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#1 ridingdirty  Icon User is offline

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MS CIS with a focus in SE VS MS SE

Posted 04 June 2014 - 09:49 PM

Hi,

I came to this forum for advice. I have an BBA with Dual Majors in MIS and Accounting. Some Visual Basic, C#, and SQL experience. Right now I'm a Business Analyst, but would like a profession more technical. I did great on my programming courses and am looking at getting into software engineering.

I found two promising Masters programs. One is a full blown Software Engineering Degree. The other a CIS degree with a software engineering track.

I have the following questions:

1. How do these programs compare to one another in your opinion?
2. If I chose the CIS program with the SE track would I have that much of a better chance than the straight up MS SE.
3. If I chose the SE degree what other professions could I go for if I end up not liking SE as a full time job? That is would there be just as many doors open as if I were to take the CIS degree?
4. Or should I go for the CIS Masters at one college and a Masters Certificate in SE at the other university?

Below are the two programs.

Carroll University: A liberal arts college that offers a MS SE degree as well as a certificate.
http://www.carrollu....ing/default.asp
UW Parkside: CIS Degree with a SE Track http://green.uwp.edu...er.science/cis/
*Course Descriptions attached*

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  • Attached File  mscis.pdf (487.79K)
    Number of downloads: 16


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Replies To: MS CIS with a focus in SE VS MS SE

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is online

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Re: MS CIS with a focus in SE VS MS SE

Posted 05 June 2014 - 11:38 AM

1) Well one is primarily focused on developing software (programming, software lifecycles, project management of software teams, scrum, agile and other methodologies) while CIS is for information systems so has a software piece but also focused on how information moves (networks, databases, information systems related to helping solve business questions). Keep in mind that these definitions are not in stone and it differs from school to school. Look at the class list to get a better idea of the program.

2) I wouldn't say you are better one way or the other. In the real world people who can marry business ideas with technology solutions are the people in demand. Heck you don't even need a degree in either if you can demonstrate you understand business and have the skills to solve their problems. But if you insist on one or the other, for you, I would say the CIS program with SE track may be easier since you have an understanding of the business side already. If you were wanting to work strictly in software companies however, the MS SE may actually be more desirable. But again, it varies from school to school. Ask current students / alumni of the school to see what they like and hate about the programs and for alumni ask them about their experiences looking for jobs after the program.

3) Well the CIS program may have more doors open because it isn't just purely the software development. You will find transitions easier to other industries, but since you have a business degree already, you could take the SE program and still have quite a few doors open. Your business degree should make it easy for you to go between industries, the SE skills will just make you more versatile in those industries.

4) I don't know if doing both would be beneficial. They would overlap on a lot of stuff. But keep a few things in mind about tech... First it changes fast. Some of the stuff you learn at the start may already be slightly dated by the time you end the program. I started my program with VB 6 and ended with VB.NET (good for me in the end since VB is still used in things like office somewhat). Second, you can learn one thing in school and maybe only 1% of industry would actually use it. I learned COBOL in school. While once the staple, not exactly industry wide these days. Lastly, learn everything you can but don't duplicate your learning. You don't want two classes teaching you how to write a C program when you can have one teaching you C and another teaching you Java.

Hope this info has helped.

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 05 June 2014 - 11:40 AM

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#3 ridingdirty  Icon User is offline

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Re: MS CIS with a focus in SE VS MS SE

Posted 05 June 2014 - 01:40 PM

Thanks for the input. I did plan on talking to the professors first and maybe getting some contacts of students that took the programs. It just seems like the SE Degree would give me more raw skill that I could retain and transfer on to whatever I decide to do if I go outside of SE. Officially, I'm not sure if employers will see it that way. I plan on contacting some employers and asking if it would matter at all. After all, they both give Masters titles. I do plan on practicing my programming during the 2-3 years it will take me to complete school if I don't have classes at the time that program. To me that is fundamental and it's good, because you don't need a class to do it. However, the CIS with SE track does allow me to take 4-5 SE classes. I attached the courses in my post. True, technology does change fast and don't we love it!
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