Computer Science and Information Technology degrees are the two most popular types of computer-related degrees. Both areas of study seem similar to the layman, but there are different skill sets and career opportunities for each degree. Computer Science is a broad area of study that includes the theoretical foundations for computing and is put to practical use by creating usable computer programs and applications. Information Technology is generally more business-oriented, as IT students will study the theories of data flow, and use them to archive, retrieve, and protect the valuable data that companies, corporations, and governments need to function on a day-to-day basis. Both Computer Science and Information Technology degrees are some of the most coveted amongst employers, as there is a large skills gap between the number of available positions and the number of qualified candidates.
Many students will find that a bachelor’s degree in either field will qualify them for high-paid positions with job outlooks that are expected to increase in the Information Age. Because of the large skills gap, CS and IT graduates from lesser-known institutions are afforded the same job opportunities as CS and IT graduates from prestigious Ivy League colleges. For some of the most affordable bachelor’s degrees in the field of Computer Science and Information Technology, check out our list of the Top 10 Cheapest Online Bachelors of Computer Science Degrees. Many students might be confused on whether they should choose a degree in computer science vs information technology, so let’s consider their differences closely.
Computer Science is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of subjects. There are general degrees that focus on a holistic understanding of the theoretical basics for computing, like binary code, and then there are degrees that specialize in certain fields within Computer Science. Some of the most common areas of specialization within the field of computer science are computer programming, software engineering, and computer (hardware) engineering. Students can usually choose not to specialize in a particular field in their undergraduate career if they plan on pursuing a graduate degree in a specialized area. Computer Science degrees are some of the most versatile degrees in today’s marketplace, as students can also choose to figure out their specialization based on the job opportunities that get offered to them after college. For students that are interested in learning the fundamentals of computing, a Computer Science degree is the best place to start.
Information Technology degrees focus on data systems and how they are used by companies and institutions. Almost all companies have made the transition from analog data to digital data, but there continue to be new problems that present themselves. Two of the major specializations within the field of Information Technology are Information Security and Systems Administration. Major government officials as well as corporate institutions have had a hard time keeping their data safe from WikiLeaks, and are willing to pay experts to figure out how to keep their data protected, which is where Information Security specialists come into play. Systems Administration focuses on how to set up a network that allows permitted parties to archive and access the information that organizes daily business activities. For students who are interested in the flow and protection of data, a degree in Information Technology is the best place to start.