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There are two main ways to obtain an information science degree – online and in a traditional, classroom setting. There are benefits and detriments to each option. Consequently, it is up to the student to decide which method of education fits best in her lifestyle. Information science is the study of how computer systems are used. The study of information use, retrieval, and literacy is common. In addition, students learn how to design databases, organize information, analyze computer systems, and engage in some computer programming classes.
Receiving an information science degree online is much more flexible than earning a degree through traditional methods. Online programs are perfect for those who want to earn a degree, but need to set their own pace. In fact, many people who are working towards an information science degree already have a job in the workforce. As a result, they need their class schedule to accommodate their work schedule. With online classes, this is possible.
When selecting an online program for an information science degree, it is important to make sure it is accredited. Accredited online programs are accepted by the majority of employers, whereas people with an unaccredited degree may have more difficulty finding a job. In addition, if a student decides to change online programs, the credits that she received from an accredited program will transfer to another program easier. Many accredited online programs offer bachelors and masters degrees, while some offer doctoral degrees, as well.
For a student who prefers a more traditional method of receiving her information science degree, there are many colleges and universities that offer outstanding programs, particularly at the masters and doctoral levels. Potential students can search college catalogs to find the school that best fits their needs. Although there are many classes taught by college professors, there are also opportunities for internships, workshops, and other hands-on experiences at the graduate level. These experiences can provide useful information in narrowing a student’s focus from the broad study of information science to something more specific, such as system design.
Earning an information science degree does not need to stop at the master's level. A doctoral degree is also possible. Most students who earn their PhD in Information Sciences become a Doctor of Philosophy. They usually go on to teach at the university level or gear themselves for a career in research. Written and oral projects are essential for completing the doctoral program.
The traditional programs can be more time-consuming, expensive, and rigid than the online programs. Traditional programs are ideal for people who have not yet fully entered the workforce. In addition, they are best for those students who wish to receive a broad education with an emphasis on information science versus a student who does not care to take mathematics courses – only information science courses.