Information technology professional using laptop know the difference between IT and computer science

The Two Faces of Technology: Understanding the Differences Between IT and Computer Science

As technology continues to evolve and new fields emerge in recent years, the line separating information technology (IT) and computer science has become increasingly blurred. Hence, it’s important to note that while they make a positive impact in society by improving efficiency, communication, and quality of life, both IT and computer science have different goals, approaches, and focuses, and therefore require different skills and knowledge.

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between IT and computer science—from their definition, skills, and education, to various tech-related jobs—to help you make informed decisions about your future career path in the field.

What is Computer Science?

Referring to the design and building of computers and computer programs, computer science is an academic discipline that deals with computers, computational theories and systems, algorithms, and hardware and software design. This field focuses on the development and testing of software and software systems that entails using mathematical models, data analysis, and security. Its subfields include programming language theory, computer engineering, artificial intelligence (AI), and software engineering.

Furthermore, computer science integrates different techniques from the areas of engineering and mathematics, such as electronic circuit design, probability and statistics, and queueing theory. This is because some of the foundations of computer science are derived from both areas.

In addition, it involves methodical processes to help in collecting, representing, processing, storing, communicating, and accessing pertinent information which is done through analysis of feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of such processes.

The professionals in this field—computer scientists—are responsible for designing and analyzing algorithms to solve programs and study the performance of computer hardware and software. Plus, they use a number of mathematical algorithms, coding procedures, and their expert programming skills to understand computer processes and develop new software and systems.

IT and computer science students collaborate know difference between IT and computer science

What is Information Technology?

On the other hand, information technology refers to the use of computers, software, networks, and several digital technologies to store, process, and exchange information. It encompasses a wide range of fields, including computer hardware and software, digital telecommunications, and information security. It also maintains and troubleshoots computers and their database, networks, and systems to guarantee they run and operate seamlessly. 

While computer science focuses on developing and testing software and software systems, IT zeroes in on the development, implementation, support, and management of computers and information systems. This also involves working with hardware, including hard disks, central processing units (CPUs), and storage devices as well as software such as web browsers, productivity tools, and operating systems. Some of the trends within IT include analytics, automation, AI, cloud computing, cybersecurity, database management, infrastructure, internet of things, machine learning, networks, robotics, and software/application development.

As a critical component of modern society, IT has played a vital role in facilitating communication, automating tasks, and boosting efficiency and productivity. These can be seen particularly in the workforce, business operations, and even in our personal lives. It has significantly impacted how various industries and sectors operate, including education, government, healthcare, and retail, and compete in the global marketplace. Aside from this, IT has transformed the way we live and communicate, allowing individuals to relay and access information from anywhere in the world.

To make these possible, IT experts make sure that technology systems function efficiently and securely by identifying and solving technical problems, upgrading systems when necessary, and implementing new technologies. These allow for improved operations to meet ever-changing business needs. Plus, to protect sensitive information and prevent data breaches, IT professionals should implement security measures such as firewalls, encryption, and authentication systems.

Students discussing difference between IT and computer science

Difference Between IT and Computer Science: Education, Skills, and Job Outlook

Now that we have defined them, let’s dwell into the difference between IT and computer science in terms of the degrees and skills needed to thrive in these fields, as well as the job outlook as you pursue a career within these fields.

Difference Between IT and Computer Science Degrees

Before embarking on a profession in the two areas, it’s crucial that you take and complete courses and/or degrees related to them. For aspiring IT professionals, you should obtain a two- to four-year degree in an IT-related program, such as a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. On the other hand, if you’re interested in becoming a computer scientist in the future, then you’ll need to earn a degree in Computer Science.

Related Post: Read This Preparation Guide Before Pursuing a Computer Science Degree

Difference Between IT and Computer Science Skills

Information technology professionals are skilled in network configuration, security infrastructure, ethical hacking or penetration testing, and data administration. They are also knowledgeable of troubleshooting methods and different programming languages, especially scripting languages such as Python and PowerShell.

Meanwhile, computer scientists have an understanding of the software development lifecycle and statistics, algebra, and calculus. They are also familiar with code-sharing platforms and AI methods like machine learning and deep learning, as well as tools such as Apache Spark and Hadoop. Additionally, they are proficient in using data analysis and database tools like MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and SQL. As for programming languages, computer science experts are knowledgeable of C++, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and Python.

Related Post: Top 5 Skills Every Successful Computer Scientist Should Have

Difference Between IT and Computer Science Careers

Below are some of the career paths you can pursue as a graduate of computer science or information technology, along with the average salary in the Philippines:

Information Technology Computer Science
PositionAverage Salary/YearPositionAverage Salary/Year
Computer Technician₱187,376Artificial Intelligence Engineer₱925,749
Cybersecurity Specialist₱983,241Back-end Engineer₱450,000
Database Administrator₱578,957Computer Scientist₱900,000
Helpdesk Technician₱283,600Data Scientist₱609,680
IT Consultant₱690,000Full Stack Developer₱600,000
IT Project Manager₱994,317Information Security Analyst₱571,589
Network Administrator₱292,154Robotics Engineer₱891,705
Network Engineer₱351,780Software Developer₱369,483
System Administrator₱344,948Software Engineer₱470,294
Technical Support Specialist₱292,774Web Developer₱297,917
All figures came from PayScale, SalaryExpert, Economic Research Institute, and Talent.com.

Related Posts: 8 Best IT Jobs Every Fresh Graduate Should Consider and Top Careers for A Computer Science Graduate

Group of IT and Computer science student know the difference between IT and computer science

Jump-Start Your Career in the Fields of Computer Science and IT with CIIT Philippines

As technology continuously advances and significantly impacts how the world functions, it’s paramount to keep abreast of technological trends and updates. These include the difference between IT and computer science. Likewise, if you’re dreaming to become part of this field, be sure to equip yourself with a quality education from a campus with industry-backed curricula that have been recognized by industry experts and company partners!

With CIIT Philippines’ Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, students don’t just learn theoretical concepts, but they also apply it as we provide them with the world-class tech and tools used in the industry. Plus, you can take one step ahead by getting an internship in more than 90 of the leading companies in tech, business, and arts! Not only that, you can also get real-life advice and experience from our instructors who are also industry practitioners.

So, what are you waiting for? Be part of CIIT’s ecosystem of innovators and creators today, and together, let’s weave your future to becoming one of the most sought-after IT professionals and computer scientists.

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