Opinion on my Major

Discussion in 'The Coffee House' started by Haley-Elizabeth, Jan 14, 2009.


Which Computer Informations Systems major should I go into?

  1. Networking

  2. Programming

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  1. Haley-Elizabeth

    Haley-Elizabeth Active Member

    Okay, so, I discovered at my school there are two different types of CIS (Computer Informations Systems) majors: Networking and Programming.

    I'm not sure which I want to go into. I was hoping people here could give me a better idea of what each of them are and those that have no idea just vote the poll anyways.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Aeterna

    Aeterna Account Closed


    Networking deals generally with the software and hardware surrounding getting all of the computers connected. You'll be dealing with different things like servers, routers, switches, hubs, different protocols like TCP/IP and UDP, IPv4, IPv6 and it's transitioning, subnet masking, firewall configuration, etc. Networking is a really broad subject, and it's usually divided in to different categories.

    If you're going in to networking, you'll probably want to get certified by Cisco (Link Here). This will allow you to have certification in a specific area that interests you, instead of just the broad term "Networking".

    Programming is going to deal with getting you equated with different programming languages (obviously), and usually deals with the "Computer Science" aspect of the computer world. You'll learn all about arrays, functions, classes, what object oriented is, and all sorts of fun stuff.

    A caveat: To be a good programmer, you'll have to be either really good at math, or really good at understanding syntax and form in languages. Usually you either get it really early, you or never get it at all. However, it is possible to become a good programmer, but it'll take a while.

    Also, you can (theoretically) get an education in both if you're willing to dedicate the time. A lot of programming companies like to see portfolios of work you've done, so if you take networking as your major, and learn programming on the side, you can probably work at both.

    Keep in mind that I.T. certifications have an effect on how employable you are. If you don't have your A+ Certification, I highly recommend you get it.
  3. wheresmysheep

    wheresmysheep Staff Alumni

    exactly what i was trying to tell you but you were to ignorant to take it in.
  4. Haley-Elizabeth

    Haley-Elizabeth Active Member

    Yeah. Actually, our class is through Cisco. We use their server to learn. nd programming concepts is one of my basic classes im taking.

    My class schedule atm is

    Fundamentals of Data Communication

    Systems Maintenance

    Web and Programming Concepts

    Visual Basic

    and English Composition I.

    These are the basic classes that are required for either major. Should I just wait until the end of the semester to see if I can tell which I like more?
  5. Haley-Elizabeth

    Haley-Elizabeth Active Member

    wheresmysheep I was listening to you. I was listening to several people at once so I wasn't able to reply to everyone quickly. I was listening to you.
  6. Aeterna

    Aeterna Account Closed

    Ideally, yes you should. You should build up a good, core set of computing skills before you decide to move in either direction.

    However, keep in mind that getting certified can take a long time, so you need to make sure you can stick to whatever you're doing for a long time.

    For instance, I'm on the CCIE (Security) path, and I don't expect to be a full CCIE until 2014. So, while you may enjoy doing it for college, keep in mind that this will be a career that will take a lot. It's hard, difficult, and can take a lot out of you.

    However, as discouraging as that may be, getting deeply in to either side has it's perks. I'm going to be going to San Jose, California, to take my CCIE exam. I've never been there, so I'm looking forward too it.

    You should also experiment on your own.

    If you're going in to either, I'd recommend you grab yourself a copy of Linux, and start messing around with that. You can either run through a Live CD, or set up your own virtual machine through Sun's fantastic program called VirtualBox (I can help you set this up).

    Do this especially if you're going to go in to programming, so you can experience what I call "Real" programming environments, i.e. working with GCC and a command line.

    If you want to experiment with networking, play around with tools like Wireshark, netcat, tcpdump, KisMAC/Kismet/NetStumbler, and others. If you have a router you can throw away, try upgrading the firmware to Tomato or DD-WRT. DISCLAIMER: This can destroy your router. Only do so if you don't care about it.

    If you want to experiment with programming, play around with tools like Codeblocks, Eclipse (A really awesome IDE), and different languages. If you've never programmed before, I highly recommend Python, and then Java.

    Truthfully, if you're going to get in to this, then you need to be able to make it something you not only love doing for work, but you love doing in your spare time. Otherwise, you'll usually be delegated to the Help Desk, which isn't really where the fun is. (No offense to the IT gods in help desk who bring me new hardware for my computer)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  7. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    How soon do you have to choose? If they have common courses before specialization, see what you like better.
  8. Hurted

    Hurted Well-Known Member

    You have to decide this by yourself...
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