Computer Science OR Computer Information Systems

OkasonOkason Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
I know this question has been dealt with in this forum several times, however I am in a peculiar situation and I would appreciate any advice that you can give me.

CS or CIS, which of these degrees will give me relevant and competitive skills for the job market of now and the near future?

I know that the standard answer will be what do you want to do long term?
Honestly I do not have a one sentence answer to that question. I know that IT is my passion, I know that I love solving problem and being part of a solution. However the $ sign is very important to me too and that will help determine the route and the jobs that I take.

After three and half years in IT, I am still stuck in Helpdesk (level II). My intention has been to progress to Desktop>Junior Sys Admin>Senior Sys Admin. I was open to taking either the UNIX or Windows route.

However I am not tied to that road map. I am open to switching from the Infrastructure side to the Application Support/Development side of IT. In that case I will be more open to System Analyst, Project Management, Network Security and/or the P track.

The letter P being for programming, not my first or second choice though. But like I said, the $ is important to me, I know I am staying in IT for a very long time but I want to meet both my passion and $ needs.

Thanks everybody.
All things work together for good........to them that believe..

Comments

  • demon515demon515 Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'd say go with the CS degree. That degree will offer you both the networking path and the programming path. I originally started with the networking side and became the Senior level admin for a large mortgage company. I then decided to go to the programming side and have achieved Senior lead programmer. From my experience the programming side pays better than the networking side, but that might differ in different locations. So after trying both I became an IT Consultant and I get to deal with all aspects of the IT industry and I love it! If you wanna clear six figures in the shortest amount of time I say go to the programming side, not that you can't do it on the networking side but I got there much quicker on the programming side! Then once you gain more experience it'll be so easy to find high paying jobs, trust me it's nice.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    Honestly? Go with the path that you actually enjoy and that'll prepare you for the work you want to do. There is a BIG difference between being a programmer and being a sysadmin or network engineer; (but knowing a little of one side and working on the other does help in a lot of cases). If you want a combination of both, (basically having to 're-learn' a lot of skills about IT that you didn't learn in CS, but that's what certs are for) then go for the CS degree. You're going to make money either way, it's going to be a matter of what, exactly, you want to do. This is one call that you'll have to make for yourself, and only you know the reason(s) why you'd pick one over the other.

    Now, the realistic advice aside, here's what I'd do if I were in your position: go for the CS degree, it'll get you recognition and give you some more options that a lot of CIS degrees will give. Study for certs as you work to validate your skills and experience. Put the programming degree on your wall, and put the IT-certification alphabet-soup after your name.

    Good luck, and let us know what you decide to do.

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  • KasorKasor Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    A CS degree will work.
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  • shednikshednik Member Posts: 2,005
    I have a degree in Information Systems Management(was renamed to CIS after i graduated) and feel it didn't get technical enough for me, so now I'm trying to make up for that in my Masters. The CIS degree will usually be focused on working with technology and managing the resources(atleast that was how mine was designed). A CS degree is very math, programming, computer architecture, some networks, and such from the programs I have seen. I like what a CS degree has to offer, Slowhand has the best option EE and CS...lucky bastard...I guess I'll have to be happy with my MST program :D
  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    it all comes down to the curriculum. I was a MIS major and I received the best from both worlds. I took all of the CS classes that the CS majors took, but while they were off taking EE and high level math classes, I was taking all of the core Business classes. Now I'm back in school for MBA with Technology Management concentration, and I'm very prepared for both the Business side and the TEchnology side of this degree.
    B.S.B.A. (Management Information Systems)
    M.B.A. (Technology Management)
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    shednik wrote:
    I like what a CS degree has to offer, Slowhand has the best option EE and CS...lucky bastard...I guess I'll have to be happy with my MST program :D
    Heh, "lucky" is a relative term. I've had two different engineers, one with a Master's from MIT and another with a Bachelor's from Carnegie Mellon tell me "Damn, you're going to Berkeley? I took EECS classes there, and they worked me into the ground." Ah, well, I always did think that gray hair makes a person look distinguished. icon_lol.gif

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  • shednikshednik Member Posts: 2,005
    Slowhand wrote:
    Heh, "lucky" is a relative term. I've had two different engineers, one with a Master's from MIT and another with a Bachelor's from Carnegie Mellon tell me "Damn, you're going to Berkeley? I took EECS classes there, and they worked me into the ground." Ah, well, I always did think that gray hair makes a person look distinguished. icon_lol.gif

    Well I'd have to agree the guy who is my advisor for my program used to work for Bell Labs where he helped develop fiber-optics and was the Telecommunications chair for 20 yrs he was all white haired...I can see why with a Phd in EE.
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    I would say that it really doesnt matter unless you went to Comp. Engineering.

    When its all said and done, both are viewed very similarly in the workforce. I would say go with the one you think you can do without pulling out ALL of your hair. My degree is CIS, but a CS degree wouldnt have done me any better. It would have just made me spend another year in college and go completely bald.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    brad- wrote:
    I would say that it really doesnt matter unless you went to Comp. Engineering.
    I think that's what shednik meant. I had stated in another thread that I was happy to be in a program that offers EE and CS as one single path for the Bachelor's, since I hadn't decided which way to go or the graduate work. As for going bald. . . the only thing that stays my hand in pulling my hair is that I know for a fact that my roommate is going bald. So, once he develops his full Picard-cut, I want to make sure I've got my full head of (probably salt-and-pepper) hair so I can stand next to him with confidence. After all, if you can't torment your friends about their appearance, who can you torment? :D

    icon_mad.gif <--- Technomancer (notice the look of severe anger, AND the lack of hair)

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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'd have to agree with the people who said it depends on what you want to do. My degree program is a very hands on (BS in Computing and Security Technology concentration in Computing Security done in Dec!) where as the Information Technology, Information Systems, and MIS (in the business school) are very theory based. In my opinion I would go with the CS degree because when in doubt you can always fall back to your programming skills. Get the certs (CCNA, MCSA, etc) to show you can do the hands on. Couldn't tell you number of jobs I couldn't apply for because they wanted the CS degree even though I had the skill set. Good luck!
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  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    the_Grinch wrote:
    I'd have to agree with the people who said it depends on what you want to do. My degree program is a very hands on (BS in Computing and Security Technology concentration in Computing Security done in Dec!) where as the Information Technology, Information Systems, and MIS (in the business school) are very theory based. In my opinion I would go with the CS degree because when in doubt you can always fall back to your programming skills. Get the certs (CCNA, MCSA, etc) to show you can do the hands on. Couldn't tell you number of jobs I couldn't apply for because they wanted the CS degree even though I had the skill set. Good luck!


    Hmmm...I have never ran into that when I was applying my last year and when I first graduated. Most of the programming/software engineering jobs that I applied for just asked for transcripts to show all of the CS courses I've taken. They really didn't care what the major was called or what the degree was in...they all just wanted to make sure I took the CS courses they were looking for and to ensure I did well in them.
    B.S.B.A. (Management Information Systems)
    M.B.A. (Technology Management)
  • OkasonOkason Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you all for the informative answers to this question. I have decided to go for BSc in CS. Fall Classes starts August 25th. I hope that this will be a good investment (of my time).

    Thank you all!
    All things work together for good........to them that believe..
  • LBC90805LBC90805 Member Posts: 247
    In the CSU, California State University system, Computer Science is a Science Degree. Deals only with Programming and Hardware. CIS or MIS on the other hand is a Business Degree which deals more with Business and Management. There we, are, only two programming classes with MIS when I got the degree. Visual Basic and Java! So if you want to focus on programming CS is the way to go.
  • TryPingingTheServerTryPingingTheServer Member Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Okason wrote:
    Thank you all for the informative answers to this question. I have decided to go for BSc in CS. Fall Classes starts August 25th. I hope that this will be a good investment (of my time).

    Thank you all!


    I hope you like hard work because you've just signed up for a whole lot of it! It's a journey. Best of luck to you.
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  • TmwaddellTmwaddell Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am in no way qualified to help you make your decision, but i have something interesting to throw in to the mix.

    I was speaking to my course advisor, and he says that most people who come to him asking about the MCSE/A courses are people who have already done computer science degrees and have failed to get a job because the degree is viewed in the business world as being too general and not very job specific.

    If i were you, i would stay in your current job and try to get the MCSE/A under your belt. Then look for a job which will give you experience you need, then after a while look for a higher paid job that requires experience and the MCSE/A. I have tested the waters here in London, England for demand for those Qualifications and they are held in high regard.
    Studying for my A+, N+ and MCSA.
  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    Tmwaddell wrote:
    I am in no way qualified to help you make your decision, but i have something interesting to throw in to the mix.

    I was speaking to my course advisor, and he says that most people who come to him asking about the MCSE/A courses are people who have already done computer science degrees and have failed to get a job because the degree is viewed in the business world as being too general and not very job specific.

    If i were you, i would stay in your current job and try to get the MCSE/A under your belt. Then look for a job which will give you experience you need, then after a while look for a higher paid job that requires experience and the MCSE/A. I have tested the waters here in London, England for demand for those Qualifications and they are held in high regard.


    You have a point kind of there, but those C.S. degree holders are trying to enter a field that has nothing to do with their field...application programming, software engineering, hardware programming, etc. If they didn't want to program, they should have chosen a degree that was more diversed. Again, it depends on the university, but my MIS degree was 50/50 Business and Computer Science. Computer Science was all Math, Computer Science, and a little bit of Electrical Engineering.
    B.S.B.A. (Management Information Systems)
    M.B.A. (Technology Management)
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    Tmwaddell wrote:
    I am in no way qualified to help you make your decision, but i have something interesting to throw in to the mix.

    I was speaking to my course advisor, and he says that most people who come to him asking about the MCSE/A courses are people who have already done computer science degrees and have failed to get a job because the degree is viewed in the business world as being too general and not very job specific.

    If i were you, i would stay in your current job and try to get the MCSE/A under your belt. Then look for a job which will give you experience you need, then after a while look for a higher paid job that requires experience and the MCSE/A. I have tested the waters here in London, England for demand for those Qualifications and they are held in high regard.

    But, here's a question for you, would they have gotten the job with MCSE/A alone, and no degree? I've experienced difficulty getting jobs having a degree and not MCSE/A or CCNA but, I definitely wouldn't have been considered for most of those jobs without a degree, even if I did have my MCSE/A or CCNA. What I'm trying to say is, it's important to have both the degree, and experience in today's competitive market because chances are, the other applicant does.
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    All the degree and/or MCSE does though is get you in the door. You still have to convince them you can do the job better than the other guys in the interview. It's not an RPG where you can just level up.
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  • JustAnotherGeek77JustAnotherGeek77 Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    two sides to IT my friend. Geeker or admin.. Depends on which team you want to bat for will determine what degree to go for. I have a cs. I bat for the geeker side. CIS gets you more into manager roles

    Good luck

    my 2 cents. start getting real world experience. experience is the key in this game un like others. Experience + a real degree + the ABC's of certs = $$$
  • BradleyHUBradleyHU Member Posts: 918 ■■■■□□□□□□
    To be honest, it depends on how the program is structured, and what you want to do as a career. I graduated in 2004 with a B.S. in Comp Info Sys. I knew that I didnt want to be a programmer(unless it was COBOL), so this made more sense for me to do CIS rather than CSC. At my school, both CSC & CIS take alot of the same classes, only difference is that, CSC take more math & science classes, while CIS take more business classes. but we had the same programming, discrete structures, discrete math, computer architecture, programming languages, operating systems, and software engineering classes. So once again, you just have to look @ how the programs are structured and base ya decision on that. And dont believe the hype about how if you want to do Sys/Network Admin or Sys/Network Eng., you need to have a degree in CSC, thats a bunch of bull. I know plenty CIS majors thats gone on to do that. I'm tryin to do that myself. Hell, I've been accepted to 2 grad schools so far, that want you to have a CSC degree for the master's program.
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