Computer Science vs. Information Technology: Which Is For You?

No one can be certain of what will be in the next few years. However, one thing is for sure: computer technology will become an essential part of our future.

This field includes niches corresponding to professions. Information technology (IT) and computer science (CS) are two prominent niches in this field.

If you are confused in choosing between the two, let’s compare them to answer the big question: Computer science or information technology?

Which Career Path is Better?

The answer is that it depends on your aspirations and preferences. No niche is better than the other as they lead to different careers in different fields.

Any major is an excellent choice for you, as long as you’re passionate about technology and understand each choice’s implications.

What is Information Technology?

This field mainly focuses on the business applications of the computer-related knowledge you learn. Therefore, it won’t focus too much on the programming aspect like computer science.

No matter what area you’re in, you’re present with applying your IT skills to the various business processes of that area.

Information exchange is also one of the essential parts of IT. There’s no denying that much of the field relies heavily on data.

So wherever data exchange or transmission occurs, it is possible to improve this process through effective IT solutions.

In addition to being responsible for data management, you may also choose to address security or network issues. In the IT field, you are like a troubleshooter.

IT and CS industries are very promising.

Compared to when there is anyone in your company or business facing any difficulties and technological challenges, they will come to you. The fact is that any organization needs IT professionals.

In a business setting, the IT area encompasses computers and communications systems (telephones) and storage devices. As technology improves and evolves, so does the field of IT.

To become an expert in this field, you will need to learn about the following:

  • Networking
  • Database design and management
  • Telecommunications
  • Mathematics
  • Programming fundamentals
  • Management information systems
  • Other domain-specific software

What is Computer Science?

This field refers to conducting thorough research on a subject, including the processes of observation, experimentation, and practice testing. Through it, you will gain complete knowledge of the subject.

Thus, CS has become a vast field of study of all things computer-related.

This field refers to every aspect of computing.

This field can be divided into two niches, including theory and programming. If you want to become an expert in this field, you must master two things:

  • Understanding how computers work is essential.
  • Use whatever theory you learn to make better use of computers through programming.

Most programs related to this field include the following subjects (with varying degrees of specialization):

  • Electronics
  • Physics
  • Programming
  • Other engineering electives
  • Mathematics

Key Differences

These two areas are related.

To help you better understand these two areas, we will compare them in several different aspects, including degree, essential skills, career outlook, and salary.

1. Degree

Many colleges and universities allow you to get a degree in CS or related things, such as computer engineering.

Computer science degrees introduce the scientific concepts and basic mathematics related to computers as well as various programs.

These degrees allow you to design hardware, software, data structures, programming languages, and artificial intelligence concepts. So they may require statistics, engineering, and math courses.

An information technology major or degree gives you access to essential systems, networking concepts, application development, and security practices.

Alternatively, similar areas of study can be thought of as information systems.

2. Essential Skills

The skills needed to succeed in these two fields are the same.

While each specific job may have additional requirements, here are the essential skills you need to develop to be successful:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Troubleshooting
  • Communication
  • Attention to details
  • Project management
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Public speaking and presenting
  • Ethics
  • And more

So whether you are struggling to figure out why the hard drive is not recognized by the operating system or trying to analyze algorithms, the above skills will come in handy.

Knowing the theory is not enough. You need to apply it to discover how unrelated factors create errors or failures. It is the crux of creativity and ingenuity.

3. Career Outlook

These fields offer vast employment opportunities as they both lack highly qualified and skilled professionals. Meanwhile, the demand for people with good digital skills and computers is growing rapidly.

The more you learn, the more you earn, and the more you advance. Therefore, having a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in IT will be helpful to you, especially if you want to take on more advanced or managerial roles.

4. Salary

Salaries for both computing science and IT vary widely. Many jobs require knowledge of the program, building, or maintaining computers and may require a degree or experience, leading to higher salaries.

However, some entry-level IT positions often don’t require a degree, resulting in lower salaries. The following are the average salaries of some of the major occupations in these two fields:

  • IT jobs & salaries

Specialist: $76,260 per year

Consultant: $96,088 per year

Technician: $68,522 per year

Data Security Analyst: $108,934 per year

Project Manager: $108,400 per year

Director: $159,300 per year

  • CS jobs & salaries

System Analyst: $110,493 per year

Web Developer: $86,949 per year

Data Scientist: $124,540 per year

Software Developer: $139,576 per year

Business Analyst: $68,350 per year

5. Comparison Table

The following table summarizes all the differences between these two fields:

Computer ScienceInformation Technology
Degree– Scientific concepts
– Basic mathematical related to computers
– Various programs
– Essential systems
– Networking concepts
– Application development
– Security practices
Essential Skills– Analytical thinking
– Troubleshooting
– Communication (oral and written)
– Attention to details
– Project management
– Creativity
– Time management
– Critical thinking and problem-solving
– Public speaking and presenting
– Ethics
Career outlookBoth fields offer vast employment opportunities


You have read to the end of our article. Now you know all the critical differences between computer science and information technology.

They are two different but closely related fields. Both have bright futures, and the choice is yours!