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The difference between CS and IT degrees

By cholt2064 ·
For the past 7 years I have been working as an accountant while tinkering with excel macros, and teaching myself .NET in my spare time. This tinkering led me to consider returning to school to get a second degree. I would like to be a programmer, but I cannot determine which degree I need to pursue. Should I be looking for an IT program or a CS program? What is the difference? Is it possible to start a career in programming while I earn this degree?

Also, it has come to my attention that I do not need an undergrad degree in IT or CS in order to pursue a masters degree in those fields (provided I take a few prerequisite classes). Should I spend my time earning an undergrad degree in these fields or would I be wiser to go after a masters degree?

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All depends what you want to do....

by robo_dev In reply to The difference between CS ...

First of all, each school considers IT versus CS slightly differently, so the definition is not super clear.

CS generally refers more to computer engineering, which gets you very deep into things like processor design, firmware development, and more the nuts-and-bolts of computing.

An IT (BS IT) degree would be a little less technical, but the courses I've seen were mostly a whole lot of programming and database classes.

My opinion is that you should start with the end-goal in mind. If your goal is a $90,000 programming job, then find out what degrees they would require for such a position (if any).

Instead of the degree program, by going to a lot of very specific training about very specific programming topics, you could learn what you need to learn in a short period of time at much lower cost than any degree program.

Since you already have knowledge of accounting and finance with some programming/IT focus, you could probably get a pretty decent job today involving working with developers of finance and accounting software, and learn the programming on the side.

My opinion is that an undergraduate degree would be too easy and too general (do you really need to take Accounting 101 and History 101???)

A masters in computer science is not all that useful with respect to teaching you to be a programmer. And all the applied mathematics and computational philosophy (I made that up) won't make a better programmer, unless you're solving the human genome or something.

That's my opinion, I could be wrong.

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