What is Information Science?

Information science focuses on understanding problems from the perspective of users and then applying information (and other) technology as needed. In other words, it tackles the problem first rather than the technology first. It has its roots in an interdisciplinary science that covers the creation, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information, and in recent years the security, privacy, provenance and curation of information. Information scientists study the application and use of knowledge in organizations as well as interactions among people, organizations, and information systems (technology). In other words, it is the study of information at the confluence of data, networks, and human behavior.

Information Science majors must thus understand how people interact with data and the networks that carry data, as well as understand the science of networks between people and those between humans and machines. This integrated approach considering the interplay of humans, information, and networks is the foundation of the Bachelor of Science in Information Science major.

Graduates of the major will have:

  • Deep theoretical and conceptual understanding of the roles and relationships between humans, information, and networks, toward modeling and designing information systems;
  • Enhanced proficiency in skills needed to create, design, build, and protect information systems and networks;
  • Increased capability to apply theory and concepts to real-world situations;
  • Stronger competencies in areas such as communications, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and adapting to changes in technologies and users’ needs.

What kind of job will I be able to get with an IS degree?

  • System analyst and designer
  • Database manager
  • Network analyst
  • Account manager
  • Project data manager
  • Web site designer
  • Web report developer
  • Information architect
  • Information analyst

What types of companies will hire me if I have a degree in IS?

  • Small firms: Bob Smith Ford Inc., Diocese of Pittsburgh, Decision Lens Inc.
  • Multinational corporations: IBM Corp., FedEx, Exxon Mobil Corp.
  • Financial services: Mellon Financial Corp., Federated Investors
  • Healthcare organizations: UPMC, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.
  • Private industry: Marconi Corp., Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co.
  • Government agencies: U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force
  • Educational institutions: University of Pittsburgh, Walsh College
  • Manufacturing companies: Lockheed Martin Corp., United States Steel Corp.

Can I apply to the School of Computing and Information in my first year?

Yes, the School of Computing and Information was recently approved to become a first year-admitting school at the Undergraduate level.