Difference between computer science and information technology

Computer science and information technology both are rewarding fields having slightly different skills and bright career. Both fields deal with the study of computers at college level. Apparently, both fields seem alike but the study of computer science and information technology focuses on different aspects of computers.

The difference between them is briefly mentioned for the purpose of information and clarification that will help you to choose between computer science and information technology.

Computer Science

Computer science is a field that is primarily concerned with the theoretical portion that deals with algorithms, data, programming languages etc. Computer science students are mainly focused on coding the programs, designing the database, software designs, algorithms, numerical analysis, and artificial intelligence.

Computer science deals with processes for creating useful computer programs and applications and study of theories behind these processes, finding ways to solve computing problems and designing and developing software.

As this field is very vast, it also covers theory of computation, network security and privacy, algorithms for processing data, cryptography,  representation of data, organization of data in databases of various types and scales, statistical modeling of data in large databases for supporting inference of trends, different programming languages that are used to develop various types of applications to be used for several purposes.

Information Technology

Definition: As per merriam-webster definition of information technology is “the technology involving the development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and distribution of data”.

Information technology is not as complex as computer science. It does not involve complex algorithms and computations.  It is mainly concerned with the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of data. Information technology is also considered subpart of information and communication technology(ICT).

I.T. involves installation and maintenance of computer systems, operating networks, and databases. In an easy word, we can say that information technology deals with software, hardware, internet,  networking, and technical support.

Main Differences

  • The computer science students mainly focus on the arithmetic, algorithmic, computational and theoretical part of the computer systems while students studying information technology have a focus on installation, internet, networking, technical support and operating databases and other software.
  • Computer science is mainly concerned with the creation, designing and developing computer programs/applications/software while information technology is concerned with the usage of computer applications and programs.
  • The computer scientist work at the lower level with computer systems while IT professionals have high level working, the latter is more than former.
  • Both computer science and information technology require a different level of skills and environment to work.

Career Opportunities

The career of both computer scientist and IT professionals have bright opportunities. If you prefer a computer science degree, the designation in your career will be Software Developer, System Engineer, Database Designer or a Programmer etc.

As per payscale, the average salary of Software Developer is $70,930 while that of Sr. Software Engineer/Developer/Programmer is $106,319.

A question may arise in mind that what can you do with a degree in information technology? The answer is that if you have obtained IT degree, the designation in your career will be System Administrator, Database Administrator, Network Security Analyst, IT Director and IT Support Specialist.

The average salary of System Administrator is $60,690, IT Support Specialist is $45,495 and that of IT Director is $90,287.


Fields of information technology and computer science, both have great opportunities. On the one hand, the job of computer scientist requires more skills and hard work than that of IT professionals but on the other hand, they are highly paid also.

Working in the field of information technology is somewhat easier. As shown above, the difference in salaries is also clear.

Now the choice is yours!

It is advisable that you may choose your field according to your interest.