Computer and Information Research Scientist


Computer and information research scientists invent and design new technology and find new uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other uses.

Path to Career

Most computer and information research scientists need a Ph.D. in computer science or a related subject, such as computer engineering. A Ph.D. usually requires 4 to 5 years of study after the bachelor’s degree, usually in a computer-related field such as computer science or information systems. Students spend the first two years in a Ph.D. program taking a range of computer science classes. They then choose a specialty and spend the remaining years doing research within that specialty.

For some computer scientist positions in the federal government, a bachelor’s degree in computer science is sufficient. For computer scientists seeking employment in a specialized field, such as finance or biology, knowledge of that field, along with the computer science degree, may be helpful in attaining a job.


Mission Control Staff

Kayla Robinson

Role Models

Dr. Alan R. Dennis

Daily Tasks
  • Explore fundamental issues in computation and develop theories and models to address those issues
  • Help scientists and engineers solve complex computing problems
  • Invent new computing languages, tools, and methods to improve the way in which people work with computers
  • Develop and improve the software systems that form the basis of the modern computing experience
  • Design experiments to test the operation of these software systems
  • Analyze the results of their experiments
  • Publish their findings in academic journals
Areas of Expertise
  • Advanced math skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Logical thinking
Schooling NeededA Ph.D. in computer science or a related subject is required for most computer and information research scientist jobs. In the federal government, a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some jobs.
Related CareersComputer Scientist, Control System Computer Scientist, Scientific Programmer Analyst