CIS or CS?

Hi. I’m looking for opinions, experience, or just plain 'ol babble.

I am looking to go to school, ehem, online, for a Bachelors in Web Development and Design. Computer Information Systems or Computer Science? Does it matter? One school offers one while another offers the other.(Devry vs. Full Sail U.)


Do employers feel one is better than the other?

It depends what you want to do as a career, I wouldn’t recommend a “web design” course right up front as every example I’ve seen of such a course involves outdated teaching, a lot of bad habits and it won’t be very helpful to a career. The web simply moves to fast for the beaurocracy of education to change it’s practices to meet modern standards. In regards to the other two, if you want to work in computing their both good courses to take, even if you (ironically) want to go into web design. You’re much better taking a more conventional course that’ll hold water or doing something that will have significant impact in your web design skills (even if it’s something like English, Psychology, Sociology or something else) than a generic web design course that will undoubtedly pass outdated information around. :slight_smile:

Hi AlexDawson.

Thank you. The CS is a 27 month run with no breaks. The usual Literature and math,etc., but seems more specialized for the web development arena.

I have a friend who is an IT manager for Cargill. He mentioned that the 3 most important hiring aspects they look for is:
1)Do you have a degree?
2)What are your communications skills?
3) Do you play well with others to accomplish tasks?

He mentioned that sometimes what degree didn’t seem to matter. The IT manager before him had a degree in Liberal Arts.

I’m 34 with children. So I’m interested in getting (#1) covered as soon as possible and not the life experience that may be gained by the college experience. I’m an unschooled computer enthusiast who enjoys challenges and thrives on problem solving. Ok, now it looks like I’m putting up an ad for a dating service. :smiley:

I’d say Computer Science all the way. Simple reason is that, if you have a CS degree then learning to be web developer is more than do-able. Plus, CS degree is known world wide. People may look at you funny if you say “I have web development degree”


I enrolled at American Public University and will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. They have a concentration program in .Net development, but as for now, I chose the General concentration. APU is Regionally and Nationally accredited. Also, it appears from my research to have a good rep. (I realize there may be negative views toward online schooling, but it is becoming more of a norm and is my only option at the moment.)

Would pursuing the .Net concentration benefit me when I graduate in 3-4 years as apposed to a more general program?

Plus, their tuition prices are much lower than most I searched out! $250 for an undergraduate semester credit and $300 per graduate credit. Devry U. was the most expensive at $575 per credit plus books. APU gives every undergrad student a book grant! So my total tuition at current rates will be $30,500 for the entire program. Where Devry is $60,000+ plus books.


This is the current Academic plan at APU for BS in IT General for any interested and/or looking for a good program.

Academic Planning - Program Requirements

Institutional Requirements 0/3

Must take the following in this Section:

COLL100 - Foundations of Online Learning      0/3 

General Education 0/38

Must take the following in this Section:

English (6 Credit Hours)     0/6 

 Must take all Courses:      

  ENGL101 - Proficiency in Writing      0/3 

Humanities (3 Credit Hours)     0/3 

History (6 Credit Hours)     0/6 

Literature (3 Credit Hours)     0/3 

Mathematics (3 Credit Hours)     0/3 

Political Science (3 Credit Hours)     0/3 

Science (8 Credit Hours)     0/8 

Social Science (6 Credit Hours)     0/6 

Core Requirements 0/39

Must take the following in this Section:

DSIN121 - Web Page & Web Site Design       0/3 
ENTD321 - Object Oriented Programming and UML       0/3 
INFO161 - Relational Databases with MS Access: Introduction       0/3 
INFO221 - Relational Database Concepts       0/3 
INFO261 - Relational Databases with MS Access: Advanced       0/3 
INFO262 - Relational Databases with MS Access: Project       0/3 
ISSC340 - Local Area Network Technologies       0/3 
ISSC421 - Computer and Network Security       0/3 
WEBD121 - Web Development Fundamentals     0/3 
WEBD241 - Web Development Using JavaScript       0/3 
WEBD242 - Web Development Using XHTML       0/3 
WEBD262 - Web Site Development Using DreamWeaver       0/3 
WEBD341 - Enterprise Data Exchange Using XML       0/3 

Concentration Requirements 0/15

Must take the following in this Section:

INFO331 - Management Information Systems       0/3 
ISSC422 - Information Security       0/3 
Choose 9 Credit Hours from the following:     0/9 

 DSIN141 - Image Enhancement using Adobe Photoshop       0/3 
 DSIN142 - Graphics Design and Print Media       0/3 
 DSIN241 - Illustration & Design Using Adobe Illustrator       0/3 
 DSIN242 - Motion Graphics Using Macromedia Flash       0/3 
 ENTD211 - Introduction to Software Design       0/3 
 ENTD221 - Introduction to Programming       0/3 
 ENTD361 - Enterprise Development Using VB.NET: Introduction       0/3 
 ENTD371 - Database Driven Web Applications Using PHP & MySQL       0/3 
 ENTD381 - Object Oriented Programming With Java       0/3 
 ENTD461 - Enterprise Development Using VB.NET: Advanced       0/3 
 ENTD462 - Enterprise Development Using ASP.NET       0/3 
 ENTD463 - Enterprise Development Using C#       0/3 
 ENTD464 - Enterprise Development using .NET: Project       0/3 
 ENTD481 - Enterprise Development using J2EE       0/3 
 INFO111 - Enterprise Data Presentation with Crystal Reports       0/3 
 INFO321 - Database Management Systems       0/3 
 INFO361 - Relational Databases with MS SQL Server       0/3 
 ISSC341 - Introduction to Networking       0/3 
 ISSC361 - Information Assurance       0/3 
 ISSC362 - IT Security: Attack & Defense       0/3 
 ISSC471 - IT Security: Auditing       0/3 
 ISSC481 - IT Security: Planning and Policy       0/3 
 ITMG321 - Information Technology Project Management       0/3 
 ITMG322 - Project Management Using MS Project       0/3 
 ITMG371 - Contemporary Internet Topics       0/3 
 ITMG381 - Cyberlaw and Privacy in a Digital Age       0/3 
 WEBD220 - Web 2.0 Fundamentals       0/3 
 WEBD262 - Web Site Development Using DreamWeaver       0/3 
 WEBD280 - Web 2.0 Management Issues       0/3 
 WEBD361 - Web Application Development Using ColdFusion       0/3 

Students may not take both ITMG321 and ITMG322 to fulfill Concentration requirements

Final Program Requirement 0/3

Must take the following in this Section:

INFO498 - Information Technology: Capstone       0/3 

General Electives 0/24

Choose elective courses through the link below as long as you still have elective hours remaining:

Select 24 Hours of 100 - 499 level course per program electives note posted above.

I’d still go with Computer Science over Information Technology. This is just personal matter but I consider Information Technology as a watered down version of CS. Well, I’d say Information Technology is a better fit for a person who wants to do away from programming but still be part of IT world.

I do wish do be in the web and database programming field. This school also offers a different program for a BS in IT Management. Do you think the program I chose is poor for this type of work? The courses required and the optional electives seem to be equivalent to other related programs. It just seems that each school calls their program by different names, but the core classes are similar.

By looking at the course, it looks pretty technical enough to be in web programming field. However, as I said before CS degree is more known and easier to get into IT world. Yes, it’s true that your course program will prep you better for the job but it may not be true about actually get the “interviews”. Usually, from big company like IBM, Verizon, and such only search for people with particular degree. I doubt they’ll search for “IT Management” when finding a web developer. Think really hard on this and hopefully you make the right choice. To me, this program would be excellent after earning CS degree.

So, from your pov a Bachelors in Computer Science looks better on the resume than a Bachelors in Science - Information Technology? I am sure you know better, but doesn’t a rose by another name smell as sweet? :wink: I suppose as you mentioned, it comes down to perception.

That’s exactly it. After all, the first part of getting the job is to get “interview”. Yes, I can say “Computer Science Degree” is a buzz word that could have little value in terms of web development. However, many people will simply ignore your resume unless you have that buzz word in it. It comes down to perception. More likely, small company would care less about what degree you have but for big corporate world, you need it.

Looking at the CS degree he mentioned, I would say it is not nearly as robust as the IT degree he is now pursuing.

The CS course listing looks like a web design degree rather than a true CS degree with courses in logic, mathematics, etc.

Web programming is a bit of an “alien” subject when it comes to the “right” kind of stereotypical degree. Many people work in the industry without a shred of a qualification and others have a wide ranging amount of skills, of course the buzzword will be a degree of some sort, but I would say the real difference will occur if you want to work in software development or producing the larger scale web software (working for one of the big name businesses). However more comprehensive the course you have picked is, I have to agree that the computer science degree expressly is something employers in the programming fields look for, whether you have something more relevant or otherwise, CS degree’s have a good solid history and foundation so their widely trusted over many other existing academic qualifications. :slight_smile:

Well, I hope my choice won’t shoot my foot:
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

I am comfortable with the school and am slated to start soon.

It’s not computer Computer Science but Science- Information Technology.
I did take Elementary Analysis and AP Calculus in high school, so hopefully this will help me as I go into this field. I do expect to fill some of my electives with at least one more higher math course.

Do good transcripts matter at first, or do you need to get past the first weeding process?

It may be a good idea to concentrate on the more “general” “electives” at first and only dip your toe into the core enough to get a feel for if it’s where you want to go. i.e. take classes that will transfer to other schools and go towards other majors if you decide you want to switch majors.

I’m assuming you’re aware that “.NET” is MicroSoft technology and not “the net” as in “the web”.