Types of Degrees Information Science Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many information science graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Information Science Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, IS majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for IS Majors
IS majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Skills for IS Majors
IS majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Abilities for IS Majors
As a IS major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
What Can You Do With a Information Science Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with IS:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Business Intelligence Analysts||9.3%||$90,270|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||19.0%||$118,370|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||12.0%||$142,530|
|Computer Science Professors||8.1%||$82,220|
|Data Warehousing Specialists||9.3%||$90,270|
|Document Management Specialists||9.3%||$90,270|
|Geographic Information Systems Technicians||9.3%||$90,270|
|Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists||9.3%||$90,270|
|Search Marketing Strategists||9.3%||$90,270|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||11.1%||$110,000|
|Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers||9.3%||$90,270|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Information Science?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of IS majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||622|
|Hispanic or Latino||313|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in IS. About 46.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
How Much Do Information Science Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in information science made a median starting salary of $69,600 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $62,075 (25th percentile) and $81,175 (75th percentile).
It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in IS, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.
Salaries According to BLS
IS majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $96,200 to $123,850 (25th to 75th percentile). 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, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Information Science
Some degrees associated with IS may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for IS careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||1.9%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||3.9%|
|Some College Courses||4.5%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||5.8%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||2.6%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||0.6%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.1%|
Online Information Science Programs
In 2018-2019, 479 schools offered a IS program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||71||27|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||52||21|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||5||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||30||2|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Information Science Worth It?
The median salary for a 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 186% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,482,000 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Information Science
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to IS.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Computer Information Systems||76,482|
|Computer Systems Networking||14,055|
|Computer Software & Applications||12,793|
|Computer Systems Analysis||2,472|
|Other Computer & Information Sciences||1,243|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By The Opte Project under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.