Difference Between CompSci and IT?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ideafx, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. ideafx

    ideafx New Member

    Is there a major difference?

    I assume CompSci is more challenging just by looking at the course curriculum for most schools. But do most employers, particularly HR people, understand the difference?

    I work in an industry that employs a lot of techs, engineers, and programmers (building controls/automation). Right now, I'm just a tech but I would like to pursue a career on the programming side.

    The school I'm most interested in right now is Troy. I like their BS in Applied CompSci program, with a minor in Bus. Admin. The tuition is also very reasonable compared to other schools.

    However, I was placed on academic suspension about five years ago at another state university. I never went back and pursued a full-time job instead. I hope that doesn't hurt my chances of getting in.
  2. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I think it depends on the reason for your suspension:
    • If it was threatening a teacher, causing damage to property, not paying debts, plagerism, or similar then that will hurt your chances.
    • If it was for consistant low grades, missing classes, or similar then that can be explained away "now that you are more mature."
  3. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I used to work in the high-tech dot.com industry before I got burnt out and took a break. Here is what the difference is:

    IT/MIS - This is for people that want to maintain the servers and networks that run business applications, or in the case of a dot.com, the entire site. Entry level IT jobs include hands on troubleshooting and repair. Higher level jobs move more towards the design of these systems and networks. Even higher levels involve strategizing about data storage, optimal business strategies, etc. IT and MIS typically has more of a business focus beyond the entry level jobs.

    CS - This is a more technical programming degree. CS involves more higher level math and programming languages. CS graduates tend to find jobs that involve more actual programming rather than network design etc. This doesn't mean CS graduates can't move into IT, they can and many do. CS tends to be a more technical degree than IT/MIS, however.

    I'm sure some here might disagree but this is typically how it was in the companies I worked at. Many of the people programming and writing code were CS grads and the ones in the operations areas such as network engineering, UNIX systems, business applications were MIS/IT grads. There is always cross over, of course, as people change focus and change careers.
  4. pooples

    pooples New Member

    In my experience from looking at different schools’ curriculums, “Computer Science” focuses on software development and programming and “Information Technology” or “Information Systems” focuses on networking theory and hardware and other computing devices. This may not be true for all schools, but from what I have seen it is a pretty accurate statement. My B.S. in Internetworking Technology from Strayer curriculum was mostly Cisco routing and switching classes, and my M.S. in Information Systems from Strayer curriculum was mostly TCP/IP, routing, and network management principles.

    Although my official job title is “Network Architect Design Engineer SME” when people ask me what I do I just tell them I’m an “IT Engineer”. So because of what I do I would seek a degree in IT over Computer Science. I think you have to look at the curriculum and decide what it is you want to get from your degree. Honestly, I avoided a degree in Computer Science like the plague because it sounds so High School, at least to me… That and I loathe programming.

    I researched a lot of schools when choosing a Ph.D. program. Capella University’s Ph.D. in IT seemed like it was really light on programming and stuff like that. I ultimately chose NOVA Southeastern University’s Ph.D. in Information Systems program because they offered a good mix in their curriculum. They do have a Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, and Information Science programs too under the same Ph.D. umbrella that emphasize different aspects of the subject. Each one has benefits over the other, depending on what you will use it for. I think that would hold true for any degree of any level.

    I hope seeing it from my perspective helps.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    If you're going for Programming, would recommend for Software Engineering. However, Troy University's program is can be started off. I like the fact that Computer Science is more flexible than BS in Information System, Information Technology, or Software Engineering. With a Computer Science degree, you can shift any direction in the Information Technology World.

  6. ideafx

    ideafx New Member

    I was looking through Peterson's guide, but couldn't find many schools that offered a BS in Software Engineering through DL.

    Do you know of any?
  7. tcmak

    tcmak New Member

    ACM (Association of Computer Machinery) has a curriculum recommendation for Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Information Systems, and Information Technology http://www.acm.org/education/curricula-recommendations and http://www.acm.org/education/education/curric_vols/CC2005-March06Final.pdf

    In particular, disciplines are compared in two dimensions: 1) theoretical to application 2) Organisational issues to underlying hardware issues

    Computer Science is mostly on theoretical issues, and covering Application Technologies, Software Methods, and System Infrastructure

    Information Technology, on the other hand, covers mostly the application side of the organisational issues, application technologies, software methods, and system infrastructure.

    It is worthwhile to note that there is a common saying on computer science programmes focus on programming. I don't think this is very correct. Computer Science covers the nature of computation. Programming is only an activity that realises the theories Computer Scientists are interested in. There are far more practical aspects of programming that usually covered by most Computer Scinece curriculum. In the ACM report, Software Engineering should fill this gap very well.


    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    There are certain school offers the program like Colorado Technical University's program. However, the tuition is higher than Troy University. There are lot of Master in Software Engineering. You should start with Troy's program if you have fiancial issue. Then move on to Master in Software Engineering.
  9. cklapka

    cklapka Member

    Here is a response I wrote in another forum to a similar question, that one in terms of comparing Software Engineering and Computer Science. I added IT/CIS/SD all together to help that poster out. Much of what I wrote has already been stated here and I only add it for reference.


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