At some point in your training or career, you’re going to have to make a distinction in what kind of work you do. The two most distinct paths you’re likely to encounter are Information Technology and Computer Science. It’s easy to confuse the two, but each of these disciplines demands a different set of skills and a different kind of attitude.
Here, we’re going to look at the differences between information technology and computer science. We’re also going to take a look at the kind of career you can expect of each, and which might be the best option based on your skills and work preferences
The difference between Information Technology and Computer Science
At a glance, IT (information technology) 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 in design and development.
While computer science education isn’t necessary for an IT career, some IT education is fundamental for a computer science degree that later leads to job opportunities. IT can be specialized in many different ways, but CS graduates have opportunities immediately available to them that IT qualified workers don’t.
The work environments expected from both careers can vary widely, too. Most IT professionals work as part of a team in an organization, serving internal needs or working directly with clients. Computer scientists, however, work in businesses, colleges, video game development companies, or as freelancers. Regardless of which appeals more, there’s plenty of potential for career growth and lucrative job opportunities in both fields.
Information Technology Careers