Thursday, November 29, 2012

Computer Science vs IT

Most people assume that all "computer people" are all the same. They all do the same work all the same way.  For those that do care to know the difference, the work they do is related and sometimes does overlap but there definitely is a subtle difference.

According to Wikipedia the definitions of each are

(IT)Information Technology -   In a business context, the Information Technology Association of America has defined information technology (IT) as "the study, design, development, application, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems".[5] 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_technology

(CS)Computer Science - Is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications. A computer scientistspecializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science

What this means is that IT is typically geared towards a specific organization and the systems that support it. This includes but is not limited to networking infrastructure, email systems, databases, security systems, application development, data retrieval, and data manipulation.

CS is a more scientific approach to computation in the sense that it works alot more with the mathematical and data algorithms to find the most efficient way to do something. it looks to find novel innovations to computation to achieve new results. This can range from developing a new processor, to devising a new search algorithm, performing simulations. Some sub categories that are part CS is Artificial Intelligence, Computer Architecture, Computer Vision, Robotics, Compilers, and Network Architecture.

Id like to think that for the most part is that IT professionals learn how to best utilize and improve existing Technology while Computer Scientists work on developing new Technology.

Both may require programming so in that capacity they are similar but how, when, and why may differ greatly between the two. Purely Theoretical Computer Scientists may only speak in mathematical notation never really programming.

Both serve specific needs but those needs are very different. So ultimately its pretty inaccurate to lump Electrical Engineers, Computer Scientists, and Information Technology professionals into a single umbrella of IT.