computer science vs information technology salary

Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

Computer science and information technology are both highly competitive fields, but they are also very different in many ways. If you’re considering going into either of these fields, it’s important to understand the differences between them so you can make a more informed decision about which one is right for you. In this article we will discuss Computer Science Vs Information Technology Salary, computer science vs information technology which is better, computer science salary, computer science jobs and is information technology easier than computer science.

Information Technology VS Computer Science: Which is Better?

Are Computer Scientists paid well? Obviously! That’s because the demand for IT specialists is higher than ever. Additionally, you’ll find that it’s not easy to become a Computer Science expert. Read on to know more on Computer Science Vs Information Technology Salary, computer science vs information technology which is better, computer science salary, computer science jobs and is information technology easier than computer science.

Most jobs only require a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, but you might need a Master’s degree in management positions, which demand more specialised knowledge and work experience.

Computer Science Vs Information Technology Salary

We begin with Computer Science Vs Information Technology Salary, then, computer science vs information technology which is better, computer science salary, computer science jobs and is information technology easier than computer science.

Information Technology (IT) vs Computer Science (CS) is a quite interesting discussion. Both IT and Computer Science degrees provide graduates with jobs with rewarding salaries.

This is because the world is constantly progressing in technology and students with computer and technology knowledge are in great demand. Meanwhile, in the IT vs CS discussion, don’t make the mistake of taking them both to mean the same thing.

A CS degree prepares you for jobs that involve designing and developing computer programs, software, and applications. An IT degree, on the other hand, prepares you for high salary jobs revolving around the usage and troubleshooting of programs, software, and applications.

In addition, while IT vs CS degree jobs are both rewarding, our sample of IT degree jobs has salaries ranging from $48,263 to $87,408. On the other hand, CS degree jobs sample salary ranging from $67,090 to $80,201.

Another important factor to weigh when deciding which of these technology degrees to pursue is the earning potential. Let’s take a look at what the DOL reports for 2019 median annual salaries for some of the most common computer science and information technology positions.

Median annual computer science salaries (2019):1

  • Software developer: $107,510
  • Computer systems analyst: $90,920
  • Application developer: $107,510
  • Web developer: $73,760

Median annual information technology salaries (2019):1

  • Computer support specialist: $52,270
  • Information systems administrator: $83,510
  • Network architect: $112,690
  • Database administrator: $93,750

The reported median annual salary for all occupations in 2019 was $39,810.1 It’s important to keep in mind that these numbers represent nationwide averages from workers of all education and experience levels. Even so, you can see that both fields offer career options that come with above-average earning potential.

We believe that with these, you can make good Information Technology vs Computer Science course decisions.

computer science vs information technology which is better

Next, we review computer science vs information technology which is better, computer science salary, computer science jobs and is information technology easier than computer science.

What Is Computer Science?

We will soon delve into the specifics of the discussion on Information Technology versus Computer Science. But first, let’s talk about what exactly Computer Science is.

Let us first break down the term ‘Computer Science’ into two. Once we grasp the meaning of science, it will become much easier for us to explain what Computer Science means.

Science refers to the act of conducting a thorough study of a subject. It involves the processes of observation as well as hands-on experimentation and testing in order to gain complete knowledge about the subject. That makes Computer Science an exhaustive study of everything related to computers.

what is computer science?
What is Computer Science?

You can divide Computer Science into two broad categories – theory and programming. In order to be a computer scientist, you need to be able to do two things:

  1. First, you must understand precisely how a computer works.
  2. Then, you apply whatever theory you learnt to efficiently communicate with and make better use of computers via programming.

Let us explain this to you in simpler terms.

Suppose you want to bake a cake. Would you be able to do that if you did not know about the ingredients? Of course not. You must know how much flour, baking powder, sugar or eggs would go into your cake. Knowing the recipe is the theoretical part.

Next comes the process of baking itself. You mix all the ingredients into a batter and put it into the oven. After some time, your cake will be ready to eat!

That is how Computer Science works too. So what are the ingredients of Computer Science?

Most Computer Science programs cover the following subjects in varying levels of detail/depth:

  • Mathematics
  • Electronics
  • Physics
  • Programming
  • Other engineering electives

What Is Information Technology?

The field of Information Technology is mostly focused on the business applications of computer-related knowledge. It does not focus much on the programming aspect, unlike CS.

IT students learn how to solve business problems by using technical resources efficiently. Regardless of which industry you are part of, you may be presented with applying your IT skills to its business processes.

An essential part of IT is information exchange. Considering the name of this field, it is quite clear that a large part of this field is heavily reliant on data.  Wherever there is transmission or exchange of data happening, you may have an opportunity to improve this process via efficient IT solutions.

Besides data management, you also have the option to solve networking or security problems. You can think of yourself as a troubleshooter. Whenever a member of an organization faces any technological challenge, who do they call for help? That’s right – an IT professional.

What is Information Technology?
What is Information Technology?

So whether you choose to join a software house or a supermarket, there will always be a need for an IT person. Here’s what you will have to study to qualify for such a position:

  • Networking
  • Telecommunications
  • Database design and management
  • Programming fundamentals
  • Mathematics
  • Management information systems (MIS)
  • Other domain-specific software, e.g., for accounting or inventory

Information Technology VS Computer Science: Which Degree Is Right For You?

Are you finding it difficult to choose between a CS and IT degree? Let’s break things down, discuss the difference between IT and Computer Science, and make it easier for you to decide.

There are two important questions that you need to answer honestly before you make your decision.

  1. What do you want to do?
  2. What are you good at?

The first question is a simple one. Once students finish high school, they may be lost and confused about picking a major. However, they do have a fair idea about their interests. Here is an example.

Student A is interested in making mobile apps and websites.

Student B is curious about computer networking and communication and managing databases.

Student A may not know which language they want to master, which technology stack they want to work on, or other programming specifics. Student B also might not be an expert in either area of interest. What should they do in this situation?

CS vs IT - Which degree is right for you?
CS vs IT – Which degree is right for you?

One possible solution is that both students pick subjects that cover all of their potential areas of interest. A could choose CS, and B could choose IT. Once they study these subjects in detail, they will be able to make a better decision about what option they want to stick with as a career in the future.

This brings us to our second point: What are they good at? If Student A is skilled at coding, they could easily choose Computer Science as their major. On the other hand, if student B is better at database-related tasks, they would be more likely to go for Information Technology.

Is Information Technology Easier Than Computer Science?

This question is often part of the classic “Computer Science vs Information Technology” debate. Let’s answer it for you in as easy a way as we can. Here are a few things you must remember:

  • Most people weigh the difference between Computer Science and Information Technology in terms of the level of difficulty. They think IT is easier because it has a narrower scope than CS. However, that is FALSE. The scope for both majors is very wide. And so is the learning.
  • Plus, the concept of easy and difficult is relative. If you can’t understand something, you will think that it is difficult. But if your concept is crystal clear,  you will surely say, “Oh, that’s a piece of cake!”
Information Technology vs Computer Science
Information Technology vs Computer Science
  • The third factor is your area and level of interest. For example, if you like swimming but hate cooking, you will definitely find it much easier to learn the former. When interest peaks, we allow ourselves to learn new concepts. So, if you are not interested in learning a particular subject, it may end up making you want to skip classes, or even doze off during lectures.

Studying IT subjects means you will be going through basic programming lessons, perhaps, or databases and computer networks. Unlike IT, Computer Science is based on a lot of mathematics, computation theory, and concrete programming concepts. Now it is up to you to decide which of these things are easy for you, and which are not.

Is Information Technology A Branch Of Computer Science?

An important question that comes up in the IT vs Computer Science comparison is: Is IT a branch of CS or are they the same?

Most colleges offer a degree in either CS or IT. Very few offer both CS and IT simultaneously because of the overlapping syllabus. If there was any significant difference between Computer Science and Information Technology, more colleges would consider offering both programs separately.

These are the key differences between their course contents:

Computer ScienceInformation Technology
Computer TheoryProgramming fundamentals
ProgrammingDatabases fundamentals
Software EngineeringCloud Computing
Data StructuresSystems and Network Administration
Database SystemsNetwork Security
Operating SystemsSystem Integration and Architecture
Theory of AutomataApplications of programs developed by CS majors

There is also a difference between the job opportunities available for graduates of the two majors. Some particular jobs are better suited for IT graduates. CS graduates are better at other jobs that are specifically for them. Therefore, career options differ for CS and IT graduates.

The work environment also usually differs. IT professionals typically end up working in strictly business settings. CS grads, on the other hand, have a wide range of possibilities for potential workplaces – software houses, businesses, educational institutions etc.

Computer science focuses on the efficient development of applications. On the other hand, Information Technology is more devoted to figuring out how to use those applications for solving business problems. So at this point, both CS and IT is better depending on what you choose to be.

computer science salary

Now, we find out computer science salary, computer science jobs and is information technology easier than computer science.

Are Computer Scientists paid well? Obviously! That’s because the demand for IT specialists is higher than ever. Additionally, you’ll find that it’s not easy to become a Computer Science expert.

Most jobs only require a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, but you might need a Master’s degree in management positions, which demand more specialised knowledge and work experience.

We’ve done our research and found a great report from PayScale, which reveals the highest paying Computer Science jobs in the US. We’ve included both the average annual salary and the mid-career pay – that’s how much you’ll earn after 10 years of work experience.

1. Software Development Director

  • Average annual salary: 143,000 USD
  • Mid-career salary: 157,000 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Plan & manage the software development process
  • Facilitate communication between different team members and departments
  • Communicate with clients & identifying possible product improvements
  • Train and guide junior programmers
  • Create detailed reports, evaluations, and presentations

2. Principal Software Engineer

  • Average annual salary: 135,000 USD
  • Mid-career salary: 142,000 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Scale projects efficiently
  • Maximise performance and minimise costs
  • Ensure design, application & maintenance standards are followed
  • Evaluate systems and networks

3. Site Reliability Engineer (SRE)

  • Average annual salary: 116,600 USD
  • Mid-career salary: 135,000 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Develop systems & software that improve site reliability
  • Provide on-call support and manage incidents
  • Collaborate on designed solutions with product developers
  • Ensure software delivery pipeline is efficient

4. Security Consultant

  • Average annual salary: 85,600 USD
  • Mid-career salary: 111,000 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Assess potential threats and implement preventive measures
  • Design and improve data security systems
  • Create emergency plans for data breaches or data loss

5. Development Operations (DevOps) Engineer

  • Average annual salary: 93,000 USD
  • Mid-career salary: 107,000 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Create and maintain website platforms
  • Manage cloud infrastructure and system administration
  • Prioritise and repair problems quickly
Young female Computer Science student removes the hard drive from a computer case

6. Cyber Security Engineer

  • Average annual salary: 94,800 USD
  • Mid-career salary: 106,000 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Analyse and maintain the security of computer systems & networks
  • Test and screen security software, like firewalls or data encryption programmes
  • Identify potential threats and create preventive plans and policies
  • Monitor and report security incidents

7. Security Engineer

  • Average annual salary: 95,600 USD
  • Mid-career salary: 102,000 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Design new security software and infrastructure
  • Test existing infrastructure for vulnerabilities and keep it up to date
  • Maintain the integrity and security of data and data transfers

8. Full Stack Software Developer

  • Average annual salary: no data available
  • Mid-career salary: 98,700 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Work with both the front and back end of websites or applications
  • Maintain the quality and responsiveness of software and applications
  • Organise and maintain code integrity

9. Computer Scientist

  • Average annual salary: 78,300 USD
  • Mid-career salary: 93,900 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Create and maintain software & applications to improve the efficiency of organisations
  • Use applications and algorithms to find solutions to complex problems
  • Come up with research ideas, implement plans, and analyse research results

10. Software Developer

  • Average annual salary: 70,600 USD
  • Mid-career salary: 91,300 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Develop and debug various applications and software for clients
  • Test software and create detailed reports

Entry-level Computer Science jobs

The jobs mentioned above might attract your attention, but that’s not where most Computer Science graduates begin. We all have to start our careers somewhere, so we thought it would be useful to mention some of the most common entry-level Computer Science jobs.

Computer User Support Specialist

  • Average annual salary: 48,500 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Diagnose and troubleshoot hardware and software problems
  • Help clients install software and operate computers or cloud applications
  • Log and escalate support calls, emails

Web developer

  • Average annual salary: 59,000 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Talk with clients and establish the needs and preferences of a website design
  • Design, code, and modify websites
  • Develop user-friendly pages that are easy to navigate

Software Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer

  • Average annual salary: 69,000 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Use test automation software to assess the functionality and user-friendliness of products
  • Estimate product performance, run tests and compare the results with the initial estimations
  • Use bug tracking systems to document problems

Computer System Analyst

  • Average annual salary: 67,800 USD

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  • Research and evaluate new technologies
  • Identify the hardware and software needs of organisations
  • Analyse costs and benefits
  • Tests systems and train new users

computer science jobs

An education in computer science can not only provide people with the training necessary to invent new technologies, but also allow them to identify potential improvements for current technologies.

In today’s economy, employees who know how to create and improve software are highly marketable, making the field of computer science increasingly popular among those hoping to land a well-paying job after graduation. The COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed more employees and consumers online, has magnified companies’ reliance on tech and cybersecurity professionals, making computer science credentials even hotter.

The field of computer science focuses on the study of computer hardware and software systems, and a degree in the discipline allows someone to pursue a variety of careers – and not just in Silicon Valley. The increasing use of technology throughout the business world means that companies in many industries are hiring grads of computer science programs, experts say. This discipline provides compelling career options for people with an aptitude for and interest in math and science.

Jobs for Computer Science Grads

Computer science positions are plentiful, and there are many interesting jobs available to computer science degree-holders, says Greg Law, CEO and co-founder of Undo, a software company that operates both in the U.K. and the U.S.

“I’d recommend computer science to anyone who feels they have or may have an affinity with it,” Law, who has a Ph.D. in computer science from City University London, wrote in an email. “Programming is a creative and fun endeavor – it’s the act of creation and problem solving. And unlike most other creative roles, demand for good programmers far outstrips supply; the opportunities are diverse and the financial rewards can be significant. The top tech firms in Silicon Valley routinely pay six figures a year to new graduates, and even signing on bonuses that can immediately pay off all your student debt.”

The following types of jobs are positions in which a degree in computer science is a major asset:

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning engineer
  • Business analyst
  • Chief information security officer
  • Cloud computing engineer
  • Computer science professor
  • Computer scientist or computer science researcher
  • Data scientist
  • Database administrator
  • Engineering manager
  • Full-stack developer
  • Information security analyst
  • Information technology specialist
  • Mobile application designer or developer
  • Network architect
  • Product manager
  • Research and development (R&D) scientist
  • Software developer
  • Software engineer
  • Software quality assurance manager
  • Software tester
  • Systems analyst
  • User interface designer
  • Web developer

“The most common path is to become a software developer, but there are many other paths open, including system administration and systems analyst,” Law says. “The great thing about a (computer science) degree however is that today every company is becoming a software company, so a degree in computer science gives you access to a more diverse range of opportunities and industry than almost any other qualification.”
Law says that a Ph.D. degree is typically necessary for research-intensive computer science positions, but many computer science careers are attainable with only a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

“If you want to go into research – working for a research (center) for one of the big tech companies or at a university, then it’s difficult to do so without a Ph.D.,” he wrote. “But beyond a research role, speaking as someone who has a Ph.D. and who hires a lot of software developers into highly demanding roles, I don’t feel a Ph.D. opens up any opportunities that would otherwise be precluded.”

is information technology easier than computer science

COMPUTER SCIENCE VS IT SKILLS AND TRAITS

Both IT and computer science focus on technology, but each have differences that set them apart. Knowing what inherent traits and learnable skills set you up for success in each field can help you decide which path is best suited for you.

CS TRAITS AND SKILLS

Computer science deals mostly with software, web, and application development. These traits and skills are most advantageous for a successful CS career.

  • Basic Communication Skills
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Creativity and Innovative Mindset
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Problem-Solving Abilities
  • Advanced Programming Language Knowledge
  • Strong Mathematic Skills
  • Complex Understanding of Data Analysis
  • Ability to Focus for Long Stretches of Time

IT COMMON SKILLS AND TRAITS

Information technology requires a large amount of knowledge about network infrastructure and security, data storage and analysis, and cloud administration.

These are skills and characteristics that will help you excel in an IT career.

  • Software Knowledge
  • Basic Programming Skills
  • Strong Project Management
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Problem Solving Abilities
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Strong Interpersonal Skills
  • Great at Communication
  • Understanding of Complex Business Processes and Structures
  • Excellent Written and Presentational Abilities
  • Desire to Keep Up With Technological Trends
  • Sees How Complicated Systems Work Together

Remember that both computer science and information technology are vast fields. One is not easier or more difficult than the other. Both of these areas have so much to learn, and many people have different aptitudes, so whichever one you choose should be based on what is most interesting to you.

The truth of the matter is that technology field, who are mostly computer science degree holders, are much more in demand than that of the Information Technology professionals. In recent years, with the constant increase in the demand for quality, innovative products and services, there has been a shortage of IT professionals both nationally and globally. The pay is just as important to people who are trying to determine between pursuing a career in Information Technology or Computer Science. The pay scale in either field is sure to give you a decent amount even at an entry level position but the more important thing would be your skill-set and how well you can showcase them.

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