These days making a career choice isn’t always straight forward. Now, if you’re looking at two similar degrees, the confusion intensifies. And just because they are generally in the same field doesn’t mean you can do either and get to the same goal. And no, you cannot just flip a coin about it either. You need to understand what each degree entails, and what it means for your career path. Only then can you make the right choice. So, what’s the difference between IT and Computer Science degrees? Let’s get to it.

IT vs. Computer Science: What they Are

Basically, Computer Science involves studying computers and their designs and how they are used for computation. It involves data processing and also systems control. Computer Science entails the design to the development of all types of software and operating systems, to interactive games and apps. This degree program uses mathematical algorithms and the understanding of computer theory and coding in order to generate and create the latest in computer technology.

On the other hand, IT (Information Technology) is all about developing, maintaining and using computer systems, software and networks. The goal of this is for data processing and distribution. Graduates in IT apply their skills in the business world. Essentially, they use the programs that have been developed by computer scientists, focusing on their practical application.

To put it simply, in Computer Science you’ll be learning how computers work-from the languages, software design and architecture. You’ll literally be speaking with the computer. For IT, you’ll be the translator between the machine and the end user. You’ll be mediating between computer systems and the people who use them. As such, in the degree program you’ll learn skills such as computer support, network architecture, and database and systems administration. In short, you’ll learn to tailor computer systems to a business’s specific needs.

What They Set you Up for

A Computer Science degree, will leave you with quite the diverse number of career paths at your fingertips. Some of the jobs requiring a Computer Science degree include: software engineers, Java developers, software developers, software development engineers, and systems engineers.

IT encompasses a wide spectrum of material, and it offers a large variety of positions. Some of the most common positions in IT include: business analysts/systems analysts, systems administrators, technical support specialists, network engineers/systems engineers, and programmers/analysts. Unlike the case of a computer science graduate who will often work unaided, the IT professionals have more likelihood to interact with others (whether it’s in person or through phone or email) in order to help solve technological problems.

IT vs Computer Science: Which is best for you?

Financially speaking, both degree courses are similar. And of course there’s no shortage of technology jobs. Both degrees lead to unquestionably relevant and highly profitable careers. You’re ultimately choice boils down to your personality.

It you’re more into technology and problem solving for technology’s own sake, Computer Science may be best for you. That is, if you’d rather produce the programs than apply them on a daily basis. However, if you’re more into how people and business can mould computer systems to suit their own particular needs, IT is more in your line.