IT vs Computer science
In their most basic terms, Computer Science and Information Technology may not have any difference when being referred to in general and for a good reason, a lot of people do take them to mean more or less the same thing. However, speaking in strict computing terms, there is indeed a difference between the two terms.
Computer science refers to the processes used to create usable computer programs and applications together with all theory behind those processes. Information technology on the other hand refers to the application of computer programs to solve business processes. It is the application of technology in business. Information technology is very vast in terms of scale because it is applied virtually to any type of process that may require automation, from business, scientific research to the music industry, telecoms and banking.
The two terms may also differ depending on school or college, where in some schools they may use one term to refer to a course that combines IT and Computer science modules. In schools that are more engineering based, they use the computer science term as an umbrella term for all theory relating to information technology. In such cases they normally use the term ‘computer engineering’ to refer to the process of creating computer programs, both at system level and application level.
In almost all schools, computer science courses involve learning about computer programming which involves learning the basics of programming methodology, data structures, algorithms, complexity theory all the way down to learning what makes an operating system work, although at computer science level, low level programming is not usually looked at in detail as it is dealt with in computer engineering courses.
Looking at computing in general we can best organize these terms in a hierarchical manner. At a lower level we have computer engineering which is at the ‘chip’ level dealing with the internal circuitry, power and the electronics of a computer. Next level is the computer science level which tends to be quite wide because a computer scientist will actually be acquainted with low level stuff in computer engineering as well as high level programming that integrates with the chips and circuitry to make the machines work. Then at the high level is Information technology which concentrates with studying the impact of applications or solutions developed at the preceding level to business. IT finds ways of integrating these solutions into the business framework.
1. Computer science deals with creating computer programs while IT deals with the usage of those programs in business.
2. Computer science is at the ‘lower level’ while Information technology is at high level, in computing terms.
3. Information technology integrates computer science into the business world for automated solutions.
4. Computer scientists should have low level workings of computers whereas in IT that’s not necessary.