Information Technology vs. Computer Science


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sethrd

Ok, so I'm going back to school. Well, going to school really. I want to get into the computer field, since it's really all I've been doing for the past 6 years, and you would think that I would know the answer to this, but I don't. From my understanding, CS is more about theory, where as IT is more about useage, hands on type of stuff. CS is more about programming, right? As much as I wouldn't mind sitting behing a computer and getting paid to program, they are a dime a dozen in today's work field. IT is starting to get that way, but it's still a good area to get into, at least where I live.

So, if anyone could clarify for me, the major differences, that would be great.

And to get you guys an idea on what I would like to do in the future, I would like to get into large scale processing, working with data centers, and being an administrator for a large scale network. Something along those lines. Dream is to work/admin a data center.

Any answers/links would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to PM me, or email me at sethrd{at}gmail.com.

Thanks ahead of time guys.

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Fred Derf

To oversimplify:

Computer Science = programming

IT = networking/integration

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Glatz

IMO an IT degree is useless. Most computer jobs ask for a computer science degree, whether it's networking or programming.

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KayMan2K

Nicely stated. A little more detail..

Comp Sci = Programming. Understanding exactly how computers work at their lowest level, logic, and mathematical theories. (Creating computer programs)

IT = Networking and computer/server management, maintance, and repair. (Using computer programs + configuring hardware)

A Comp Sci person can usually perform the activites of an IT person.

An IT person can usually not write applications, just some scripts.

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lardiop
To oversimplify:

Computer Science = programming

IT = networking/integration

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I'm in a 4-year IT course right now. (University) We do CCNA/CCNP plus all the same programming and math/physics that the CS guys do.

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MadDog
IMO an IT degree is useless. Most computer jobs ask for a computer science degree, whether it's networking or programming.

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Lemme guess, you're a programmer with a CompSci degree? ;)

In the five different companies I've worked for only three of the 25+ developers I've known actually had a computer science degree. There have been more English and Biochemistry majors.

Just about any four year degree will get you in the door and one in IT or CompSci will be just fine.

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KayMan2K
I'm in a 4-year IT course right now. (University) We do CCNA/CCNP plus all the same programming and math/physics that the CS guys do.

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Then you're in a good IT program that teaches not just IT tasks but the actual science of computers. What do the CS majors take that you do not?

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marduk420

you also forgot to include software engineering which is a separate field. a software engineer doesn't necessarily have to program, but is what most larger companies look for when it comes to complex software projects.

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joshpo

Man this is gonna turn into a flame war.

I majored in IT. I have a great and lucrative job at a major insurance company. I have friends who majored in CS. They have great and lucrative jobs also. The thing that attracted me to IT is that it is much more concerned with business needs and the application of technology to the enterprise. This kind of thinking will get you really far in the corporate environment.

If you want to work on/manage projects and business process go IT. If you want to write code go CS.

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lardiop
Man this is gonna turn into a flame war.

I majored in IT. I have a great and lucrative job at a major insurance company. I have friends who majored in CS. They have great and lucrative jobs also. The thing that attracted me to IT is that it is much more concerned with business needs and the application of technology to the enterprise. This kind of thinking will get you really far in the corporate environment.

If you want to work on/manage projects and business process go IT. If you want to write code go CS.

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Amen (Y)

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Fred Derf
I'm in a 4-year IT course right now. (University) We do CCNA/CCNP plus all the same programming and math/physics that the CS guys do.

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Some people use IT as a really big umbrella term to encompass both programming and system integration.

Some schools have CS programs that offer little to no integration while other schools have IT programs that offer little to no programming.

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marduk420

joshpo, software engineering is also concerned with managing/working on large projects and the business process. how else would software engineers know what kind of software to write for something like an airport? lots of requirements meetings with business clients and analysis of the business process has to be done before any code is written. software engineering, computer science, and IT are all great majors but depending on what you like to do, one of them (or even all of them) will be perfect for you.

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joshpo
joshpo, software engineering is also concerned with managing/working on large projects and the business process.  how else would software engineers know what kind of software to write for something like an airport?  lots of requirements meetings with business clients and analysis of the business process has to be done before any code is written.  software engineering, computer science, and IT are all great majors but depending on what you like to do, one of them (or even all of them) will be perfect for you.

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they write whatever I tell them to write :laugh:

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timmybo_
I'm in a 4-year IT course right now. (University) We do CCNA/CCNP plus all the same programming and math/physics that the CS guys do.

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I am a Lan Manager in a large state Gov I have found that many CS people don't know their heads from a hole in the ground when it comes to real computer work.

I also took many courses in programing but use them not quite as often as common sense. The theory that CS guys can do our job without a LOT of hands on is really laughable.

CS does equal programing

Computer engineering = design and hands on

and IT is a whole lot of different things from web developement guys who should really be in CS to us hardware and server monkeys that do just about everything technical because the cs guys are so damn specialized to their one app that they forgot everything else.

You really have to find one sub-category and learn almost all there is to know about it

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ChiefWahoo

Here's another solution to your dilemma:

I got a bachelor degree in IT by choosing all CS courses for my electives. After taking another four or five courses I have taken a CS degree also.

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Max

IT = How we use computers to solve everyday problems.

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SerialStorm

Computer Science is programming machine's with code.

IT has emphasis on Network Administration with more hands on work.

It is sad it took me two years to find this out ... Darn C Sci :angry:

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uniacid

Just wanted to post this, I copied it from my school's catalog thru Adobe so sorry for the long text

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering

offers a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in

Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Computer

Engineering degree. These programs are designed to

provide a balanced and modern course of study that

will prepare students for graduate study in computing

or for immediate employment in industry.

Graduates of the Computer Science program are

prepared for careers with software companies

developing applications or systems software, or with

companies developing software in a scientific or

engineering environment. The degree focuses on the

software aspects of computing by building on a set of

core courses in areas such as algorithms, machine

organization, programming language concepts, theory,

computer systems, and software engineering.

Based on the Educational Objectives of the

College of Engineering, the department has

established the following student learning

outcomes for the baccalaureate program in

computer science. Graduates will be:

1. Successful in finding professional employment.

2. Proficient in programming in C++.

3. Able to design programs from a given

specification.

Graduates of the Computer Engineering program

are prepared for careers in the computer industry, as

well as with companies that integrate computers into

more complex products. The degree focuses on the

system and hardware aspects and the interaction of the

hardware with software by building on courses in

microprocessors, computer design, and design

automation on the one hand, and on data structures and

algorithms, operating systems, and software engineering

on the other.

Based on the Educational Objectives of the College

of Engineering, the department has established the

following student learning outcomes for the

baccalaureate program in computer engineering.

Graduates will have:

1. Proficiency in the areas of electronics, computer

architecture, and computer design.

2. Proficiency in the areas of software design and

development, data structures, and operating systems.

3. An ability to plan and execute an engineering

design to meet an identified need.

4. Proficiency in mathematical and scientific

principles relevant to computer engineering.

5. An ability to communicate effectively and to function

on multidisciplinary teams.

6. An understanding of the overall human context in

which engineering and computing activities take place.

While undergraduate students make some use of

University computing facilities, the department has

its own facilities that are available for undergraduates

and are used for assignments in many courses. A PCbased

lab provides students with hands-on experience

222

Florida Atlantic University

in logic design, peripheral interfacing, and software

design for microprocessors. Undergraduates use the

department?s network of UNIX and PC workstations for

course work in areas such as programming, software

development using advanced tools, artificial intelligence,

simulation, and graphics.

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sethrd
Man this is gonna turn into a flame war.

I majored in IT. I have a great and lucrative job at a major insurance company. I have friends who majored in CS. They have great and lucrative jobs also. The thing that attracted me to IT is that it is much more concerned with business needs and the application of technology to the enterprise. This kind of thinking will get you really far in the corporate environment.

If you want to work on/manage projects and business process go IT. If you want to write code go CS.

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THAT is the kind of answer I was looking for. So, I had it down pretty well then. I just wasn't sure so I thought I'd ask some people that do. I think I'll do what Wahoo said and just major in IT while taking MASSIVE CS courses. At the school I'm going to, you also have to take a language, and I'm thinking I'll take German. It's either that, Spanish, or Italian.

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sethrd

Ok, on the same note, I was looking through the college course catalog, and it isn't Information Technology they offer. It is Computer Information Systems. What is the difference between that and IT? I'm meeting with an advisor on Tuesday, but I'd like to go in with a little bit of knowledge of what I'm getting myself into.

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cal2002

^ It depends what they define "Computer Information Systems" as. It could be more networking (IT) or it could be business accounting type stuff (Access, Excel, etc)

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sethrd
^ It depends what they define "Computer Information Systems" as.  It could be more networking (IT) or it could be business accounting type stuff (Access, Excel, etc)

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Well, there is a fair amount of accounting courses, and there is a fair share of database management. There are quite a few computer courses, but they are out weighed by the business classes.

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  • 3 weeks later...
OxideNOS

What is the difference between COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS and INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

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Jason S.
To oversimplify:

Computer Science = programming

IT = networking/integration

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i go to University of Toledo... we have a Computer Science Engineering (CSE) program and a CSET (technology) program. i am in the CSET program b/c it's based more on the hardware aspect of computers. That means we have a lot of networking/Unix/hands on stuff...ive also taken 7-8 electrical courses... but also, we get a basis in many programming languages.... it's ridiculous but good to know i guess... i hate programming and this is why i went into the CSET program. my old roomate was in CSE and graduated last year.. he knows 10+ languages b/c of it.

basically you have to narrow down what youre really interested in and find the best school that fits your needs. I could have gone to OSU or OU but neither had quite the program that UT has.

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neowin_hipster
Understanding exactly how computers work at their lowest level

Hardly. Most graduating CS majors haven't a clue how an operating system works yet alone a chip. They are experts at algorithms and data structures. Basically they abstract themselves beyond implementation. That is the goal of computer science.

What you describe is computer engineerin. We are the ones designing chips and embedded systems. Look how many standards are IEEE.

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