What differences would you expect between someone who studied information systems, and someone who studied computer science?

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What is the main difference between these 2 fields? Is information systems less programming-oriented? Do they have different career options in general?

Other answer:

EddieJ:
There is no rule. They keep changing names. There was Computer Information Systems, Management Information Systems, and Information Systems, and Information Technology.

You have to look at the courses that a particular school offers for their degrees. All of the degrees above will probably teach some programming, and have the availability of electives for additional programming. Or you can take electives that focus on other areas.

A Computer Science degree will usually be a bit heavier in math and theory. The ones above will tend to be a bit more on the practical side.

If a bell curve is plotted for each of the degrees, you will see a difference in the average salary, but there is more overlap than difference, and they'll all have a wide spread.

So, focus on the required and available courses at the colleges that you are seriously considering, and you can contact advisors there.

husoski:
Information Systems focuses on how information is used in a business and how computers and software are used to manage that information. It deals mostly with how computers are actually used in businesses and other large organizations. You'll study problems that have been encountered and how they were solved.

Computer science is more analytical. It focuses on on methods of computation and data models. You'll study more about how to solve problems that may not have been encountered before. There is significantly more format mathematics involved in a CS degree.

Ignore the trash talk about IS. What you use on the job is more a product of work experience–and continuing self-education–than anything learned in a 4-year degree program. Pick which suits your interests and abilities; something you will want to excel at and not just pass. A degree will get you interviews, and not sucking at interviews with get you a job, but it's how you perform afterward that determines your salary range.

dewcoons:
Information System teaches you how to use a computer, such as running a database program or creating documents in Word. While a Computer Science degree teaches you how to code programs, create web pages, set up networks and administer servers.

The IS degree will let you work as a secretary or clerk. The CS degree will let you work as a computer technician, network administrator or server administrator.

The IS degree will earn you about half of what the CS degree will.

chrisjbsc:
IS might have nothing to do with computers (but nearly always does). Computer Science may have nothing to do with information (but nearly always does).

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