Difference between Computer Science and Information Technology

January 27, 2016 by Editorial Team

In general, Computer Science and Information Technology may mean and refer to the same thing. When digging deeper into computing terms though, they actually are two separate terms. Simply knowing their differences will help one better understand the computer era, which is now.


Computer Science vs Information Technology
A chart showing the relationship of Computer Science to Information Technology

Computer Science – Focusing both on scientific and practical approaches, computer science is considered to be a rigorous study involving discrete mathematics and computer science theory. In other words, it is where you’ll learn the feasibilities, the expressions, mechanizations, the structural designs, and minor applications.

Different Areas of Computer Science

  1. Theoretical Computer Science
    • Theory of computation
    • Information and coding theory
    • Algorithms and data structures
    • Programming language theory
    • Formal methods
  2. Applied Computer Science
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Computer architecture and engineering
    • Computer performance analysis
    • Computer graphics and visualization
    • Computational science
    • Computer networks
    • Concurrent, parallel and distributed systems
    • Databases
    • Software Engineering

Computer Science Degree graduates can earn salaries from $55,000 to $125,000, depending on position, country and state.

Information Technology – While it may be slightly similar in meaning to computing science, it actually is an application of computers and telecommunications equipment for storing, retrieving, transmitting and manipulating its data. In computing terms, it is in fact similar to computer networks with a touch of information distribution technologies including television and telephones.

Different industries have associated themselves with information technology. These include computer software and hardware, electronics, semiconductors, the internet, engineering, e-commerce, and believe it or not, even healthcare. That being said, there are a number of specialties under IT and you can choose from databases, network infrastructures, information technology security, web systems and media, human/computer interface and interactions, and depending on the university, it may include many more.

In Information Technology, salaries can go from $50,000 to $177,000, depending on position, country and state.

Computer Science vs Information Technology

What’s the difference between Computer Science and Information Technology? In terms of general knowledge, there may be just a few differences, but when salary and job description come into play, there are quite a lot more.

In Computer Science, usable computer programs and applications, including their theories and algorithms, are created and designed. Information Technology on the other hand is more concerned with the  application of the computer programs that mainly focuses on business processes. In simpler terms, it applies modern technology in businesses. This also puts Information Technology on top of the chart in terms of salary and description. An IT specialist will use programs (provided by Computer Science) and relate them to the business world.

So to summarize the key differences of both studies, Computer Science focuses on mathematical algorithms, programming, and designing, while Information Technology focuses on assisting the business industry by implementing solutions to problems using modern technology.

Comparison Chart

Computer ScienceInformation Technology
Focuses on Algorithms, Programming, Designing applicationsImplements programs as a solution to businesses’ practical problems through modern technology
Often has lower work load (depending on position)Often has higher work load (depending on position)
Often has lower salary at $55,000 to $125,000Often has higher salary at $50,000 to $177,000
Needs to know programming languageNeeds to be familiarized with different operating systems and server software