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Information Systems vs. Information Technology

Both information systems (IS) and information technology (IT) offer career opportunities with long-term growth potential. Although the terms information technology and information systems are used interchangeably at times, that’s not accurate. There are similarities and differences between the two fields.

Information Technology

IT describes the technological transfer, storage, and accessibility of information. The term deals with the technological components used in platforms or products themselves.

It might be easier to think of IT as encompassing hardware, software, databases, and networks. Essentially, the emphasis of IT is to manage technology and help users make the most of its functionality. Careers in IT typically require a degree in computer science or information science. Those who graduate can find employment in cybersecurity, database or network administration, infrastructure management, business intelligence, computer programming, or software development.

Information Systems

An information system is a type of platform or collection of platforms that manage information or a technology product. For instance, the hardware and software used to create, maintain, and access an electronic health record is an information system. The computers, hard drives, and other electronic devices used to store, keep, and distribute patient records are part of the system.

IS can also be described as an overarching umbrella term for the systems, people, and processes that businesses use to create, store, manipulate, and distribute information. IS is the bridge between technology and the user. Careers include positions in actuarial sciences, analytics, programming, communications, computer security, and auditing.

IT is a subset of IS. The fields are certainly related, but those interested in a career in technology should research and understand the differences between the two fields, because careers in each area require separate paths. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in computers, consider an online BS in Computer Science or an online BS in Information Systems. Concordia University, St. Paul’s programs feature a convenient format for learning, allowing you to achieve your career goals while balancing your personal and professional commitments. 

CSP bachelor degree graduates are among the highest salaries of alumni from Minnesota colleges and universities.