of computing and technology in fields such as criminal justice, geography, fine arts, and biology.

OK, what about information?

Besides applying technology to a specific field, informatics often includes a focus on social and behavior aspects of information and technology.

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.