I don't know what to major in

gravyonggravyong Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm at a standstill between Computer Science and Information Systems. I like computers a lot and don't care much for business. On the other hand, I like computers a lot and don't care much for math. I've also never programmed. Honestly have been stuck on this for months. Unfortunately I have no idea what field I want to get in with IT so it makes this decision even harder. I'm no child prodigy in math but it isn't extremely difficult for me to do like it is for some people. Numbers have a tendency to frustrate me greatly but for some reason I excel in numbers based classes (Ex: Accounting, Algebra).

The fact that I've never programmed worries me when it comes to CS because the programming courses are intense at my school. My entire life I've kind of swayed towards general IT and it seems to be what I'm most comfortable with.

What I'm looking for is to make the most out of college, get a decent degree that will open doors for a lifetime. To get a CS degree would be a royal ***** as I would have to place into many math and programming courses. I am curious as to whether those with IT/CIS/MIS degrees regret never doing CS?

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  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Posts: 968Member
    gravyong wrote: »
    ...I am curious as to whether those with IT/CIS/MIS degrees regret never doing CS?

    I did my BSc in Computing (this specialised in Software Engineering).

    Do I regret not doing a degree under a different related title? No I don't. I do not believe that it has held me back, as I'm an IT manager as well as a Chartered IT Professional. If I had to do it all again (the degree), the only thing that I may change is to select a degree program that was/is also accreditied by the Engineering Council UK.

    -Ken
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Posts: 1,623Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    gravyong wrote: »
    I'm at a standstill between Computer Science and Information Systems. I like computers a lot and don't care much for business. On the other hand, I like computers a lot and don't care much for math. I've also never programmed. Honestly have been stuck on this for months. Unfortunately I have no idea what field I want to get in with IT so it makes this decision even harder. I'm no child prodigy in math but it isn't extremely difficult for me to do like it is for some people. Numbers have a tendency to frustrate me greatly but for some reason I excel in numbers based classes (Ex: Accounting, Algebra).

    The fact that I've never programmed worries me when it comes to CS because the programming courses are intense at my school. My entire life I've kind of swayed towards general IT and it seems to be what I'm most comfortable with.

    What I'm looking for is to make the most out of college, get a decent degree that will open doors for a lifetime. To get a CS degree would be a royal ***** as I would have to place into many math and programming courses. I am curious as to whether those with IT/CIS/MIS degrees regret never doing CS?

    The unfortunate thing about not caring much for business is that... you will be working a business (well, every organization essentially operates like a business... they have a budget, they have customers/clients/constituents, etc). Unless you are getting a degree just to have and you have no need for a job because you are independently wealthy?

    To clarify my position, having a degree in (Computer) Information Systems.... no regrets whatsoever. I used to do programming, but I have little desire to get my hands into coding beyond just a hobby. If I am ever involved in development, it would strictly be from a project management, code review, etc standpoint. Beyond that, CIS/IS focus on the SDLC, project management, business aspects, and whatever IT electives you choose. If you find yourself lacking in some area, look for a masters program later... they tend to be of a wider variety.
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  • gravyonggravyong Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    powerfool wrote: »
    The unfortunate thing about not caring much for business is that... you will be working a business (well, every organization essentially operates like a business... they have a budget, they have customers/clients/constituents, etc). Unless you are getting a degree just to have and you have no need for a job because you are independently wealthy?

    To clarify my position, having a degree in (Computer) Information Systems.... no regrets whatsoever. I used to do programming, but I have little desire to get my hands into coding beyond just a hobby. If I am ever involved in development, it would strictly be from a project management, code review, etc standpoint. Beyond that, CIS/IS focus on the SDLC, project management, business aspects, and whatever IT electives you choose. If you find yourself lacking in some area, look for a masters program later... they tend to be of a wider variety.

    It just seems the IS degree is 25% general courses, 50% business courses, and 25% IT courses which all have to do with business. I want to come out of a program having learned a LOT about computers, more than I already know.
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Posts: 1,343Banned
    gravyong wrote: »
    It just seems the IS degree is 25% general courses, 50% business courses, and 25% IT courses which all have to do with business. I want to come out of a program having learned a LOT about computers, more than I already know.

    This is CIS. It's about information systems, moreso than the individual parts, themselves.

    I have a CIS degree and I never once felt like I was held back from programming. Personally, coming out with a CIS degree, I felt like I was a jack-of-all-trades, as opposed to a software engineer/programmer. Many more doors were open, which worked out for me because I really didn't know what I wanted to do, so having various options was great. I felt like I had enough knowledge of how IS was used in business to know that with work I could do anything somewhat related. My niche ended up being system administration, as I enjoy it far more, but I could have just as easily walked down a programmer path, or a database administrator path, or a network engineer path, etc.

    With a CS degree, I'm sure there are many options as well, but my suspicion is they will all require programming something. Hell, I don't know, I don't have a CS degree. Go make some robots that clean my house. icon_wink.gif
  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    gravyong wrote: »
    I am curious as to whether those with IT/CIS/MIS degrees regret never doing CS?
    Not only do I NOT regret it, I still have my sanity.

    Unless you want to write drivers or create the tools other IT people use, I dont think CS has that great of an advantage over IS or IT. They're all in the same family, and you'll still have to learn programming...but, for me at least, it wasnt to the Nth degree with the post-calculus math or beyond silly programming.

    That said, it really depends alot on your instructors.
  • ssampierssampier Posts: 224Member
    Do you like math and solving major puzzles? CS is probably a good major for you.

    One example: Traveling Salesman

    Even though you're not interested in business, you're good at accounting. Have you considered majoring in accounting or finance? I think an accounting/finance major and a CS minor would be a great combination.
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  • sidsanderssidsanders Posts: 217Member
    cs grad... while math is required, programming can be kept low if you have multiple tracks to choose from. i dont view the programming aspect as something that should scare you off, though if you dont like math that could. on the math side, have you been exposed to calc early and didnt like it or just dont like math at all?
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  • gravyonggravyong Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    ssampier wrote: »
    Do you like math and solving major puzzles? CS is probably a good major for you.

    One example: Traveling Salesman

    Even though you're not interested in business, you're good at accounting. Have you considered majoring in accounting or finance? I think an accounting/finance major and a CS minor would be a great combination.
    Really have never been big on puzzles at all. Not a fan of those logic type puzzles either so if that is a big element to CS, I probably won't do it.

    I had the best grade in my accounting class, accounting is also the most failed course at my school for some reason. Honestly could not stand accounting, I would cringe when opening that book. The material is just too boring and tedious for me. Would NEVER consider majoring in it and I'm still upset I have to take a 2nd accounting course if I choose IT.
    sidsanders wrote: »
    cs grad... while math is required, programming can be kept low if you have multiple tracks to choose from. i dont view the programming aspect as something that should scare you off, though if you dont like math that could. on the math side, have you been exposed to calc early and didnt like it or just dont like math at all?

    Math is worrysome, I've never taken any calculus course either. I'll be taking pre-cal next semester. I know I'll be taking a large amount of math regardless of what program I choose. CS Requires Cal 1,2, Linear Alg, Discrete, statistics, etc. IT requires 2 courses in elementary calculus with matrices (whatever that is). Even though the IT math looks pretty high level, it's still nowhere near the math courses required for CS. Just the fact that I've never done Calculus or programmed makes me question doing CS.
  • sidsanderssidsanders Posts: 217Member
    there is always help available, math tutors, math labs and all. calculus was hard the 1st half semester for me, then once i "got it" the rest was easy for me. got it --> i think i was not looking at things correctly. didnt believe what i was being taught, and it prevented me from understanding things better. had this happen in 400 lev comp sci class on logic as well.

    for programming, it wont start out rough in my view. things can get complex based on what classes you may take. you may **not** have to take a class where you write a very limited os or compiler where programming load will be heavy.

    i think if you find precalc ok, you may not worry so much for the rest. same goes for programming. at the least you will find if it is something you want to do or switch to a diff track. even if you do well (or not), and just find you cant stand programming, you were exposed to it.
    GO TEAM VENTURE!!!!
  • ssampierssampier Posts: 224Member
    Just a theory: you're obsessing too damned much.

    Pick a good college, take some general education classes, comp sci 101, and math, date some co-eds, and relax.

    If you really dislike computer science you aren't stuck majoring in something you hate. Some of the smartest IT workers I know majored in general science and/or business.
    Future Plans:

    JNCIA Firewall
    CCNA:Security
    CCNP

    More security exams and then the world.
  • tearofstearofs Posts: 112Member
    To be honest with you, major doesn't matter at all. I have my 4 yrs degree in finance. But I work as a system administrator in IT field.
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    As a lot of people have stated the Major doesn't really matter as much in IT.
    I do think, however, that the CS degree is more respected and may open more doors for you after you complete it. The reason it is well respected is that it IS difficult to obtain with all the math and programming involved.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • gravyonggravyong Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have heard the major isn't necessary, even an IT degree is a waste of time. I wouldn't like to think that though because that's all I'm interested in and wouldn't have much motivation to do anything else. Also I've seen waaaayy too many IT job ads on craigslist requiring either IT or something related such as CS, MIS.

    Have also heard CS opens and closes doors as well to an employer who would prefer their candidate to have business knowledge. That is my main issue right now, CS or IT. My life on CS would be very stressful and I'm mostly concerned if the benefits of CS are worth all the extra hassle.
  • ssampierssampier Posts: 224Member
    We get that. I think the biggest problem is we don't know you won't like CS; you haven't tried it yet.

    My suggestion for you at this point, officially major in CS and follow the rest of my previous advice.

    If you decide that CS isn't right for you follow the path that interest you and obtain the highest GPA you are capable of.

    You can mix your studies a bit, too, and major in CS and minor in business, for instance.
    Future Plans:

    JNCIA Firewall
    CCNA:Security
    CCNP

    More security exams and then the world.
  • gravyonggravyong Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Would a person bad at logic puzzles generally have a rough time with CS?
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Posts: 1,343Banned
    gravyong wrote: »
    I have heard the major isn't necessary, even an IT degree is a waste of time.

    Highly disagree with both parts of that statement, for two reasons. The major isn't always necessary as far as where it can take you in IT, but it's a very important part of your personal development. In some cases, though, it's one of the most important aspects of your upward mobility. If you want to be in management, a CIS degree will, in almost all cases, get you there quicker. If you want to be a software engineer for Google, however, I feel pretty safe in saying that a CIS degree will never assist you in getting that job.

    Degrees also show what you should have learned and that you have the dedication to see something through to completion. A degree is important for a lot of reasons, but people tend to put more emphasis on its' ability to get you a job. A piece of paper doesn't get you a job (in most cases). The things you *should* have learned in earning that piece of paper are what's important.

    Part of the reason I take such exception to these two topics is because I didn't care much about my major or my degree when I first started college, and it seriously hurt me, as I never took the time to do a serious personal inventory, so I ended up switching majors several times. I'm now going into Pre-Medicine while still working in IT and my poor choices in the past are going to haunt me come Med School application time.
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Posts: 1,343Banned
    gravyong wrote: »
    Would a person bad at logic puzzles generally have a rough time with CS?

    I don't know that the person in question would have a rough time with the material, because I didn't major in CS, but I would bet that person would have a rough time in building logic for programming. If not having a rough time, I would at least bet that the person would not enjoy it.

    I would suggest to that person to take some time out and build some logical diagrams for mundane processes in life. What steps do you take to make a sandwich? What steps do you take to get from waking up to getting where you need to be in the morning? What things might fork in the middle and cause you to take a different path?

    Take these big diagrams, then build even smaller ones for each step in that overall diagram. For example, get bread for sandwich might be translated into "do I have bread? if not, go to store and get bread then move to next step or add bread to shopping list and quit". To me, this is the sort of stuff that at the same time intrigues me about programming, but at the same time makes me not want to program. When you get in a rut, it's a challenge, but it's annoying as hell.

    If you don't like solving puzzles like this, it's more annoying than fun, in my opinion.
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