Information Technology vs. Information Systems

What is Information Systems?

The phrase “information systems” refers to a broad category of devices, personnel, and procedures used in the creation, archiving, modification, distribution, and dissemination of information. Information systems is a field that connects computer science with business.

One reason why people might not know the difference between IT and IS is because they think all information systems are computer-based. However, all it takes to create an information system is a pencil and some paper. Distinct, the items are merely instruments. When combined, they form an information recording system.

Information systems are not limited to technological systems; its definition predates computers, despite their heavy reliance on computers and other technology-based tools. Management information systems are one example, which use data from databases and other sources to generate reports, make decisions, and enhance performance.

Decision support systems are another type of information system, since they deal with decisions. Similar to this, these systems create business packages like forecasting, linear programming, and decision trees using databases and commercial decision support.

Information Systems Courses

A degree in information systems typically incorporates aspects of information theory, hardware and software systems, business concepts and networks. For example, a few courses from Florida Tech’s BS in Computer Information Systems degree program include:

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

Information Systems Degree Programs

Information systems degrees are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Depending on the university, they may be available in the College of Business, Technology, or Engineering. Here are a few examples:

Career Paths in Information Systems

Since information systems deals with how humans and businesses use computers to get work accomplished, information systems provides a variety of job opportunities when combined with relevant work experience.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)*, employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 12% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS also states that the median wage for this career was $142,530 in May 2018.

A few other potential job titles in information systems include:

What is Information Technology?

Information technology falls under the IS umbrella but deals with the technology involved in the systems themselves. Information technology can be defined as the study, design, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems.

IT typically includes hardware, software, databases, and networks. Information technology often governs the acquisition, processing, storage, and dissemination of digitized information, or data, generated through the disciplines of computing and telecommunications. Information technology focuses on managing technology and improving its utilization to advance the overall business goals.

Information Technology Courses

Degree programs in information technology typically focus on the architecture and security of information technology systems. For example, courses in Florida Tech’s MS in Information Technology include:

MS in Information Technology graduate Robyn Powell’s favorite course was Management of Software Systems:

“In this class, I learned about all aspects of software engineering, including the design, analysis and construction of systems, and that the main goal of software engineering is to make software that is reliable, efficient, maintainable and meets the needs of the customer. We performed case studies on failed software systems, the cause of the failure and how failure could have been avoided. These studies were extremely valuable because we were able to see other companies’ mistakes and how to avoid them.”

Information Technology Degrees

Information technology degree programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

  • AS in Information Technology
  • BS in Information Technology
  • MS in Information Technology

Career Paths in Information Technology

A career in information technology often requires a degree in computer or information science and can offer several career paths, such as cybersecurity, network or database administration, infrastructure management, business intelligence or enterprise resource planning, computer programming and software development. Some job titles include:

  • IT director
  • Cybersecurity analyst
  • IT architect and systems manager

According to the BLS**, computer and technology occupations are projected to increase 13% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for careers in this category is $86,320, which is 123% higher than the median salary for all occupations. This category includes careers that pertain to both information systems and information technology.

Information Systems vs. Information Technology

Information systems and information technology are different in that the former includes the technology, people, and information-related processes. The design and implementation of data, or information, within an information system is known as information technology.

Although interacting with others is a requirement for both information technology and information systems, IS practitioners are usually more adept at leveraging technology and other systems to achieve organizational goals. Even though they play a crucial role in the operation of the entire company, IT specialists are primarily concerned with hardware, software, and computers.

Which is Right For You?

long-term development as a professional. The IT and information systems programs at Florida Tech offer “a number of different skills in the areas of business and technology,” according to Dr. Christian Sonnenberg.

For technical skills, you could study database normalization, for instance. In essence, a database becomes more efficient when it is normalized. Website response times speed up when you query a database for something because you’ll receive responses more quickly. This will ultimately result in increased efficiency and productivity inside the organization.

From a business standpoint, you will gain knowledge on subjects such as managing projects and the lifetime of systems, identifying and controlling risks, and handling expenses and staffing. Both the business and technical aspects of things are taught to you.

You will also pick up general skills like leadership, ethics, teamwork, and communication, which are fundamental to almost all of our degrees.

You should be aware of the distinctions between information technology and information systems in order to choose educational programs that will best prepare them for a profession that fits their interests, talents, and aspirations.

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