Torn between Computer Programming degree vs Accounting degree


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Hello all. Like the title suggests I am torn.

I am passionate about technology don't get me wrong. It's just hard to keep up with technology rapidly changing. I do like the changes though. I am just wondering about layoffs when I am 50. I'm thinking they will replace me with a younger person that is cheaper for the company or even outsourcing my job which is worse. Also who knows what new programming languages will be like in ten years from now?

I am intrigued by Accounting. I can see myself retiring from a company that I have been at for a very long time. There are also many different fields of Accounting I can apply it to. Also every company needs an Accountant. It's more stable than the I.T. field.

I don't want to be "rich" just comfortable. If someone here is an Accountant or a I.T. guy please give me some advice. Thank you.

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I do IT... and I say... don't do IT

My father is an accountant... he would say... Don't do Accounting.

But out of the two, I would say that Accounting would make you more 'comfortable'. Nobody needs a qualification to work in IT and therefore it generally pays less than Accounting. Accountants are near the top of the chain of the company (because the management generally only care about money) and IT is at the bottom (The grunt workers).

For me, I work with computers as a hobby and a job. If I didn't work with computers as a job that would probably give me more time to put towards my hobby because I wouldn't be so sick of using them all day long. Computers are probably better as a hobby, and a little bit of IT knowledge in the workplace when you are not the IT person is always a little dangerous ;) .

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My advice is do what you enjoy.

I'm a programmer, and in my opinion to have an enjoyable programming career and not end up writing "Business Logic" for reporting systems in corporations all your life, you need to have a passion, a spark, for programming. If you do, keeping up with the trends in languages and whatnot will be a fun experience and you won't have to worry about it. When I come home from work, I often code in my spare time, making all sorts of stupid stuff - my current project is putting an Arduino and a pile of sensors into an RC monster truck and programming to Arduino to make the truck autonomous.

I'd much rather do something that excites and engages me for a living than make a career choice based on which will earn me slightly more money. Or, to put it another way, I'd rather be happy than $5,000 per year better off.

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I work in I.T.

If you enjoy challenges, I find that it's a good environment. There can be some real head-scratchers when a client has a problem, which keeps me interested. However, don't consider it to be easy. You will constantly be taking courses in various I.T. positions in order to stay current, otherwise like you said you will get replaced for someone who has that information.

I can't imagine going in to accounting myself, but I guess someone has got to do it.

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I'm in my first year of computer programming, and I quite like it. But I'm one of the few people as far as I can see. At school we're only doing Java for now, but I'm already trying to build Windows Phone apps in C#, and redoing homework assignments in Python instead of Java.

And, nothing stops you from doing both. I can imagine an accountant with a programming background would be amazing since you would (theoretically) be epic at creating software really built for accounting.

Basically, go with what your gut feeling tells you. Two years ago when I was thinking about what I wanted to go do I had a look at programming, got scared and started looking into other things. I didn't find anything I liked really, got depressed, failed at college (which set me back a year), and after some struggle I realized that I excluded programming for no reason at all and now I'm really enjoying it.

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Hello all. Like the title suggests I am torn.

I am passionate about technology don't get me wrong. It's just hard to keep up with technology rapidly changing. I do like the changes though. I am just wondering about layoffs when I am 50. I'm thinking they will replace me with a younger person that is cheaper for the company or even outsourcing my job which is worse. Also who knows what new programming languages will be like in ten years from now?

I am intrigued by Accounting. I can see myself retiring from a company that I have been at for a very long time. There are also many different fields of Accounting I can apply it to. Also every company needs an Accountant. It's more stable than the I.T. field.

I don't want to be "rich" just comfortable. If someone here is an Accountant or a I.T. guy please give me some advice. Thank you.

If you're 50 and you're still screwing around doing rote programming, yeah, they'll hire someone younger. If you've developed any skills over those 30 years of work, you won't be some grunt I.T. guy any more.

Also, are we talking I.T vs. Accounting, or Computer Science vs. Accounting?

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Also, are we talking I.T vs. Accounting, or Computer Science vs. Accounting?

Agreed. If you have a CS degree, you'd be pretty dumb to go in the I.T. industry.

If you go into accounting, you'll want to get your CPA which I believe isn't cheap to get and is pretty tough. Though, I'd do it just for the challenge. :)

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Personally, and keep in mind I'm saying personally here, not implying everyone before someone with a CS degree hops on here and gets upset with me, but for me, I've never met anyone with a computer science degree that was worth a crap when it came to programming anything. And I've met a lot of them. Just saying. So I'd do accounting, you probably would make more money.

I am self-taught and got lucky to get some good jobs without that degree (high school diploma is all I have) of course now, I'm a self-employed developer, so none of that matters now.

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When I was studying programming, large portions of the curriculum was accounting classes, so you might be able to pull off a dual major by taking all of the classes for both, assuming that they overlap some at your college.

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I've never met anyone with a computer science degree that was worth a crap when it came to programming anything.

Raw computer science hasn't got much to do with programming, per se. A lot of Universities and colleges do a bastardisation of the two and end up with a course that is pretty poor at both. I learned that the hard way when I joined Spotify - their interview process is very Computer Science heavy due to the nature of the service and I didn't know squat. Thankfully, I'd had enough experience and was a good enough programmer to get the job anyway, and now I'm learning proper Computer Science by hanging around the people who maintain the Spotify backend.

On a different note, is "Accountant + Lawyer" a real thing? How do the two professions intersect?

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Here is my input and I was in a very similar position.

There is a big shortage of people who understand Accounting and Systems, meaning, if you can understand how accounting works but also under stand how IT systems link to the accounting processes, you will be in massive demand.

I got my undergrad in Accounting, working on my MBA but also fully understand how to talk to IT folks. Accountants are not good communicators, IT is typically not good at communication, I fill that gap and have more work that I can deal with ( I am a consultant).

My advice would be this, get an Accounting degree, if you can do it, get an IT as well, you will be an essential employee and easily marketable...hell, if you had both, I would hire you to help out at my firm.

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IT can be more creative, I'm a programmer and I must say that it's nice but I can't stand projects that last longer than 4 months, I just get tired of the same project. Accounting must be very boring and repetitive, in my personal case, I hate accounting so I'm not the best person to give an advice about which one is better

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Accounting for sure.

Stay as far away from IT as you can get. I've been in the industry for 20 years and wish I would have chosen differently.

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Nothing wrong with IT.. Thing is depending where you work/on what you work it can becoming kind of boring. It's only so much fun loading an inventory program you are working on 100x while you write it.

However, with IT when it's a new project, or you code something that's really cool / has a big impact on what you are working on, there is a big drive to work on it.

For example, I am currently starting a code base that all of the company's distributed software (software we sell) will be based on. It uses a module system with 1 base program that loads programs stored in DLLs to make it seem like everything is just one big program when in fact it's a whole bunch of small programs.

It's fun making little leaps of progress, like when you can have two DLL's talk to each other/pass data along when they have no reference of each other or anything.

For me I hate math and I would find accounting very boring.. but at the same time, I am on a computer minimum 9 hours a day so when I go home.. the last thing I want to do is sit at a computer.

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Thank you all for the advice. I have decided to go with the Accounting degree. I will tell you why in my own humble opinion. I did not put any order to this list.

1. There is less constant change than with a I.T. degree. With a I.T. degree I would have had to take continuing education classes just to keep up with the constant pace of technology.

2. Accounting degree is a degree I can retire from. Then when I am retired and still want to work. I can apply to be a Walmart greeter. :D

I don't see much people retire from a I.T. degree or a Computer Science degree.

3. Job security. Companies and individuals still will need accountants in a good economy or in a bad one.

4. I can be self-employed. If I wanted to be. I can be my own boss although it can take some years to do.

5. I enjoy working with numbers and based on a few personality tests I have done either online or through books I have bought. It is one of the best career choices based on my personality.

6. The last reason I have is that Accounting have different specific fields I can move into.

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Thank you all for the advice. I have decided to go with the Accounting degree. I will tell you why in my own humble opinion. I did not put any order to this list.

1. There is less constant change than with a I.T. degree. With a I.T. degree I would have had to take continuing education classes just to keep up with the constant pace of technology.

2. Accounting degree is a degree I can retire from. Then when I am retired and still want to work. I can apply to be a Walmart greeter. :D

I don't see much people retire from a I.T. degree or a Computer Science degree.

3. Job security. Companies and individuals still will need accountants in a good economy or in a bad one.

4. I can be self-employed. If I wanted to be. I can be my own boss although it can take some years to do.

5. I enjoy working with numbers and based on a few personality tests I have done either online or through books I have bought. It is one of the best career choices based on my personality.

6. The last reason I have is that Accounting have different specific fields I can move into.

Those may seem valid to you.. though I kind of have to disagree..

1) Yes IT Changes all the time, but if you stay on top of it, then you learn it as you use it.

2) Plenty of People Retire from IT/Comp Science.. many of them can be filthy rich (Bill Gates, etc)

3) Job Security.. yea I can see this being different..however depending on the job you have, you may be the only one that knows how certain software works..

4) Can be very much self employed as IT

5) I think this is why you REALLY went to Accounting

6) Uhm.. yea theres many many many IT Fields.. within those even more fields. I'll do programming for example (one of the fields in IT). There is: Network Programming, Application Programming, Game Programming, Hardware Programming, and many more.

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@firey: You do have valid points. The more I research Accounting as a profession. I hear horror stories of people working long hours and being miserable. I don't want to be like that. I do love working with computers. I am the I.T. guy for my family and friends. I just want a job that I love to do, won't overwork me and still be flexible with time if I want to take a vacation.

Maybe I should talk to a Accountant and get advice from him perhaps? There is a neighbor of mine and found out that he co-founded a Accounting firm. Maybe I should talk to him before I make my switch to Accounting.

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