Day in the Life of a Computer Information Researcher
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Computer information researchers solve complex computer problems. They develop new computer science theories and even create programming languages. Some researchers also explore intricate topics such as human-computer interaction.
These professionals usually hold a master's degree or Ph.D. along with advanced logic, math, and analysis skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that this profession will grow by 22% from 2020-2030.
The guide below describes a day in the life of a computer information researcher.
What Is a Computer Information Researcher?
A computer information researcher is a computer scientist who studies how people interact with computers. They may also help develop new ways to make computing more efficient or effective.
These professionals typically spend their days studying computer systems, computer users, and other aspects of human-computer interaction. They often design experiments to test various aspects of these interactions. After conducting their experiments, researchers record their data. They may create articles for peer-reviewed publications or present their findings at an industry conference.
Computer information researchers typically work with computer scientists and other professionals in related fields such as cognitive psychology, software engineering, and human-computer interaction design. They may take part in collaborative research efforts that span areas like cognitive science and artificial intelligence.
What Does a Computer Information Researcher Do?
Computer information researchers explore how computer systems and software can support business decisions. They help businesses stay up to date on new technology and make informed decisions about which products to use.
A typical day for a computer information researcher might involve reading industry news, conducting online research, and writing reports. They may also attend conferences or meet with vendors to learn about new products.
Computer information researchers also perform challenging tasks like working with difficult data sets. They must stay ahead of industry trends so they can provide accurate analysis and advice.
See the list below for more detailed responsibilities.
Computer Information Researcher Responsibilities
Design New Programming Languages: Computer information researchers study the languages software engineers use to write new programs. With what they learn, researchers may improve an existing language, simplify part of a language, or create a new language entirely. Researchers who work with quantum computers may devise languages that classical coders can use in quantum systems. Develop Robots and Robotic Systems: Some researchers focus on helping robots interact with humans and function more effectively. These professionals may design new robots that engage better with the material world, or they may create fresh systems that control existing robots. Improve Existing Products: Researchers work on teams that update computer products to improve performance for end users. In this role, they use software design and development theories and practices to solve complex design and inverse problems. Researchers need knowledge of coding, computational mechanics, numerical techniques, and computational geometry. Devise New Computer Analytics: Computer information researchers devise the analytics that determine a new product's success metrics. In this role, the researcher may work with software design team members and experts in machine learning, computer vision, and optics. They may also partner with universities or government agencies to deliver expertise on new concepts. Shape Market Strategies for New Products: Although not sales professionals, computer information researchers may help explain a new product's features and benefits to potential adopters. They also train sales and marketing team members about how the product aligns with consumer needs.
A Typical Day for a Computer Information Researcher
What does a typical day look like as a computer information researcher?
As a researcher, my days are spent either in ideation phase, execution phase, or evaluation phase. This means that I am either in meetings with colleagues drawing up a research plan, interfacing with participants executing that plan, or after the plan has been executed, looking at the data to assess if and how our research goals were met.
What other teams do you work with on a regular basis?
On a regular basis, I work with the collaborators of my research project. These collaborators differ based on the project phase we are in and it varies from researchers, to project managers, to the development team, to even founders of companies.
Do you work in an office or from home (or a hybrid)?
I currently work in a hybrid setup.
Is there a lot of collaboration in your role? Or is it mostly independent work?
It depends on the scope of the project. I have worked independently in the past. But it has become heavily collaborative in the past 3-4 years.
What's your favorite/most challenging part of the day?
The challenging part of the day involves socializing the research results that are relevant to a diverse audience. The audience may include individuals who have no idea what the project is but have a stake in the end product, so the report has to be simple and straightforward enough for them. The audience may also include people who have in-depth knowledge about the process and have been heavily involved. For them the report has to be thorough enough.
Aditi Paul is a professor and mixed-methods researcher based in New York City. She uses her multidisciplinary background in technology and relationship science to examine the impact of using human-centered technologies like social networking sites and online dating services. Aditi’s research has been published in top academic journals and has been featured in prominent media outlets such as The Washington Post, Women’s Health, The Telegraph UK, Huffington Post, and NBC News.
Where Do Computer Information Researchers Work?
Most computer information researchers work in metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York. These areas typically house the universities, technology firms, and research centers that hire computer scientists.
However, rural areas offer job opportunities as well. According to the BLS, some computer information researchers concentrate in nonmetropolitan parts of northeastern Virginia and southwest Mississippi.
Computer information researchers spend most of their day gathering and storing data on topics such as population growth and economic trends. They often conduct interviews with people who have an interest in the project they are working on. Researchers collect key data before an interview by reviewing previous questionnaires and articles about their topic.
Computer Information Researcher Questions
How long does it take to become a computer information researcher?
Most computer information researchers have at least a master's degree in computer science or a related field. However, some jobs may require a Ph.D. Many computer information researchers gain computer industry work experience before becoming researchers.
How much money do computer information researchers make?
According to the BLS, computer information researchers earned a median salary of $131,490 per year as of 2021. Researchers who work in computer design or software engineering can earn even more. This salary puts computer information researchers farther ahead financially than many other computer science experts.
Is it hard to be a computer information researcher?
Computer information demands strong math, communication, and problem-solving skills. Many professionals in the field find their work interesting and enjoyable. A computer information researcher's job description might include conducting research on emerging technologies, writing reports on the findings, and presenting those findings to clients or employers.
What is a computer information researcher's day-to-day?
A computer information researcher's day-to-day involves conducting research on various topics related to computers and technology. They may also write reports or articles based on what they learn.
In 2019, Monali Mirel Chuatico graduated with her bachelor's in computer science, which gave her the foundation that she needed to excel in roles such as a data engineer, front-end developer, UX designer, and computer science instructor.
Monali is currently a data engineer at Mission Lane. As a data analytics captain at a nonprofit called COOP Careers, Monali helps new grads and young professionals overcome underemployment by teaching them data analytics tools and mentoring them on their professional development journey.
Monali is passionate about implementing creative solutions, building community, advocating for mental health, empowering women, and educating youth. Monali's goal is to gain more experience in her field, expand her skill set, and do meaningful work that will positively impact the world.
Monali Mirel Chuatico is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.
Last Reviewed Date: July 28, 2022
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