If you’re considering a degree in information technology or computer science, it’s likely you have numerous questions. Whether you are trying to decide between the two, or you just want more information, you’ve come to the right place. Below, our editors have fielded some of the most commonly-asked questions about degree programs in these two related fields of study. Keep in mind that the answers provided are general in nature and not meant to represent details about any specific school or program. For information about a particular degree plan, it’s best to speak to a college or university admission counselor.
Q: Can I complete my computer science or information technology degree program online?
A: Yes. Online degree programs are available in both computer science and information technology?
Q: Are jobs in computer science and information technology in demand?
A: Yes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in these fields are growing much faster than average.
Q: Which pays more—a degree in information technology or computer science?
A: Since your pay will depend on a variety of factors, not just your degree type, it’s hard to predict which type of credential will pay more. Still, PayScale reports the average salary for professionals with a bachelor’s degree in information technology to be just over $73,000 while the average annual wage for those with a bachelor’s in computer science is over $85,000 per year.
Q: Are part-time computer and IT degree programs available?
A: Yes. Whether you study computer science or information technology, you can earn your degree on a part-time basis. Keep in mind, though, that a part-time track will most likely lengthen your time to completion.
Q: Which is harder to get: a computer science degree or information technology degree?
A: These two fields of study are comparable in terms of academic rigor. Moreover, the difficulty of a program will depend on other factors as well such as the school you attend and your prerequisite knowledge of various subjects such as mathematics, engineering, and business.
Q: What professional organizations can I join in computer science/IT?
A: Like many other aspects of computer science and information technology, the professional organizations in these two fields overlap. Some of these associations include:
- Computing Research Association
- Association for Women in Computing
- Association for Computing Machinery
- Technology Industry Services Association
- Association of Information Technology Professionals
- Computer and Communications Industry Association
It is important that prospective students carefully examine their degree options when choosing a technology-related degree. While some of the skill sets are similar, information technologists and computer scientists’ job functions and work environment can be different. The IT and computer science degree programs that prepare them for their careers prominently highlight those similarities and differences.