IT Education Pathways

There are various pathways prospective students interested in information technology fields can undertake.  Generally, the various majors offered by universities are computer science, computer engineering and information systems.

Computer science programs generally focus on the study of theories and fundamentals of programming languages, software design, algorithms and mathematics.  Computer scientists learn the language of computers so they understand computer programs and the logic that make them function.

Computer engineering programs are largely concerned with the study of interaction between computer hardware and electrical components such as processors and circuits.  These programs typically include some introduction to the fundamentals in computer science, so that hardware-software integration is seamless.

Information systems or Information technology programs typically facilitate the study of computer applications and how they can be used to solve business problems.  Students usually learn fundamentals of programming, databases, computer networking and operating systems to learn to apply and support them in businesses.

 IT Careers

Computer Network Architect – Designs and builds computer networks to allow connectivity between organizations and the rest of the Internet
Computer Programmer – Writes code to provide instructions to computer programs
Computer Support Specialist – Maintain computers and other technology and provide response to computer user issues
Computer Systems Analyst – Analyze computer systems in an organization to make improvements to them to better support the business
Database Administrator – Make sure data is stored accurately and securely while being readily available when needed by the business.
Information Security Analyst – Create policies and take actions to secure networks and information from threats
Web Developer – designs and create web sites
Network Administrator – maintains and monitors a computer network to make sure it functions and

Occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (

Common IT Definitions

Computer application – a set of programs created to perform tasks
Computer network – a group of two or more connected computing systems
Computer programming – creating instructions for a computer to follow in order to perform tasks
Computer security – techniques for ensuring that data stored in a computer cannot be read or compromised by any individuals without authorization
Information Technology (IT) – The use of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, get, send and change data.   A term used to describe anything related to computing.
Information System – The collection of software, hardware and people that facilitate an organization’s operations
Data – distinct information formatted in a certain way
Database – an organized a collection of data used in computing
Database management system – software that allows interaction with other applications, the user and the database to manage data
Encryption – the translation of data into a secret code
Programming language – a vocabulary and set of grammatical rules for instructing a computer to perform tasks. Used in computer programming.

Definitions from