Computer and Information Research Scientists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Systems Programmer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Development Engineer
  • Scientific Programmer Analyst
  • Research Scientist
  • Research and Development Engineer
  • Programming Methodology and Languages Researcher
  • Programmer
View All

What They Do

  • Direct daily operations of departments, coordinating project activities with other departments.
  • Approve, prepare, monitor, and adjust operational budgets.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary projects in areas such as virtual reality, human-computer interaction, or robotics.
  • Maintain network hardware and software, direct network security measures, and monitor networks to ensure availability to system users.
  • Design computers and the software that runs them.
  • Develop performance standards, and evaluate work in light of established standards.
  • Participate in staffing decisions and direct training of subordinates.
  • Develop and interpret organizational goals, policies, and procedures.
  • Conduct logical analyses of business, scientific, engineering, and other technical problems, formulating mathematical models of problems for solution by computers.
  • Meet with managers, vendors, and others to solicit cooperation and resolve problems.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Working Conditions and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.

Education Required

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).

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $110,140 with most people making between $71,600 and $153,250

Outlook

0.43%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 470 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 490 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 2 openings due to growth and about 8 replacement openings for approximately 10 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education