Summary Report for:
15-1111.00 - Computer and Information Research Scientists
Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
Sample of reported job titles: Computer Scientist, Control System Computer Scientist, Scientific Programmer Analyst
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Analyze problems to develop solutions involving computer hardware and software.
- Assign or schedule tasks to meet work priorities and goals.
- Evaluate project plans and proposals to assess feasibility issues.
- Apply theoretical expertise and innovation to create or apply new technology, such as adapting principles for applying computers to new uses.
- Consult with users, management, vendors, and technicians to determine computing needs and system requirements.
- Meet with managers, vendors, and others to solicit cooperation and resolve problems.
- Conduct logical analyses of business, scientific, engineering, and other technical problems, formulating mathematical models of problems for solution by computers.
- Develop and interpret organizational goals, policies, and procedures.
- Participate in staffing decisions and direct training of subordinates.
- Develop performance standards, and evaluate work in light of established standards.
- Design computers and the software that runs them.
- Maintain network hardware and software, direct network security measures, and monitor networks to ensure availability to system users.
- Participate in multidisciplinary projects in areas such as virtual reality, human-computer interaction, or robotics.
- Approve, prepare, monitor, and adjust operational budgets.
- Direct daily operations of departments, coordinating project activities with other departments.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Camera based vision systems for automated data collection — Image capture devices; Real time motion capture systems
- Cinematographic cameras — Pan-tilt-zoom cameras
- Compact disks CDs — Magneto optical discs
- Computer servers — File servers; Web servers
- Content delivery networking equipment — High-speed networking testbeds
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Digital cameras
- Graphics tablets — Graphics workstations
- Hard disk arrays — Network storage arrays
- Hard disk drives
- High capacity removable media drives — Universal serial bus USB flash drives
- High end computer servers — Distributed heterogeneous computers; High-performance cluster HPC computers; Massively parallel processors MPP; Render farms (see all 5 examples)
- Laser printers — Computer laser printers
- Loudspeakers — Free-field speakers
- Mainframe computers
- Microprocessors — Microcomputers
- Multimedia projectors — Stereographic projectors; Video projectors
- Network interface cards — Network interface cards NIC
- Personal computers
- Pick or place robots — Articulated robots; Mobile robots
- Scanners — Computer scanners; Laser scanners
- Stage or projection or studio lighting system — Lighting grids
- Tape arrays — Quarter inch cartridge QIC tapes
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Intel Math Kernel Library; Polhemus Fasttrack System; Rice Simulator for ILP Multiprocessors RSIM; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 13 examples)
- Clustering software — Clustermatic; Parallel systems software
- Compiler and decompiler software — Greenhills Ada compilers; Low-level virtual machine LLVM compilers; Polaris parallelizing compilers
- Configuration management software — IBM Rational Apex; Perforce Software Configuration Management System
- Data base management system software — MySQL software; Oracle DBMS
- Data mining software
- Development environment software — C; IBM Rational Rose; Intel Integrated Performance Primitives; Microsoft Visual Basic (see all 20 examples)
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Graphics pipelines; Open Graphics Library OpenGL; Three-dimensional 3D graphics software
- Object or component oriented development software — C++; Charm++; Microsoft ActiveX; Python (see all 9 examples)
- Operating system software — Linux; Sun Microsystems Solaris; UNIX; VME PowerPC VxWorks (see all 5 examples)
- Requirements analysis and system architecture software — Unified modeling language UML
- Video creation and editing software — Video editing software
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.
- Manage information technology projects or system activities.
- Develop performance metrics or standards related to information technology.
- Develop organizational goals or objectives.
- Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems.
- Apply information technology to solve business or other applied problems.
- Coordinate project activities with other personnel or departments.
- Assign duties or work schedules to employees.
- Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
- Maintain computer hardware.
- Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
- Monitor the performance of computer networks.
- Evaluate project designs to determine adequacy or feasibility.
- Design integrated computer systems.
- Train others in computer interface or software use.
- Participate in staffing decisions.
- Manage budgets for appropriate resource allocation.
- Electronic Mail — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 86% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 66% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 75% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 73% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Telephone — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 28% responded “Important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 27% responded “Very important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks
- Contact With Others — 27% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 28% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 11% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 25% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “Never.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: IRC
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$52.09 hourly, $108,360 annual|
|Employment (2012)||27,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Faster than average (15% to 21%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||8,300|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Computer and Information Research Scientists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) , 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701, New York, NY 10121-0701. Phone: (800) 342-6626.
- Computing Research Association (CRA) , 1100 17th St., NW, Suite 507, Washington, DC 20036-4632. Phone: (202) 234-2111. Fax: (202) 667-1066.
- Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) , 1815 S. Meyers Rd., Suite 300, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-5228. Phone: (630) 678-8300. Fax: (630) 268-1384.
- IEEE Computer Society , 1730 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036-1992. Phone: (202) 371-0101. Fax: (202) 728-9614.
- Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) , 2350 E. Devon Ave., Suite 115, Des Plaines, IL 60018-4610. Phone: (847) 299-4227. Fax: (847) 299-4280.
- National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) , Bellevue Community College, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, N258, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484. Phone: (425) 564-4229. Fax: (425) 564-6193.