What is the difference between Computer Science(CS) and Information Technology (IT)? This is a question that most people who want to pursue a career in the tech industry ask. To make the matter more complex, there is an extra subject that should be added to this equation. That is Computer Engineering.
From the surface, the three subjects seem to mean the same thing. All of them are about computer and technology. However, from a deeper perspective, the three are very different. But what is the difference? In this article, we are going to look at the differences between Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Information Technology. We will also look at the possible careers from each subject. You can also check my article on the difference between a coder, programmer, developer and software engineer.
Difference Between Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Information Technology
1. Computer Science
Computer science incorporates all the key aspects of science. It provides answers s to why computer programs are behaving in a certain manner. It goes deeper to give an explanation of the theories of different applications. Computer Science also uses advanced calculus to come up with algorithms which can be used to solve various computational problems.
As a computer scientist, you will be responsible for coming up with new ways that can be used to manipulate and manage data. You will have a better understanding of how the operating system and software work.
Computer science will help you make sense out of every line of code. You will also learn the key principles of different programming languages, discrete mathematics and software development. The subject will give you a clear understanding of how different process in a computer work. In overall, computer science gives you the ability to talk to a computer.
Careers in Computer Science:
After attaining a degree in Computer Science, here are some of the career paths that you can pursue:
- Systems Engineer: From the knowledge of operating systems, you will be able to design and create operating systems of devices.
- Software developer: This job entails developing a software application from scratch into something meaningful.
- Web Developer: As a web developer, you will be dealing with the backend of the website. You will also be responsible for integrating different components of a website.
2. Computer Engineering
Computer engineering entails bringing different components of a computer together and ensuring that they are able to work seamlessly. As a certified computer engineer, it will be your responsibility to study, design and develop various components of a computer such as microchips, sound cards, circuit boards and many others.
Computer engineering covers both the hardware and software components of a computer. This is because a computer engineer, you will be responsible for ensuring that the two aspects integrate well. For instance, you will have to design and develop a processor that will be compatible with certain computer programs. You will also need to come up with hardware that can perform to the optimum levels on specific devices.
Computer engineering covers concepts of computer science, mathematics, and engineering. This combination gives a computer engineer the knowledge and skills to provide concrete solutions.
Career Opportunities in Computer Engineering:
- Computer electronics manufacturing: You can work in a company that specializes in manufacturing components of a computer
- Computer system designer: A computer engineer is qualified to perform system design roles
- Scientific research: Computer engineers can also work in research firms.
3. Information Technology
Some people refer to it as information systems. Basically, IT professionals use the existing technologies rather than creating. They use the existing products such as operating systems and software to solve other problems that affect businesses and the general consumers.
IT professionals ensure that there is a seamless connection between the existing technology and service delivery. They are likely to spend most of their time interacting with people outside the technological department.
This can be business owners and even co-workers. Some of the topics that are covered under this career include computer networking, database systems, cybersecurity and some basic mathematics.
Career Opportunities in Information Technology:
- Database administrator: Here you will organize and maintain databases for organizations.
- Network engineer: The job entails designing, building and maintaining computer networks
- Information security analyst: This job entails securing the systems in the organizations and preventing cyber attacks.
- System administrator: The job entails maintaining the computer, database and network systems in an organization.
In conclusion, computer scientist designs and develops software and applications, computer engineer builds computers while an IT specialist use and troubleshoot computer programs and their related components. All these professionals work together to ensure that a computer system performs well as expected.