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Information Science

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Information Science Major

16,362 yearly degrees
#71 in popularity
$114,000 median salary

Information science is a major that typically falls into the Computer & Information Sciences category.

There are 113 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in IS, 277 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 155 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 29 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an IS Degree?

Information science runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #60 out of all the majors we track. In 2017, about 7,500 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this major. This major attracts more men than women. About 74.6% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of IS majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 15%
  • Black or African American: 13.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 9.2%
  • White: 48.3%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 6.4%
  • Other Races: 7.2%

Information Science Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in IS. About 6.4% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending IS majors to the U.S. are India, China and Saudi Arabia.

What Will You Learn as an Information Science Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to IS to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for IS Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Information Science Majors

Skills for IS Majors

IS majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Information Science Majors

Abilities for IS Majors

As an IS major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

Important Abilities for IS Majors

What Can You Do With an IS Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with IS:

Careers Related to Information Science
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Computer Science Professors 8.1% $82,220
Computer and Information Research Scientists 19% $118,370
Web Administrators 9.3% $90,270
Database Architects 9.3% $90,270
Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists 9.3% $90,270
Data Warehousing Specialists 9.3% $90,270
Search Marketing Strategists 9.3% $90,270
Computer and Information Systems Managers 12% $142,530
Business Intelligence Analysts 9.3% $90,270
Software Developers, Systems Software 11.1% $110,000

Information Science Major Salary

IS majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $96,000 to $124,000. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an IS Major  ( 96000 to 124000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Information Science Major Jobs

Some careers associated with IS require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to IS have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Information Science
Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Less Than a High School Diploma 0%
High School Diploma or Equivalent 1.9%
Post-Secondary Certificate 3.9%
Some College Courses 4.5%
Associate's Degree or Equivalent 5.8%
Bachelor's Degree 57.8%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 2.6%
Master's Degree 17.3%
Post-Master's Certificate 0.6%
First Professional Degree 0.1%
Doctoral Degree 5.5%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.2%

Online Information Science Programs

There are 277 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in information science, with 54 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is an Information Science Major Worth It?

The median salary for an IS grad is $114,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 193% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,502,000 after 20 years!

information science salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: The Opte Project via License

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