In the past few decades, the technology industry has significantly increased. Nowadays, people can rely on numerous technological tools, devices, and gadgets to perform all kinds of activities, making their daily life much simpler. From shopping from the comfort of their homes to completing work tasks using their smartphones, the advancements in the industry simply show no signs of slowing down.
As a result, there has been a substantial increase in the demand for jobs in the technology fields. The two most popular occupations are computer science and information technology (IT), which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics are expected to grow 15% between 2021 and 2031.
However, while the two occupations share many similarities, they are very different and can greatly influence the path people take in their academic and professional careers.
To make an informed decision, read our guide to learn more about computer science and information technology to figure out which offers the technology career that is a better option for you.
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Understanding the main difference between Computer Science and IT
Before we get into the specifics of computer science and information technology, it is important to understand the difference between the two subjects.
For example, computer science is a broad field that focuses on learning about mathematics and algorithms necessary to create, analyze and understand various processes linked to computer systems. It also involves the utilization of different programming languages to communicate with computers as well as to develop and design more efficient programs.
On the other hand, IT is the practical application of technology that deals with the development, implementation, support, and management of computer systems, operating networks, and databases. It involves working with both hardware and software systems to solve business processes and technological problems.
Difference in classes
Another way to decide between computer science and information technology is to look at the different classes both subjects offer.
For example, in computer science, you will likely require a lot of math which you expect to learn in classes like discrete math, programming, database development, calculus, linear algebra, and cryptography.
Because these classes may be challenging both for beginners and advanced learners, you can get homework help online for computer science from highly qualified tutors and master the subject fast and easily.
As for information technology, common classes you can expect to learn are information systems, network engineering, system analysis, hardware and software troubleshooting, and business technology.
When choosing between computer science and information technology, make sure you keep your career goals and interests in mind so you can make an informed decision.
Essential skills in computer science and IT
Although both subjects are very technology-heavy, there are major differences in the skills required to succeed as an IT professional or computer scientist.
For example, some essentials skills you need to have to be a computer scientist are:
- Advanced programming abilities;
- Strong attention to detail;
- Excellent communication skills;
- Ability to understand complex mathematics and data analytics;
- Knowledge of programming languages.
To be an IT specialist, you will need to have:
- Basic coding and programming abilities;
- Leadership skills;
- Project management skills;
- Excellent verbal and written skills;
- Understanding of complex systems.
Job titles and salaries
Due to the broad nature of these two subjects, there are many different job opportunities available for computer science and IT specialists which can also help you make a more informed decision your search for a technology career.
For example, careers in computer science will mainly include working with programming languages or data, whereas jobs in IT will mostly focus on the operation of computers, their networks, and systems.
The most common professions in computer science are system analyst, web designer, software programmer, data scientist, and business analyst. As for IT, some popular professions include technical support specialist, IT project manager, network engineer, and IT consultant.
The salaries for both IT and computer science specialists are among the highest, although they vary widely based on your level of knowledge, skills, and expertise acquired.