The Difference Between a Computer Science and an IT Degree

Difference between an IT degree and computer science degree


You’re interested in working with computers but not sure whether a degree in computer science or information technology (IT) is right for you. While both IT and Computer Science degrees can lead to similar jobs, there is a distinct difference between the two. Let’s take a look at what you learn with each degree and what kind of technology jobs they can lead to.

Computer Science Degree

Computer science majors learn how to create hardware and software, and study various computer processes and how they operate. With a major in computer science, you’ll develop technical and problem-solving skills by learning the fundamentals of different programming languages, linear and discrete mathematics, as well as software design and development.

A computer science degree will prepare you for work as a software developer and web programmer. Other potential career options include becoming a database administrator or a business intelligence analyst. These career paths require an individual who can gather and examine data used by a company or organization to support decision-making.

IT Degree

An information technology degree focuses on using computers to collect, store, share and protect information. IT uses existing operating systems, software and applications and puts them together to create a larger system that solves a specific business problem. As an IT student, you’ll get an introduction to basic theory and applied mathematics, and study network and database design in depth. IT professionals must be up-to-date with new technology and familiar with operating systems and server software as they may install computer systems, use software and maintain networks and databases.

If you’re pursuing a degree in IT, you can expect to find work in a variety of jobs, including information security, network architecture or engineer, database administration, systems administration and computer support. Some of these positions require advanced computer science and programming knowledge, such as information security, which also often requires certifications such as ISC or CISSP.

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Choosing the Right Career Path

Deciding which degree is best for your future depends on the career you want to secure. If you would prefer to install computer systems and use software to maintain databases, then a degree in IT would be best for you. However, if you prefer mathematics, software design and prefer to code websites, a computer science degree is right for you. While both degrees will set you up for a promising future, really thinking about what your best skills and interests are will help you decide which degree makes the most sense.

About Computer Science at Norwalk Community College

Your future career options are many with either an IT or a Computer Science degree, whether you’re interested in developing software, programming websites or setting up networks for a business. At Norwalk Community College, we offer an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science providing you with a great education in the fundamentals and exposing you to the technologies you’ll need for the next step in your career. If you have questions about our program, reach out to our Computer Science Department Chair Tom Duffy at or contact our admissions office at (203) 857-6800.