What’s the difference between computer science and information technology? That’s a good question. To counter your question, did you know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects computer science to create about 377,500 jobs each year?

These fields go hand in hand, but IT differs from computer science for a few reasons and vice versa. In this article, we’ll tackle the main components of a computer science and information technology degree and discuss possible jobs you could pursue upon graduation.

Let’s dive into our first section and give you a better idea of what computer science entails. 

What Is a Computer Science Degree?

Computer science is the study of computers and their computational systems. This program also informs you of software systems, starting with theory and design and then developing and applying these methods yourself. 

Students will be able to know how to program, design, and analyze algorithms to solve problems and study the performance of computer software. 

There’s a multitude of other topics covered in a computer science degree, as seen below.

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Networks
  • Security
  • Databases
  • Human and computer interaction
  • Vision and graphics
  • Numerical analysis
  • Programming

This field is crucial, especially for the 21st century when technology has become so intertwined in our lives, and students will be able to determine what problems computers can solve. Furthermore, they will design handheld technology that’s easy to use while honoring security measures.

Computer science degree entry requirements

You must study calculus to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science alongside other related math courses, such as statistics and linear algebra. This program requires 120 credits, with various classes, including web design, systems analysis, algorithms, and more. 

It’s beneficial to start studying computer organization and abstract data types before you begin more complicated courses like data visualization or neural networks. Most colleges will allow you to get a Bachelor’s degree in art or science when studying this topic.

Computer science responsibilities

Computer science graduates are normally hired by software development firms, where they can develop new theories around technology development and encourage more efficiency. They use technology to solve problems and prepare for the future.

In addition, they need to write and program software for applications and develop systems for interaction between people and their corresponding devices. Computer science is complex and diverse, with many extending branches, but it boils down to theory, investigation, analysis, and graphics. 

Computer science skills

After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, most employers look for certification in programming languages and other various tech-related skills. 

These certifications show that you’re eager to continue your education since it’s an ever-evolving field with consistent, new developments. You need to be able to work comfortably in databases and keep up with a constant, changing environment.

Computer science jobs & salaries

When comparing computer science and information technology, it’s important to know the different career paths, salaries, and job outlooks that best suit your needs. Here is a breakdown of some of the most well-paid computer science jobs and their requirements.

  • Computer systems analyst: $102,240/year; helps the company become more efficient in the design and implementation of information systems solutions
  • Software developer: $124,200/year; creates computer programs, develops applications and systems that control networks
  • Network and computer systems administrator: $90,520/year; oversees daily operations of the computer systems that allow businesses to operate
  • Computer programmer: $97,800/year; writes code for computer applications and helps software function
  • Web developer: $80,730/year; creates and designs websites.

What Is an Information Technology Degree?

An information technology degree teaches students the basic concepts of IT and programming. You can get an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate. These programs guide you through systems analysis, web and mobile development, database design, and cybersecurity principles at various levels.

Information technology degree entry requirements

There aren’t any specific entry requirements you need to pursue a degree in informational technology other than a good college GPA, transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose.

However, the best way to go about gaining experience is to get a job, even if it doesn’t pay well, since the exposure will help you learn more. You can hone your skills with a respectable company and get professionally certified. 

These certificates show that you specialize in a specific subject or product. For example, you could consider the PMP (Project Management Professional) or CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certificates to name a couple.

Information technology responsibilities

IT professionals study, design, develop, implement, support, and manage information systems that utilize technology. This includes software applications and computer hardware. They take part in basically every aspect of modern computing. 

Information technology skills

Having an IT degree creates a wide path of related jobs and is essential when applying for interviews. The skills you need to have if you’re considering an IT career include:

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  • Analyzing technology problems
  • Solving these problems with appropriate solutions
  • Designing and implementing
  • Evaluating computer systems
  • Knowledge in computer requirements, components, and programs
  • Responding to user needs

Overall, IT skills are difficult to narrow down because of the broad range of jobs in the IT department; different jobs require different responsibilities. 

Information technology jobs & salaries

Keep reading for a list of IT jobs and salaries and see if any spark your interest.

  • Computer and information research scientist: annual salary: approx. $136,620; invents and designs new approaches to computing technology, adds uses to innovate older technology
  • Computer network architect: annual salary: approx. $126,900; designs and builds data communication networks
  • Computer programmers: annual salary: approx. $97,800; writes and tests code that allows computer applications and software to function properly
  • Computer support specialists: annual salary: approx. $59,660; provides help and advice to users
  • Computer systems analyst: annual salary: approx. $102,240; studies an organization’s current computer system and procedures, designs solutions to help the organization operate more effectively
  • Database administrator: annual salary: approx. $112,120; creates specialized software to store and organize data

A few other examples of jobs related to the IT field include information security analysts, network and computer systems administrators, software developers, web developers, and video game designers.

The Difference Between Computer Science and Information Technology

When choosing between computer science vs. information technology, the debate between IT vs. computer science ultimately comes down to this simple fact:

If you like designing or building computers and programs, then computer science is your cup of tea. IT will work to maintain or improve these computers and their corresponding systems, security, databases, and networks. 

If you appreciate the possibilities of what you can do with computers, then choose computer science as your degree; otherwise, IT helps you understand how computers function.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can I switch between computer science and information technology fields during my career?

Yes, it’s possible to transition between computer science and information technology during your career, especially with a solid foundation in either discipline. However, keep in mind that further education or training may be necessary depending on the specific roles you’re interested in.

What are the main differences between computer science and information technology?

Computer science primarily focuses on the theory, design, and development of computer systems and software, including algorithms, artificial intelligence, and programming. Information technology, on the other hand, deals with the implementation, management, and maintenance of computer systems, networks, and information resources, including aspects like cybersecurity, database administration, and systems analysis.

Are there any overlapping areas between computer science and information technology?

Yes, there are overlapping areas between computer science and information technology, such as programming skills, understanding of computer systems, and knowledge of software development methodologies. Both fields also share common foundational concepts in mathematics, logic, and problem-solving.

How can I decide between pursuing a degree in computer science or information technology?

When deciding between computer science and information technology, consider your interests, career goals, and preferred focus areas. If you enjoy problem-solving, algorithm design, and software development, computer science may be the right choice. On the other hand, if you’re interested in managing IT systems, ensuring cybersecurity, and optimizing technology infrastructure, information technology could be a better fit.