Many people treat Information Systems (IS) and Information Technology (IT) as synonymous terms. Yet, they aren’t synonyms. Information technology is a part of Information Systems. While they both deal with computers and have several other similarities, each field has certain peculiar characteristics. Let’s define each term and find out how they differ.

What are IS?

Information Systems unite systems, people, and processes that deal with information. They include creating, storing, manipulating, distributing, and disseminating data. You may look at it as a bridge between business and computer science.

While IS are heavily reliant on computer technology, they do not exclude other bases. Any tools, even pen & paper, can record data. It’s an entire platform to manage both info and technology products. What’s more, it always requires its main three elements: people, systems, and info processes.

A degree in Information Systems brings jobs like computer system analysts, system security administrators, or business analysts. Other job opportunities include working in actuarial science, programming, computer security, etc.

The definition of IT

As we’ve concluded earlier, IT is a branch of Information Systems. Nevertheless, Information Technology works with technologies that belong to those systems. Let’s define Information Technology as a sphere that studies, designs, implements, supports, and manages computer-based IS. IT focuses on the technological part of those systems.

As a rule, IT focuses on hardware, software, databases, and networks. These elements get, process, and store data. The aim of IT is to improve technology to assist businesses. Specialists in this field aim to make the systems functional.

A degree in Information Technology often makes specialists IT directors, cybersecurity analysts, and IT systems managers. Other job opportunities include developing new software & hardware, working with networks, business intelligence, etc.

The main differences between IS and IT:

  • IS unites technology, people, and information processes. IT designs and uses the info within the IS.
  • Information Systems focuses on different systems and ways to use them for business achievements. Information Technology, on the other hand, works with software and hardware. It also aims to improve the overall organization.
  • IT is a branch of Information Systems. The latter won’t be complete with Information Technology.

Which one to choose as a career path?

Both spheres are growing fast and bring great career opportunities. They simply require different sets of skills for a successful career. So, in case you are choosing between these two options, it’s better to pick the most suitable one based on the knowledge from this article and your preference. Think of what you understand better and want to discover more profoundly.

Information Systems and Information Technology offer long-term professional growth potential. One needs to be flexible and keep learning more when new technologies and systems appear.


Do not treat these two terms as synonyms. Now you know the definition of both Information Systems and Information Technology as well as how they differ. In the IS vs IT, there is no better or worse choice. Since they are different, they offer various advantages and tasks.