beantownmpbeantownmp Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
First off, I'm fully aware this is a technical certification message board. With that said, this is posted in the Jobs/Degrees forum ;)

I've been attending Regis University in their online ABET accredited Computer Science program for that last year. I transferred in a bunch of general ed's and I'm somewhere around my junior year. I'm starting to become very overwhelmed with the coursework now that I'm getting into the advanced mathematics & theoretical computer science courses. I absolutely love programming, BUT I am a father of 3 working 50 hours a week trying to finish my degree. I've come to a point where the school work is causing far too much stress in my personal life and need to decide whether I want to continue in an intense degree plan like CS.

I've been looking at their Computer Information Systems degree which is ABET accredited as well. The degree plan still has a good bit of programming but far less of the advanced mathematics & theoretical CS programs. It also has a good bit of business courses as well. I work for the government and can see where those business courses would have their benefit.

I feel like if I was an 18 year old kid with no life experience CS would be a far better choice. But I have almost 10 years in the military between active Army and Air national guard. I've been in the IT field for almost 4 years and have my Sec+ & A+ along with a pretty valuable security clearance.

In your opinion, do you think it is really that far a drop off from CS to CIS? Oh, another perk is if I switch to CIS I only have ~30 more credits until graduation vs ~57 in the CS degree.



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    da_vatoda_vato Member Posts: 445
    Well first off what is that you want to do career-wise?

    I possess a BS-CS and mainly focus on InfoSec but I feel that the CS opened many doors for me including understanding of concepts that I would not have gotten if I went a CIS route. I did my degree while I was on active duty army and had a family also plus my multiple deployments. I feel that the knowledge obtained from CS is priceless but ultimately it depends on your career goals.

    If you're just after a piece of paper take the shorter route but if you want to get deeper into IT perhaps even managing multiple shops within IT than take the CS.

    Personally I run a simulation lab and I have to manage programmers, analysts, sysads, net engineers and IA and so on but I would not be able to understand all of these different areas if I didn't get my CS degree and have a fond understanding of the science.
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    instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    My opinion is that if you're overwhelmed by the advanced math, it is probably because you may need to review the lower math.

    Math is one of those disciplines that builds things in stages, whereby you can use techniques from algebra even when you're working limits in calculus. If you don't understand those concepts, then you can quickly get overwhelmed whenever you see a problem that doesn't follow a pattern that you've seen before. If you thoroughly understand the concepts, then you'll be able to solve problems that don't follow the pattern of what you've seen before.

    If you think that a review of the lower mathematics is in order (which is what I suspect), then you could explore free self-paced options for mathematics to get your skills up to par.

    I have a degree in Computer Information Systems, and it is basically the downtrodden step-sister of Computer Science. I wouldn't tell anyone to get it over Computer Science.

    If you are getting stressed, you could decrease the pace of the program, take a semester off to build up the mathematics skills, and then refocus on the program.
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    NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    beantownmp wrote: »
    In your opinion, do you think it is really that far a drop off from CS to CIS?
    Definitely! A CS degree is a stronger foundation and shows more determination on your part. Employers are happy to pay the difference. Your "life experience" is actually a liability if it's an excuse to quit. All that you've accomplished before should be a reservoir from which you draw the determination to keep going. Some ways to address your difficulties include slowing down, reviewing more basic / foundational topics, or take advantage of office hours. If you can't cut it, you can't cut it. Not everyone can be in the special forces. But do your best, mate, and realize what you achieve here will matter for a long time. :)
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    GAngelGAngel Member Posts: 708 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm a CS grad from a top school. The programming is much harder in CS than the math that's where most people failed. if you don't have the passion for programming the degree will be a nightmare.

    Math is just logic if you know the formula you can solve just about anything. If you're really worried I'd get a tutor and you'll come on leaps and bounds. Doing the GRE/GMAT is also a really good way to get firm grasp of the basics.
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    BradleyHUBradleyHU Member Posts: 918 ■■■■□□□□□□
    oh boy...this topic too eh?

    it all depends on where you go to school. Some schools, CIS & CSC are the same except for CIS does more biz classes & CSC do more math & science classes.

    I got a CIS degree, but took java i/ii, data structures i/ii, discrete structures, computer arch & org i/ii, operating systems, software engineering i/ii....and those were required classes for my degree....
    Link Me
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    beantownmpbeantownmp Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the responses. Since the general consensus is the same, it's not so much the lack of intelligence so to speak is the issue, its the lack of time. I have 3 children < 4 yrs old which require massive amounts of time. Programming is my passion and would like to end up doing software development, web development, or maybe using my military & police background and getting into IA/security. With that said, I have a decent job right now as an Army IT contractor doing a range from normal desktop support to sharepoint development. Lack of experience in the IT realm is what is holding me back from that next step. My intent has been to continue this position while in school the next 18 months and hopefully upon graduation start looking at other defense contractors which has a mandatory check the block bachelor's degree requirement for the most part.

    I'm using the GI Bill which has certain requirements of how many credits i take per semester that help me the most monetarily. Slowing down won't exactly help me because I'll be exhausting the GI Bill benefits with the least amount of bang so to speak.

    If you look at the degree plans I linked to in the first post you'll see that there are still quite a bit of programming courses required to give me experience and knowledge in that side coupled with the business/IT courses.
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    sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    This may not be related to the topic, but what is the difference between MS in Computer Science and MS in Applied Computer Science?
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    spartensparten Banned Posts: 72 ■■□□□□□□□□
    was pondering the same thing not too long ago and decided to just do CS since it'll be worth alot more than one of the many "related" spinoff degrees (ie: CIS, IT, MIS, etc..)

    employers will always choose the CS degree over the others because its more math and science involved, thus more $$$$
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    instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    sratakhin wrote: »
    what is the difference between MS in Computer Science and MS in Applied Computer Science?

    Applied would be more "practical"
    The vanilla variety would be more "theoretical"

    Hope this helps.
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    instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    I believe that we may be taking the wrong approach.

    We shouldn't dismiss the idea that what is "trivial" to one may be "difficult" to someone else.

    The higher maths and theoretical programming courses are apparently causing some issue.

    My take on it is that things need to be looked at simply, and well understood, and from that point onward, refocus and move on.

    Since there is the issue of the GI Bill, I would advocate withdrawing from school while you took the chance to catch up on the Mathematics and Computing Theory courses.

    The GI Bill clock doesn't run unless you're actively using it.

    If you're just trying to "check the block" there are far more affordable and faster-paced options out there than Regis. You could just try a program at one of the Big Three if all you want is the box checked.

    If you particularly want the CS degree, then the advice that others have given about reviewing the fundamentals and preparing using free courses to cover the subjects in advance would be prudent.
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    NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    instant000's advice is quite pragmatic.
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    sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    2 instant000: I'm interested in MS in Computer Science but my BS was in Computer Management Information Systems (I know...). Most schools will not accept me into their CS programs unless I complete a bunch of prerequisite math and programming courses. Do you think that free online courses could satisfy those requirements?
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    instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    Actually, the best way to find out what courses a school would accept would be to consult with the schools themselves. Schools can be very particular about what they do and do not accept.

    If you could get the courses you take converted into undergraduate credit somehow, that "might" do it. Each school is different, so I cannot make blanket statements.

    It would help if you'd researched a couple programs, and assessed what you lacked to get into them, and confirmed what their requirements for those courses were.
    For example, you research M.S. C.S. programs at School A and School B.
    You find that both schools want prospective students to have these courses that you don't have yet: X, Y, and Z. (They should clarify what courses they want you to have before joining in their admissions requirements somewhere.)

    The question you would ask: Where could I affordably get courses X, Y, and Z for credit that would transfer into Schools A and B?

    If you can know X, Y, Z as well as A and B, you'd be ready to post up on the forum, and someone might be able to assist you.

    Here's a couple forums that might help you after you collect A, B, X, Y, and Z.

    CLEP Forum - CLEP Study - CLEP Testing - Study Guide and Strategies
    DegreeInfo Distance Learning - online degree forum - The Front Page

    Hope this helps!
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    the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I work for a university and can tell you that unless you earned credit from another college courses from Coursera, etc will not be accepted. Most of the major Masters in Computer Science require a CompSci degree or have the pre-reqs completed. As instant said, you can call up just about any college and they'll look at the transcripts to tell you what they'll take. It's rough asking them if they'll take a certain course because they are usually pretty picky.
    Intro to Discrete Math
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    ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    My vote is almost always CS. We have a couple threads in which we beat this topic into the ground, if anyone feeling more adventurous than I am wants to dig them up.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
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    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
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