cs vs cis vs it

CS vs CIS vs IT - Which Technology Degree is for You?

Computer Information Science (CIS) is a quickly-growing field which covers a wide range of topics, including those traditionally covered in Information Technology (IT) and Computer Science (CS). If you enjoy working with computers, designing programs and applications, or working with evolving technologies such as digital forensics, IT security, cybercrime, or multimedia design, then a career in Computer Information Science may be right for you!

Some Universities, including Gwynedd Mercy University, offer students the option to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Science with a concentration in a specialty such as business, computer forensics, or web and multimedia design. Because the field of computing is constantly evolving and changing, it is vital to find a program that stays on top of the latest technologies.

Some universities offer more specific degrees, including the Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, where students study computer programming and coding. Other colleges offer Information Technology degrees where students learn how to secure networks. While these degrees all fall under the umbrella of Computer Information Science, each focuses on narrower aspect of the field. Keep reading to check out our comparison of IT vs computer science vs computer information systems.

What is Computer Information Systems?
What is Computer Science?

What is Information Technology?
Your GMercyU Path to Success

What is Computer Information Systems?

Computer Information Systems is the application of technology in managing the needs of businesses, so you’ll get to put your technology skills to work in a business setting. Students in the Computer Information Systems major learn how to work with companies’ IT systems to solve operations issues. That's good news if you’re trying to decide between a degree in business and a degree in technology, since you may be able to choose both.

A Computer Information Systems degree is similar to a degree in Information Technology, but covers a broader spectrum of topics, including business. You’ll have the flexibility to work for businesses in any industry or geographical region.

Check out the table below to see some common jobs and salary information for Americans who hold a bachelor's degree in Computer Information Science, according to Payscale.

Career Median Annual Salary
Software Developer $52,903
Systems Administrator $61,042
Programmer Analyst $74,000
Web Developer $52,000

What is Computer Science?

Computer Science is the study of programming and computing. A degree in computer science will give you the foundational skills you’ll need to pursue a career in coding or computer programming. You’ll have a good understanding of the theory behind the processes involved in creating computer programs and applications.

You may find yourself comparing computer information systems vs computer science. While the two degrees do overlap, computer science programs generally give students a more thorough and complex knowledge of the design of computers and computational processes.

A degree in computer science will likely require a lot of math, as you’ll dive into the algorithms that make code work.  You’ll also need to be analytical, as you’ll spend time modeling and analyzing problems, as well as handling and manipulating information. You’ll likely work independently, applying complex algorithms and writing code that makes computer processes more efficient.

Below are some common career paths and salary ranges for students who employees who hold a degree in Computer Science, according to Payscale:

Career Salary
Software Engineer $55,166-$117,384
Software Developer $46,369-$92,087
Web Developer $40,268-$97,022
Programmer Analyst $45,032-$91,554

What is Information Technology?

Information Technology is the practical application of technology. Most businesses have a team of IT professionals who are responsible for managing the company’s IT infrastructure and assets. The difference between Computer Science and Information Technology is that computer scientists design and develop the software programs that IT professionals use and maintain.

IT specialists take what they’ve learned about computers and apply that knowledge in businesses across all industries.  The IT team in any business is usually comprised of specialists in fields such as software development, desktop support, and network security.

In Information Technology degree programs, you likely won’t get an in-depth understanding of programming, but you’ll learn basic programming and can choose to specialize in areas such as database management, networking, or security. A career in IT will give you the opportunity to interact with coworkers daily, helping to solve their technical problems in the workplace.

If you plan to study IT, you should be people-oriented and patient. Good customer service skills will help foster positive working relationships with your coworkers. This is important, because they’ll depend on you to keep the organization’s technology running smoothly.

Below are some common careers and salary information for students who major in Information Technology, according to Payscale.

Career Salary
Software Engineer $81,123
IT Project Manager $84,315
Network Engineer $65,000
Systems Administrator $61,149
IT Consultant $75,993

Your GMercyU Path to Success

Gwynedd Mercy University offers a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Science that evolves along with technology, ensuring you’ll have the most current skills and knowledge to land a job in your desired field. Whether you’re interested In Computer Information Systems, Information Technology or Computer Science, you’ll find classes and projects that suit your career aspirations. You can even choose from concentrations in web design and multimedia, mathematics, or computer forensics. You’ll find opportunities to participate in projects outside of the classroom, including ethical hacking and computer builds. This hands-on experience will help you gain the skills necessary to meet your future career goals – in whichever specialty you choose!