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Masters In Information Technology Vs Computer Science

Last Updated on August 19, 2023 by Paschal Alvina

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Which is Better, a Master’s in Information Technology or a Master’s in Computer Science?

Graduates with a degree in computer science can pursue careers as computer and information research scientists, computer network architects, and computer system analysts. As the demand for new and better technologies increases, the need for highly skilled computer science professionals is also expected to increase.

An MCS program will typically focus on the computer, computing science and the software applications which run on multiple computing platforms. An MSIT program, on the other hand, will usually focus on the practical aspects of computing and meeting the needs of the computer’s end users.

Master’s in Information Technology

A master’s degree in information technology typically focuses on the practical characteristics of computers and user needs of devices and networks. Degree programs commonly provide instruction in business and technology to provide students with a well-rounded education for meeting the needs of business with information technology concepts. Students commonly develop problem-solving and project management skills through course instruction. The coursework commonly educates about theory and practice of information technology systems and related concepts, such as design, analysis, and management. Examples of core courses include management of information systems, information security management, and database system management. The business classes may include corporate finance and financial accounting.

Master’s in Computer Science

Computer science is defined as the study of computing. A master’s degree in computer science generally concentrates on computers and related components, computing, and software applications. Programs have a foundation in physics, mathematics, and engineering. Instruction often includes the life cycle of the development of computer applications, such as architecture, programming languages, software development methods, modeling, and development of algorithms. The core courses generally include primary concepts in theory and systems. Examples of courses may include numerical analysis, computation theory, operating systems, software engineering, computer networks, artificial intelligence, algorithm theories, and evaluations of performance.

Career Paths

Professionals in information technology commonly specialize in the practical application of computers and related applications and they solve problems using up-to-date technology. They focus on how to make information systems work effectively. A master’s degree in information technology prepares students for jobs in many different areas, like IT architecture, networking, data processing, systems and software design, and development of hardware and software. On the other hand, computer science professionals study computers to understand their function and then work to create new technology for devices to reach their maximum potential. These individuals also study the fundamental principles of computing. A master’s degree in computer science program prepares students for careers in an array of fields, such as software development, computer programming, computer science research, systems development, web development, and software engineering.

Job Outlook

As stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for computer and information research scientists is projected to rise as fast as the average for all jobs nationwide, increasing 19 percent by the year 2020. The need for development of new software and security systems will drive career growth. The employment growth for computer and information systems managers is also anticipated to grow as fast as the average, increasing 18 percent. Organizations upgrading their information technology systems and networks will drive career growth. The increased need for security in the field will also generate job opportunities.

Computer Science vs. Information Technology: What's the Difference?

Master’s in Computer Science

While there is quite a bit of overlap between MCS and MSIT degree programs, there are some clear differences in the MCS program in terms of scope, program curriculum and career paths.

The Computer Science Field

  • Computer science is, put simply, the science of computing. Computer scientists study computers, determine what they can do, and then create new software to take advantage of their capabilities. Computer science encompasses many disciplines, such as software engineering, artificial intelligence and hardware design.
  • Computer scientists study the underlying principles of computing, leading to computer applications in various fields.
  • Computer science is focused primarily on programming.

Curriculum

  • The essential concepts of computer science have their roots in physics, electrical engineering, mathematics and linguistics. Master’s degree programs may include instruction on the entire life cycle of computer application development, including programming languages and development frameworks, modeling and algorithm development, and software development techniques.
  • Core courses generally cover fundamental topics such as theory and systems. Theory courses may include algorithms, numerical analysis, performance evaluations and theory of computation. Systems courses typically include operating systems, database systems, software engineering, artificial intelligence, networks and graphics.

Potential Career Paths

  • Master’s of Science in Computer Science programs prepare students for professional careers in a variety of roles, including software development, computer science research, computer programming and analysis, web development, systems development, and software development engineering and testing.

Masters in Information Technology

Pursuing an MSIT degree is a smart choice for individuals who seek to specialize in the practical application of computers and software. Information technology professionals work in many different types of organizations, solving problems using the latest technology.

The Information Technology Field

  • Information technology is an academic discipline distinct from computer engineering, computer science and management information system. IT focuses on meeting the needs of users through the creation, application and management of computing technologies.
  • Information technology professionals study how to make information systems work to best solve problems, leading to their application in various fields.
  • Information technology is focused primarily on processing information.

Curriculum

  • Today’s employers are looking for skilled information technology professionals who also possess project management and problem-solving abilities. MSIT degree programs expose students to instruction in both business and technology, so they can understand how to integrate business needs with IT solutions.
  • MSIT technology courses generally cover the theory and practice of information technology systems analysis, design, creation and management. Courses may include advanced management of information systems, introduction to information security management and database systems management.
  • Business courses included in a typical MSIT program include financial accounting, organizational behavior and corporate finance.

Potential Career Paths

  • Master’s of Science in Information Technology programs provide a broad technical understanding of current and evolving technologies, so students are prepared to pursue careers in data processing, systems and software design, IT architecture, networking, and hardware and software development.
Computer Science vs Information Technology? Career Outlook

Information Technology Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for computer and information systems managers will grow much faster than the average occupation through 2018. Growth will occur as business technology needs expand, spurring demand for skilled IT professionals. However, a growing job rate may not guarantee employment in this industry. Prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research regarding actual job growth rates, which vary according to location, education and experience.

The Distinct Differences Between MSIT and MCS

Now that you know the differences between a Master of Science in Information Technology degree and a Master of Science in Computer Science degree, you’ll be able to better decide which program is the best match for your skills and interests. For example, if you’re intrigued by the combination of business and technology, then earning an MSIT degree may be the right path for you. Enrolling in an MSIT degree program will not only give you in-demand skills, but it can also help advance your career possibilities in the growing field of computer and information systems. Ultimately it will be your decision as to which of these courses you’ll choose, but simply knowing the subtle differences between the two can make a life-changing difference,

Today’s technology field is booming and constantly changing and many individuals are interested in pursuing a career in computer science or information technology. A common question students contemplating these areas may ask is which is better, a master’s in information technology or master’s in computer science. The answer of course depends on academic and career goals. While these fields share many similarities, they are also distinct disciplines.

Master’s in Information Technology

A master’s degree in information technology typically focuses on the practical characteristics of computers and user needs of devices and networks. Degree programs commonly provide instruction in business and technology to provide students with a well-rounded education for meeting the needs of business with information technology concepts. Students commonly develop problem-solving and project management skills through course instruction. The coursework commonly educates about theory and practice of information technology systems and related concepts, such as design, analysis, and management. Examples of core courses include management of information systems, information security management, and database system management. The business classes may include corporate finance and financial accounting.

Master’s in Computer Science

Computer science is defined as the study of computing. A master’s degree in computer science generally concentrates on computers and related components, computing, and software applications. Programs have a foundation in physics, mathematics, and engineering. Instruction often includes the life cycle of the development of computer applications, such as architecture, programming languages, software development methods, modeling, and development of algorithms. The core courses generally include primary concepts in theory and systems. Examples of courses may include numerical analysis, computation theory, operating systems, software engineering, computer networks, artificial intelligence, algorithm theories, and evaluations of performance.

Career Paths

Professionals in information technology commonly specialize in the practical application of computers and related applications and they solve problems using up-to-date technology. They focus on how to make information systems work effectively. A master’s degree in information technology prepares students for jobs in many different areas, like IT architecture, networking, data processing, systems and software design, and development of hardware and software. On the other hand, computer science professionals study computers to understand their function and then work to create new technology for devices to reach their maximum potential. These individuals also study the fundamental principles of computing. A master’s degree in computer science program prepares students for careers in an array of fields, such as software development, computer programming, computer science research, systems development, web development, and software engineering.

Job Outlook

As stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for computer and information research scientists is projected to rise as fast as the average for all jobs nationwide, increasing 19 percent by the year 2020. The need for development of new software and security systems will drive career growth. The employment growth for computer and information systems managers is also anticipated to grow as fast as the average, increasing 18 percent. Organizations upgrading their information technology systems and networks will drive career growth. The increased need for security in the field will also generate job opportunities.

Individuals who understand the distinct differences between these two degrees can make an executive decision on which program best suits their interests and goals. Both programs will provide individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to lead successful and lucrative careers in the technology fields.

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