Random.. Is a Information Systems degree what I need for programming?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 21, 2012
My community college offers a 2 year curriculum which can then transfer credits to a 4-year college. They say I need a AS Information Systems degree for what I want to do which is programming. Is this true? I thought programming (for software development, web design, and game development) was under a Computer Science degree.

Can anyone confirm this?

Stooby Mcdoobie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2012
Depends on the institution. A good Information Systems program, while not as heavy on the programming as CS, should give you a solid foundation. Close friend of mine holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and does web design/implementation for Wells Fargo.

Conversely, I have a degree in CS but haven't done any programming in years. :p

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
Toronto, Ontario
You can learn programming with either degree (or with none at all).

I've been part of both programs at one time or another, if you are interested in business and how information systems interconnect with modern companies I'd say go IS. If you are interested in how computers work go for CS.

It would probably be easier for a CS major to learn business than it would be for an IS major to learn higher math and computer theory on their own though, keep that in mind as you are paying for education.


macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2003
As others have said, it depends on the school. Definetly ask them and also check the course requirements.

It's been a long time since I graduated but in my day Information Systems degrees were more focused on systems analysis and design for your typical, large corporate systems. I was a MIS major. We learned some programming but also learned database design, decision support systems, expert systems and some data communications.

At Penn State MIS was in the business school and also gave you exposure to management, accounting and marketing courses.

Comp Sci degree was in the Sciences school / department and tended to focus more on programming and lower-level stuff. I had friends in CompSci and they designed their own compilier and maybe even an OS kernel. Also being in the Sciences, the degree requirements changed (more calculus).


macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
Always a day away
I have a degree in Information Systems. While programming knowledge was a prerequisite for me, it's a business degree, not a computer science degree. We didn't learn so much about how to program, it was about information management, database implementation, etc.

war eagle

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2008
Information systems is using technology in the workplace. It's mainly a business degree at least it was at Auburn. I took 3 or 4 programming courses. Two java and a comprehensive class that tied the java, accounting and marketing into one class.

Graduated 2011 and 2013 I'm working at a pretty big chickin entity and while I work in the IT department if I had to give myself a title it'd be IT Accountant lol. Hope this helps. any questions pm me.


macrumors regular
May 10, 2007
Thoughts on doing MIS?

I'm about to go into my senior year at Kelley at IU Bloomington and last semester I applied to and was admitted to their MSIS program (http://kelley.iu.edu/isgp/) and I'm very excited about the opportunity :D

I haven't committed to doing it yet, but I have to put down the deposit by Sept. 1st and I'm fairly certain I'm going to do it. All together, it'll be ~$95-100k in opportunity cost considering a foregone year of work.

To those of you who (know people who) have MSIS degrees, do you think its worth it/valuable? Or any other thoughts - I'm trying to get as much information as possible before making my final decision. Thanks in advance