Kind of on the edge of finishing my degree vs not finishing it

JasionoJasiono Member Posts: 896 ■■■■□□□□□□
Not sure what I want to do here. I hate pulling loans for anything, I'm already $17k in school loans (by 1 provider) and it makes me uneasy, but I am thinking about finishing up my bachelors degree, and when things settle down a little more, make more money, I want to move on the the masters degree in information security and assurance.

One thing holding me back, well, 2 actually:

1. The loan, it would add about 3k more to it.
2. I got a job that requires a bachelors degree without a bachelors degree, all my certs and partial experience, alongside my personality got me this job, instantly (I knew within 5 hours that I got the job).

Why I want it:

1. I'm afraid that I will not get into a security role without it.
2. I am currently studying for the SSCP exam (I can get endorsed because I have a little over a year in 2 ISC2 domains).
3. Just to complete it so that it's not a sore on my resume, an empty slot, incomplete (to me it might make it seem as though I don't go through with things, no drive to finish, maybe a possible employer would see that as well?)

Is experience superior to degrees?

I attended WGU, and I know I could finish the rest of my program in 1 more semester (I just need to do CCNA, CCNA Security, Linux+ and Project+, and a couple other courses that aren't as big).

I have a lot of downtime at work in which I could finish up most of it.


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    robSrobS Member Posts: 67 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Finish the degree if you can. The main thing it tells me is that you had the tenacity to complete it. Obviously affordability is an important consideration, as is likelyhood that you'll actually complete it.
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    LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    Loans suck, but being turned down for a job because you don't have a bachelors sucks more.

    In my experience, experience is superior to a degree BUT a lot of companies will not interview you without a degree. If you have that gap on your resume i guarantee it will also come up in interviews.

    There are a lot of companies out there like it or not that will not even interview you without a degree. It's silly, but it's the world we live in. Some companies may hire you but you won't be eligible for specific job titles without a degree - again crazy but it's the world we live in.

    My advice would be to finish the degree, after you are done you will thank yourself. The debt sucks, and maybe prolong your schooling so you don't have to take as much debt out.
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    5ekurity5ekurity Member Posts: 346 ■■■□□□□□□□
    As someone who was in very similar shoes as you a number of years ago, please finish your degree. You will not regret it. I wish someone had given me that advice back when I got my associates and thought that was enough.

    I was paying out of pocket + student loans. Since I was already employed, and experience + degree put me at over 4 years, I 'had a bachelor's degree of knowledge' minimum. When I left that company, guess what - nobody else cared, they just saw I had an associate's degree. Even with 10+ years of experience and my credentials, I wasn't even getting call-backs for jobs because of the missing degree requirement. Even though I'm happy with my current employer, I refuse to let the lack of a 4 year degree ever hold me back again - so I'm wrapping up my bachelor's @ WGU this year.
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    JasionoJasiono Member Posts: 896 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I can finish my degree this year easily, I know I can.

    I made an appointment to meet up with an HR rep to talk about the tuition reimbursement here at work. It's less than what my previous employer had (here it's 2k a year vs 5250 at my other employer but the salary increase was very well worth it).

    I figure, 3200 for a semester of 6 months, 2k paid by my employer, leaves me with 1200 out of pocket. This brings me to September of this year. If I need another semester, which I probably will due to the capstone project and CCNA, it would bring me to next year being my second reimbursement date, meaning another 1200 out of pocket.

    If not, I will have to aim to shoot the entire thing in 6 months, if possible.

    I was dumb when I was young and have credit card debt out the wazoo (about 11k dollars worth that is being paid off now). I figured a loan of about 3200 is going to be about 32 more a month on my existing 190 dollar monthly loan payments, but if my job reimburses me the 4 out of 6400, it would be a little under that. If I finish in 1 semester, I could just pay 12 more a month, roughly, which would be amazing.

    I have 37 more CPUs to go to finish (I have 89/126)

    I'm also afraid of the programming courses icon_neutral.gif
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    JasionoJasiono Member Posts: 896 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Nevermind, I need to get the OK from HR that I will be reimbursed and I will go, no matter what. I just read the policy that the max is 2500 reimbursed, which is a little over 500 out of my own pocket.


    Then I will slide right into my Masters and not stop until I get it.
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    NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Finish the degree with or without tuition reimbursement!
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
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    5ekurity5ekurity Member Posts: 346 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yes, finish it up and don't stop until you achieve your goal!
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    ItrimbleItrimble Member Posts: 221
    Finish it up. If you choose to go to WGU for your masters they offer a $2000 scholarship on top of your tuition.
    Goals for 2015 : Finish BS Network Administration at WGU
    Become CCNA, CISSP, CEH, VCP5-10 Certified
    Possible Start Masters in Information Security
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I completed my BS in 2007 and my MS in 2012 and I still always make sure my employers offer tuition reimbursement. For one, it is a good benefit to have, and two, it says a lot about a company if they are unwilling to invest into their employees. I do take classes here and there anyhow just because it is a very easy way for me to get CPEs for my CISSP.

    Some people are more debt averse than others, but $17k in student loan debt isn't that much... I applaud you for keeping it that low!
    2024 Renew: [ ] AZ-204 [ ] AZ-305 [ ] AZ-400 [ ] AZ-500 [ ] Vault Assoc.
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    Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    3K to finish your BS and get a pile of certs, that isn't even a question, go for it.
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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    Jasiono wrote: »
    I'm also afraid of the programming courses icon_neutral.gif

    I'd say go for it if you can do it. If you are that close to being done then take the 3k plunge and knock it out. I am in the same boat as you. I am just waiting for my little one to sleep through the night so I can crank out courses at night and finish it up in under a year.

    As for the programming courses, I not sure about WGUs courses but they aren't that bad. Once you get the general grasp of it the rest of them all fall in line.
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    H3||scr3amH3||scr3am Member Posts: 564 ■■■■□□□□□□
    as others stated, I'd say finish it! There is no point in abandoning it when you're this close to completing it. I hope the tuition reimbursement from your job helps get you closer to completing it :D I like others was naive when I started my career path, I was lucky and landed a job in a startup SOC, and it was a great learning experience, but I never pursued any certifications, or furthered my education while I was working there... They let me go about 6 months ago and I've been working my but off on certifications and now schooling to make myself more appealable to other employers, and it's difficult, but I hope that it'll all be worth it in the end :D. I've gotten lots of interviews since adding my pursuit of a bachelors to my resume, but I'm yet to land a job... fingers crossed.

    Maybe once you complete your bachelors, you'll be exposed to new and more rewarding career opportunities :D also the MSISA gets you that CEH and CHFI, which appeal to HR depts, on your resume :D the CCNA will help too I'm sure :D and the program is a great lead into getting your CISSP as I understand it.
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    JasionoJasiono Member Posts: 896 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You guys rock, thank you. I love this community, I appreciate the feedback.

    Reading my original post makes me wonder why I even asked icon_neutral.gif
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    srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Allow me to help reinforce what you've already realized to be the correct answer....

    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
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    Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Member Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Definitely finish the fight as Master Chief would say!! ;)
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

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    daviddwsdaviddws Member Posts: 303 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Lol this thread cracked me up!!
    Master of Information Systems Management
    M.B.A: Master of Business Administration
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    JasionoJasiono Member Posts: 896 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Why? Lol

    summary of why I asked this question:

    I've made a lot of financial mistakes back in the day that dug me deep into debt. One of them being paying my wedding with credit cards.

    I'm very lucky I got an 80k dollar raise very recently but my wife just took a pay cut and I always freak out when things like that happen because we are still paying stuff off.
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    jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Jasiono wrote: »
    I'm very lucky I got an 80k dollar raise very recently.

    New-World problems :)
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
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    JasionoJasiono Member Posts: 896 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yeah but I also have a child now and higher payments on rent and cars as well. The cars are done their leases in about a year and will be cut down in payments significantly.

    I overworry about bout money and stress way too much about it, more than I should anyway, and it sucks.

    I was extremely lucky I got a new job and I have techexams to thank for it because I would have never heard about WGU. I got a huge chunk knocked off due to my transferred associates degree.
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Finish your degree or else you'll end up a 9 year college senior like me. What's another $3000 when you're already $17000 into the game? ;)
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    Finish the bachelors and you'll be glad you did it. For the remainder of the WGU bill, you might be able to obtain a scholarship or two or more. Apply for as many scholarships as you can. Remember, you can always negotiate settlement plans to better accommodate your financial burdens. Lenders don't want you to go broke, they want your money and will work with you on how to pay them back. If they won't work with you for some reason, you can always reach out to a debt consolidation company to assist you in the process of settling your loans.
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    dannykydannyky Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Good advice, thanks.
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    KronesKrones Member Posts: 164
    I was in the same boat as you. I withdrew because between buying a house, moving to a new datacenter and the other million projects going on, I would not be able to complete as many classes as I wanted too. So is it worth spending 3k on tuition to get my CCNA (if I could even pass that in a six month time frame) or to have work reimburse that certification and renroll into the WGU program when I'm ready and know I can knock a bunch of classes out. I chose the latter, it stinks because I don't like to quit, but I have to maximize my options and my current goals is to obtain most of the required certifications outside of the program and have work reimburse them. I also don't feel the pressure from the deadlines, and won't rush through the material which also bothers me. Some of this material is going to be core to my field of knowledge and shouldn't be rushed just to pass a test for a piece of paper.

    At the end of the day what you do at work / experience on the job is more important than both degrees and certifications. I'm not saying a degree won't help you out, especially if you want to go into management. But many people that I work with, that are way smarter than I am, and make a lot more, don't have college degrees. It's more about their ability to adapt and learn new things and their application of said knowledge while on the job.
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    JasionoJasiono Member Posts: 896 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks for the insight to all

    I contacted redmissions and start back up on May 1st. Still waiting on a second email from them
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    JasionoJasiono Member Posts: 896 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I got the confirmation that I have been approved for readmission to WGU.
    To my surprise, the fee was previously waived. It's been over 6 months, but I'm not complaining!
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