Online Information & Library Science Degree Programs

Information science involves the collection, classification, storage and distribution of information. Students of information science will learn about the interactions between entities and information systems, as well as how technology works to support and disseminate information. An online class in information science can help train you for a successful career in the technology, social sciences and library sciences industries.

Information Science & Library Degree Information

While information science involves computer science, the focus on how systems are used as opposed to how the technology behind them works. The interdisciplinary nature of information science means that students will need to choose an area to focus on, whether it is closely aligned to library sciences, computer sciences or social sciences.

Information architecture structures information like data for a purpose and is commonly applied to web development, programming and technical writing. Data modeling applies a data model theory to create a way to structure and organize data, which is turned into a database management system. Information ethics examines ethical issues that come up because of the development and application of information technologies, such as ownership, privacy, intellectual freedom, accountability, security and copyright protection. Information retrieval is the science of searching for information in documents, the actual documents, metadata describing the documents or in databases, whereas information systems deal with development and application of information technologies, such as embedded systems. Bibliometrics consists of quantitative methods used to study and measure texts as well as evaluate the impact of research within a field.

Human-computer interaction (HCI) studies the relationship between people and computers, while intellectual property (IP) entails legal entitlements that protect certain names, inventions, written and recorded media. Information society studies the creation, dissemination and use of information as a political, economic and cultural activity. Usability engineering is specific to computer science and deals with how to design user-friendly software, which extends to user-centered design, a philosophical process where the needs and wants of the end user of an interface receive extra attention at each step of the design process.

Bachelor Of Science

A Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences prepares students for careers in the information industry. This solid foundation in the subject will help students towards a career with expertise in the field while internships will help sharpen leadership skills. Coursework includes information use, information retrieval, information systems, information literacy and introductory courses on database concepts and applications.

Master Of Science In Information & Library Science

A Master of Science in Information Science teaches students the human side of information and technologies as well as applying this knowledge to practical problems. Students must already understand the basics of computer literacy, including Internet-based tools, databases, spreadsheets and operating systems. Coursework includes database design, human computer interaction, organizational informatics, systems analysis and design in addition to programming and language classes.

Master of Science in Library Science

Library science is a discipline under the umbrella of information sciences, which means that many schools combine these programs with library science degrees. Earning a Master of Science in Library Science entails studying topics related to collecting, organization, archiving and preserving information and resources. Students will take many of the same courses, including information systems and technology, database management and information architecture. However, future librarians also take courses in knowledge management, human information and digital preservation.

Earning A Higher Degree

A Ph.D. in Information Sciences involves studying how to identify and conceptualize research problems while challenging students to become innovative thinkers and leaders who will contribute to academia by contributing new knowledge. Students will write a dissertation and work closely with professors on subjects they are most interested in, as information science encompasses so many other fields.

Coursework

Coursework for information sciences involves a combination of computer sciences and social sciences, so the interdisciplinary aspects of the major are reflected in the classes. Classes include information literacy, information retrieval, informatics, information security, user interface design, information ethics, abstraction and analysis, along with human-computer interaction, information systems analysis and design, human information interactions, natural language processing, database systems and electronic records management, those who are interested in library sciences will take specific courses about digital preservation, histories of libraries and archiving.

Career Opportunities

The career opportunities for an information science graduate are all related to the information industry, but the hodgepodge of disciplines within this field of study means that jobs vary from creative to technical. Information industry jobs deal with construction and designing databases, collecting and retrieving information and researching technology as well as publishing electronic resources and developing the organizational system of libraries.

Other possible careers for information science graduates include database design and execution, web design, networking support, information architecture and information consulting. Graduates with a masterís degree in information sciences can find work as a web developer, systems analyst, database administrator or software engineer.

Earning Potential

Information sciences and library sciences is one of the fastest growing fields and is expected to increase job growth at a faster than average rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Computer systems analysts can make up to $80,000, while systems designers earn around $67,000. Database managers can earn anywhere from $84,750 to $116,000, whereas network architects can make up to $112,250. Database developers earn slightly less, from $73,500 to $103,000. Database administrators can start at $70,250, while web developers average at around $67,500. Software engineers earn a median salary of $84,560 and information scientists and researchers can earn up to $97,000 a year. Those with degrees in library sciences earn a median salary of $45,000, depending on the particular branch of library.

Information Science & Library Science Degree FAQs

What Are the Educational Requirements for a Career in Information Science & Library Science?

Information science jobs require at least a bachelor's degree. While it is not technically a graduate degree for information science specifically, jobs such as librarian require a master's in library science, which stems from information science degree programs.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for an Online Library Science Classes?

Information science classes are sometimes tied to computer science, such as web development, programming and database management. The best match for the information sciences is someone with great communication skills, problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills. Information science professionals should also be able to handle multitasking with various systems.

What Can I Do with a Library Science Degree?

Since it is an interdisciplinary study, graduates of information science degree programs can choose from numerous career opportunities. When you take online classes in information sciences, you will end up choosing an area of expertise. Some possible jobs in information sciences include research technology, database design and execution, web design, database administrator, intellectual property, information retrieval, web development, networking support, information architecture, systems analyst and more.

What Is the Job Outlook for Information Sciences & Library Sciences?

Jobs in the field of information science can vary from highly skilled and technical to creative. Overall, information sciences and library sciences are two of the fastest growing fields.

Why Would Someone Take an Online Library Science Class?

People who choose to study information & library sciences may not always be able to earn a traditional degree. Online degree programs are an excellent way to get a quality education at your own pace. Classes in information science are often set up for working professionals, which means you can choose a schedule that fits your life.

Many top schools for information and library science offer online classes, so you can start earning your degree right away. Make sure to choose an accredited online degree program that is accepted by other employers, so that you will be able to transfer credits elsewhere if need be.

Information science involves the collection, categorization, storage and distribution of information. This interdisciplinary science studies the cognitive, social and technological roles of information as well as the function of organizations and interactions between those organizations, people and information systems. Computer science, library science, mathematics, cognitive science and the social sciences are integrated to form an amalgamated discipline focused on solving systematic problems and applying information.

Information Science Books

Information science is such a broad subject that it will require a great deal of research and reading. The Journal of the American Society for Information Science, and the Journal of Information Science are excellent resources for articles and primary sources concerning topics in the field of study. While many classes are computer-based and most of the readings come from articles, some of the textbooks students may read include "Theories of Information Behavior" by K.E. Fisher, S. Erdelez, and L. McKenchnie and "Readings in Information Retrieval" by Karen Jones and Peter Willett.

Information Science Research

The research methods of information science are similar to those used with computer science and social sciences. Computational complexity and structure uses algorithmic and graphic methods to investigate information systems, retrieval and storage. Content analysis analyzes the contents of books and mass media to learn how people communicate. Others types of research include archival evidence, interviews and life history, longitudinal study and observation. Students will be working with research tools in courses and will thus participate in research projects continuously throughout their educational career.

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