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Which major is easier to obtain, Information Technology or Computer Science?

I am debating on whether to major in Computer Science or Information Technology, but I want to finish school in under 4 years. I want to know what both majors offer and what courses will be needed to be completed. Which is more coursework? #information-technology #technology #computer-science

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Jason’s Answer

Hi Gabriela,

I graduated from high school way back in 2002 :). At the time Computer Science (CS) was pretty much the degree you went with if you were interested in computers, and I thought that is what I wanted to do. After doing a bit of research, which it looks like you are doing as well, I stumbled upon Information Technology (IT). In comparing the two, I found that the CS program at the school I went to had a lot of advanced math classes, and a lot of programing classes. The IT program had a little more variety in terms of they types of classes that I would be taking. I picked the IT program and was very happy with my decision.

It is hard from someone to say which is the easier program. Typically a degree in either, from the same school, will take the same amount of time our credit hours. My advise would be to pick the program that most interests you, as doing something you enjoy will seem like less work. If you have a school in mind that offers both degree programs, take a look at the coursework involved in each, read the course descriptions and see which appeals to you.

Also, it is worth seeing if you have an interest, in programing. There some good resources, codecademy for example, that offer free online programing classes. If you take a few of these classes and decided that you don't like programing, a degree in CS will feel like a lot more work. If you take a few of the programing classes and fall in love with it CS, probably won't feel like work at all.



Jason recommends the following next steps:

Take a free programing class, or two, to see if you enjoy it.
Take a look at the classes needed to obtain a degree in each field, and see which appeals most to you.
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Kristen’s Answer

The answer is that it depends on what you want to do for a career. If you are interested in installing computer systems, maintaining servers, networks or databases and/or using software then IT is the right choice for you. If you enjoy software design and heavy mathematics and equations, computer science is for you as it is much more deep tech/coding focused. I majored in IT as my graduate degree and enjoyed the variety of classes in IT as they were each focused on a different part of IT.

Kristen recommends the following next steps:

Research the classes involved in both majors and determine if you could see yourself enjoying the content.
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Dhairya’s Answer

Hi Gabriela,
So I answered your other post about difficulty of studying IT. I'll try differentiate here between IT and computer science. As I mentioned before, don't let difficulty be the driving force for which major you chose to pursue.

So while IT and computer science are similar in that they deal with computers, data, and information technology, they are really two different majors. Computer science majors will often go on to become software engineers, data scientist, and academic researchers studying AI, computers science, and other related things. Information technology is really more about the intersection of business and technology. IT majors will often go onto careers that focus on working with enterprises and businesses that use commercial software to help achieve their business goals.

Most computer science programs are designed to teach students to think about computational problems and how to solve them. The solutions involve understanding algorithms, developing mathematical proofs to show why a given algorithmic solution is optimal, and thinking about how to solve computational problems at different scales. A fundamental part of computer science is understanding classes of problems, that is problems that can grouped together based on common features and solutions, trying to derive more efficient solutions, which in the real world can save computational resources, memory limitations, and money. Computer science graduates will often become software engineers and developers. The ones that have strong algorithm and data structures backgrounds are often sought by Google, Amazon, and other tech companies because they have experience solving hard computational problems.

Information technology is really more about understanding the information needs of a business/enterprise. You'll learn about various technologies (databases, customer management software, etc) , data analysis techniques, and enterprise technology ecosystems. The key here is that information is critical and the life blood all enterprises. Whether it is external customer data, or internal employee and business process information, all this is used by businesses to make decisions, create services and products, and drive company operations. You'll learn about storing information (databases), extracting and analyzing information to support business operations and strategic decision making (data science/ business analysis), and the technology ecosystems ( Microsoft exchange for email servers, LDAP for managing employee permissions and roles, firewalls and cyber security systems, etc) used by companies. IT careers are very diverse. They often involve installing and managing large scale enterprise software, analyzing business needs and working with software engineers to develop tools and services, understanding information security, and many other things related to technologies to support business operations and services.

Hope that's helpful. Feel free to ask more specific questions!


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