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Computer Science degree vs. WGU's BS:IT Software Emphasis

LunarSylphLunarSylph Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'd like to read people's honest experiences with being able to get a decent software-related job if all they have is WGU's BS:IT;SE degree. No previous related work experience.

The more I look at positions out there, the more I see "Computer Science Degree" being a requirement. How come virtually no employers simply ask for a "Bachelor of Science in IT: Software Emphasis" as per what WGU offers? Sometimes they tack on "IT major" thankfully. But it's nowhere near as common as Comp Sci.

I ask these questions because I've never had an IT-related job, but have mostly taught myself the technologies and some of the theory (Big O notation, Data Structures, MIPS Assembly, etc.) over the years. Can someone truly get a good job without a CS degree behind them?

It is not my intention to sound condescending, but isn't it somewhat unfair to the people who do get CS degrees if we can get an equivalent job without struggling with the theory? Wouldn't we who only get BS:IT degrees be looked upon by our co-workers as "not true programmers"?

I ask this because being able to eschew Calculus, Discrete Mathematics, Statistics, Assembly Language, Computer Architecture, etc. and somehow land the same job (or at least a similar job) as someone who did take those classes also seems hard to believe... and I would like direction on whether or not it is wiser (not just for me, but for anyone else at WGU wishing to develop software applications for a living) to transfer to a full-on CS program?

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I admit I'm naive (probably- you guys be the judge; I live in Small Town USA and don't have programming buddies to compare myself to).

I had thought a BS:IT (Software Development) wouldn't be all that different from a BS in Computer Science (Software Engineering), considering that people in both areas end up doing what they love: programming. Or can they? Is WGU a big mistake for serious programmers? Or can certifications (OCPJP 7, yadda yadda), GitHub projects, and an impressive-looking application portfolio even the scales?

Bottom line, I've been working through the WGU Software Emphasis program, and was surprised how simple the material has been. But my perspective is skewed since I've already completed a chunk of UW Madison's Comp Sci classes, followed by 8 years doing hobbyist-level coding.

35 CUs in one term was sort of a challenge only because I took so many in a single term. Learning the generic IT stuff, especially security and networking was OK fluff. But I prefer much bigger code-related challenges... (preferably without being forced to Minor in Mathematics icon_rolleyes.gif).

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Lastly, employers will often list "Computer Science or related degree" on their job requirements. So here is my main question: Do employers honestly hire people with a BS:IT;SE (call it "software engineering" or "software emphasis") degree when they ask for "Computer Science or related degree"?

Here are some job listings that make it hard to know "where to draw the line," i.e., whether or not someone with a WGU:Software degree could apply or not.

Examples:

Example 1
Example 2

More examples
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