CS versus IS

byu_cougarbyu_cougar Posts: 1Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■□□□□□□□□□
Hullo all.

I'm currently beginning my sophomore year in school, and I'm having some second thoughts.

Originally I was declared as an Applied Mathematics major, but after taking an intro-programming course that I loved and a mathematical-proofs class that I despised, I decided to switch to Computer Science. I've since taken Data Structures and Algorithms and Computer Systems. Computer Systems was painful to get through.

I have several friends majoring in Information Systems, and they seem to be enjoying life a little bit more. I like programming, but Computer Science has been a lot to take in- I feel like I'm drinking from a fire-hydrant. I loved my economics course, and I enjoy statistics and business- from my understanding, Information Systems is geared a bit more towards those subjects.

I'm aware that Computer Science majors generally have higher income than Information Systems majors, but I'm wondering how significant the difference is? Furthermore, as far as job-availability goes, how do the two majors compare? I'm proficient in C++ and Python at this point- will that put me at any advantage in the IS sector? Is there as significant a demand for females in the IS world as there seems to be in the CS world?

Any and all input will be greatly appreciated as I move forward with this decision.

Thanks in advanced.

Comments

  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,596Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you don't enjoy the CS classes or feel that they are overwhelming you, then switching to IS may be the course to take. Naturally, it is your decision. While CS degree holders can make more money than a traditional IS major, it also depends on which segment of IT they are in. For instance, I know more IT security people making $100k+ than I do CS folks (I know slightly more IT than CS, admittedly, so my data isn't super relevant).

    Since you know C++ and Python, they will help you tremendously in IT, especially security. Since you seem to be a female, based on your question, you will probably find yourself in high demand. Capitalize on that but remember to keep your skills sharp. Too many people get into IT and then let their skills diminish, making them less marketable long term.
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  • jdancerjdancer Posts: 482Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Also, there's nothing stopping anyone pursuing an IS degree and taking CS courses as electives or making CS a minor.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,277Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    byu_cougar wrote: »
    I like programming, but Computer Science has been a lot to take in- I feel like I'm drinking from a fire-hydrant. I loved my economics course, and I enjoy statistics and business- from my understanding, Information Systems is geared a bit more towards those subjects.

    I think it just depends on where you want to focus your studies and what you want to do in the long run. I graduated with an IS degree and always wish I would've stuck it out and got the CS degree myself. I don't know if it would've mattered a lot in the long run... But if I was just getting a degree again I would get the CS degree. Might just be a personal thing as I think it sounds a lot better and I like to do more programming now.
  • ITSec14ITSec14 Posts: 399Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'd say your earnings potential is dictated more on what you want to do in your career and skill level rather than what you want to major in. If you come out of school and jump into a developer role, then you will probably earn more in the short term. Security roles typically don't pay as much in the beginning, but security definitely has huge earnings potential with experienced professionals who are 3-5+ years in the field. Since you are good with python, you could be an exception as well.

    I've worked with people who were Biology majors who are extremely talented technologists. That being said, I've also worked with people who have bachelors and masters degree's in technical disciplines who are mediocre. The degree is nothing more than a checkbox as far as I'm concerned.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    stryder144 wrote: »
    For instance, I know more IT security people making $100k+ than I do CS folks (I know slightly more IT than CS, admittedly, so my data isn't super relevant).
    Yeah - and I have the opposite perception. Because I know more CS folks and software engineers, my perception is that people with software engineering backgrounds make more than IT or even IT security people.

    @OP - I personally would recommend sticking with CS if you like some of the aspects of it. Again, that's a personal bias but I have always felt that CS or EE degrees can give someone a better foundation in technology. But my bias is rooted in my understanding of what is taught in colleges more than 30 years ago. My only point is that when you start out, you could run into people like me that will take a second look at a resume only because it says CS if the candidate has no relevant work experience.
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