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2021 Information Science Degree Guide

If you are interested in the role technology plays in business, you may be interested in studying Information Science.

Information Science professionals not only know how computers and programs work, but they are able to understand the role technology plays in the business world and how people interact with it. Whether it be creating software or developing a website, Information Science professionals work to make this technology user friendly so it can be effectively utilized.

Some classes that Information Science majors take while working on this degree include computer science, programming, multimedia systems, information retrieval and data processing, computer engineering, web design, and statistics. Students will also take classes in business to help them understand how Information Science aids business processes.

Information Science Degrees On The Rise

#56 Most Popular Major
17.8k Degrees Awarded
2.2% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, information science was the 56th most popular major nationwide with 17,779 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 395 over the prior year, a growth of 2.2%.

There are 295 schools offering degrees in information science in the United States. This year's Best Colleges for Information Science ranking compares 75 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of IS programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Information Science

A background in computers and systems will aid those who decide to pursue a career in Information Science. Strong analytical skills will help you decide how to tackle problems with information systems or how to use this technology to complete a project, while communications skills will allow you to share information between the IT department and management. Other necessary skills include creativity when developing programs to accomplish certain tasks and the ability to work as part of a team.

Information Science professionals typically work full time, but may work more than 40 hours a week depending on projects or other job requirements.

Along with a degree in Information Science, some employers prefer applicants who have a background in business. The combination of the two areas will further a student's understanding of how the areas work together and allow them to build programs that accomplish tasks more effectively.

IS Degree Program Entry Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most IS degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific IS careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Information Science Degree Types

There are various different levels of IS degrees. You can get anything from a associate's degree in information science to the highest IS degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. How long it takes to complete some common IS degree levels is shown below.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to IS, with approximately 57.1% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to IS tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 57.8%
Master’s Degree 17.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.8%
Doctoral Degree 5.5%
Some College Courses 4.5%

Most workers in IS have at least a bachelor's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in information science have received.


The education level required is different depending on the IS career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In IS Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$58.8k Average Starting Salary
11% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Although computer systems design firms employ a large majority of graduates, others have gone into finance, insurance, management roles in businesses, or work for the government. This major teaches students how business and technology work together making graduates assets to many different types of organizations.

As computers and technology are becoming more heavily relied on in the business world, organizations are raising the demand for Information Science professionals.

Solid Growth Projected for IS Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your IS degree? Information Science careers are expected to grow 11.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to information science.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Systems Software Developers 472,100 11.1%
Computer and Information Systems Managers 411,800 12.0%
Computer Workers 313,800 9.3%
Computer Science Professors 42,900 8.1%
Computer and Information Research Scientists 33,200 19.0%

How Much Money Do IS Grads Make?

Information Science graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $58,848 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $21,800 to as high as $122,000. As you might expect, salaries for IS graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid IS Careers

Salaries for information science graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers IS grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Computer and Information Systems Managers $152,860
Computer and Information Research Scientists $123,850
Systems Software Developers $114,000
Computer Science Professors $96,200
Computer Workers $93,350

Getting Your Information Science Degree

With over 828 different IS degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased IS school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Information Science

One of 10 majors within the Computer & Information Sciences area of study, Information Science has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to IS

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer Information Systems 76,482
Computer Science 47,906
Information Technology 33,399
Computer Systems Networking 14,055
Computer Software & Applications 12,793

View All IS Related Majors >


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