By Cooper Nelson
Information technology and information systems are closely related fields. Though many people use the two terms interchangeably, they are not the same. Before you enroll in an information systems or information technology (IT) degree program, you should take time to understand the difference.
Here’s a look at the fields of information technology and information systems to help you decide which subject better matches your interests and career goals.
Information technology involves computer systems and devices that are used to store and provide access to information. IT is a very broad field, but its primary focus is the computer infrastructure needed to collect, store and transform data. The field of IT also includes communication systems, robotics and other tools that rely on digital architecture.
Though the field of information technology can encompass a wide range of specialized systems, it typically focuses on four main areas.
Here are the degrees to consider if you are interested in a tech education.
If you already have a tech-related degree, you can consider pursuing IT-related continuing education courses to learn specific skills that can help you transition to a technical role or enhance your education with a master’s degree or certificate.
Information technology is an ever-evolving field as technology continues to evolve and new threats emerge. Here are some of today’s most common career paths to pursue with an IT degree.
Information systems are used to collect, store, transform, analyze and process data. Information systems specialists can use IT infrastructure, but their primary focus is the access to and use of data.
While today’s business world runs on computers, information systems could hypothetically include paper files, notebooks and other non-digital methods.
Information systems can be created for specific purposes, such as informing decision-making, analyzing data or feeding information to machine learning programs.
Information systems degrees are available at undergraduate and graduate levels. Some colleges offer master degree programs in information systems that are meant to build on a bachelor’s degree in information systems, IT and computer science.
Like IT, information systems careers can cover a wide variety of specialties. Growing fields like data science and machine learning are leading to new positions that require specific knowledge. This is why continuing education and graduate degrees are so common for information systems professionals.
Here are five common career options for people with information systems degrees.
Some careers, such as those involving cybersecurity, fit under both information systems and information technology umbrellas.
The best tech field is the one that matches your skills and interests. Both information systems and information technology require technical knowledge, so your early education will be similar regardless of your choice.
However, if you are interested in creating and maintaining a broad technical infrastructure, IT is a better career choice. If you prefer to focus on the analysis and use of data, information systems could be a better field for you.
If you are uncertain, visit phoenix.edu to explore technology degree offerings to help decide which field is the best match for your experience, interests and professional goals.
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