Information Technology vs. Information Systems


Information Technology and Information Systems are often considered the same. Information technology is a subset of the information system. The perception behind using these terms interchangeably can create great confusion for students interested in these fields or want to make a career in the same. Even though both these fields deal with computer systems, they have a few different characteristics and particular career paths that need different training and education.

In this post, we will discuss all those aspects so that you have a clearer picture at the end.

What is Information Technology?

Falls under the umbrella of information systems, information technology majorly deals with the technology involved in the various systems. This field can also be defined as the analysis, designing, implementation, management or support of computer-based systems.

This field typically consists of software, networks, databases, and hardware. It often governs the processing, acquisition, storage, and distribution of the digitized data or information that is generated through the computing and telecommunication disciplines. This specialization mainly focuses on managing technology and making its utilization better to advance the overall performance and achieve business goals.

Information Technology Course and Topics Covered

Programs available for information technology generally focus on the structural design and security of the information technology systems. For instance, some courses may include the following topics:

  • Information Security Management
  • Security in the Enterprise
  • Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Database Systems Management
  • Computer Systems Administration

Information Technology and Career Options

A career in this field often requires a degree in information or computer science and can offer various career options in the following:

  • Database or Network Administration
  • Cyber Security
  • Business Intelligence
  • Enterprise Resources Planning
  • Software Development
  • Computer Programming
  • Infrastructure Management

Possible job titles for these may include the ones listed here:

  • Cyber Security Analysts
  • IT Directors
  • Systems Managers
  • IT Architects

As per the reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the technology and computer jobs are expected to increase by around 13% between 2016 and 2026. These reports also show that the average annual salary for these professionals is $86,320. This field includes career options that pertain to both information technology and information systems.

What is Information Systems?

It is an umbrella term used for the systems and processed designed to create, store, control, distribute, and spread information. This field bridges between computer science and business.

One of the main reasons people may not differentiate between these two terms is that they think all information systems are based on computer systems. Information systems, however, can be as simple as a piece of paper and a pencil. When used together, they create systems for recording information.

Even though these information systems are reliant on the computers and other similar technology-based tools, the term anticipates computers and may also include non-technological systems. The management information system, for example. It uses information like the database to create reports, improve performance, and make decisions.

When it comes to decisions, another good example of an information system is decision support systems. These also use databases and commercial decision support systems to prepare business packages like projecting, linear programming, and decision trees.

Information Systems Courses and Topics Covered

A degree in this field generally incorporates various aspects of information theory, software and hardware systems, and networks and business concepts. Some important topics that can be covered under this course include the following:

  • Network Theory and Design
  • Foundations of Information Systems
  • Database Concepts and Programming
  • Programming in Java

Related: Operations Management vs. Project Management

Information Systems and Career Options

Since information systems deal with how businesses and humans use computers to get the work done, this field provides a wide range of career opportunities when combined with the right education, training, and relevant work experience. Some potential job titles in this area include:

  • Business Analysts
  • Systems Security Administrators
  • Computer Systems Analysts

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for computer and information systems professionals are expected to grow 12% between 2016 and 2026. In addition to this, the median annual salary for this field was $142,530 in 2018.

Information Technology vs. Information Systems

The major difference between information technology and technology systems is that the design and implementation of data or information with the ‘information systems’ is known as information technology. On the other hand, information systems incorporate the technology, processes, and people involved with information.

While both the fields involve working with other people or teams, information systems managers are more integrated into using technology and other related systems to achieve business objectives. Information technology professionals serve as an important part of the firm and are more focused on the hardware and software systems and machines.

Which Option is Right for You?

Information technology and information systems are growing fields and offer a wide variety of job opportunities along with long-term professional growth. If you want to know which field is right for you, then we must say that we cannot decide that. When you are interested in one of these fields, you must understand the differences and similarities to choose the right educational program. It is important as it will help you prepare for a career that best matches your interests, skills, and objectives.

Closing Remarks

For any other help such as knowing the best study aboard options for these fields along with universities/colleges and courses, you can count on AEC. We have a team of highly skilled professionals who will guide you throughout the process, right from shortlisting the suitable options to study visa and from pre-departure guidance to post-arrival assistance. Call us for further details.

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