Information Systems Vs. Information Technology Degree

Oct 29, 2019

This article differentiates between an information systems and information technology degree as well as outlining admission requirements. Some courses are described as part of both curricula, and a career outlook is provided with prospective jobs and salary statistics.

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Overview of Information Systems and Information Technology

Although often mistakenly used interchangeably, computer information systems and information technology differ distinctly. Individuals who study computer information systems will have more involvement in managing a business's needs, and programs provide extensive scope for both the information technology field and the business field. Meanwhile, information technology programs cover the maintenance, management, and support of software that is used in business, providing a more specialized learning module.

Admission Requirements for Information Systems and Information Technology Degree Programs

In order to gain admission into an information systems degree program, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent. A minimum GPA might be required for some universities. Online university programs also exist for information systems and information technology. A minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or SAT score might be required to show literacy and proficiency.

Information Systems and Information Technology Degree Program Coursework

Although information systems and information technology have similar curricula, the information systems degree will comprise more enterprise- and business operations-related courses. Depending on further specialization of the degree, other subjects can be chosen. Course descriptions for some modules are stated below.

Information Systems in Enterprise

Pertaining to the information systems degree, this course focuses on leveraging systems and technological advancement to help achieve organizational goals. Students will also examine and discuss the influence of information systems on the enterprise, taking into account its current operations, procedures, and tools.

Operations Management

As the information systems degree has a broader scope that includes business learning, this course provides insight into the supply chain, operations, and transformation of resources into finished products or services. Additionally, the cost-effectiveness and functionality of decisions made in various organizations are explained in terms of their impact towards competitive advantage. Quality assurance and continuous improvement are also extensively discussed.

Systems Analysis

As a crucial part of information technology, this course can be found in both programs. Systems analysis ensures the effectiveness of software development processes by understanding their objectives, requirements, and context. System requirements are dissected and discussed in functional and nonfunctional methods for an information systems project. Project management through systems development tools and techniques make up this course.

Cybersecurity

Commonly found in both programs, this course introduces the fundamental concepts and discusses the ethics of cybersecurity. Students will be required to use different security tools and identify how these tools might be abused. Moreover, students will be taught how to discover vulnerabilities and report them for fixing. As this course offers continuous learning based on current innovations, students will analyze new threat types and explain why security professionals require continuous insight into current threats.

Information Technology Architecture

Information technology architecture, which requires technological literacy, can only be found in the information technology degree curriculum. Students will gain knowledge on operating systems, network operating systems, distributed systems, as well as distributed application architectures. Embedded current trends and technology in each constituent are reviewed.

How to Choose an Information Systems or Information Technology Degree

When choosing between an information systems or information technology degree, students must ensure that the university they are enrolling in has proper accreditations. Also, students' preference for theoretical or practical learning framework should be aligned to the curriculum and course modules. Some universities offer a more specialized approach to the information systems or information technology degree, which is an optional factor to consider. Additionally, if students prefer the versatility of management courses in combination with information technology, perhaps an information systems degree would be a better choice. Ultimately, further specialization can be achieved by obtaining a master's degree in a related, but more specific branch of information technology.

Career Options with an Information Systems or Information Technology Degree

Graduates of an information systems or information technology degree program are eligible for systems-, software-, or project engineering-related careers, among others. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the information technology sector is projected to have a 12 percent growth between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for occupations in this sector was $86,320 as of May 2018, much higher than the median wage for all occupations, which was $38,640.

Listed below are some of the potential occupations in the information systems and information technology fields.

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