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Should I be an Information Technology (IT) major?

  1. Feb 6, 2016 #1
    I met with a professor/teacher advisor for the CIS (Information Systems) major. They said it's probably not for me, based on my career intentions.

    I'm intending to start a startup IT corporation ASAP as a career. I need the knowledge of (many, several) programming languages for my intentions.

    The CC I currently attend offers an Information Technology Transfer program (AS). They also obviously offer a Computer Science degree transfer program (also AS).

    I want to program an enhanced (keyword: enhanced) version of Apple's OS X/iOS Operating systems. Wouldn't that be more of an IT major though, as IT is more broad in programming languages than Computer Science is? Computer Science focuses more heavily on Python & Java, C, and C++, which would also help. That's why I'm easily considering going for the double major when I get to a University. I'm just debating on which IT Program I should choose.

    The CC I currently attend luckily offers a 2+2 transfer program to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology).

    Link to that program:


    I also want to get into cybersecurity & networking. That would definitely be Information Technology first, am i correct on that? I know IT majors cover more networking & there's a mid-amount of an overlap for cybersecurity when comparing IT & Computer Science.

    This is what I'm asking for all people who might be wondering:

    My question is should I be an Information Technology (IT) major right now over a computer science major if I want to cover more than just a few programming languages? Especially if I want to pretty much program iOS?
    I don't have that much time left to sign up for the 2+2 transfer program to RIT. I kinda need to decide now, or at the very very latest by the end of August. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2016 #2
    It would help if you could better define what role you expect to fill when you begin transitioning past the concept phase.

    If you see yourself as the major coder, CS may be the better choice. CS goes far beyond just making the code work, where it's focus is in understanding why it works. CS is less platform specific than IT would be, and leans more to creating new technology or improving existing technology.

    If you see yourself supporting the application, IT may be the better choice. The focus of IT is in taking existing technology and finding ways to implement and massage it to create the desired end result. IT operates more from an Enterprise scope in ensuring all related systems behave well together, as opposed to ensuring that each micro component is optimal.

    I think, you should focus less on which programming languages you will have to learn and focus more on what role you wish to play in the later stages of your startup. There will come a point where you will recruit a dedicated coding team, sales team, and others to maximize your value for IPO or sell off. Certainly, understanding the code will assist you in macro-managing the enterprise as it progresses but you won't likely be able to handle all aspects in the 2-3 year birthing stage of the typical start-up.

    Perhaps another way to ask the question is, if your start-up fails to attract investors and you reach a point where continuing is no longer possible, what job category would you rather be prepared to step into?

    If you want to be a career programmer and create new technology, choose CS. Works at the Micro level.
    If you want to implement existing technology to reach your desired functionality, choose IT. Works at the Enterprise level.
    If you want to design new systems and enhance existing implementations, choose CIS. Works at the Macro level.

    To qualify my opinions, I am not a Start-up guru by any stretch of even my own imagination. I have been working in IT for nearly 30 years, primarily in a Desk-side role with some exposure to the Lan/Wan boundary, and a minor focus on Lan security and intrusion detection. Based solely on my own exposure, I will say that CS is the least client facing of your three choices, IT is by far, the most client facing role of the three. CIS
  4. Feb 6, 2016 #3
    I believe if Computer Science doesn't work out (as admissions are extremely hard): I think I'd fall in the IT category. I'm Lean Six Sigma Yellow belt certified. I think I'm going to go with the IT major & transfer to RIT for a BS in Information Technology. At RIT I would minor in computer science to just assure I have the correct electives to transfer out to get a second BS (bechlor's) in Computer Science. That's what the transfer advisor (not the teacher advisor) said.
  5. Feb 6, 2016 #4
    Sounds positive to me.
    Worst case, once you're well into the growth phase of your start-up, you can pick up an MBA in your minor. :-)
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