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Old 07-29-2013, 03:09 AM
 
5 posts, read 89,621 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi, I am currently a student at Nicholls State University. As of recently, I decided to withdraw from the nursing program --I hated it. Now, I can't decide what degree I should pursue. I would definitely like to work in the IT (Information Technology) field and wouldn't mind having a job as a Database Admin/Business Analyst/Security Specialist, etc. Basically, anything with networking and computers. My knowledge with computers is very "limited," I am, however, familiar with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Publisher, & PowerPoint---who isn't ). I was going to major in Computer Science, but Nicholls no longer offers the degree; besides, I am HORRIBLE at arithmetic. To put it simple, A LOT of people (including professionals) have told me a CIS is worthless and a Computer Science degree is the way to go --more flexibility in finding a job. Yes, I know a CIS is not what it used to be, but what I really want to know if it is obsolete. If I do decide to pursue this degree, it would take me two years to complete. I have googled the jobs (above^^) and many of them require experience and a 4-year degree in Business or "related-field." So, does CIS fall in that -- I'm not sure. The CIS curriculum at Nicholls does include introductory courses in Math, Economics, and Business.

If a CIS degree is worthless, then perhaps majoring in Business would be a better choice? I am not trying to say a CIS degree is completely worthless, but it may make an employer spend an extra 10 seconds looking at your resume before tossing it. I don't know if I should major in business because I have no backbone -- you have to be very competitive and people walk over me all the time.

To put it very simple; I know nothing about business/computers. My cumulative GPA is a 3.226 (Nursing was tough and before clinicals, it was a 3.5. The prerequisites were pretty easy, except for the Bio's).

Also, I heard many jobs in the IT field are being (outsourced?) sent to India/China/somewhere -- so that means less job opportunities. I live in Louisiana (Houma to be exact). I am willing to relocate after I graduate, possibly to Houston or Dallas, Texas.

Thanks

------------


I have posted on yahoo answers and received a reply. The user posted:

"If you want to get into computer networking, you don't need a degree for that. You will need to get CISCO certification- CCNA. Then you can find work as a network technician or associate. There is also certification offered by microsoft- Microsoft certified solutions expert (MCSE). This will train you to work as a system administrator for installing and troubleshooting all microsoft products.
For most of these jobs, you do not need a degree. Certification and experience matters. Maybe after a few years experience, you can get a business degree with it to get into mangement positions of networking field. Good luck :-)"
---------------------------------------…


Then what's the point in having a CIS degree if many of these positions do not require a degree? The thing is, many employers tend to higher those with experience, and I have none.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:17 AM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
187,874 posts, read 77,776,269 times
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A combination of a MBA and a CIS degree go hand in hand. If only one from my past job experience I'd go with an MBA.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
5,894 posts, read 4,417,475 times
Reputation: 3934
I don't think a CIS degree is worthless at all. I got hired just about a month after I completed my CIS degree. A straight up Computer Science degree might get you recognized a bit more - but from what I experienced and what has seemed to be the general rule of thumb for most people who go into I.T. is that they all start at entry level somewhere. More times than not, you're not going to leap frog into mid-level because you have a degree in Computer Science. In the world of I.T., it's based on what your know, not so much the paper degree in hand.

In practicality, I'm not sure how much more influential an MBA is going to be if you're wanting to go into database management or security. If you wanted to be a business analyst or something along those lines, I would say definitely go for the MBA, but I don't think it's really going to do you any better than a simple CIS degree.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:23 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,897 posts, read 33,634,159 times
Reputation: 13858
If your university has a career center, see if they'll give you a career aptitude test. A CIS career is not for everyone. The test can help you determine if that's the best path for you or whether there is a better one.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:47 AM
 
455 posts, read 774,978 times
Reputation: 637
Skins is right about it being about what you know. Experience is everything in the world of I.T.
I got a job as THE systems/network admin/engineer at a software development company and all I had was an A.A.S. as a computer network specialist, and zero certs. Simply because I did 6 years in the Army as a network guy, and I blew the socks off my interviewers.

It's worth it to note that I got my A.A.S after I got out of the Army. It was free, so I decided to get it on paper. It didn't really contribute much, but then again, this is a small/medium business, so I'm sure there is a bit more leniency regarding this.

BTW, Houma is where I was born. I'm out in Lafayette now. Tell you what, I know you said you hate math, but if you ever felt like getting into software development, there are tons of opportunities all the time in Laffy for that sort of position. Usually starting around 50k for newbs. 70k for experienced. In the 80s-90s for the project managers.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:39 AM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,576,203 times
Reputation: 2608
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianNerdxD View Post
Hi, I am currently a student at Nicholls State University. As of recently, I decided to withdraw from the nursing program --I hated it. Now, I can't decide what degree I should pursue. I would definitely like to work in the IT (Information Technology) field and wouldn't mind having a job as a Database Admin/Business Analyst/Security Specialist, etc. Basically, anything with networking and computers. My knowledge with computers is very "limited," I am, however, familiar with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Publisher, & PowerPoint---who isn't ). I was going to major in Computer Science, but Nicholls no longer offers the degree; besides, I am HORRIBLE at arithmetic. To put it simple, A LOT of people (including professionals) have told me a CIS is worthless and a Computer Science degree is the way to go --more flexibility in finding a job. Yes, I know a CIS is not what it used to be, but what I really want to know if it is obsolete. If I do decide to pursue this degree, it would take me two years to complete. I have googled the jobs (above^^) and many of them require experience and a 4-year degree in Business or "related-field." So, does CIS fall in that -- I'm not sure. The CIS curriculum at Nicholls does include introductory courses in Math, Economics, and Business.

If a CIS degree is worthless, then perhaps majoring in Business would be a better choice? I am not trying to say a CIS degree is completely worthless, but it may make an employer spend an extra 10 seconds looking at your resume before tossing it. I don't know if I should major in business because I have no backbone -- you have to be very competitive and people walk over me all the time.

To put it very simple; I know nothing about business/computers. My cumulative GPA is a 3.226 (Nursing was tough and before clinicals, it was a 3.5. The prerequisites were pretty easy, except for the Bio's).

Also, I heard many jobs in the IT field are being (outsourced?) sent to India/China/somewhere -- so that means less job opportunities. I live in Louisiana (Houma to be exact). I am willing to relocate after I graduate, possibly to Houston or Dallas, Texas.

Thanks

------------


I have posted on yahoo answers and received a reply. The user posted:

"If you want to get into computer networking, you don't need a degree for that. You will need to get CISCO certification- CCNA. Then you can find work as a network technician or associate. There is also certification offered by microsoft- Microsoft certified solutions expert (MCSE). This will train you to work as a system administrator for installing and troubleshooting all microsoft products.
For most of these jobs, you do not need a degree. Certification and experience matters. Maybe after a few years experience, you can get a business degree with it to get into mangement positions of networking field. Good luck :-)"
---------------------------------------…


Then what's the point in having a CIS degree if many of these positions do not require a degree? The thing is, many employers tend to higher those with experience, and I have none.

CIS isn't a "worthless" degree, but like any degree, you have to recognize what it provides you. Most degrees are "generalized" in that they cover theory and don't often prepare you for practical application of your knowledge. You can obtain a good level of practical understanding, but in most cases this is up to the individual. I knew many who graduated with a computer science degree and honestly couldn't do anything with it until they were trained in a specific focus to practically apply it. So keep that in mind.

That said, a degree in the right hands of someone who takes the information seriously is a powerful tool and in the long run, it will put you above the rest once you obtain the practical skills and experience.

Certs are good, but a common mistake people make who are not tech focused already (and sometimes even if they are) is that they can grab some books, study and go take the tests without issue. Some certs are easier than others, and some... well... if you are not serious, you need not apply.

The advice to get the CCNA is... pointless if you have no clue what a CCNA is. Cisco is network engineering and can get very technical. To be successful in that focus, you have to love it or you won't excel in it and this is a focus that is very competitive. The Cisco tests have suffered from brain dumpers in the past and it kind of hurt their reputation some. Cisco's response was to make their tests much more difficult and placed in practical application focuses for the exams, requiring you not only to be able to recite various theory, but to be able to practically apply it to a given scenario.

A certification like a degree, get what you put into it. I have seen CCNP's (step above a CCNA)who I wouldn't trust to turn on a switch and copy over a config file and I have seen CCNA's (entry associate level) who rival the knowledge and ability of some CCIE's (expert level of the cisco focus).

In the end, it comes down to you. No degree or cert will guarantee you a job as all will be determined in the tech interviews. The paper certs and degree's won't give you a pass in those interviews, only your knowledge and ability will.

Aside from that, I think all forms of education or experience are important, but I don't fall into the pointless positions of one side dismissing the other. It all depends on the person.

That said, degree's are generally theory based and your practical ability differs greatly between institutions, degree depth and focus.

Certs are combination of theory and practical (depending on the cert) and tend to be more "job ready" than a degree, again depending on the cert.

Experience is often king in the eyes of many, but... it has its own problems as well (ie you can be experienced in poor practices).

A combination of all is ideal as it tells an employer (on the surface) that you have theory understanding, practical implementation training, and experience dealing with the such in a production environment.

I can't stress to you enough though, you MUST take such a pursuit serious. Being that you have no technical experience already, you are going to have to dive in and immerse yourself in all things technical if you want to be successful, not just "studying" for a given focus. You should understand basics of hardware, programming, networking, and how to troubleshoot them at a basic level.

Most of us in the technical industry do this as a hobby, we enjoy these things and so it comes easier to use because of that. I have never met a good <insert focus> in the industry who didn't enjoy technical things. If you don't care about computers, don't care about technical things, then you will struggle with the content and will likely be lacking when you head into the field. You must love what you do or there is no point in doing it. The market is too competitive and has too many responsibilities to treat it like a fast food job.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Diaspora
21,540 posts, read 24,674,751 times
Reputation: 8930
FWIW I'm in IT and working in the US is a mid to low rate of pay and getting out of college debt will take awhile. In order to garnish a $100k+ salary I had to find work outside the US. Even though you hate nursing, become a nurse practitioner or an RN as that has high salary outlook currently. I'm completely certified in Oracle with multiple years of experience and the salaries are sitting about $40k less then they were six years ago. So I re-learned my old MVS education and was able to find work outside the US over the $100k level.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:28 AM
 
5 posts, read 89,621 times
Reputation: 11
I would like to thank everyone for their replies; I apologize for the late reply. I have decided to major in CIS; and my courses for this semester are:

ACCT 205 INTRO TO FINANCIAL ACCOUNTNG
BSAD 221 LEGAL ENVIRONMNT OF BUSINESS
CIS 150 VISUAL COMP PRGMMING FOR BUSI
CIS 231 MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTM
MNGT 301 MNGT OF ORGANIZATNS & BEHAV PR
QBA 283 BUSINESS STATISTICS II
SPCH 101 FUNDAMENTALS OF PUBLIC SPEAK

I'll see how this semester goes...
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:10 AM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,576,203 times
Reputation: 2608
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianNerdxD View Post
I would like to thank everyone for their replies; I apologize for the late reply. I have decided to major in CIS; and my courses for this semester are:

ACCT 205 INTRO TO FINANCIAL ACCOUNTNG
BSAD 221 LEGAL ENVIRONMNT OF BUSINESS
CIS 150 VISUAL COMP PRGMMING FOR BUSI
CIS 231 MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTM
MNGT 301 MNGT OF ORGANIZATNS & BEHAV PR
QBA 283 BUSINESS STATISTICS II
SPCH 101 FUNDAMENTALS OF PUBLIC SPEAK

I'll see how this semester goes...
Good luck!!

Word of advice, when you start getting into the classes of a specific focus, for instance databases/SQL, etc... work in a summer/winter semester that is a certification based course. So, if in spring semester you have databases, look into something like taking a summer course (or studying it on your own) for the first step of a cert line, for instance the MCSA: SQL Server Certification. Not the whole thing (well, if you can, knock yourself out), but maybe work in the first test "Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (461)" as that will get you started with some more practical application than standard academic theory (as I said previously, college courses may or may not cover enough depth for you to have any real practical ability with it) and it will net you an MCP (first stage of the MS certs). If you do that in between your semesters, you can time it so by the time your graduate, you have multiple certifications in your focus.

Also, I can't stress enough, get the software you are training in, practice in it. If you are setting up a database, actually install a database server, setup a web server and start practicing what you are being taught. Get good at it and you will find that even being "fresh" into the market, you will have ability that most don't see for a few years after being mentored by a company. This will allow you the confidence and flexibility to "choose" your employment rather than taking whoever will take you because you lack practical knowledge.

Anyway, work hard, and good luck!
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:52 PM
 
5 posts, read 89,621 times
Reputation: 11
Nomander, I find myself re-reading your comments every now and then to remind myself what I need to do to be ahead of the game. I will definitely follow your advice; I can't thank you enough!
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