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MIS Degree

mrdude108mrdude108 Posts: 143Registered User Junior Member
edited January 2013 in Business Major
I have thought about and I am really considering doing this program, it sounds great. I like computers, technology and I think I would like a career based on them. I was considering Computer Science but I also dont want to be a "heads down" programmer in front of the computer 24/7 which is why I think MIS is interesting because you get to explore the business side of it as well as the technical. I do realize that I may have to do mostly programming early on but eventually I would like to do more systems/business related things. Plus I hear CS degrees are more for people that want to be computer scientists, work with theory and have a strong aptitude for math (which I really do not)

If you have the degree, or are taking classes, do you like them? Has the degree been good for you, as far as getting a job and preparing you for the job? Any other info you can provide would be great. I have heard pretty good things about it and it seems like jobs are out there and will continue to be there.
Post edited by mrdude108 on
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Replies to: MIS Degree

  • mrdude108mrdude108 Posts: 143Registered User Junior Member
    bump, anyone?
  • Rique14Rique14 Posts: 28Registered User New Member
    I dont have a degree in it, but its def a good major.
  • inkoreinkore Posts: 34Registered User Junior Member
    very good major..
  • mrdude108mrdude108 Posts: 143Registered User Junior Member
    Thank you guys for the information, I appreciate it.
  • ThumperSDThumperSD Posts: 59Registered User Junior Member
    If you want to be a developer, then definitely go with CS or SE. If not, MIS would be great, especially for business environments. There is some programming involved, but very little in MIS programs. You also learn about database management & SQL as well as networking.

    CS is more geared towards theories and research, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I think working in business environments is much more practical though.
  • mrdude108mrdude108 Posts: 143Registered User Junior Member
    I would agree, I think it would also be more enjoyable int he long run right? That's what it seems like, more social and kind of a multi-industry kind of situation with business, engineering and technology. I don't really want to be a programmer or a developer but I do think consulting would be pretty cool.

    I was wondering if it would be a good idea to go ahead and get my Masters in MIS/IT right after my bachelors or if I should maybe get the bachelors first, go work then go back and get an MBA instead of a Masters in MIS/IT. Any suggestions there? Originally I wanted to go CS+MBA but now I want to go MIS + either an MBA later or an MS in IT now.
  • JasmeetBabraJasmeetBabra Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    MIS is a degree which involves people + technology. Its a great one of you dont want to sit and just program. :D
  • GoalsOrientedGoalsOriented Posts: 112Registered User Junior Member
    It's also a great degree if you want to be unemployed. Unless you are willing to join a non-technical role in a large IT consulting firm (assuming you can get in - they are competitive) and travel 100% while simultaneously working ridiculous amounts of unpaid overtime. Every single decent non-networking entry-level IT job, including technical roles in IT consulting firms, requires an advanced level of programming fundamentals and a high proficiency in at least one, and likely more, specific programming languages. That is even if the job is not dominantly programming. An MIS program will not prepare you to meet those requirements. If you want a networking job, once again, an MIS program will fail you there as well. If you want a Help Desk job, do you actually think that has better opportunity than a programmer job? Certainly not. And in order to even get that Help Desk job, you are going to need certifications and troubleshooting knowledge outside of what was taught in your MIS degree.
  • mrdude108mrdude108 Posts: 143Registered User Junior Member
    @GoalsOriented Well, what I am trying to do, is get into Information Systems doing database/networking/IT. I haven't researched this very much because I am just starting to figure out what I want do. I was thinking about something that would connect the business world with the technological aspect of it such as information systems/enterprise systems/systems administration. I did look into some basic programming and it just doesn't seem to be something I am interested in. Is there a degree that you would suggest for that kind of work?
  • GoalsOrientedGoalsOriented Posts: 112Registered User Junior Member
    I guess I should rephrase a little bit what I said, to be more clear. An MIS degree *does* give you adequate preparation to start in an entry-level IT job of the kind you describe. The issue is not finding a better degree/program that matches your career interests - an MIS degree actually does best match the topics related to your career interests. However, due to a host of unethical reasons (that is a huge discussion), the minimum requirements for these type of jobs have significantly increased in recent years, and not because a person that meets these new requirements will do any better on the job than someone who does not. What I am saying is, an MIS degree is FAR (not just a little bit) inferior to a Computer Science degree in terms of getting one of those business-oriented non-programming entry-level IT jobs you want.

    As an unemployed MIS graduate, I have been applying to ALL kinds of IT jobs. Almost every single one of them, whether they were related to IT business analysis, help desk, networking, programming, web management/development, system administration, database administration/development, consulting, or anything else, either required or preferred a Computer Science degree over an MIS degree. As for the (quickly dwindling in numbers) jobs that "just prefer" a CS degree: why does a mere preference matter? Because the technology/computer-related occupations have become so competitive (for a bunch of reasons), that even if you graduate after the economy has recovered, they have so many applicants that meet all the min requirements that the "preferred" requirements actually end up becoming minimum requirements in reality.

    Also, with just about every single degree now, the reputation / prestige / alumni network of the school matters. Even with computer science degrees. However, with an MIS degree, your school matters much more (as is the case with business degrees) than it already matters with CS degrees.

    This is what I am getting from you so far (correct me if I am wrong):
    1) You're not interested in either programming-heavy coursework or a programming-heavy job.
    2) You do not have a "geek-extreme" personality and history. Meaning, up until this point, you have never thoroughly learned and continously played around with multiple kinds of technologies (programming, networking simulations, running/troubleshooting servers, routinely playing around with Linux, troubleshooting computers/networks of lots of friends/family, developing/managing web sites, etc...). You do not have an obsession with technology that closes your mind to other "non-geek" interests / activities outside of it.
    3) You are interested in how to use IT to help accomplish business objectives, not just IT for IT's sake.

    The third point I think would help you in a consulting role (once again, competitive, constant travel, lots of routine unpaid overtime). However, ALL three points will hurt you in every other case (and the first two will hurt you even in consulting). I honestly think that, especially in your case (due to the three points I mentioned), you should avoid IT altogether if you can find something else that will serve as a practical career and does not make you miserable. I suggest taking a look at this link (and research more through that site as well):
    Re: WHY you SHOULD NOT go into Information Technol... - tech talk

    These people have had enourmas injustice done to them over the years, so some of the opinions from some of the people on that forum are a little bit exaggerated. However, overall, the posts on that forum come far closer to the truth about the state of technology-related fields than the propaganda you will find in the mainstream media (and some other websites).

    However, if you still decide to try for IT and are not able to stand CS:
    The more technical, practical, and directly-related to the real-world your coursework, the better. So if there is a degree like Computer Information Systems/Science, or Information Systems/Technology, that has more practical coursework than MIS, and you can stand whatever is included in the program, choose that over MIS (CS is still employability king however, even if it includes less practical coursework than the CIS-like program). If there are any electives you cannot use on technical/practical coursework, use them on mathematics (if you do not dislike math).

    Never take summer classes if that will interfere with internships/work. Always go for a summer IT internship. If you can't get one, work a full-time job during the summer, even if completely unrelated to IT. Also, as soon as you can get a regular part-time (or even full-time, if you're the type that can handle that at the same time as school) IT job or co-op, take it. Become a part-time student if you cannot or do not wish to go to school full-time while you have that job / co-op.

    Beyond your job / schoolwork, if you have any spare time, self-learn as much as you can with technologies related to your desired field (because regardless of your degree, whether MIS, CIS, or CS, you won't learn a whole lot related to the real-world in your schoolwork). In fact, until you get a regular job or co-op, you should be doing a LOT of self-learning (once again, even if you need to be a part-time student in order to do so).

    Also remember the golden rule: who you know matters more than what you know. If you can network, do it.
  • mrdude108mrdude108 Posts: 143Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for all of the information, I really appreciate it. You are definitely correct in your assumptions. I don't like math at all, not really into heavy programming, especially as a career in only programming. I was never into programming and didn't teach myself anything IT related other than basic computer stuff and didn't have any real interest until this point. I do have interest in the field, both the IT parts and the way it connects to businesses. I definitely don't have the geek extreme personality. I was doing my basics and came along this major and wanted to do computer science but the math load for the degree was just too much for me to even want to go through so I thought MIS would be a good alternative and my school has a pretty good program and they have a very high success rate for getting their grads jobs after graduation. I live in the Dallas, TC area and they seem to have good connections with the surrounding companies and Dallas seems to be a good city for the IT field.

    This is not the first time I've heard stories of people not being able to find jobs but it seems to be like that with every career I research, even engineering and law so unless you go to medical school it's gonna be tough. My first major choices were int he medical field but my concerns with that were basically that yes it would be fine for me now in my twenties and even thirties but when I am 40-50...ect I don't want to be a tech or something like that working for doctors when I am at that age. The job prospects are pretty good in the medical field but what happens when you get older, as a man, they will probably prefer a younger person to do those jobs.

    My school doesn't offer any kind of IS, CIS, IT majors, just Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering and MIS among others but its a big business/engineering school with a good MIS program.

    Some things that worry me about the IT field are the guys that have been doing this stuff since they were 15 and then got degrees and the fact that you usually start out making under 12 bucks an hour in entry level positions and it takes years to get out of them and gain experience.

    I turn 22 in February so I want to figure this stuff out ASAP but it just seems like most majors are flooding the job markets.
  • DreburdenDreburden Posts: 297Registered User Junior Member
    You could always join the military. That way you'll have a job for sure..
  • GoalsOrientedGoalsOriented Posts: 112Registered User Junior Member
    mrdude108 wrote:
    Some things that worry me about the IT field are the guys that have been doing this stuff since they were 15 and then got degrees and the fact that you usually start out making under 12 bucks an hour in entry level positions and it takes years to get out of them and gain experience.

    Exactly. And despite having done within my MIS curriculum many of the same advanced things they have done, except not to the same extent (years of experience), and having worked with basic computer skills for years (building comps/replacing parts/troubleshooting own software issues/very light web development/researching tech topics) I am sometimes treated as an "intruder" in phone interviews, and dismissed as a "non-geek." And they would be right, I am not obsessed with tech to the exclusion of other interests/activities, and it is a sad reflection of the field when unprofessionalism is considered a positive attribute to be sought.

    This is why I recommended getting a related job ASAP, heavily self-learning, and not focusing too much on academics, even if you have to become a part-time student. The IT field doesn't care the slightest about the long-term quality or potential of their employees, only the short-term skill/experience you have in specific technologies. So graduating in the regular four-year timespan is only going to leave you unemployed unless you have high-proficiency skills/experience to back it up.
  • samuezsamuez Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    So, you're going to UT Dallas too? Only place within distance of a university within the Plano area. Ya, too bad they don't have a CIS, or IT degree. And ya, chances are that I'll focus on MIS myself over there. I'm struging with just getting past Calculus myself, so I know CS is not something for me. Again, I'm not a fan of programming but I like computer itself. MIS's a good idea if you wanna make use of it. A few of my friends got a MIS (well, more like 2) and one of them went to get her master in a unrelated field, but she's a professional student rather than making use of her degree at all...

    And the other one got a different job in someplace else after a while, but I just think he wasn't looking into entry level jobs but wanted a job that started off with +5 years exp, etc.

    Most degree you get now required some exp, so it's better to get a semi-useful degree rather than stick with something like Psych, or etc. Personally, I went psych but now double major by adding an another year to my degree plan.

    Anyway, If you get a internship off the ground from MIS or any business degree, you're golden. I was initially accounting but I couldn't even stand doing intro to managerial accounting nor do I have much interest in the finance side (too math heavy). At last, there's marketing but there's almost no interest for me in that field. So, I picked MIS.

    A degree opens up some door, but you won't get anywhere without trying.

    Good luck. Chances are that I'll try for a internship myself, and than get some computer certification.
  • mrdude108mrdude108 Posts: 143Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    Yeah I am going to UTD, this is my first semester. I've been at TCC, Collin, UTA and now UTD. I was thinking about majoring in Pysch but it seems like everyone is majoring in Psych so I figured MIS would be useful and I would gain some skills rather than a regular BA or something like that. I may end up trying to find an IS/CIS degree somewhere but right now I'm taking Accounting, Marketing, Intro to MIS, Prof Development and Econ. I agree, I wouldn't be an accountant.

    I was initially and still kind of am interested in the medical field but I just don't know what to do, I have no interest in going to medical school which is basically what I'd have to do to get a job I would want. I wouldn't wanna be a rad tech or any kind of assistant forever you know? Nursing is a great option but as a guy, not really interested. Then there was Pharmacy but I heard and read terrible things about the money/jobs vs money and time it takes to become a Pharmacist.
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