I have a friend who has obtained a Management Information Systems 2 year degree. She is torn between two Universities to continue her education for a bachelors degree.

One offers an Information Technology degree and the other offers a Management Information Systems degree. For the purposes of a career, how much will the degree impact the type of job she will be open to?

I have been working in Software Development for many years and it has been my experience that most companies do not differentiate between the two. I'm sure some large companies do but even in those cases I would think that in many cases the company would consider an IT degree to fill a MIS position and vice-versa. My experience is limited to a handful of companies so I am reaching out to the community for input.

There are other factors at play in her decision making such as commute and cost but for the purposes of this post I'm just interested in the degree type. Thank you.

  • 4
    What does she want to do in life? – aaaaa says reinstate Monica May 6 at 13:45
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    I see there were some "off topic because of asking for advice on a specific choice" close votes - I think it's important to consider this as an answerable question about how much the degree subject matters, vs. an off topic question asking for help choosing between two degrees. – dwizum May 6 at 13:57
  • @aaaaaa I asked her the same question. She struggles to come up with an answer. She's from Vietnam and came to the US seven years ago. Her dream is to find a job where she can get an H1 sponsorship doing something other than working in a nail salon. She is a brave young lady. Even though she has learned English and has done well in her first two years of college she struggles a little. I think she would do well in a team environment. – Bill Greer May 6 at 13:57
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    @BillGreer at a risk of answering in comments: it seems like it won't matter for her compared to her goals and experience. – aaaaa says reinstate Monica May 6 at 15:10

Your question was,

For the purposes of a career, how much will the degree impact the type of job she will be open to?

It's important to consider a few aspects of the hiring process:

First, while employers may be looking for someone who is good at X, they are also more generally looking for someone who will be a good employee, full stop. They want someone who will be reliable, hard working, and dedicated - someone who can commit, put a plan together, and execute on that plan. In light of your question, with respect to this point, just having a degree helps satisfy the employer - versus having it in a specific field. Having the degree shows that the candidate can make long term plans and carry them out. It also shows that the candidate has the capability to learn new material which can be especially important in technology fields where the content is changing all the time - if you learn X in school, X may be outdated by the time you graduate anyways. But, while studying X, you learned how to digest and absorb new material, which will always be relevant.

Secondly, employers are generally considering the subject of the degree only for entry level jobs - once you've got more than a year or two of experience, people will care much less about your degree, and much much more about what you were doing at your last job. This is good news for people who are a little undecided, since it basically means you can work yourself into the career you want if you change your mind. If she goes to school for X, and gets a job in X, but then decides she wants Y, which is something slightly different, it's common to start looking for positions that bridge X and Y, and then positions that focus on Y - at which point you're doing Y, and no one will care that your degree was in X.

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