A computer related degree or a Accounting degree?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jc0481, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. jc0481 macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2005
    Since deciding on a online degree. I have also picked the university. It's Walden University. Here is the link for the computer related degrees from Walden:


    I have stayed up late last night. Comparing a Accounting Degree vs a I.T. degree. It's hard to pick between the two. This school does not do double majors. I did take a personality test online a few months ago. It told me my personality is good for programming and accounting.

    I think one drawback of a computer related degree is that the technology changes so fast. It's hard to keep up and another concern is retiring from a I.T. related field. If I do pick a I.T. related degree I won't have any real hands on experience just a degree.

    Accounting does seem more stable than a I.T. degree. I do like working with numbers. I am a introvert personality so both careers suit me fine.

    I just don't want to make the wrong choice and have wasted time and money. Hope someone here can help me out with this. Thank you.
  2. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    The best advice I can give is do what you love the most, because if you love what you do you will be successful.
  3. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    When you say IT degree, what degree are you referring too since IT incorporates Computer Science to Managing Information Systems? What do you plan to do with this degree? If you want to be a tech, then you need certifications and not a bachelor's degree.

    If you're interested in Accounting, what do you plan to do with that? Are you going to pursue a CPA?

    As for Walden University, it maybe accredited but it's considered a diploma mill. Think about how employees and graduate school look at that. You may be better off with 2 years of community college and transferring to a reputable university.
  4. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    Although it will be a huge challenge I would recommend doing both if it all possible. I am seriously kicking myself right now for only doing computer science and not adding finance/accounting as a double major. If I had done both I could literally write my own ticket and probably be getting paid a lot more than I am right now.
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Being both the User and the Analyst is a big plus.

    I did this, but in the School of Hard Knocks.

    10 years in Insurance, then switched to Computers.
  6. jc0481 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2005
    Unfortunately it has to be online for me. I would love to go to a physical campus. But my wife is a year away from graduating we go to the same university and I get a 25% discount on my tuition. We have had a big personal tragedy and I have to be there to comfort her.

    For the computer related degree I would most likely go into Computer Programming or a Network Administrator. Just not sure about still taking classes as the technology changes so rapidly. I can do the classes but not a big fan. I would like to stay home with my wife and our future kids enjoying their company instead of taking continuing education classes after I graduate.
    Also a lot of certifications you have to take to further your career. But I do enjoy computers. I bought a few books on getting the A+ certification.

    Also I have not heard much of people retiring from a computer related career. They always seem to move on to something else. I have heard of Accountants retiring from their careers. Yes I plan on studying for my CPA exam if I pick the Accounting field.

    According to the personality quiz I am a introvert personality. So a computer programming job or a accounting degree will fit my personality. Although I have heard a computer programming job you have to be creative. I'm the opposite of creative. I never did enjoy any art classes growing up. I dreaded going to them.

    Maybe I just need to talk to a career counselor or are they called Head Hunters?
  7. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    This is why an analytic mind is superior. That never changes.

    Do you have that type of mind? This is something that books cannot teach you.
  8. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    I'm a Network Administrator and even though I have a university degree, it is not relevant to what I do. Several of my co-workers do not have degrees because in this field, it's about experience and certifications. I would recommend getting certifications from Cisco, Microsoft, VM Ware and etcetera. A+ certification can help you get in the door to an entry level position, where you can get real experience which will help you a lot more. So if you plan to take classes, take the ones that are gear to a specific certificate. It would help to create your own lab at home. Teach yourself how to put a computer together and install and configure an OS if you don't know.

    If you want to go into computer programming, then I highly suggest getting a computer science degree. The key is you must enjoy programming because it can be pretty boring. Goto the library or look online and practice writing some code in C++ and see how you like it.

    I have clients who are accountants and you better really like accounting to do it for a living. It's a good and stable career, but lots of numbers and mistakes can be costly since you're dealing with other people's money.

    It wouldn't hurt to talk to a career counselor for guidance. Headhunters are people who look for people to fill job positions. They won't really help you much if you don't know what job you want.

    As for being an introvert, try to be less of one. The company I work for believes that personality is more important than knowledge. Knowledge can be taught.
  9. jc0481, Nov 19, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011

    jc0481 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2005
    I'm not sure if I have a analytic mind. Maybe there is a website I need to find or a book that will help me out with that. Seriously don't know. I do know I don't have artistic mind. Far from it.

    I bet I can do those certifications if I take the time to study for it. Just a lot of money. You make a good point. I have heard of a lot of people that have computer related jobs with no degrees. I do know how to configure a OS and semi know how to build a computer together. Just lack the advanced skills.

    I may be a introvert but I do get along with others. I'm not a hermit by any means lol. I just don't like being the center of attention. I do like making people laugh at my current job for instance.

    I'm thinking I will have to look for a career counselor here locally.
  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    I can't council you there.

    When I switched careers, my employer sent me for 2 days of testing with an Industrial Physiologist.

    I guess I passed muster. ;)
  11. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    I did a Computer Science degree. Nothing that I learned has changed in the 6 years since I graduated and I don't expect any of it to change anytime soon.

    You see, it's mostly about the mindset. The details will change over time, but the skills, the underlying science and the ideas you pick up will stick with you and continue to be useful.
  12. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    that.....or maybe they sent you where they thought you would do the least damage! :p
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Well, now aren't you charming.

    Let me analyze your passive-aggressive behaviour.

  14. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    ^^ This....

    A computer science degree will give you the skill set but you will always have to continue to hone it after school. Things I learned in school ranged from current things to items that were developed in the 70's. The point is that you will gain a solid understanding on computers and how they work which you can apply to current systems.
  15. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I don't know what's better for you, but accountants are the most pessimistic people out there, up there with lawyers. I'm surrounded by accountants, wife, BIL, half the office are accountants.

    The make good money if you get a designation, CPA or what's equivalent in your country. Don't even bother without getting one. The salary is easily triple or more with and without one.

    Also, be prepared for ALOT of over time, especially for year end.
  16. jc0481 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2005
    For a I.T. degree I was looking into programming. Just concerned it will be outsourced in the future or maybe it's done right now. Not sure.

    For Accounting degree it I go that route I will be taking the CPA exam. Also I will likely for a local CPA firm and decide from there if I want to start my own CPA firm or not.
  17. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    If you are interested in programming, then you want a computer science degree. An IT degree usually refers to management of information systems or networking.

    I have friends who do both and they do well in their careers, but with that said...a CPA is a more secure career. Programming is already being outsourced, however there are jobs out there although it may be more competitive.
  18. kapolani macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2011
    Thank you. Pet peeve of mine. I'm a software engineer. I'm sure that some IT people can code, but it usually isn't their strong suit.

    I love what I do. It can, however, be boring sometimes. But, it can't be as boring as accounting can be.
  19. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    A lot of money compared to what? Compared to wasting it on a for-profit "education" that arguably will not help you at all when you're looking for a job?
  20. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you have the time, money and ability then do both. That's what I did and it has served me well. Much of the computer world is involved in running businesses, having both means you are that much more marketable.
  21. Molecule macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    What do you want to do with your life? Do you need a degree to get there? Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is absolutely no use getting a degree for its own sake. It's also a very expensive pursuit.

    You say some test says you'd be good at accounting or good with computers. That may very well be true. But do you want to be an accountant? Do you want to do something computer related? Only you can answer these questions. The internet cannot answer them for you. Go away, pour yourself a drink, find somewhere private to sit, and have a good long conversation with yourself. The advice you come away with will be much better than anything any of us can give you.

    Let me end by paraphrasing Spock Prime. Jc0481, do yourself a favour: Put aside logic, and do what feels right.

  22. turtle777 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2004
    Do you mean Accounting in the stricter sense ?
    Sometimes people use Accounting and Finance synonymously.

    Here's the difference (I work in Finance, though accounting related).

    Accounting is very structured. You got many rules, and in most cases, there is a clear right and wrong way of doing things. There is limited discretion and ways to be "creative". You also don't have to be too analytical.
    Accounting is mostly about repeating transactions, recording entries, processing paperwork, closing books etc. A CPA is a typical designation for someone in Accounting.

    Finance on the other hand is quite different. You have a much broader field, spanning from Cost Accounting, Financial Reporting, Financial Analysis to Investment and Banking related jobs.
    Generally, Finance requires more of an analytical mindset, is far less structured and rules-based, and leaves a lot more room for opinion and creativity. You also have much less rigid schedules or repeating tasks.
    Typical finance-related designations are CMA (Certfied Management Accountant) and CFA (Certified Financial Accountant), even though those two are also vastly different.

    Go and study the different areas that the CPA, CMA and CFA certifications cover. Look the for syllabus or Body of Knowledge on those websites.

    CPA: http://www.aicpa.org
    CMA: http://www.imanet.org
    CFA: http://www.cfainstitute.org

  23. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Do accountancy, OP.

    If you've never showed any interest in computers, IT or programming up to this point then I have my doubts that you will ever be a gifted programmer.

    Programming takes time to master, and you have to have some drive in order to do it. You have to get your 10000 hours in. The best programmers teach themselves during their teens.
  24. turtle777 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2004
    While I agree with your assessment, let's not forget that IT is much broader than just programming. All kinds of IT support, networking, customer support etc.

    However, I agree that for IT much more than accounting, you should have been an IT geek for a long time if you want to make that a living. Otherwise, you are competing with kids that have been programming, configuring and hacking computers for many years.
    With accounting, everybody starts more or less from scratch after getting a degree.

  25. 63dot, Jan 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012

    63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Don't worry about what other people think of an online school if that school is regionally accredited. Also, diplomas don't say if a degree is online or brick and mortar. I thought about a California State University M.A. degree and they have many campuses and have a large online presence, too but all diplomas are the same, as is the Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation.

    As for computers or accounting, both are usable fields and far easier to get a job than in history, sociology, or fine art.

    Accounting, so far, has not had ups and downs like computer science or IT when dot.bomb hit and is and has been the safest bet for employment. I would venture to say accounting could be the best bachelor's degree out there for employment in these hard times. During the awful backlash of dot.bomb here in Silicon Valley, anything "computer" was like Confederate currency for a long time. It took many years before computers or anything related recovered. The saying was something like: "Oh, so you say that supermodel wants to date you, well I tell you I have some dot.com stock I would love to sell you." ;)

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