Careers in Computer Information Systems vs Computer Science

Computer information systems and computer science degrees

If you’re interested in technology, chances are you’ve thought about pursuing an in-demand career in computer science or computer information systems. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computer field is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations across business, industry, government, and education. 

Understanding Computer Information Systems vs Computer Science

Although computer science and computer information systems share many similarities, they are two distinct disciplines. When looking at computer information systems vs computer science, it helps to remember that the former focuses more on practical applications, while the latter tends to be more technical and mathematical.

What is Computer Information Systems?

Behind the scenes of every organization are dedicated people who develop computer systems to perform needed functions. These professionals work each day to troubleshoot, maintain, and upgrade hardware, software, and network solutions.
The Computer Information Systems degree program at Tompkins Cortland Community College will prepare you for a career in many areas of the computer field, including network support, network systems security, computer programming, database design, website design, and more.
The CIS program features coursework in several programming languages, systems analysis, software applications, and a newly added required course in network informations systems security—which represents a very active growth field. Additional business classes provide the necessary background in how computers are used in the workplace across different professional roles.

After graduating with an associate degree in computer information systems, TC3 students have launched computer information systems careers at Borg-Warner Automotive, The CBORD Group, Inc., Cornell Federal Credit Union, Cornell University, Enlyten, Inc., Ithaca College, Marietta Corporation, Monarch Machine Tool Inc., Pall Trinity Micro Corporation, Precision Filters, Inc., and Tompkins Cortland Community College.
Although the TCS computer information systems degree is not designed primarily for transfer, graduates have continued their educations at four-year institutions. Recent transfer institutions include the University at Albany, Binghamton University, SUNY College at Cortland, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Ithaca College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and more.

What is Computer Science?

Computer science typically refers to the engineering and design of computer hardware and software. Computer science degree programs provide students with the chance to learn the theoretical foundations of computation, including computer architecture, programming languages, algorithms, data structures, and efficiency. It also prepares students for potential employment in the field, covering computer architecture, programming, web design, and database design and implementation.
The Computer Science A.S. degree program at Tompkins Cortland Community College is based on the curriculum recommended by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). The ACM is the oldest organization for computing professionals, providing resources and guidelines for professionals and educators in the field. Again, when it comes to computer information systems vs computer science, it’s well known that computer science is more technical and rooted in academics. Therefore, the associate degree in computer science program contains a strong foundation of mathematics and science courses. 

Although our computer science degree program is designed as a bachelor's degree transfer program, some students pursue computer science careers upon completion of their degree. Potential employment opportunities include entry-level programming, web design, system design, or computer support.

Pursue a Career in Computers at TC3

Discover how to earn a computer science degree or a computer information systems degree at Tompkins Cortland Community College!