What is informatics?

Informatics is an interdisciplinary field of study where aspiring artists, sociologists, psychologists, journalists, biologists, chemists, entrepreneurs, health workers and scientists come together to learn about technology and how it is taking their fields to the next level.

What degrees are offered?

The School of Natural Sciences at IU Southeast offers a Bachelor of Science in Informatics with several Cognates options.  Students completing a Bachelor's Degree outside of Informatics have the option of adding an Informatics Minor to their degree.

What is a cognate, and how does it relate to my future career?

The B.S. in Informatics at IUS requires students to choose a cognate area, or specific area of focus to better determine what kinds of people or systems that he or she would like to work with. View our cognates section to see the courses required to achieve each cognate and possible career options for each one.

Informatics... Computer Science... Information Systems...are they all the same?

Information Systems

The IU Southeast Computer Science Department offers a B.S. in “Computer Science/Information System Option”. Students who pursue this degree obtain a B.S. in Computer Science and a Minor in Business.

Computer Science

The IU Southeast Computer Science Department offers B.S. in “Computer Science/Math Science Option”. Students who pursue this degree obtain a B.S. in Computer Science, learning to write programs with programming languages and study the mathematical foundations of computer science, software methodologies, and applications like graphics, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

Informatics

Informatics requires an understanding of the same areas studied by computer scientists, but it is more focused on the best applications of these technologies and is therefore less technical, putting emphasis instead on social and psychological aspects of information technology. Informatics prepares professionals to use information technology to solve problems in a variety of settings. The degree emphasizes the development of new uses for technologies, always keeping in mind the needs of people and the best and most appropriate uses for technology.

Why do IT students choose Informatics?

Besides financial and professional opportunities, our students see the opportunity to work with IT in innovative ways. Sometimes this relates to another interest.

For example, one of our students had a cognate in fine arts. She mentioned that her parents had wanted her to major in business or computer science because she could always find a job, but she was really interested in art. Informatics allowed her to have both.

What makes Informatics different from other technology degrees?

Where other schools excel in engineering, Informatics is building its reputation on human-centered and area-specific informatics balanced by strong foundations, systems, AI/CogSci, e-science, databases and programming languages provided by the Department of Computer Science.

I'm in high school. What courses should I be taking?

  • Take any course that helps you expand your computer experience.
  • Take as many math and science courses as possible.
  • Practice your communications skills, such as writing and oral presentation.
  • If possible, learn a popular programming language, such as C++ or Java. Learn to navigate the Web and create a Web site.
  • Write games instead of just playing them.
  • Be observant about the many ways information technology impacts your life.

I'm an IU Southeast freshman. What courses should I be taking?

As a freshman, you can explore informatics by taking INFO-I101, Introduction to Informatics and INFO-I110/I111. You can explore the computer science major by taking CSCI-C201. Contact an informatics advisor about your options.

What will I learn with an undergraduate Informatics degree?

  • A technical understanding of how computing systems and programs operate
  • Ability to adapt/assess and apply new trends in IT
  • Well-developed problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team, such as those formed for the senior capstone projects
  • Well-developed communications skills to clearly convey solutions and observations to others
  • An understanding of social and ethical principals as they relate to IT issues

What skills will I develop with the B.S. in Informatics?

  • Problem Solving: requirements analysis, solution design, prototype development, data modeling, deductive reasoning, interaction design, user studies, human factors
  • Web Site Development/Layout: HTML, XTML, XML, CSS, XSLT
  • Content Development: Flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver
  • Database Access: ASP, JSP, Servlets, .NET
  • Data Management: Oracle, SQL Server, ACCESS

What are some of the things Informatics graduates do?

With a degree, graduates might do the following:

  • Work as consultants to help e-businesses conduct transactions and interact with customers online.
  • Streamline databases and design customized software to better anticipate the needs of customers.
  • Create better ways to manage patient records and share them with diverse health-care providers.
  • Participate on teams with biologists and chemists to develop software that enable them to more easily access vast amounts of information from the Human Genome and the Chemical Abstracts databases.

For more information, visit our careers section.

Are Informatics graduates finding jobs?

Since Informatics is new to the IU Southeast campus starting Fall 2006, we will provide IU Bloomington statistics. At graduation, the IU Bloomington class of 2005 reported an average salary of $43,000 and 54% were employed or continuing their education at the time of graduation. This later figure compares to an average nationwide of those graduating in May of only 33% employed at the time of graduation.

Job titles the IUB students hold, ranked in order of frequency, include:

  • Business Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • IT Specialist/MIS Technician
  • Network Application Specialist
  • Programmer
  • Webmaster/Graphic Designer
  • Consultant
  • IT Trainer

Where are Informatics graduates employed?

Most every industry has a need for informatics graduates because of the pervasiveness of IT. Studies shows that the vast majority of IT jobs are not in the industries that one would traditionally identify with IT.

Since Informatics is new to the IU Southeast campus starting fall 2006, we will provide IU Bloomington data. IUB Informatics graduates are employed at Gap, Tippman Group, Deloitte Consulting, GE Financial Assurance, Cinergy, AuthorHouse, Kellogg's, Accenture (2), CGI/CACI, Stockamp & Associates, Cornerstone Communications, Exact Target, Edifice Information. Management Systems, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, etc.

At IU Southeast, Computer Science graduates are employed at Humana, Yum, SHPS, Colgate, SamTec, Papa Johns, UPS, Discount Label, Brown and Williamson, Census Bureau of the USA, etc.

What makes an Informatics graduate distinctive?

Informatics students blend strong technology skills with a traditional liberal arts foundation. They are problem-solvers who understand the broader context for learning and how it applies in the world beyond technology. Many Informatics graduates are familiar with the content side of business and with business processes, especially as they relate to the use of IT.

Why do employers choose Informatics grads?

Since Informatics is new to the IU Southeast campus starting fall 2006, we will provide IU Bloomington data. In reviewing the comments from the graduates as to what the employers were attracted to, most cited their combination of technical IT skills along with knowledge of the cognate area, but especially appreciated the communications training and opportunity to work on real life projects in a team environment in their capstone course.

What kinds of salaries are Informatics graduates commanding?

Since Informatics is new to the IU Southeast campus starting fall 2006, we will provide IU Bloomington data. At graduation, the class of 2005 reported an average salary of $43,000 and 54% were employed or continuing their education at the time of graduation. This latter figure compares to an average nationwide of those graduating in May of only 33% employed at the time of graduation.

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