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Computer Science VS IT: What is the Right Technology Degree for You?

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  • read time3 min Read
  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Aug 10,2023 01:44 PM IST

Computer Science and Information Technology (IT) are two distinct subjects, despite their many similarities. Although there are overlaps, key differences exist between these two fields. Both have good scope and students from both branches are successful in the IT and software industries.

Computer Science VS IT What is the Right Technology Degree for You IMG.webp
Several principles underlying computer science apply to information technology as well. Computer science is a broader field and prepares for diverse professional careers, whereas information technology concentrates on IT concepts and specializations. Computer science refers to designing and building computers and computer programs. Information technology, on the other hand, refers to maintaining and troubleshooting those computers and their networks, systems, and databases to ensure they run smoothly. These two disciplines demand a different set of skills and mindsets. IT careers are more about installing, maintaining, and improving computer systems, operating networks, and databases. Computer science (CS) uses mathematics to program systems efficiently in design and development. These careers have different work environments, too, as IT professionals mostly work as part of a team in the organization, serving internal needs. In contrast, computer scientists deal in businesses, video games, colleges, or as freelancers.

Computer Science:

Computer Science studies computers and computing, focusing on algorithms, programs, programming, and computational systems. Computer scientists build a systematic body of knowledge, theories and models that explain the properties of computational systems and reach solutions through these for real-world computational problems. Computer scientists start by earning a degree with a computer science major. They obtain four-year degrees that include placement positions in tech-driven organizations and environments. Computer scientists who aim to work in software development are also expected to keep up with coding. Computer science is an exhaustive study of everything related to computers. Theory and programming are two broad categories of computer science. Computer scientists establish the computational principles that are the basis of all our software. Their work is behind data transfers and storage, security standards and encryption.

Computer Science Specializations:

  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Data Science
  • Cyber Security
  • Cloud Computing
  • Video Game Development

Computer Science Classes:

  • Theory of Computation
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Software Security
  • Computer Graphics
  • Calculus
  • Software Engineering
  • Linear Algebra
  • Web Development
  • Cryptography
  • Programming

Tasks handled by Computer Science Engineer:

  • Programming of computer hardware components
  • Development and programming of computer processors
  • Programming and development of computer system operating software
  • Development of computer programming languages such as C++, HTML, Java, Python
  • Research, design and development of computer software development tools
  • Development of algorithms
  • Development of system architecture of complex computer systems
  • Development of application software
  • Development of encryption software, firewalls, and other cybersecurity software

Information Technology

Information Technology utilizes computers, devices, technological infrastructure and computer science-driven software and processes to find technical solutions to problems. This field is focused on the business applications of computer-related knowledge. Information exchange is an essential part of IT. Much of it relies on data or wherever data transmission or exchange occurs. Besides data management, one must solve networking or security problems as a troubleshooter. IT, as an academic discipline, mostly deals with industry-oriented learning. It is the study of current tools/ computing techniques that can be used for the technological needs of a particular organization. Information systems professionals apply these tools/software. It involves more practical concepts with real-world applications, such as database management, networking, data querying and more.

Information Technology (IT) specializations:

  • System Administration
  • Network Administration
  • IT Security
  • Enterprise Systems
  • IT Management
  • International Biometrics
  • IT Strategy and Innovation

Information Technology Classes:

  • Networking Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Operating Systems
  • Database Fundamentals
  • Information Security Fundamentals
  • System Analysis
  • Business Technology
  • Hardware and Software Troubleshooting
  • Network Administration
  • IT Ethics

Significant tasks in Information Technology Industry:

  • Development of application software such as those used in e-commerce, customer relationship management, and database management.
  • Installing, testing, running, and maintaining computer software systems and networks.
  • Development of mobile application software such as the Uber and Swiggy apps.
  • Its electives include analysis and design of information systems, inter-networking data warehousing and data mining.
  • A degree or specialization in information technology can teach students essential systems and networking concepts, security practices, ad application development.
  • The IT team in any business is usually comprised of specialists in software development, desktop support, and network security.
  • Key skills required for a career in Information Technology:
  • Software Knowledge
  • Project Management
  •  Analytical Thinking
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Technical skills
  • Key skills required for a career in Information Technology:
  • Software Knowledge
  • Project Management
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Problem-Solving Abilities
  • Technical Skills

Computer Science VS Information Technology-Difference in Academics:

  • Computer Science is more research-oriented, whereas Information Technology, an academic discipline, mostly deals with industry-oriented learning.
  • Computer scientists design tools, and information technology professionals apply these tools.
  • Information technology refers to the hardware, software, products and systems

Computer science is one of the five interrelated fields of study as:

  • Software Engineering- The design, development, testing and maintenance of software in the form of mobile applications or web applications. A software engineer can also specialize in frontend, backend or full stack engineer.
  • Computer Engineering- The practice that combines computer science and electrical engineering for the purpose of creating hardware, software, and network-related solutions.
  • Information Systems- The study that deals with the usage of computer hardware, software, and networks for collecting data and processing them into information.
  • Information technology- The study of managing and delivering information with computer systems.

Career paths one can pursue in Computer Science include but certainly are not limited to:

  • Frontend Engineering- The development of user interfaces (UIs) with mark-up languages, CSS, JavaScript, and any other language that can compile to HTML/ JavaScript.
  • Backend Engineering- The development of micro services and APIs with relevant programming languages such as PHP, Python, C++, NodeJS (JavaScript), and a lot more.
  • Fullstack Engineering- Fullstack engineering combines frontend and backend engineering with computer science principles to implement web and other related solutions.
  • Artificial Intelligence Engineering- The study of developing, testing, and maintaining computer systems that can perform the same activities humans perform.
  • Data Science- The gathering and analysis of data with the purpose of getting actionable information that can lead to data-driven solutions.
  • System Analysis- It deals with the analysis of a system within a business to find the goals and problems they face, so a viable solution that can solve the problems can be implemented.
  • Database Administration- The management and maintenance of database management systems (DBMS) such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, Apache Cassandra, MongoDB, and lots more.

The Career Paths one can explore in the IT world include but are not limited to:

  • Augmented Reality (AR)- The distribution of sensory information such as visuals, sounds, and other perceptions through glasses or smartphones.
  • Virtual Reality (VR)- The design and implementation of computer-generated environments that appear to be real.
  • Cloud Computing- The delivery of computer services over the cloud instead of using local servers or personal computers.
  • Cyber security- The practice of protecting computer hardware, software, and network-related components from cyber-crimes and attacks.
  • Customer Support Technician- The personnel who deliver actionable technical support to the customers of a company.
  • Business Intelligence Analysis- The analysis of data and processing them into viable information that can help a business make better decisions.

This blog evidently distinguished between computer sciences from Information Technology. There’s an analogy about these differences as- Computer Science professionals are like the farmers that plant crops and maintain them till they are harvested.

On the other hand, Information Technology (IT) professionals are like storekeepers that make sure the harvested crops are well preserved in storage facilities such as silos, barns, pits, cribs, and so on.


In terms of level of difficulty, it is considered that IT is easier, because it has a narrower scope than Computer Science. Although it’s not completely true. The scope for both majors is very wide.
Information Technology and Computer engineering are ever-evolving fields with excellent career opportunities and future scope. The IT sector is booming as more and more businesses are dependent on IT for day-to-day operations, marketing, management, and sales.
Software Engineering, Object-Oriented Programming, Data Warehousing and Mining, JAVA Programming and Website Design.
IT careers are more about installing, maintaining, and improving computer systems, operating networks, and databases. Meanwhile, computer science is about using mathematics to program systems to run more efficiently, including design and development.
Earlier maths was mandatory as a main subject for engineering courses. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has made it optional for the students to have math and physics for their bachelors.

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