Information Scientist

Conduct research to improve the way information is stored and retrieved.

Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$42,000 – $116,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Information Scientists do?

A library contains hundreds of poems by Emily Dickinson, filed in the fiction section. Another library contains the same poems, but they’re filed in the poetry section. Yet another library only provides these poems in an online catalogue.

Dickinson fans and Librarians may gnash their teeth at their inability to find the pieces they’re looking for, but an Information Scientist may find the problem infinitely fascinating. That’s because an Information Scientist performs research to determine how people collect, classify, store, and retrieve information.

When you’re an Information Scientist, you begin your work with a set of questions: Why is this filed in this way? What makes this system attractive or unattractive? Is there another system that could work better? Then, you develop a series of tasks to help you answer your questions.

For some studies, you delve into the history of the written word, looking for early examples of filing systems, and determining how those systems influence modern ones. For other studies, you develop radically different methods of sorting and retrieving information, and you determine whether or not that system is effective. Computers have revolutionized the way people access information, and much of your work revolves around computer database systems. Sometimes, you test new systems on volunteers and measure how long it takes for them to find things.

When your research is complete, you write articles that detail your theory, your experiments, your research, and your conclusions. You send these articles to as many publishers as possible so other Information Scientists and Computer Programmers can read them. In your spare time, you read papers written by other professionals in your field.


Should I be an Information Scientist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Information Broker, Information Manager, Information Resources Director, Information Resources Manager See More

    How to become an Information Scientist

    Most Information Scientists have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:auq9fa&chl=|certificate+%2820%25%29|associate%27s+%2816%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2860%25%29|master%27s+%285%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,60
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