Computer and Information Scientists are on the cutting edge of the future of the computer science field. The research and develop new technologies and find new uses for existing technologies. They also use technology to solve problems across a wide array of fields.

On average, Computer and Information Research Scientists earn between $57,220 and $151,900 annually.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Research critical issues in computing and develop models to address them.
  • Assist Engineers and Scientists  solve complex issues with computer issues.
  • Develop new computer languages, tools and methods to improve the way people use computers and other technologies.
  • Improve existing software systems and develop new ones to enhance users’ computing experience.
  • Test software systems and make improvements to them.
  • Analyze results from experiments
  • Write articles for academic journals about their research and other findings in the field.

Necessary Skills:

  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Detail Oriented
  • Logical Thinking
  • Advanced Math Skills
  • Creative Thinking
  • Ingenuity
  • Strong Research Skills

Degree and Experience Requirements:
For one to become a Computer and Information Research Scientist, they usually need to have a PHD in Computer Science or a related field such as Information Science or Computer Engineering. It will typically take and addition 4 to 5 years after one earns their Bachelor’s Degree  to earn a PHD. In addition to taking a variety of Computer Science classes, PHD students should expect to select a specialty in the field to do intensive additional research on. Some computer scientists who work in a specific field may need to take specific classes such as Biology or chemistry for those going into the Biomedical field.

Getting Started:
In general, one needs a very high level of education to become a Computer and Information Research Scientist. However, while one is in schools there  will be plenty of opportunities for one to gain professional experience through internships, fellowships and summer job opportunities. By gaining professional experience, a student can gain valuable professional experience and open doors to jobs when they finish their education.

Future Outlook: 
It is expected for the demand for Computer and Information Scientists to grow by 15% in the next ten years, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This can be greatly attributed to the growing use of computing in everyday life, and the need for Computer Scientists to research and develop the new technologies that will power the future of computing. Another major growth area is Data Mining which is the process of collecting  of user information by companies to target advertisements specific to those users. Computer Scientists are essential to Data mining because they create the algorithms that are used to collect information and more importantly use the information to determine which ads, among many other things, would be the most effective in reaching that specific user. Possibly more importantly, Computer Research Scientists are essential in the realm of Cyber Security and determining how to prevent hackers from causing major security breaches. Computer and Information Scientists are very important to keeping confidential and private information secure online in this age of cloud computer and off-site storage.

Companies That Employ Computer and Information Research Scientists:

  • Federal Government
  • Computer Systems Design
  • College, Universities, and other educational institutions
  • Scientific Companies for Research and Development
  • Software Publishers

Traits of A Good Computer and Information Research Scientists:

  • Curious
  • Highly technical
  • Data-driven
  • Thoguhtful


Bureau of Labor Statistics



About the Author

MikeMike Gdovin has been blogging about technology since 2006 on his blog, He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media from Kutztown University with a minor in Journalism, Public Relations and Business. In addition to blogging about technology, Mike is a video producer, technology consultant and social media expert.