Information Technology Vs Computer Science
If you are following the global development trend, you’ll find that computers are running the world. Now, there’s hardly an aspect of life without a computer application. The implication of this is that there is an ever-growing need for students with computer science (CS) or information technology (IT) degrees to take up jobs. Hence the Information Technology (IT) vs Computer Science argument.
Are the two the same academic discipline? Are there differences between IT and Computer Science? Is Computer Science better than Information Technology? What Can I do with a degree in Information Technology?
These questions help us make better career decisions. They also clarify the nature of both courses as well as update our knowledge.
To answer the first question, no, computer science is different from Information technology. While Computer science deals with algorithms to communicate information, Information Technology concentrates on the software and hardware aspects of computer technology. It concerns itself with the creation, exchange, access, or security of digital data.
We will proceed to answer your questions in subsequent subheadings while exploring every discussion on the subject. We will thus treat the IT vs CS discussion by discussing each component of the two disciplines one after the other.
Overview of Information Technology
Information technology (IT) is also Information Systems or Systems Administration as some prefer to call it. IT is using existing operating systems, software, and applications together to create a larger system. This new system usually solves a specific business problem. The IT department builds a network from the building blocks. They then configure it to perform a task such as an automated supply ordering service.
In general terms, IT is closely concerned with machines, such as computers as well as relevant issues, like the way computer chips are produced. Also, due to the nature of the work, IT professionals mostly interact with clients and colleagues outside of their service.
They show their clients how to solve technological problems. They also work with leaders and business owners to develop a technology plan to meet their business needs.
The coursework for IT students involves an in-depth study of the design of networks and databases. Students will receive an introduction to basic theory and applied mathematics.
Also, you’re to have strong critical thinking skills as an IT applicant. IT professionals, on the other hand, utilize the tools at their disposal in an ingenious and cost-effective way.
Overview of Computer Science
Computer Science not only deals with the theory of computer application but also goes through programming and sown to the development of computer solutions. Thus, computer scientists know the formula behind the workings of computer programs. When people talk about scientists, they generally refer to computer scientists.
CS professionals use advanced algorithms and mathematics to find new methods for manipulating and transferring information. Computer scientists are generally interested in software, operating systems, and their implementation.
In simpler terms, if you graduate from CS you will understand the meaning of codes just by viewing them.
Meanwhile, you’ll learn the basics of different programming languages as a CS student. You’ll also be very knowledgeable about linear and discrete mathematics, as well as software design and development. You’ll basically study the machine itself and understand how and why different IT processes work the way they do.
Since the language of the computer is mathematics, you’ll have to love the subject to be able to create useful programs or operating systems.
The Difference Between Information Technology and Computer Science
Going by the overview of both disciplines above, we can say that computer scientists concern themselves with the theory of computation and the design of computer systems. Also, their work falls into the design and implementation of computer software. They also invent new ways to use computers as well as develop effective ways to solve computing problems.
On the other hand, information technology professionals are very practical. They perform the hands-on, daily computer technology needs of all types of organizations. You’ll find them in large corporations, government offices, healthcare, and schools. These industries rely on their IT teams to select hardware and software products that will work best for them.
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Computer scientists also work in a wider range of environments. Just like the IT professionals, you’ll find them in businesses and universities. However, they have a greater need in specialized industries like video game design companies.
Furthermore, an IT career doesn’t really require a computer science (CS) degree. However, a Computer Science degree will widen the IT professional’s scope of opportunities.
IT vs CS Courses
When you become accepted in college to study an Information Technology degree for four years, your academic coursework will include the following topics:
- Introduction to computer and network hardware
- Introduction to operating systems
- Fundamentals of programming and logic
- Introduction to databases
- Network infrastructure basics
- Information technology security
- Introduction to web systems and media, and
- Human/computer interface and interactions.
On the other hand, a college computer science degree will take you through the following courses:
- Software engineering
- Programming languages
- Database design
- Computer networking, and
- Artificial intelligence.
Information Technology Career Path
With an IT Bachelor’s degree, you can get a rewarding job working as information security or network architecture. You can also become a database administrator, systems administrator, or even computer support.
Nevertheless, you’ll have to gain advanced computer science and programming knowledge to get some of these jobs. Thus, you may need to get a Master’s, enroll in specialized programs or take certain elective courses.
For example, to work as information security, you’ll need to have knowledge of discrete math and algorithms. Such is also the case with database administration jobs. You’ll need to be knowledgeable about programming. In addition, information security analysts usually have certifications such as ISC or CISSP that qualifies them to work.
You may also be interested in our 40 Best Data Science Programs 2020.
Whichever level you are, you’ll need need to stay abreast of new technology as an IT professional. You’ll also have to be very familiar with using operating systems and server software. These include Linux, Apache, OpenSSL, Windows Server, Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server.
Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistic (BLS), IT jobs have an increase expectancy rate of 15 to 37 percent from now till 2026. IT salaries range from $48,900 to $91,000, depending on experience and level of education.
Computer Science Career Path
With a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, you can become a software developer or Web programmer. The CS degree involves a rigorous academic curriculum that extensively teaches discrete mathematics and computer science theory.
In addition to the other mentioned job titles, the Computer Science degree also qualifies you as an IT professional. This gives CS an additional point in the IT vs CS discussion.
Meanwhile, to become a professional software developer, you may have to teach yourself more programming than you learned in school. Graduating with a CS degree gives you the ability to choose the correct design patterns, algorithms and data structures for programs.
The sad fact, however, is that some schools produce graduates with knowledge of only one or two programming languages. These are usually C++, Python, or Java.
You can also check out What Can I do with a Computer Engineering degree | Careers & Salaries.
However, with a master’s degree, you can take a job role in faculty positions, as a software developer engineer (SDE), or a computer scientist. You can also become a security engineer, mobile applications developer, or a UNIX system administrator.
In addition, a Ph.D. in CS will qualify you for jobs like assistant/ associate/ or full professor in a computer science department. You can also become a software manager in robotics systems, a senior software engineer, or a computational electromagnetics software developer.
Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistic (BLS), Software Developer jobs have an increase expectancy rate of 22 percent from now till 2026. The annual salary of a developer ranges from $93,350 to $138,880.
Information Technology Job Salaries
This section is usually the bone of contention in the Information Technology (IT) vs Computer Science (CS) argument. Even though both disciplines offer a variety of jobs that cuts across almost all industries, some believe CS degree jobs pay better than IT career jobs.
Here, we’ll list some of the key jobs available to you in the IT career path. We’ll do the same for Computer Science afterward and you can do your IT vs CS comparison.
This professional is also the Network Engineer, as some prefer to title them. As a network architect, your job role involves designing and building communication networks, such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets.
The average annual salary for network architects in the US is $87,408.
Information Security Analyst:
The job here, like the name, entails securing. IT security analysts’ job role is to prevent cyber attacks. You’ll do this by monitoring the network of your employer’s organization for breaches and weak spots. You’ll also create emergency plans in case an attack eventually comes.
The average annual salary for information security analysts in the US is $80,865.
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Your job role as a Database Administrator or DBA is to use software and programs to organize and store data. You’ll be doing this for businesses ranging from financial firms to shipping companies.
As a System Administrator, you’ll be in charge of conducting the daily maintenance and operation of a organizations’ networks. These networks include LANs, WANs, intranets, as well as other communication systems. Your salary will vary based on the industry you find yourself working at a given time.
The average annual salary for system administrators in the US is $68,884.
Computer Support Specialist:
As a Support Specialist, you’ll be basically providing advice and troubleshooting services to assist individuals and businesses that have questions about their software.
The average annual salary for computer support specialists in the US is $48,263.
Need other high-paying IT jobs? see our Best & Highest Paying IT Careers in the World.
Computer Science Job Salaries
So, its time to satisfy the computer science part of the Information Technology vs Computer Science argument. The IT degree jobs salary above spread from $40,000 to $80,000. This is pretty rewarding for the four, and maybe additional, years of acquiring computer skills.
Here are jobs on the CS degree category to help you make a better IT vs CS analysis.
Applications Software Developer:
Your job role as an application software developer includes designing and building programs and applications for computers and technological devices. You’ll have to add a creative flair to your education and training to be able to develop exciting and useful computer applications.
The average annual salary for application software developers in the US is $80,201.
Your role as a systems engineer is to design and create operating systems like the type for use in personal computers, phones, and even cars. These systems are the foundation in which computers and other devices function. You’ll basically be developing your own Microsoft Windows, Linux, or iOS operating systems.
The average annual salary for systems engineers in the US is $80,056.
As a web developer, you’ll concern yourself with the building of websites. Your major job role is to program the code that makes a website function. Also, you’ll be integrating graphics, audio, and video into websites as well as monitoring websites’ traffic, performance, and capacity.
The average annual salary for web developers in the US is $75,487.
Computer Systems Analyst:
Your role as a Computer systems analyst is to research your organization’s hardware and software as well as how they are used. The purpose of your research, however, is to identify the optimal usage of your organization’s computer system. Then based on your research, you’ll develop new, cost-effective and beneficial systems or work to update or improve the current systems.
The average annual salary for computer systems analysts in the US is $70,198.
As a computer programmer, you’ll basically be marrying programming languages. Your job role is to write codes through the use of computer languages, such as C++ and Java. You’ll also be creating instructions for computers to respond to in a required way. In other words, you’ll write codes that computers will understand and act on.
The average annual salary for computer programmers in the US is $67,090.
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Information Technology (IT) vs Computer Science (CS) is a quite interesting discussion. Both IT and Computer Science degrees provide graduates with jobs with rewarding salaries.
This is because the world is constantly progressing in technology and students with computer and technology knowledge are in great demand. Meanwhile, in the IT vs CS discussion, don’t make the mistake of taking them both to mean the same thing.
A CS degree prepares you for jobs that involve designing and developing computer programs, software, and applications. An IT degree, on the other hand, prepares you for high salary jobs revolving around the usage and troubleshooting of programs, software, and applications.
In addition, while IT vs CS degree jobs are both rewarding, our sample of IT degree jobs has salaries ranging from $48,263 to $87,408. On the other hand, CS degree jobs sample salary ranging from $67,090 to $80,201.
We believe that with these, you can make good Information Technology vs Computer Science course decisions.