Difference Between IT and Computer Science

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 03, 2023

       

Difference Between IT and Computer Science

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Introduction 

The technology sector has been experiencing an upward trend ever since the 1990s, but the highlight has been the rate of progress, which has grown manifold with every passing year. McKinsey reports say that the decade ahead will witness more advancements in the technology sector than what was seen in the last hundred years collectively. The new millennium has seen the internet and personal computers becoming a household feature. 

This might come as a startling revelation to developing nations that over 90 percent of American households claim to have internet connectivity. This percentage goes further up in the corporate world.  

But for technology to work, there is an obvious need for workers who know how to work it. Taking the US of A as a benchmark, which prides itself on creating over 5 lakh job openings in the country, we can safely say that there is an ever-increasing demand for workers to fill in for jobs that involve computers.

The technological advancements have, therefore, paved the way for several career options for students nowadays. In fact, it can be a bit confusing for a student to finalize what skills he wants to master. This brings us to our topic for today, where we have to distinguish between Computer Science and Information Technology.

Computer Science vs. IT 

The main difference between Computer Science and IT lies in the different roles they play vis-a-vis the hardware and software components of the organization. Computer Science focuses on the design and development part of computers and programming, whereas IT is more concerned with the upkeep and maintenance of the same. Both Computer Science and IT focus on computer systems but in a different way. Computer Science helps in the improvement of computer systems while IT takes on the function of troubleshooting the same, thus ensuring that they are up and running for the final user or consumer at all times.

Differences between Computer Science and IT in Tabular Form

Criteria for difference Computer ScienceInformation Technology
Scope of work  Technically oriented  Business oriented
Main responsibility    Coding, which will be used in computer programs, websites, etc.Supporting the business
Secondary responsibility    It helps to integrate the various systems and bring about symmetry in the organization.It helps to integrate the various systems and bring about symmetry in the organization
Career paths related to the fieldsFrontend Engineering, Backend Engineering, Fullstack Engineering, Data Science, AI Engineering, System Analysis and Database AdministrationBusiness Intelligence Analysis, Customer Support Technician, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality
Key skills required in the field      Ability to innovate        Ability to lead a team
Communication skills Basic level Professional level

What is Computer Science? 

Computer Science is a broad term, but to put it in a few words – the study of computers as well as computing is called Computer Science. Breaking it down into further parameters involves the study of computational theory, understanding the foundations of algorithms, and the knowledge of hardware and software and how they process information. Computer Science was built on the foundations of Mathematics, and the queueing theory, probability, and the design of the electronic circuit are therefore naturally incorporated into it. Algorithms are the most integral part of Computer Science and need a special mention. They need to be continuously updated and refined, and this involves a lot of hypothesis testing, and a lot of experiments need to be carried out to achieve the same.

Types of services provided by Computer Science

There are a whole bunch of services provided by Computer Science, and it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss all of them. Following are some of the most important ones -

Algorithms and complexity

In layman’s language, an algorithm is the remedy to a computational problem. That the algorithm has been developed in a precise manner is vital to all of the departments of Computer Science, be it AI, operating systems, networking, graphics, or databases. The development of Algorithms goes beyond just programming. An in-depth knowledge of various factors is required to ensure that the Algorithm is ‘correct’ because only then can it solve the problem. So, for an algorithm to be ‘correct,’ one needs to have mastery over the language being used for programming. Also, he needs to be good in the networking and hardware departments.

Architecture and organization

As the name suggests, a Computer Architect’s job involves designing computing systems that deliver high levels of performance. Besides designing, they have to deal with devices for storing data and various components of networking. Further, they have to ensure efficient and smooth communication between the scientists and the engineers because both departments are related to the designing of hardware.

Computational science 

A lot of credit goes to Computer Science for taking care of the ‘big data’ problem. The sheer amount of data that is relayed from scientific instruments is mind-boggling. It is Computational Science that has helped immensely in this matter. It is Computational Science that has helped the cause of fields of study such as forensics, biology, chemistry, fluid dynamics, etc. To make this possible, it has used various tools. To name a few – high-performance computing, algorithms, mathematical modeling, and computer simulation. All of these and many more like them have come to the aid of the ‘big data problem.

What is Information Technology?

Information Technology involves creating, processing, storing, and finally exchanging information and data over computers and other networking devices. In other words, IT utilizes innovative techniques to deal with business issues on an expansive scope. It is more often than not used in the context of the corporate world as its usage is more pronounced in this sector vis-à-vis the term technology, which is used more in the personal sense.

Problem resolution is at the heart of IT since, by its very nature, it is committed to assembling and coordinating the computer systems of an organization. Following that is the act of troubleshooting issues that arise within the computer systems, thus ensuring that they are functional at all times.

To break down the functions of IT, it includes the following –

  • Implementation and maintenance of business applications and its services. These include networks and servers.
  • Monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing the above-mentioned
  • Shouldering the responsibility of the security and governance of the above-mentioned.

Types of services provided by IT

An exhaustive list of services that can be provided by IT to a corporate is not possible because there are just too many of those. Following are some of the most important IT services which would help in understanding just how important IT is to a business.

Computing

Platforms like cloud computing deal with the management of data centers and perform other functions like monitoring and implementing computing solutions, which help corporations in their daily operations.

Software 

IT services include providing software applications by companies that specialize in this field.

Platforms

Another example of IT services is Platforms that help to implement and develop customized systems and applications.

Networks 

Telecommunications companies are also an example of IT services, and they provide and support services like Wi-Fi, firewalls, consoles, bridges, etc.

APIs

These are IT services that are used to prolong the functionality of a code.

Data 

IT services include providing data such as data warehousing and market data.

Databases

A cloud database service is a fine example of storage services provided by the IT department.

Analytics 

It provides services like visualizing data for human beings.

Delivery of Content 

Certain IT platforms publish content, and they do that by distributing content to numerous data centers.

Monitoring

Keeping track and providing help in monitoring different processes of a business are also included in the services that the IT department provides.

Differences between Computer Science and IT in Points

Different roles

A Computer Science graduate is expected to write code and be good at building websites. On the other hand, an IT graduate is expected to be good at the upkeep and maintenance of computers and troubleshooting as and when required.

Application vs. Theory

In the case of Computer Science, the focus is more on the theoretical aspect, and it involves an in-depth knowledge of programming languages. But IT is more concerned with the application aspect of the computer technology. While studying Computer Science, one is expected to master expert and advanced programming skills. The same doesn’t hold true for IT graduates, as they are expected to learn only basic programming skills.

Languages required

A Computer Science graduate is expected to learn advanced programming languages like PHP, Javascript, C++, and CSS. However, in the case of an IT graduate, familiarity with simple scripting languages like Python and Powershell is expected.

Different functions

The IT department looks after the security infrastructure of the organization. This involves setting up routers and firewalls. The Computer Science team, on the other hand, is supposed to have an expert knowledge of the lifecycle of software development.

Different focus

In the field of Computer Science, emphasis is laid on problem-solving capabilities, and due consideration is given to abstract thinking. In the case of IT, the practical application of skills acquired is given more weightage. Also, certifications carry a lot of weight as far as IT is concerned, which is not the case with Computer Science.

Different job profile

IT professionals work with software and hardware to support business operations, while Computer Scientists develop new algorithms and systems to improve computing efficiency.

Diversity in payout

Both Computer Science and IT offer lucrative careers, but a bit of diversity can be found as far as the payouts are concerned. It is a known fact that Computer Science is ahead of IT in this respect. One reason for this might be that being good at Computer Science means that one is capable of thinking out of the box at times, which is not the case with IT.

Key abilities

The guys in the Computer Science department need to have an eye for finer details; in other words, they need to be more detail-oriented since they are dealing with complex mathematical equations all the time. They are also expected to keep up with data analytics. The LT guys are not expected to be that thorough when it comes to detail. But there are other areas where they are expected to be better than their counterparts in the Computer Science department. Their abilities are put to the test when they are giving presentations. They are also expected to hone their Project Management skills from time to time.

Key skills

Computer Science people are expected to display an innovative mindset, but since they are more focused on the technical side, they are not expected to show exemplary interpersonal skills. This is where the IT guys have an edge over their Computer Science counterparts. The best of the executives in the IT department are there because they were able to impress their employers with their outstanding interpersonal skills. The best of the best IT employees managed to impress their employers by showing their ‘leadership’ qualities.

Subtle differences in other roles played by the 2 departments

To highlight how technical the Computer Science department of an organization can be, one needs to point out certain functions that would not classify as part of their major duties but are still imperative to achieve the goals of the organization. Since they are the ones dealing with complex mathematical equations, the onus is on them to publish articles in their industry that cover not only complex mathematics but also various theories on computer science. The IT department, though not as technical as the Computer Science department, has just as much to prove. For the benefit of the organization, they try their best to keep abreast of various laws and licensing policies that could affect the functioning of the business.

Conclusion 

A great way to wrap up this article would be to explain the difference between the two pillars of this highly scientific industry in simple words. For that to happen, one should refer to this analogy -

Consider a day in the life of a farmer. His job entails planting a crop. He also takes on the responsibility of maintaining the same till the time that crop is harvested. Computer Science professionals are a lot like this farmer.

Then comes the turn of the storekeepers. They are the ones who are responsible for preserving the harvested crops in storage facilities. The latter would include barns and pits. The IT people are like the storekeepers since they maintain the crops in good condition till the time they are brought to the open market to be sold to the general public.

The abovementioned analogy should explain the difference we have been searching for during the entire article. Another thing that needs to be pointed out, and one can understand that from the analogy above, is that (as already mentioned) Computer Science and IT are the two pillars of the technology we have been talking about, and it is imperative to understand that neither can function without the other.


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"Difference Between IT and Computer Science." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 19 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-it-and-computer-science>.



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