Computer Science vs Information Technology degree

Hello :frowning:

I’m in a really bad situation right now. I’ve been thinking about switching to Computer Science from Information Technology. The problem is that non of the credits transfer over to CS courses so that means I would need to restart again in the upper division courses. I have about a year left or so to finish up my IT degree.

Unfortunately, the IT degree doesn’t have a whole lot of programming in it. Which I thought originally did because there is an “Application Development” concentration area but it doesn’t go into advanced topics, just the basics. It covers Java, some ASP.NET and JSP. I honestly prefer C++ over Java because it feels more native, as I program in PHP a lot and the IT degree doesn’t even touch C++.

I need some guidance as to what to do. My goal is to eventually work for big corporations as a Software Engineer and Web Applications Developer.

I have a lot of money saved up so I was thinking that if I change degrees that I would stop working and go to school full time (5-7 classes at a time) and catch up to where I left off with IT.

On the other hand, I could stay in IT and the likely hood of ever getting a Software Engineer position would be very slim. And I would need to stick to creating only Web Applications. But I’m not sure if I like that restriction on me. I could also teach my self how to program in C++ (the advanced topics) and go from there.

What do you guys recommend?

I would move to the Computer Science course because it’s what most development jobs tend to require. Out of interest did you do much research into the courses before picking Information Technology? It’s unfortunate that none of your credits transfer across but the reality is that examining the contents of a course or investigating your options is something you should have done before taking up the course (there’s plenty of information out there on the subject). Computer science is more specific than general IT and thereby it would obviously have more inherent uses (especially as it contains a lot of programming related concepts). :slight_smile:

In my experience, computer science degrees don’t include much programming either. You’ll need to know one language (Java or C++/C#) well enough to complete the coursework but the classes alone aren’t in enough depth to make you a good programmer. No matter which degree you choose, to be a competent programmer you’re going to have to learn your language of choice more or less on your own.

But, I do agree that computer science is a degree more closely associated with programming in the eyes of those doing the hiring so, of the two, I would choose CS over IT.

I agree with both. CS Is the way to go.

You can find the flow chart here:

It look’s like I’m gonna have to switch :-/

Computer science and IT degrees are all good but my advice is for you to finish your IT degree and later pursue some certifications like MCSD,MCSE,Redhat Engineering just to name a few.Some companies actually prefer software engineers with certifications rather than a degree plus your gonna get more deep into the practical work with certifications which can be counted as experience.

I’ve actually never heard of a situation where a company would take certs over a Computer Science degree. Besides, the certs you mentioned aren’t really the type of career I’m after.

I’ve known a lot of Software Engineers and Web Developers who graduated either Computer Science and Information Technology courses but landed the same job. So i guess, it’s more of interest. If you really love programming you can focus on that field by self learning.

This is true. I’ve known a “psychologist” doing databast admin work… yes… it’s very far fetched. I think the biggest difference of having CS degree over others is that it’ll give highest percentage of getting you interviews.

I have a CIS degree and I can tell you that a CS degree is much more useful. However if you are worried about getting a developer job and not taking extra classes because of money what you COULD do is finish the IT degree and then start doing some of your own programming in the mean time. You’ll probably learn alot more programming on your own and you can put actual work down on your resume vs some other CS dude…

Ultimately a CS degree will give you better opportunities and is a better degree to probably have if you want to go into development. But if you want to save money its not impossible to stick the with IT degree…although it may be a headache.

I don’t think it’s that far fetched for people in one role to work in another… I trained in health & social care and psychology and I now work as a full time web professional (but my skills work well as a cross profession jump as psychology has a lot to-do with everything from design to marketing and the health stuff is a really useful skill which works for accessibility / usability - which is my primary specialism). I recommend more people take up non-computer courses. :slight_smile:

Computer Science is a diverse subject which allows you to choose various fields of profession with a vast job field, where Information Technology in my view is a little backdated subjects with the odds of lesser job opportunity.

I would recommend you to choose Computer Science degree rather than Information Technology degree because-

Comp Sci = Programming. Understanding exactly how computers work at their lowest level, logic and mathematical theories. (Creating computer programs)

IT = Networking and computer/server management, maintenance and repair. (Using computer programs + configuring hardware)

A Comp Sci person can usually perform the activities of an IT person.
An IT person can usually not write applications, just some scripts.

I ran into a similar problem a couple years back, though my IT degree wasn’t very far along (made it an easy decision). Eventually, of course, the specific degree that you get isn’t a huge factor, as people above me mentioned, however choosing the right path is quite essential for getting your foot in the door quickly. In this case I’d also recommend computer science since it will serve you best out the gates.

Stopping work is a slippery issue though. You’ll often be faced with a lowish paying, entry level position once you’ve graduated (not to mention student loans if you’re accruing them). A decent option is to take some online courses, especially in the initial stages of your major. The options in that area are quite good, for example shows online programs by state and their tuition rates. Just a thought.