People who have a keen interest in computer software and hardware are naturally drawn to Computer Science and Information Technology degrees. While often lumped together, these two paths are distinct, providing a unique skill set and appealing to a different group.
Information Technology (IT) encompasses things like designing and operating databases and networks as well as installing and maintaining computer systems. People who work in IT tend to be hired more often by large companies and corporations with infrastructure that needs to be taken care of. They may work as database administrators, systems administrators, network architects, in information security, or in related areas.
Computer Science (CS), on the other hand, relates more to programming computers and requires the use of mathematical algorithms. Those with a background in CS may work just about anywhere, from the smallest startup to a large corporation. Many work as software developers and programmers, though Computer Science may also pave the way for an IT career as well.
People entering either field of study should be prepared for rigorous coursework, though CS professionals must be adept at mathematics while IT professionals must enjoy working with hardware. Both paths are ideal for people with analytical mindsets and those who are committed to lifelong learning, as new tech and methods are continuously developed. Additional career-specific certifications and licenses may also be necessary. Because the fields rapidly evolve, they may not be a good fit for someone who isn’t prepared to keep up with changes. Those in rural areas may also have trouble finding work, particularly in IT, so relocation may be necessary for some in order to find work upon graduation.