IT degree for non-software engineers

OK - I read the thread where the consensus among users was that a Computer Science degree was more valuable than an IT degree in landing a job. I am researching a degree change from Business Finance to IT and I found an IT job that listed a CS degree as a minimum requirement…which brought me to sitepoint. My college does not offer computer science, but does go all the way to a Masters in IT.

I recently started a business adding video to websites and creating web pages for facebook applications etc.

My question is this. It seems like both programs cover web development and the IT degree does focus on programming Java and php etc. and covers algorythms/database/sql etc.

I don’t want to write programs just work with web design etc. but I also want to get a job…would an IT degree and certifications in specific languages be the way to go?

What area of the world are you from?

In the US, IT is generally geared towards systems administration and networking with the option of programming/database electives, while CS is primarily software engineering or programming (but the focus depends upon the curriculum).

An IT degree probably won’t give you what you’re looking for.

Also, there are few widely accepted certifications in programming languages.

If you’re interested in just web development, you’ll either need to find a CS curriculum that focuses on web development, look at the communications curriculum, or lastly, a digital media curriculum.

Most of this is heavily dependent upon the school you’re enrolled in. So look at what’s offered and talk to advisors and professors in those majors.

I am from Washington State and the school I am attending is University of Phoenix - which lists all of their technology classes as IT. I did find one that the concentration was in software engineering… but thats not what I want to do…

The confusion for me comes from researching jobs with IT in the title…and having them require a cs degree. BTW the CS degree program that I found was very similar in classes as the IT degree at UOP.

I always thought IT jobs were just server maintenance folks too. LOL

Any thoughts on a good school to research the CS degree with…? there seems to be a lot of clutter on the internet about it.

If you would like to be a web designer you would be better of with a graphic design degree alongside devoting learning proper HTML/CSS and practical application to real-world problems. I say that because a typical graphic design degree will not teach you proper front-end development. What it will give you is a thorough education in design fundamentals which will ultimately make you more marketable. IT or CS is not the place you want to be if you would like to be a web designer.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been there, but AFAIK Washington has brick and mortar too :wink:

My recommendation is to go to one (State run maybe?) and ask to talk to a guidance counsellor (or today’s equivalent) - it shouldn’t cost you much more than your time.

If you’re set on getting a degree you might be able to take Common Core courses and take a workshop or something to get a taste of things before you commit.

And if I’m not mistaken, many educational higher-level places have online options where the professor is more there to give you help and see you a bit - but not scheduled daily class hours.

Maybe they even have a Certificate option and opportunities for Internship.

Depending on what and how much you want to taste first, of course.

A lot of good input! I have some research to do…

You can’t go by job titles these days. You have to actually read through the descriptions. Different organizations can use slightly different terminology or interpretations. In some organizations, it’s less paperwork to change the description than a title, so the title is left behind even though it doesn’t offer a good summary of what the job really is.

I’ve seen one ad for a “media specialist” and in the description it listed a lot of IT-related tasks, such as server and network maintenance. Sometimes a job outgrows its title, the responsibilities change, or jobs get merged under one title.

In all honesty the requirement for CS degrees is rather dated. While CS degrees often produce great employees I bet that a large majority of average employers would take someone on with an IT degree. Even though CS is the standard most jobs ask for “CS or equivalent” and I would consider IT to be equivalent.

My personal rule is that CS is the better degree for people that want to learn the why, along with the how. However, an IT degree or any other related degree is just fine for the world of work, as long as you’re dedicated to your work. I’ve known fantastic developers that have History and English degrees. and Google employees that have IT degrees from terrible post-polytechnics in the UK.

However, you state that you want to be involved in Web Design. If you’re looking to become a designer than IT is completely wrong for you, you’ll want to take a design degree, preferably something like Graphic Design.

This has been discussed over million times… Yes, it’s true that CS does not really teach you about web programming… However, HR’s are filtering the resume by putting the key word “Computer Science”…then this would automatically drop your resume. Look at Google, they receive 5000 resumes a day…do you really think a person would read through each submitted resume? Yes… it’s stupid that you got filtered out because you don’t have CS degree and you have all the skills necessary…but that’s the real world. Just because your school does not offer CS doesn’t mean you can’t transfer to another school. For me, I got Masters in CS and I love the lifestyle it has brought me. Anyways, think hard and do what’s best.

I agree with sg707, its good to have something to get your foot in the door or the “filter.” Having a degree in Computer Science can do just that. But more importantly get some job experience and you’ll be fine.

If web design is what you are looking for then you may want to consider a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design with a Web design and development emphasis. The degree program is offered at California College San Diego which is a reputed college offering degree programs in business, healthcare, IT and graphic arts. However, if you want to learn programming beyond web design the I would suggest you to consider a computer programming degree.

Ya thats true. For every IT field, CS back ground is needed. Even if the person completed his bachelor in science field he can also join master degree of computer science.

It is too expensive