the school i am currently at only offers the BS in computer science but there is another university in town that overs 2 computer degrees one called computer science and computer information systems. do you think these degrees hold the same amount of wieght when trying to get a programming job. jst wondeirng cause after my year off im thinking about transfering to the other school for the cis degree what do you think?

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I, along with inscissor, have majors in Computer Science and minors in Business Computer Information Systems (basically a CIS degree brought to you by the university's business school). Comp Sci definitely holds a lot more weight. CIS is really good if you want to do less science / math theory and more hands-on, I.T. type stuff.

I find CIS guys often work on systems; business systems, systems analysis etc. Comp Sci people usually end up computer engineers. I wouldn't say one holds more weight than the other. It just depends on what your goals are. I am a CIS guy and I don't really have my hands on hardware at all.

I'd have to disagree ;) Computer science and CIS courses are really worlds apart. CIS is more of an I.T. type degree. There is some programming involved, but a lot of it is end-user based and application based - and hands-on computer type stuff. A computer science degree is definitely a lot, lot more work and involves everything from calculus to electrical engineering and digital circuitry to application programming to software engineering to years of chemistry and years of physics, ... it goes on and on. It's definitely a much harder, technical, scientific degree which I could definitely say is equivalent to a math/physics/electrical engineering type degree.

Don't get me wrong, comp sci is much much harder. I graduated CIS and had 1 course that was really hands on computers, the rest where programming, math (calculus, quantitative methods, blah), management, and lots of DB stuff. What I mean is neither degree holds more weight in the professional world. If you want that C++ programmer job at "Advanced InfoTech Systems" (made up company name) then your comp sci degree is a better fit. If you want a systems analyst job, or perhaps a project management position, then CIS is a better fit. There are just as many jobs out there for CIS as for comp sci grads. The comp sci grads tend to be the bigger nerds, they tend to be smarter programmers, and they tend to start at a higher salary for their propsective entry level positions, but the CIS people lean towards the business side and tend to make lots of money (at least the smart ones).

I would be interested in seeing a comparision of lifetime earnings for both degrees.

see thats the thing is i want to be a programmer and currently have a programming job that i got with my AS in computer programming, so say i have 2 or 3 years left of school i will end up out of college with 3 to 4 years of programming experience so really i would be up there or above anyone with a cs degree when it comes time to get a job. cause what i have noticed is most programming jobs are looking for ppl that have a BS they dont really care which degree. cause they always say or equivalent. this is just what i have noticed so i figure since i could care less about all the theories and jst want to get down with programming and stuff like that. i feel i am a pretty good programmer and have will have quite a bit of programming work experience so i wont be leaving college as an entry level job i will be more of a mid level or do you guys think not?

edit: o and i have found all the theory stuff to be really hard and havent been doing so good in the university level and now i will be taken a year off so i thought i would take the time away from school to anaylize what posistion i am in right now. thanks again :)

well i have offically made up my mind i am goin to change majors and go into the CIS program

Oh wow, influenced by this thread, eh? Good luck in all of your endeavors, whichever major you wish to choose!

well i have offically made up my mind i am goin to change majors and go into the CIS program

I hope you do a little more research than just this thread when making such a big decision. There really wasn't a deep exploration of either degree posted here. Good luck either way. :D

There are actually a bunch of similar threads comparing Comp Sci to IT/IS in these forums.

yeah i have been thinking this stuff thru since tuesday when i had a really bad experience with some staff at the college i am currently attending and have decided to transfer to a school that is more student centered then research centered i currently go to NDSU and it is a college that is big on its research so i figure i will go to a different college in town that isnt so much research centered :) i will go there take a few generals and stuff so i can decide CS or CIS but prolly end up goin with the CIS but not 100% on that at the moment i need to get accepted into the new college first ;) i will let you guys know what happens

I think you should stick with CS. Too many people have a CIS degree. Why? Well, one of the reasons is just like you said:

have found all the theory stuff to be really hard and havent been doing so good in the university level...

Sure, CIS might be easier, and you'll feel better because you'll do better in the classes. However, if you're really computer savy, you'll probably end up like me; being bored out of my mind sometimes when teachers go over material where I could just learn it myself in about five minutes.

Throughout my years in CS, you have no idea how many times I've thought about switching. I've been in the same situation as you. I was probably (and still am) the person that hated CS the most. All I wanted to do was programming. However, now that it's over, I'm glad I didn't change. Sure, I still hate CS, but I realized that investing my years in a degree where I could teach myself the material, wasn't worth it. As far as CS, that's the type of material that I would not like to learn myself. By that I mean, I would have an easier time learning how to setup and secure a network if I had learned myself. However, if I had to learn physics involving calculus, I'd rather have a professor.

I think there's a stereotype that too many people make about the people in human resources. They assume "they don't care" or they are somehow incompetent about CIS/CS degrees. Well, from my experience, they do know the difference. They know that CS is mostly theory than real world application, as apposed to CIS.

What do I recommend? Stay with CS. I know you might hate it, maybe as much as I do. But if you stay with CS and devote some time on the side learning real world stuff, then you'll really shine once you graduate. Make a portfolio of your projects too. Certifications won't hurt either. That way, when you graduate, you'll have both theory (CS degree) and practice (your portfolio + certifications) under your belt.

I hope no CIS folks get offended by this. I know a lot of CIS people that are successful. ;)

well see i have a few theories about this. i think it would be better off for me to do good in my grades in the CIS department then to have bad grades in the CS department. cause after 1 year of CS i have a 1.45 GPA and that sucks but when i was in my old school and got my degree in computer programming which was an AS degree. i had a 3.29 which is good in my mind could be better but still good. and the fact that if i go slow by only goin parttime now i will take prolly 5 years to finish my CIS degree and by that time i will have 6 years work experience and it wont matter what degree i have cause to most jobs they look for ppl with a BS in CS or 5 years experience so i would still beable to get a job cause i am currently working as a computer programmer. so would this CIS degree and the Expiernce be good for me.

ps. i am still switching schools no matter what cause the current school i am in is so much research centered that they dont care about there students and the school i am switching to right accross the river in our sister city has less research to it. and i have talked to the Chair of the computer science department over there adn he has said that there is less theory stuff in there CS department so i could prolly handle there CS degree. so i will debate it after being at that school for a year my first year i will spend taking the few generals i will need after transfering or take a few of the classes that are required for both degrees and then deside on the specific degree i want to go with later on :)

I hope no CIS folks get offended by this. I know a lot of CIS people that are successful. ;)

I can't see how we would, your observations where right on the money.

Personally I didn't see a need for CS in my career. I knew exactly where I was going and what I needed to get there. It doesn't take advanced calculus and custom hash/encryption algorhythms to develop database driven content managed e-commerce websites. It takes knowledge of the SDLC, SQL, HTML and server side programming (scripting) languages. I got what I needed out of my degree, supplemented it with experience, and I have been doing great. Had I wanted to program military level security apps, enterprise level software applications, or operating systems and the sort, then I would have been amiss going CIS.

For my direction CIS was a better choice. It was only a bonus that it was easier than CS :cheesy:

Is there a trick to programming that I am not getting. I am taking CS341 and in this class as well as 241 I feel like the idiot in the back of the class trying to hide. I just can not seem to grasp this pascal stuff and I have been told that C++ is harder and I have that next. I am planning on CIS, but would love the lightbulb to turn on and possibly go for CS... Is there something that I am missing, besides a clue? I try the step by step method and seem to always get stuck with errors that I don't understand and therefor can not fix. ([Error] Project1.dpr(38): E2015 Operator not applicable to this operand type ~~ looked fine to me).
Is there a site that can help?


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