We frequently use concepts that we assume are similar but are not, leading us to dilemmas such as computer science vs information technology. Do they represent the same field? If not, what are the differences?
You are not the only one that confuses computer science with information technology as it is one of the most frequently asked questions on the internet. Both of these fields are far from being similar, so let us start by differentiating these two with a definition of computer science.
What Is Computer Science?
You could assume this term has something to do with computers just by looking at it, but what exactly is it? Computer science is a broad area of study that focuses primarily on software systems by designing, developing, testing, and analyzing algorithms to solve issues encountered. Below, you can find a list of topics that you will learn throughout our Computer Science program.
- Data Structures and Data Analysis
- Hardware Architecture
- Software Algorithms
- Image and Signal Processing
Now that you know what computer science is about, let us move on to information technology.
What Is Information Technology?
Before going into details, we first need to clear the air between information systems vs information technology. While information systems focus on retrieving data from multiple computer sources, information technology is concerned with the hardware, software, and telecommunications that enable information to be exchanged. As for what you will learn, we have provided a list of courses from the UOTP below:
- Computer and Office Applications
- Introduction to Data Communication and Networking
- Introduction to Database
- Computer Systems Technology
Roles and Responsibilities
Every position has its own set of roles and responsibilities. As a result, it is essential to discuss the roles of computer scientists and information technologists to better understand what is expected, if you fit into either position, and whether you know the differences between them.
What does a Computer Scientist do?
To put it simply, a computer scientist uses technology to solve problems. Their everyday responsibilities include:
- Writing and programming software system.
- Developing mobile applications and websites.
- Analyzing software problems and coming up with solutions.
- Improving the performance of computer and software systems.
- Researching on how to make technology more efficient.
What does an Information Technologist do?
An information technologist focuses on managing and developing hardware and software solutions. To be more specific, they aim to solve information management issues. They do that by:
- Going over information management methods, procedures, and strategies.
- Researching information technology.
- Monitoring, maintaining and supporting the computer’s hardware and software.
- Creating and maintaining the telecommunication system of an organization.
- Monitoring system performance to avoid malfunctions inside the system.
Suppose you are considering pursuing a career in either information technology or computer science. In that case, you should research what specializations each field offers as they provide a thorough understanding of the program, and it benefits you in terms of income. Without further ado, let us go over a few specializations from both disciplines below.
Computer Science degrees and specializations
Nowadays, we can rarely find an industry that does not rely on technology. Computer scientists are needed to maintain this technology, which puts the position in high demand. As a result, this degree offers many specializations where you can further top up your skills, such as:
- Software Engineering
- Cyber Security
- Data Science
- Artificial Intelligence
- Programming Languages
- Information Security
Information Technology degrees and specializations
While a bachelor’s degree will teach you the fundamentals of information technology, a master’s degree will allow you to focus on a field that interests you and that you find yourself working in. Below, we will mention some information technology areas you can specialize in:
- Information Systems Management
- Software Development
- Data Analytics
- Computer Networking
- Network Security
- Computer Applications
Salaries and Job Outlook
Of course, you will consider the salary and job possibilities as you want to work in fast-growing industries with competitive pay. With that in mind, let us look at the benefits and opportunities these areas provide.
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Computer Science salaries and job outlook
As of May 2022, the average annual salary for a computer scientist in the U.S. is $101,999, which is a considerable amount regardless of position or experience. As a result, this position pays $49,04 per hour, and the annual wage may go up to $138,000 depending on experience and profession. The career outlook for computer scientists appears to be very promising, with the BLS projecting a 22% growth in the employment sector from 2020 to 2030.
Information Technology salaries and job outlook
The average information technologist annual income in the U. S. is $83,000 per year, which is a bit lower than the average computer scientist’s salary; however, it might go up to $157,000 depending on the profession you choose. Furthermore, according to the BLS, the employment of information technologists is expected to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030.
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Is The Future Promising?
Another element to consider is the future, as we aim to choose a degree that will, in the end, reward us for our efforts. So, do these two fields have a bright future? Without a doubt, they do. Computer science is a field that can be found in practically every business, and as technology advances, the demand for qualified individuals will only increase. As for information technologists, they will always have a place in companies to ensure and maintain their technology system, especially their communication network. With that being said, both fields ensure a very bright future with many benefits and opportunities for you to explore.
Computer Science vs Information Technology: Which One Is Best For You?
Hopefully, the dilemma of computer science vs information technology has been cleared out by now. The world of technology is only growing, which is wonderful since it means you have more and more choices everyday. In terms of income and job outlook, computer scientists earn more, and the demand for the future is higher than that of information technologists. However, both roles provide competitive salaries in only growing industries, so whatever your decision may be, rest assured—it will certainly be worth it.