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Be a Computer and Information Scientist: Career Roadmap

Technology advances with lightning speed due to the efforts of computer and information scientists. These scientists are responsible for designing games to give the player a sense of real-time involvement and inventing robots to perform tasks that are difficult for humans. Computer and information scientists also design chips and hardware to give computers greater and faster capabilities.

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  • 0:00 Computer and…
  • 1:23 Step 1: Get a…
  • 1:44 Step 2: Consider an Internship
  • 2:01 Step 3: Get a Doctorate
  • 2:23 Step 4: Get a Job
  • 2:42 Step 5: Pursue a…

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Computer and Information Scientists

Degree Level Bachelor's degree up to Ph.D.
Degree Field Computer or software engineering, information technology
Experience Internships and practical projects valuable
Skills Math ability, logic, communication skills
Salary (2015) $110, 620 per year (median salary for computer and information research scientists)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Computer and information science is one of the fastest-growing job markets in the United States. These talented people are found in almost every industry, business and government agency in this country and the world. At the top level, the Ph.D. graduate, the United States is facing a shortage.

Computer science people are not restricted to the computer industry itself; they are key to the robotics, aerospace, transportation, communication and even the entertainment sectors. They design games and game hardware, navigation and guidance systems, telephone devices, and automobiles. California's Silicon Valley may have the greatest concentration of these professionals, but they can be employed anywhere in almost any industry.

Degree programs in this field are available from the bachelor's degree level up to the Ph.D. level and typically fall into categories like computer or software engineering or information technology. Skills acquired in internships and practical projects are highly valued. Computer and information scientists should be skilled in math, logic, and communication.

The median wage for computer and information research scientists according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was $110, 620 as of May 2015.

Step 1: Get a Bachelor's Degree

The first step towards becoming a computer and information scientist is to earn a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, information systems or technology, software engineering, computer science or a computer-related program. Studies should focus on advanced mathematics, critical thinking, and communications classes.

Step 2: Consider an Internship

Internships offer practical, hands-on experience under the guidance of an experienced mentor. Some internships offer a small amount of pay as well as college credit. If there is a specific goal in mind, checking with that company may turn up an internship program in that exact field.

Step 3: Get a Doctorate

Most top-level computer and information scientists have a Ph.D. The first two years of study cover such courses as microprocessors, computer and information technology, artificial intelligence and digital communication. The next three years will be spent on research projects in computer-related science and technology.

Step 4: Get a Job

The federal government hires almost 25% of these scientists, but research facilities - both corporate and private - are also excellent prospects. Any industry, corporation or government agency that develops innovative scientific technology has the need for computer and information scientists.

Step 5: Pursue a Supervisory Position

Scientists who accrue enough job experience may be qualified for managerial positions. These positions usually entail leading a team of other scientists in their research as well as setting research objectives and goals.


Computer and information scientists are necessary components of many different industries. A bachelor's degree is required, though some positions may need applicants to have a Ph.D.

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