Similar majors to switch to?
Currently a sophomore (only my second semester of college). I'm an accounting major now, but I was planning on switching to information systems. Though a recent study found that 14.1% of information system graduates were unemployed.I was thinking of switching to maybe computer science, information technology, or even cyber security. The college I'm transferring to has a program for information system and cyber security. Are there any similar majors to the ones I listed above and do you think I should stick with IS? Thanks !
- Richard LLv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
Computer Programming looks like it will remain the premier IT job area. This makes a Computer Science (CS) Bachelor’s (4 year) Degree one of the premier IT degrees to have. Although the actual courses will vary from college to college, this major will usually have a primary focus on Programming and include advanced Math classes. People in this major usually are pursuing careers developing application software, web development, embedded code and robotics. Game programming is another possible area. Sometimes depending on the college the degree may cover some more general topics as listed under CIS below. Programming is not for everyone and requires a logical mindset. Many people believe that Programmers are born and not made and that taking tons of Programming classes will not make you a Programmer if you don’t have a natural gifting for it. I basically agree with that opinion. In CS and other IT majors it is very important to keep a high Grade average 3.0-3.5 GPA as employers are known to examine college grades closely when selecting new hires of internship candidates. Maintaining this higher grade average can be difficult in CS as there are many challenging courses. Students who see their GPA slipping or who struggle with the Math and Programming classes would be better advised to transfer out of CS if they see it difficult to maintain that grade average. With 50-100 applicants for each job position employers often will have many graduates with a 4.0 average GPA to choose from. If you graduate with a 2.4 or 2.8 GPA it will probably impact the types and size of companies where you can find employment. The aerospace company where I work has a 3.0-3.5 minimum GPA requirement. It used to be 3.5 and they recently lowered the bar to 3.0.
Many CS students find themselves not enjoying programming, not being gifted at it or not having the math and logic skills to be good at programming and they will switch out into CIS or other equivalent more general IT degree programs. CS majors that are able to graduate can also qualify for jobs listed below under CIS – jobs like Computer Security, Networking or Systems/Database Administration.
Over the years I have met many Computer Science majors and Programmers and have found that you can see some basic common characteristics. Below is a list of personal characteristics of successful software developers that were compiled by a group of three very gifted software development co-workers. If you look at this list and seem to see yourself, you will definitely want to give CS and try:
Thinks in terms of modules steps or sequencing
Math is important – but even more logic
A talent in building physical things like (As a kid maybe Legos)
You might have a messy desk but you can easily find things on it
Not highly sociable (small group of friends)
Not highly interactive in group discussions
Bulldog tenacity in completing what they begin
Loses all sense of time while completing tasks
Has intense focus on hobbies and/or games
Passionate about the work they produce
Another different IT related degree choice is Computer Information Systems (CIS) which involves less Math and Programming. This may also be called a variety of other names like Information Technology (IT), Information Systems (IS), Computer Applications (CA), Computer Networking Design, etc. This CIS is a general technical degree and is the degree that I have. Holders of these degrees work in a variety of technical jobs like these:
Computer Technician, Service Center Coordinator, Help Desk Staff, Storage Administrator, Network Administrator, Systems Administrator, Systems Engineer, Enterprise Administrator, Active Directory Administrator, Exchange and Messaging Administrator, Backup Administrator, Disaster Recovery Specialist, Database Administrator, Computing Security Specialist, Ethical Hacker, Corporate IT Acquisition Specialist and Data Center Administrator, just to name a few.
In a small business the list above might be one or two people doing all these jobs. In a large Enterprise environment this could be hundreds of people.
So without dwelling on the GPA discussion too much - In spite of the overall “on paper” superiority of a CS major, if you have a CS degree with a 2.4 GPA that you struggled through you might find it infinitely more difficult to find a job than if you were a CIS major with a 3.4 GPA.
Best wishes!Source(s): 16 years IT systems engineer in Fortune 50 company, Bachelors degree in CIS, Bachelors degree in Advertising, 21 Microsoft certifications, MCSE and MCT, A+ Security+ Server+ Cloud+ CompTIA certifications, IT Published magazine author of 200+ magazine articles, IT book and magazine technical editor