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    Default BSCS vs BSIT: An alternative question

    ****DO NOT TURN THIS INTO A FLAME THREAD*****


    Ok so I have been talking to a few people about what I want to do about a BS. I have changed jobs and asked a different set of people than the people I asked before*. I was very shocked to find that all but one said I should do a BSCS over a BSIT.
    I started to think why, what makes them think this. As I questioned them further, they seemed to believe that a BSCS is "higher" than a BSIT. I started thinking about what might give them that impression and I came up with is the sheer amount of schools you can get a BSIT from vs a BSCS. I first thought it could be the math involved, but for a lot of schools that offer both degree programs, the actual math involved is the same. Of course the gen eds are the same as well. To me, it seems that there are a lot more options (at least in my area) for IT rather than CS. Why do you think that is? Is there just not that much a need for CS majors? I read somewhere that India produces more Engineers/CS students in 1 year than the entire workforce in the USA. Does a CS degree not mean as much as it use to because of that? Is it the subject matter itself? Is the stigma of Software Development jobs going overseas starting to wear on the educational market and thus people want to do IT degrees vs CS degrees. Could it be that math? TBH I am ready to be challenged by the Calc but I can understand anyone who wants to stay away from it. In fact I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it until just recently. Could it be a mixture of those reasons? I wonder if it is simply that a CS degree doesn't give a good enough ROI vs an IT degree. That would depend of course on how you measure ROI....

    The person who told me to do an IT degree said you don't learn enough of the business of IT by doing a CS degree. He also said CS degrees are less well rounded. I am not sure if that is true or not. All in all I still want to do it, because if I am going to secure a box, I should really know how they work, what they do, etc. What do the TE folk think?

    BTW I am not saying if you do a certain degree you are smart or if you don't you are stupid. There are brilliant HS students and dumb ass doctors. To each his/her own. I can only speak for knwminus and the opinions expressed in this post are my own.
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  3. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #2
    I picked IT because the initials are cooler!
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  4. Cyber Ninja III rogue2shadow's Avatar
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    #3
    My op is to do the IT degree. About 99% of job postings I've seen around here have said BS in IT or any BS + experience to compensate. Depending on your IT program, it may give you more flexibility in terms of grabbing courses in different areas of the major. The BSIT program around my neck of the woods gives you the option of going between networking, infoSec, and general IT. Overall, the coursework you're undergoing will complement the certs you have and will achieve.
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  5. He Hate Me Zartanasaurus's Avatar
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    #4
    Unless you want to be a programmer (or a couple other options I can't think of off the top of my head), I'd go BSIT. You'll get the necessary intro to programming skills that will help you with scripting in your network admin jobs from the BSIT. :shrug:
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5

    Default Additional Info

    Just to give a little more info, these are the programs I am thinking of:

    BSCS
    http://www.cs.uc.edu/academics/csCurric2014.pdf


    BSIT
    http://it.cas.uc.edu/IT/docs/IT-2010-Day.pdf


    The one thing I am trying to avoid is what is happening for my A.A.S. Half (literally 50 percent of the CIS credits) were CCNA classes. Since I don't have to take any of those, I am losing out on the learning (on the plus side that cuts my time down 4 quarters). I just want to avoid going to school and that happening again. I want to learn something in my college experience that is related to my field of study.
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  7. IP Jock EmpoweredBizTech's Avatar
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    #6
    you can't outsource a pair of hands but you can easily out source a coder. That's where I stand on it
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  8. Cyber Ninja III rogue2shadow's Avatar
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    #7
    What does your degree evaluation look like post the A.A.S.? It looks like the CS degree would take you away for at least a year or two (though you do networking/admin tasks at work). I guess my issue here is that the knowledge from the CS given your background would be amazing as a second skill set but potentially wouldn't apply directly to what you're doing (in terms of reinforcing what you're doing now). When I hear networking and programming, I see two completely different paths.

    I definitely understand you on not wanting to go backwards to go forwards (CCNA classes when you have both CCNA and CCNA:S); it really comes down to the degree evaluation and exactly how many classes will be eliminated. I know you would have to take 30 new credits no matter what. There's a chance you might be able to grab a good mix of both CS and IT and still grab the IT degree depending on how many credits that would be left to fill. I still think the BSIT would be better for its well-roundedness.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by EmpoweredBizTech View Post
    you can't outsource a pair of hands but you can easily out source a coder. That's where I stand on it

    That depends on what you mean by "outsource".

    Anything can be outsourced. My last 2 jobs were strictly created because of outsourcing. If you are saying that you cannot "offshore" a pair of hands then yes you are correct. I am not trying to be anal but it is a very important point to make. Outsourcing isn't "bad", off shoring is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue2shadow View Post
    What does your degree evaluation look like post the A.A.S.? ... know you would have to take 30 new credits no matter what.
    Post A.A.S is going to depend on what I decided to do. Right now, there is a big gap in my needed credits where the CCNA classes would go. If I choose to fill that gap with the A.A.S Software development then I would probably need a few math classes, a few gen eds, some adavanced CS classes and then I would be done. I would probably be at somewhere between 45-60 credits. That's if I do the A.A.S software development and the BSCS.

    If I don't do the software development track, then I probably won't do the BSCS and I would do the BSIT. I would probably end up having to do about 50-60 credits.

    That's why I have been thinking about this because, I want to be completely done at the end of next summer and I will have to make some adjustments to my schedule if I want to do the A.A.S software development.
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    #10
    It's all BS to me. Goodnight everybody!

    But seriously, just choose the degree path that aligns more closely to your long-term goals. If programming is your field of choice, then the CS degree looks like the better option of the two (really interested in the course titled 20IT430 Human Computer Interaction I -- what could that possibly mean? ) In many cases, even though the programming jobs are mostly outsourced, there is usually someone here in the states (or wherever you may live) that has the job of cleaning up that code and acting as a liaison between your company and team in India.

    I think you'll be fine with whatever degree you choose. At the end of the day, it's all about whether you know your stuff and are able to deliver the goods.
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  12. Cyber Ninja III rogue2shadow's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    Post A.A.S is going to depend on what I decided to do. Right now, there is a big gap in my needed credits where the CCNA classes would go. If I choose to fill that gap with the A.A.S Software development then I would probably need a few math classes, a few gen eds, some adavanced CS classes and then I would be done. I would probably be at somewhere between 45-60 credits. That's if I do the A.A.S software development and the BSCS.

    If I don't do the software development track, then I probably won't do the BSCS and I would do the BSIT. I would probably end up having to do about 50-60 credits.

    That's why I have been thinking about this because, I want to be completely done at the end of next summer and I will have to make some adjustments to my schedule if I want to do the A.A.S software development.
    I am now realizing the full scope of the issue lol . I say whichever one lets you take the most empty (any class works) credits I would choose (given some AAS credits transfer as advanced courses). In the end you're taking relatively the same amount of courses either way (including capstones); you can take those empty classes and pop in some classes that are more interesting for you.
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    #12
    Yep that's the issue. The thing is, I looked at the BSIT program and it didn't look challenging enough.
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    #13
    CS degees are typically more academic and concentrate on Math and programming. IT degrees while including programming usually have a broader base and typically touch on other IT topics such as fundementals, networking, security (such as firewalls). You might also see project management. In my eyes IT degrees are setup more closely to a Vocational Education model .. at least WGUs program was. The CS programs I have taken before (199 was more theory and academics.

    I love getting my hands on hardware and networking, not so much programming. So IT was for me.
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  15. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by uhtrinity View Post
    I love getting my hands on hardware and networking, not so much programming. So IT was for me.
    +1, Programming is not my thing. I find it boring...
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  16. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #15
    Although I did enjoy programming back in my younger days (Fortran, Basic, some Assembly language on several different platforms, a little Unix) I could never see myself doing it all day every day. Yeah I am THAT old that they had Basic when I went to college after high school.
    CS does seem more theory than practical. You may choose that just for the challenge or for the programming exposure you may get. It's something you must choose for yourself Knwminus as your choices now will help determine your path in the future.
    Last edited by earweed; 07-14-2010 at 03:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by earweed View Post
    Although I did enjoy programming back in my younger days (Fortran, Basic, some Assembly language on several different platforms, a little Unix) I could never see myself doing it all day every day. Yeah I am THAT old that they had Basic when I went to college after high school.
    CS does seem more theory than practical. You may choose that just for the challenge or for the programming exposure you may get. It's something you must choose for yourself Knwminus as your choices now will help determine your path in the future.

    My thing is this: If I weren't working in IT or I had even less experience than I have now ( I am in my 4th year) or I didn't know what I want to do, doing an IT degree would seem to make more sense. To me, the IT degree seems to be more of a grab bag of various skills and experiences. I already know I want to work (and am working) in security. I don't want to be a programmer BUT I do want to have that level of knowledge about computer processes because that could only help me in security. Plus with the network security classes, that is exactly what I want to do.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by EmpoweredBizTech View Post
    you can't outsource a pair of hands but you can easily out source a coder.
    Quote Originally Posted by uhtrinity View Post
    I love getting my hands on hardware
    I don't think he's considering prostitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by veritas_libertas View Post
    +1, Programming is not my thing. I find it boring...
    You better get over that if you're considering a career in security. You're going to find yourself severely limited if you can't get beyond that.

    You don't have to write thousands of lines of code every day, but you really need to be able to write some basic scripts/programs.

    Just today, I got onto an internal machine and had no tools available. How do you enumerate DNS (no zone transfers)? How do you port scan (no nmap, or even netcat)? We were having trouble brute-forcing a web form with hydra, so one guy on our team wrote a custom tool over the weekend. He terrifies me, and I constantly strive to be more like him!

    YMMV, but I feel like no matter how much I learn about networking, operating systems, security tools, etc., I'm not much beyond a script-kiddie level. I'm really not going to be satisfied until I can write the tools/exploits myself. That's probably at least a year or two off though...

    Getting back to your original question, I really think you're over thinking it. The type of degree really doesn't matter as much as you think. It really is going to affect your ability to get a job after you obtain it more than anything. After that, your accomplishments and experience are going to be what matters the most.

    I'll have a degree in psychology. Others I work with have a variety of degrees (or none at all). Some have CS, but aren't as good of programmers as the ones who truly enjoy it. It's going to be up to you to make the most of whatever you do.
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post
    I'm really not going to be satisfied until I can write the tools/exploits myself. That's probably at least a year or two off though...
    This is EXACTLY how I feel. I will not feel l33t until I am the one writing the tools. Doing CS program would help me towards that goal (especially the python and perl classes) and if that means I have to do some C/C++ then so be it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post

    Getting back to your original question, I really think you're over thinking it. The type of degree really doesn't matter as much as you think. It really is going to affect your ability to get a job after you obtain it more than anything. After that, your accomplishments and experience are going to be what matters the most.

    I'll have a degree in psychology. Others I work with have a variety of degrees (or none at all). Some have CS, but aren't as good of programmers as the ones who truly enjoy it. It's going to be up to you to make the most of whatever you do.
    If you could go back and do it over, which one would you do (CS or IT)? Would you change your degree at all?
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  20. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post
    You better get over that if you're considering a career in security. You're going to find yourself severely limited if you can't get beyond that.

    You don't have to write thousands of lines of code every day, but you really need to be able to write some basic scripts/programs.

    Just today, I got onto an internal machine and had no tools available. How do you enumerate DNS (no zone transfers)? How do you port scan (no nmap, or even netcat)? We were having trouble brute-forcing a web form with hydra, so one guy on our team wrote a custom tool over the weekend. He terrifies me, and I constantly strive to be more like him!

    YMMV, but I feel like no matter how much I learn about networking, operating systems, security tools, etc., I'm not much beyond a script-kiddie level. I'm really not going to be satisfied until I can write the tools/exploits myself. That's probably at least a year or two off though...
    Oh, I understand that! I really have no interest in being a Pen-Tester though. I have taken C Programming and I still remember some of it. I also enjoy scripts which I have built and modified for various reasons at work. I also plan on trying to master Powershell over next year.
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    #20
    The question couldnt be easier. Do you want to program or do you not want to program?

    Scripting =/= programming, although they do have many similarities.

    The biggest hurdle is that HR people think CS covers anything IT, so they often put "BS CS preferred or required" in their job ads. However, HR people are stupid. Don't forget that.
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyper-Me View Post
    The question couldnt be easier. Do you want to program or do you not want to program?

    Scripting =/= programming, although they do have many similarities.

    The biggest hurdle is that HR people think CS covers anything IT, so they often put "BS CS preferred or required" in their job ads. However, HR people are stupid. Don't forget that.
    Do I see myself as a developer in the future? Probably not. Would I like to be able to help out on F/OSS projects, security tools, and etc? Yes.
    For the record the CS program I am looking at does cover perl and python.

    Edit: HR people may not know everything about IT but they have to be pulling those requirements from somewhere, like an IT manager or something. My job wanted a BSCS (I got in with college credit, experience, and certs).
    Maybe they think that if someone knows computing to the nth level they will be a better supporter. So scripting <> programming but a good programmer could probably learn scripting pretty quickly.
    Last edited by Bl8ckr0uter; 07-15-2010 at 03:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    If you could go back and do it over, which one would you do (CS or IT)? Would you change your degree at all?
    My situation is rather strange. I went to college my last two years of high school (Minnesota program called PSEO). Unfortunately, those were only liberal education courses, and the majority of them wouldn't apply to a CSci program. I'd have basically been starting over. I got married at 19 and was working full-time, so that really wasn't an appealing course of action.

    My intro psychology course was the most interesting course I'd take up to that point, so I decided to pursue that. I actually was doing art before that; I'm an art history course away from a minor in that

    I personally hate formal education. Not the concept itself; I just don't learn well that way. I'll probably have a full decade into that easy-ass degree by the time I'm done. My GPA is awful too. I'm just too ADD and all over the place.

    Anyway, to answer your original question, I'm less concerned about it than I used to be. Getting more and more into security the last couple of years really made that a painful point for me. I've done a lot of research and talked to a lot of people with CSci degrees, especially in the security field. I asked them what I missed out on and how it's helped them.

    It seems like their answer to both is "not much." A lot of those programs really focus on the engineering side of things. I'm not developing operating system components or design relationship database systems, nor would I ever want to. Some people even told me they didn't really learn how to program until after they finished their degree and pursued it themselves.

    Now, I'm definitely not bashing degrees, Csci degrees, etc. You're never going to hurt from knowing too much. It's just for me personally, I can get to where I need to be through other means. I don't see it as an opportunity lost. It probably would have been a better route to take at the onset, but I'm not grief-stricken over it or anything either.
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by veritas_libertas View Post
    Oh, I understand that! I really have no interest in being a Pen-Tester though. I have taken C Programming and I still remember some of it. I also enjoy scripts which I have built and modified for various reasons at work. I also plan on trying to master Powershell over next year.
    I'd say programming will help you at pretty much anything. You may not have an interest in fuzzing apps for vulnerabilities and writing shellcode, but you will likely find a lot of uses for small programs <= 100 lines of code.
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  25. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post
    I'd say programming will help you at pretty much anything. You may not have an interest in fuzzing apps for vulnerabilities and writing shellcode, but you will likely find a lot of uses for small programs <= 100 lines of code.
    When you say programs, do you mean scripts and VBS? I see myself eventually doing security administration (Windows/Linux), and eventually trying to move in to security audits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post
    My situation is rather strange. I went to college my last two years of high school (Minnesota program called PSEO).
    Post secondary enrollment option. Ah yes, I remember those days from HS. I had the option to do it as well, I really wish I had but I was too busy chasing tail and trying to be a quasi bad ass.

    But I see you point. My GPA isn't too bad, and I can probably get it up to about a 3.6 or 3.7 which will basically get me into the school with more scholarship than I would need. Regardless of the degree, I know I am going to have to put in work on my own. I am still strongly leaning towards CS though.
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