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Computer and Information Research Scientists
SOC Code: 15-1111.00

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

  • 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.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Minitab ; SAS ; StataCorp Stata ; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 17 examples)
  • Application server software - GitHub
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software - IBM Cognos Impromptu ; MicroStrategy ; Qlik Tech QlikView ; Tableau (see all 5 examples)
  • Clustering software - Clustermatic; Parallel systems software
  • Communications server software - IBM Domino
  • Compiler and decompiler software - Greenhills Ada compilers; Low-level virtual machine LLVM compilers; Polaris parallelizing compilers
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Computer aided design and drafting CADD software; PTC Creo Parametric
  • Configuration management software - IBM Rational Apex; Perforce Software Configuration Management System
  • Data base management system software - Apache Hadoop ; MongoDB ; NoSQL ; Teradata Database (see all 13 examples)
  • Data base user interface and query software - Apache Hive ; AWS Redshift ; Microsoft SQL Server ; Structured query language SQL
  • Data mining software - Google Analytics
  • Development environment software - Eclipse IDE ; Microsoft Visual Basic ; National Instruments LabVIEW ; Verilog (see all 25 examples)
  • Enterprise application integration software - Extensible markup language XML ; IBM InfoSphere DataStage
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP Business Objects
  • Enterprise system management software - Splunk Enterprise
  • File versioning software - Git
  • Graphical user interface development software - Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis Weka
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Graphics pipelines; Open Graphics Library OpenGL; Three-dimensional 3D graphics software
  • Map creation software - ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Metadata management software - CA Erwin Data Modeler
  • Object or component oriented development software - C++ ; Microsoft ActiveX ; Oracle Java ; Python (see all 13 examples)
  • Object oriented data base management software - PostgreSQL
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Bash ; Linux ; Ubuntu ; UNIX (see all 9 examples)
  • Portal server software - Apache HTTP Server
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Requirements analysis and system architecture software - Unified modeling language UML
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Video creation and editing software - Video editing software
  • Web page creation and editing software - Plug-in file software
  • Web platform development software - Django ; Extensible stylesheet language transformations XSLT; JavaScript ; PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor

Tools Used

  • 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

Knowledge

  • 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.

Skills

  • 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.

Abilities

  • 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.

Interests

  • 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.

Work Context

  • 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.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
59%Master's degree

Work Styles

  • 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.

Work Values

  • 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 & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $55.06 hourly, $114,520 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 28,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 2,500

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