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  1. Junior Member
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    Default Is Information Systems degree less reputable than Computer Science?

    i dont like programming tho
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    #2
    Not really enough that you should worry about it. Details of your degree matter in this field in this order of importance:
    1. That you have it at all
    2. Where you got the degree
    3. What type of degree it was
    4. What your GPA was
    5. When you got the degree

    If you don't like programming and aren't interested in computer science, I'm not sure penetration testing makes sense as a desired field for you. Some deep technical knowledge, including scripting and programming skills, is necessary if you want to do anything more serious then hit buttons on tools.
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  4. Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. the_Grinch's Avatar
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    #3
    All about the context of the position you are applying for. If it calls for a CS degree and you have a degree in IS (barring you have a lot of programming experience) you'll have issues. But if it is a straight IT job, either will work.
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  5. Paper cranes for everyone the_hutch's Avatar
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    #4
    In my opinion, a CompSci degree is going to be far more valuable than a Info Systems degree (this coming from someone with a Info Systems bachelors). Especially if you are interested in security, which I'm assuming you are since your screenname is CEHwannabe. You cannot be successful in penetration testing without knowing at least programming basics. So probably time to start learning to like it.
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  6. Paper cranes for everyone the_hutch's Avatar
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    #5
    When I first started in IT, I didn't care for programming (which is why I have an Information Systems degree). Nowadays, I am interested in programming and was considering getting my Masters in Computer Science. But guess what...nobody will accept you into a MS program in Computer Science if you have an undergrad in Info Systems.

    So it really just depends on how far you want to go in IT. An info systems degree is going to place certain limits on you that would not be there for a Comp Sci major.
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  7. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by the_hutch View Post
    When I first started in IT, I didn't care for programming (which is why I have an Information Systems degree). Nowadays, I am interested in programming and was considering getting my Masters in Computer Science. But guess what...nobody will accept you into a MS program in Computer Science if you have an undergrad in Info Systems.

    So it really just depends on how far you want to go in IT. An info systems degree is going to place certain limits on you that would not be there for a Comp Sci major.
    I would be surprised if this was always the case. I imagine you may need to take a couple of additional classes in programming, but I doubt it would keep you out all graduate programs in CS.
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    Yes, a CS/EE degree is far more valuable.
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  9. Paper cranes for everyone the_hutch's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by veritas_libertas View Post
    I would be surprised if this was always the case. I imagine you may need to take a couple of additional classes in programming, but I doubt it would keep you out all graduate programs in CS.
    You are correct, I misspoke. You can get accepted conditionally, but you have a fairly large courseload that you have to knock out before you can even start your MS. For me that is a deal breaker, because the military will only pay for courses that fall within a degree plan.
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    #9
    Having the ability to learn programming/do programming works just as well as having a degree in Computer Science. Most job posting I am seeing now usually say Computer Science or other Technology related degree. Where I work, most of the programmers have degrees in IS. Does it help to have a Computer Science background? Sure, but it isn't the end all be all either.
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  11. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #10
    I can completely understand why wouldn't want to pay for additional graduate classes.
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  12. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #11
    It's a tough question. In IT, an information systems degree will probably serve you better and leave you with a whole lot more directly-applicable skills. A computer science degree will be seen by hiring manager and, often times, peers as a 'harder' degree, and therefore people equate it to being 'better'. The real caveat is going to be if you ever want to venture out of IT and into another field, in which case information systems might limit you in a way that computer science probably would not. Compsci as a discipline is still pretty esoteric, and isn't quite as widely-regarded and generally applicable as, say, a mathematics or physics degree, but it's gotten to a point where computer science is receiving a whole lot of respect in a variety of fields and may join the hard sciences and math as 'generally awesome'.

    Quote Originally Posted by veritas_libertas View Post
    I would be surprised if this was always the case. I imagine you may need to take a couple of additional classes in programming, but I doubt it would keep you out all graduate programs in CS.
    It wouldn't be surprising to me at all. Computer science at that level is, effectively, applied mathematics. So unless someone were to take differential equations, linear algebra, discreet math, statistics (calculus-based), as well as a couple of semesters of calc-based physics along with programming courses like data structures, assembler, lisp, OS theory, etc., while studying for their information systems degree, it would indeed be very difficult to get into a CS grad-program without re-taking practically a whole CS undergraduate degree.

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  13. Paper cranes for everyone the_hutch's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhand View Post
    So unless someone were to take differential equations, linear algebra, discreet math, statistics (calculus-based), as well as a couple of semesters of calc-based physics along with programming courses like data structures, assembler, lisp, OS theory, etc., while studying for their information systems degree, it would indeed be very difficult to get into a CS grad-program without re-taking practically a whole CS undergraduate degree.

    This is a very accurate description of what I have run into as far as additional credits that would be required. A lot of additional math courses that I didn't take with my info systems degree and a lot of programming courses.
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  14. Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. the_Grinch's Avatar
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    #13
    Are you sure they are considered "graduate" courses? I know where I work they would be considered undergraduate and thus you would pay undergraduate prices for the pre-reqs. Once you start the graduate courses, then you would begin to pay the graduate prices.
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  15. Paper cranes for everyone the_hutch's Avatar
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    #14
    I'm pretty sure the pre-requisite courses are charged at undergrad prices
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhand View Post
    It wouldn't be surprising to me at all. Computer science at that level is, effectively, applied mathematics. So unless someone were to take differential equations, linear algebra, discreet math, statistics (calculus-based), as well as a couple of semesters of calc-based physics along with programming courses like data structures, assembler, lisp, OS theory, etc., while studying for their information systems degree, it would indeed be very difficult to get into a CS grad-program without re-taking practically a whole CS undergraduate degree.
    I think this is an oversimplification of graduate-level computer science. While the application of high-level mathematics is an integral part of undergraduate and graduate computer science, it is hardly the focus of most graduate CS degrees.

    But, I agree that trying to get into a CS graduate program without the requisite math and programming is just silly. It would be expensive and very time-consuming... In fact, in most cases it would be more expensive and just as time-consuming as first getting a 2nd Bachelor's in computer science.
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    #16
    We had a joke around the Math and Science labs. CIS = Calculus Impaired Students!

    That being said, I have a CIS degree.

    I don't thinks it's less reputable. It just focuses on a different area - business integration vs programming and mathematics. My CIS curriculum focused on business, accounting, database, low to mid level programming (data structures and below), visual programming languages, human-computer interaction and software engineering. CIS stopped at business calculus, earth sciences or biology. CS centered on mathematics, physics and programming.

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  18. Senior Member zrockstar's Avatar
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    #17
    Depends on the program and what you want to do. Since you don't like programming, then you probably aren't looking to be a programmer where a CS degree is going to hold more weight than any other degree. If you want to be a DBA, sysadmin, business analyst, project manager, etc., then you may actually find the CIS degree to be more valuable if you went to a good program.
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    My Information Systems degree included significant amount of programming (IMO):
    C++ and foundation in logic: 3creds
    C#: 6-8creds
    SQL / PL SQL: 9 creds
    Java: 3 creds

    I think it's about same with CS degrees, except they receive more advanced math.

    Edit: Sorry, and yes I believe CIS is less reputable, but it all depends on how you market yourself.
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  20. Pancakes and Lasagna kurosaki00's Avatar
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    #19
    personally I rather have a degree in Science.
    But thats my personal preference. I think science is the cream of the world

    Work Wise, like others have said. If you go for something more engineering/programming/electrical, Id go for science/engineer major.
    Else go for the information systems
    meh
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  21. Paper cranes for everyone the_hutch's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by zrockstar View Post
    Depends on the program and what you want to do. Since you don't like programming, then you probably aren't looking to be a programmer where a CS degree is going to hold more weight than any other degree. If you want to be a DBA, sysadmin, business analyst, project manager, etc., then you may actually find the CIS degree to be more valuable if you went to a good program.
    I have to disagree. Most DBA jobs tend to prefer comp sci over info systems. And this isn't surprising. Just like programming, database administration requires an understanding of logical processes, mathematical funtions, and command syntax for queries.
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  22. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #21
    Don't worry about it too much. CompSci degrees have always been considered behind the times. Plus, getting an IS degree has the added benefit of all of the business courses, which can make you marketable to those that think of IT folks as trolls in the back room.

    If you are really looking to improve your prospects, you have certifications and graduate studies that can round things out.
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    #22
    Long answer: It depends on....
    Short Answer: CS Degree > IT Degree. I look at it like this:

    If you can do integral calculus and successfully write AVL/Huffman trees, then you should be able to wrap your head around most technical things in the IT field.

    Academically, IT studies aren't mentally challenging in the way that CS studies are. They are easy, but time consuming. The most difficult (mentally challenging) things I've encountered in IT academically are binary math, base16 math, and VLSM


    Don't let my opinion stop you from getting a degree in IT though (as if it would), I'm getting mine
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  24. Junior Member Registered Member
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    I don’t think so, though I do feel that a computer science degree is the most comprehensive and advanced of all IT degrees at this level. Programming covers only one aspects of a computer science degree. You’ll be studying much more than programming as part of your CS degree such as databases, network infrastructures, logic structures, etc.
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