Advice for Information Systems majors

By techwarrior
Nov 11, 2006
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  1. I thought I would give some advice to Information Systems majors. I had majored in in IS, but if I had a chance to redo college I wouldn't major in IS and here is why.

    You can get most Information Systems jobs without a computer degree. Certification will land you a job in IT, not an IS degree in my experience. Accounting and finance are in high demand. I would major in one of those two fields and then get some sort of certification CCNA, MCSA, Network+, etc.

    SQL, Visual Basic, html, javascript/ java, CSS, XML are just as easily learned by library books. At the college I went to we learned mySQL, not ORACLE. Companies are only hiring Oracle. It is better to learn SQL through a certification program that teaches oracle, thats what I ended up having to do. It cost a lot of $$$ but it was worth it. In my experience certification classes can teach you a lot more then classes at college can.

    If you insist you absolutely want to major in computers then I strongly suggest to major in Computer Science. It is a lot of hard work, I wish I majored in Computer Science. If your committed and spend all your time in your studies you should be able to get through it. In my experience going on interviews for programming jobs computer science majors got the jobs and I got the "we are so sorry, but we have selected another candidate for that entry level C++/java position".

    If you absolutely must major in Information Systems then double major in Accounting/ IS or Finance/ IS. This gives you more options. So if you can't find a computer job when you graduate, you can fall back on an entry level bookeeping job instead of flipping hamburgers.

    I went back to school and got a certificate in accounting. Getting an entry level accounting job was a breeze compared to trying to get into the IT field.
    When I finally did get A+ and Network+ certification, then I actually was able to land a job at a help desk. however with how competitive the field is, and how money seems more and more important to me these days, I am thinking I might just pursue a CPA and burn my IS degree. CPA's make 50 -100k a year and it is a more stable career. In Indiana to sit for CPA exam you just need 150 credit hours of undergraduate work, 24 credits of accounting, and 24 credits of business courses. That is a big plus.
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I have to acree with IS vs CS (took the equivalent of latter myself).

    IS will give you some knowledge of some technologies, but you may not be able to find a job with these skills, especially when you don't have a certificate.

    CS gives you the knowledge of How Things Work. Almost all things. And this gives you to ability to learn everything more specific easily. I know how networks operate, so I have to spend much less energy when studying for something more specific like Cisco or some new wireless thing. I know how operating systems work, so I can just skim over half of the Oracle database optimisation.
  3. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    I work in the IT field. I am currently pursuing my degree in Information System Security. I fill a position that requires a B.S Degree in CS but can be replaced with experience. So I agree, a degree is not necessarily a requirement, at times, but is helpful when you try to get into management position.
    Certifications and experience seem to be more useful then an actual degree.
    I am almost tempted to stop my program and cotinue to take certifications instead, I am currently doing both.
  4. techwarrior

    techwarrior TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well a management position in the IT industry I think would be difficult to get without a business degree or an MBA from a top university. My boss has a degree in marketing and a MBA from Illinois, one of the toughest MBA schools in the northwest.
  5. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    Not necessarily. At least some of the people I work with do not.
  6. crimemastergogo

    crimemastergogo TS Rookie

    Hi TechWarrior,
    I'm a recent Graduate with IS major and I seek your suggestion regarding certifications that I might pursue.
    Can you pls elaborate on various certifications which you have mentioned like CCNA, MCSA, Network+ etc. And I would also like to know, which institutions offer these certifications.
    P.S I have knowledge of C++ but I'm not pretty comfortable with coding though. I am rather more interested in finance or database or system admin sort of araes.
    I appreciate your help..
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    You from Puerto Rico, or just bad at geography?
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,145   +597

    After years in Silicon Valley, I can tell you a good programming job requires
    a CS degree -- and no certificate program will be taken as an equivalent.

    DBMS is more than just SQL language syntax -- it's Third Normal Forms,
    Entity Relationships, physical and logical schemas, and performance analysis.
    That gets you in the door.
  9. huoshi

    huoshi TS Rookie

    in my opinion. you know, computer is just a tool for us to deal with the Affairs we meet everyday, MBA,accounting maybe more helpful ,more significance to run our business,out lifelong business
  10. Blakhart

    Blakhart TS Rookie Posts: 353

    What joebeard said.

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