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FAQs, Digital Media Informatics

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the digital media informatics major at Widener.

If you have additional questions, please contact us by phone or e-mail (see Contact information on left) or schedule a visit.

What is informatics?

Informatics turns data and information into knowledge that people can use every day.

What is the difference between computer science and informatics?

Computer science is focused on the design of hardware and software technology that provides computation. Informatics, in general, studies the intersection of people, information, and technology systems. The field helps design new uses for information technology that reflect and enhance the way people create, find, and use information, and it takes into account the strategic, social, cultural, and organizational settings in which those solutions will be used. (Groth, D.P., & MacKie-Mason, J.K. (2010). Why an informatics degree? Isn’t computer science enough?. Communications of the ACM, 53(2), 26–28.)

Informatics is less technical and theoretical than computer science and focuses on applications of information technology. Informatics also considers social and psychological aspects of information technology.

What is digital media informatics?

Digital media informatics focuses on three forces that shape our media world: 

  • Media Consumers—all of us who enjoy the movies, television, social media, and radio
  • Media Industry—news, sports, and entertainment
  • Computer Systems—the technical infrastructure that makes the media work  

Digital media informatics is the study and application of information technology to all kinds of digital media. All informatics applications are computer-based. 

Digital media informatics brings together skills in writing, audio, interactive Web design, 3D animation, and virtual worlds to create a rich life on the screen Digital media informatics integrates creativity and design with the technology of the multimedia production.

Digital media informatics prepares students to create, use, and evaluate media and technology for learning, from software and websites to video and mobile phone applications.

Why major in digital media informatics?

The job market is constantly growing. 

Recent dramatic changes in the economy, combined with the rise in web technology utilization in both society and business, have increased opportunities and jobs for graduates skilled in both computer science and communication studies. Labor statistics show strong growth projections for fields related to informatics, including graphics and web development, artificial intelligence, and digital content writing.

What can a student do with a major in digital media informatics?

The digital media informatics major allows students to tailor their studies to different areas of interest—the potential career streams diverge as well. Although not trained in all aspects of computer programming, digital media informatics majors with concentrations in the more technical areas will be prepared for careers in web design and development, computer graphics, graphic design, systems analysis, and gaming. Other advanced-level proficiencies will direct graduates toward career fields in public relations and advertising, web-based media production, multimedia support, journalism and news reporting, media and audience analysis, and creative content development and production.