Don't bother earning these five degrees

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member


    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I am surpised with the "Unwanted Degrees #5 - Information Systems"

    "At first glance, a bachelor's degree in information systems might seem like a great fit for the "Information Age." And in truth, it might be. But it's also true, says Lynn, that this degree suffers from being related to - but not the same as - more sought-after degrees such as computer science.

    "It's sort of the step child of technology degrees," says Lynn. "At least from my experience, it's kind of a mixture of the sciences, business, and maybe some humanities pulling together. So it suffers from 'What is it and what does it train you to do?'"

    And looking at numbers from the "Hard Times" report, she may be onto something. This degree scored an 11.7 percent unemployment rate among recent grads."

    I agree that Information Systems is not as the same with Computer Science, but it is in the avoidable category.

    In the Information Age, these majors' transformation process from nothing (computer) to end users:
    |Computer Engineering|Computer Science|Information Technology|Information Systems|
  3. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

  4. dl_mba

    dl_mba Member

    Looks like this article is an advertisement by some for-profit private schools. I may be wrong but all the links in the article take you to select from one of these schools.
  5. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    EVERY article from Yahoo Education is crap. Every. Single. One. Even if I agree with them they are crap. My agreeing with them makes it worse, it means I agree with some schmuck sitting in his basement with a poor understanding or higher education and an even poorer grasp on how to cut and paste paragraphs from shitty google searches into an "article" for Yahoo. *shudder*
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    :chairfall:OK, but in the future I'd ask that you be more direct and tell us your true feelings.:chairfall:
  7. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I could not agree more. I find myself dumber for reading anything on Yahoo!
  8. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I do agree with it a bit. Lets say you have an IT shop with a couple of positions open. One is for a Linux administrator, another is a DBA, then a Java programmer, a network engineer, and finally an iPhone developer. An IS person is not qualified for any of those jobs if they just have the degree. A computer scientist, on the other hand, can tackle any of those.
    The only ones IS works for is quality assurance, project management, product management and development management etc. Of all of those, QA is probably best for entry level IS grads and the other jobs are not really for entry level grads in most cases.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Funny, but so true.
  10. Jeff Walker

    Jeff Walker New Member

    I think the biggest issue with IS degrees is that they are generally associated with sub-standard degree completion programs that have very little rigor. Theoretically (according to the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) curriculum guidelines), computer science should be programming (and the theory around programming) and IS should be more focused on non-programming IT areas (systems administration, for example) with a more business focus. But what happens in practice, is IS is CS-lite and CS is the "real" IT degree. Which is unfortunate since half the people in CS programs don't really want to be programmers at all - they want to be database administrators, or security administrators, or network administrators, or... you get the idea. IS should be the degree for them, but in practice, many (not all) IS programs sort of stink. Most R1 (major research) institutions don't even have IS degree programs. Many regional public institutions don't really differentiate between the two degrees (or don't have IS at all). IS is relegated to the Websters or National Universitys of the world - which don't have the best reputation.

    Of course, I have an IS degree from Excelsior. It worked for me.
  11. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I interviewed candidates from the University of Florida recently and the amount of technology knowledge was staggeringly low among the BSBA IS students and this is not a degree completion program. It is a comprehensive and highly structured program that failed to meet the needs of the open reqs where I work. We have every type of IT job available also.
  12. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    The article has a link to another article touting “To help you maintain a better work-life balance when adding education to the mix, consider pursing one of these online degree programs.” And, number 3 is……ready………. Information Systems!!!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes:

    “Do you love computers and want a flexible way to study up on the subject? An online degree program in information technology (IT) and information systems could be the answer.”
    Flexible Degrees That Fit Your Schedule - Yahoo! Education
  13. guestgama

    guestgama New Member

    Yahoo articles are notorious for being sort of "useless".

  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    My Bachelor's from Charter Oak has a concentration in Information Systems Studies, which with 36 semester-hours required is a major in all but name. The requirements were broad across different areas of IT, but they were not deep in any one of them. Also, my program allowed for business courses to be used as electives within the concentration (distinct from general electives). I can see how someone might get out of that program without a long list of useful-on-the-job technical skills. But that doesn't mean it's not a real program, it's just different from Computer Science in that it's much more focused on business decisions in a technical environment.
  15. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I know what you mean and I think its a great degree for someone who already has some type of technical skill already such as five years of programming experience.
    The problem is these 21 and 22 year old kids who have never held a job in their lives get out of the program and are not qualified for an entry level position. Their business skills prepare them for leadership roles but since they have no practical business knowledge or technical skills its hard to find a place for them. I can't put them in charge of 5-10 programmers with an average of 15 years of experience in business and IT can I? They would get eaten alive on the first day. A lot of "business" knowledge is actually industry knowledge too. So if you have 10 years of experience in the petroleum industry you can work for a business that serves that industry as an analyst. Without vertical knowledge like that its really hard to get the opportunity to represent the business side of things and interact with the developers, telling them what the business needs from them. General business courses and information systems courses are not enough. I wish I could tell you a different story but lack of vertical industry knowledge or a technical skill makes this degree almost useless.
  16. Fjaysay

    Fjaysay New Member

    I think that's why there's FWS/NFWS programs available, so they can earn the experience while attending college. There's also internship/job placements available. Although, most are college students will have prior to no experiences in their fields, but you can't say all early 20s students have no experiences. I'm 21 and I have 2 years of supervisor/team leader experiences and 1 years of management position that many older adults would kill for because I have "some college" level education. There's also an 22 years old who I work for that was a store manager and he was making more than 100k per year and he got that position within 3 years after college. Prior to that position, he held no management experiences and the older adults who worked for 20+ years couldn't get that position without the college education. As for IT experiences, I believe some college provides 'technical support' position for those who are in those fields.
  17. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    Alot of these kids did internships but those internships didn't prepare them for the most basic of interview questions. I feel bad for them because they paid a lot of money and will probably have to start out as a tech support rep which is filled just as well with a high school diploma and basic knowledge of Windows.
  18. Fjaysay

    Fjaysay New Member

    Well, if that's the case then yes, it's sad. However, I hate it when people always assume every college graduate have no experiences. There was this one guy who mocked me because he thought because I had some college level education, I can't go far. Well, it's ironic because I became his boss less than 2 months when he said that.
  19. ooo

    ooo New Member

    You're such a fan. :D

    I would put Yahoo right up there with Huffington Post "news." ("News" being very loosely defined.)
  20. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    One very interesting candidate came across my desk as a full time candidate but his graduation date was 2016. I asked him what was going on and he said he was looking for an internship. It was just a mixup, the other guy was interviewing interns. So I told him I'd interview him anyway. He did better on the questions than all of the other recent and soon to be grads but he was only in his first year of computer science. However, he had worked for almost 2 years part time as a computer programmer for a financial company. I told him he was qualified for our full time positions right now and let HR know as well.


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