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FROM STUDY TO SKILLS

All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. So why study informatics?  In today’s data-driven society, informatics is everywhere. Examples include designing a secure system for medical records to be available to multiple health care providers, analyzing and visualizing massive data sets from a prescription drug trial, and designing and evaluating an online marketing campaign. Even a literary scholar studying attitudes towards the Enlightenment in 18th Century England may use informatics.

Informatics is an interdisciplinary program housed in LSA in an innovative partnership with College of Engineering and the School of Information. The field combines a solid grounding in computer programming, mathematics, and statistics with study of the ethical and social science aspects of complex information systems. As an Informatics concentrator, you will study the ways information is used and its effects on people and social systems. You will become more aware of the relationship between information and individuals and the ethical issues inherent in today’s information systems, and will develop strong quantitative and problem solving skills.

Related fields include Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Information Science, Survey Research/Survey Methodology, Engineering, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Business, Communication Studies, Biology, Medicine, Public Health, Public Policy, and Law.

SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Computational Skills

Computer modeling
Numerical simulation
Analyzing statistics
Program design
Applying quantitative analysis
Maintaining precision and accuracy

Quantitative Skills

Programming
Mathematical modeling and analysis
Designing questionnaires
Developing sample forms
Operating computer simulations
Applying statistical packages
Interpreting data from tables/charts

Analytical / Problem-Solving Skills

Applying methods to problems
Projecting from data
Reasoning critically
Categorizing data
Developing theories
Designing systems for processing data
Modeling complex systems
Recognizing types of problems
Perceiving patterns and structures
Identifying relationships between problems/solutions

Presentation / Communication Skills

Communicating abstract concepts
Transitioning between written text and computations/formulas
Describing processes in non-technical terms
Explaining theories/ideas
Summarizing findings
Informing/instructing
Contributing to teams

BUILDING YOUR SKILLS OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic.  Student organizations, research with Informatics faculty members, and campus employment offer valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. The Informatics Student Organization hosts events throughout the year. Other options include study abroad, off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.

FROM SKILLS TO CAREER

Informatics concentrators develop both general and technical skills applicable to a wide range of careers in business, research, health care, government, and non-profit organizations. For example, strong quantitative skills may be equally useful whether working as a web analyst or an online community manager.  In addition, informatics concentrators may choose to continue their education in graduate or professional school.

Our graduates are in high demand and often receive multiple job offers. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by Informatics graduates.

Computational Skills

Application developer /engineer
Software architect / developer /engineer
Systems engineer
Database developer / engineer
Web analyst

Quantitative Skills

Algorithm engineer
Data center engineer
Data mining specialist
Competitive intelligence analyst
Marketing research analyst

Analytical / Problem-Solving Skills

Business analytics consultant
Systems analyst, health informatics
Clinical informatics analyst
Data analysis consultant
Data/information analyst
Performance analyst

Presentation / Communication Skills

Product coordinator / manager
Management consultant
Online community manager
User experience analyst
Usability specialist

For more career information, see O*Net at http://online.onetcenter.org/

CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

The concentration requires four prerequisite courses (Math 115, EECS 182, Stats 250, and SI/SOC 110) and 4 core courses (EECS 203 and 282, Stats 403, and SI 410) along with 28 credits of track and elective courses. As an Informatics concentrator, you may choose between four tracks of study: Computational Informatics, Data Mining and Information Analysis, Life Science Informatics, and Social Computing. For more information about requirements and electives for each tracks, contact the Informatics Program Coordinator or visit the website below.

Program in Informatics
439 West Hall
734-615-3789
http://lsa.umich.edu/informatics/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/University-of-Michigan-Informatics/24659164952

Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall
734-764-0332
www.lsa.umich.edu/advising

NEXT STEPS / RESOURCES

For more information about careers in Informatics, including graduate study, see: 
http://lsa.umich.edu/informatics/about/careersgraduatestudy

To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account:
www.careercenter.umich.edu/article/getting-started-linkedin

To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Career Center Connector:  www.careercenter.umich.edu/article/career-center-connector

On-campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at:
https://studentemployment.umich.edu/JobX_Home.aspx

Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in:  http://studentorgs.umich.edu/maize

The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building
734-764-7460
www.careercenter.umich.edu
www.facebook.com/careercenter.umich
http://twitter.com/careercenter

The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2011 Regents of the University of Michigan