Late education: Worth it?

MooseboostMooseboost Senior MemberPosts: 775Member ■■■■□□□□□□
Greetings,

I thought I would ask here since I know several members here have walked down the paths that I am looking at. Where I current stand: I am 24 with a CCENT. I am taking ICND2 on June 1st (first date I could get) and after that I will roll right into CCNP. I currently work help desk for an ISP troubleshooting fiber voice,internet, and video as well as copper voice and internet. I have been looking at my education and wondering if I would benefit from a degree. Would an associates be worth shooting for at this point? My company will pay for my degree, but I will have to stay with the company a minimum of a year after they pay. I would have to start next spring (when I am eligible for that benefit) if I went that course. By then I would hope to have my CCNP: Switch down and looking towards moving to Route. At that point, would pursuing an associates be worth it? Would obtaining a CCNP out weigh the associates? The issue I see is that I would be stuck at a help desk for at least 3 years and the CCNP would do me no good without the experience at a NOC position or something deeper. There is a chance I could get a NOC position within the company but, they don't open very often. Our IP services and Network Services/Facilities departments just got new hires so they will be good for some time. Is it worth it to go for the degree if it means I am stuck in help desk for 4+ years?

To all who have been in my position: What did you do? Would you have done anything different?
2020 Certification Goals: OSCE GXPN
Blog: https://hackfox.net

Comments

  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    CCNP>Associate's degree, however you're comparing apples to oranges. Education and certs are two different things and two different check boxes. I would recommend aiming for a bachelor's degree as an Associate's probably won't do much at this point.

    That being said, can you apply for another job right now making quite a bit more money? If it's a significant bump, I'd just take the new job, then pay for WGU out of pocket (or with a loan) as it's fairly cheap if you work quickly at it.
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Posts: 1,454Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Plan on taking courses for the rest of your career as well. There really isn't any such things as "late education" in this field. Been at this for decades and you can count on the fact that I will take atleast two Master's level courses a year.

    -b/eads
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Posts: 775Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    markulous wrote: »
    CCNP>Associate's degree, however you're comparing apples to oranges. Education and certs are two different things and two different check boxes. I would recommend aiming for a bachelor's degree as an Associate's probably won't do much at this point.

    That being said, can you apply for another job right now making quite a bit more money? If it's a significant bump, I'd just take the new job, then pay for WGU out of pocket (or with a loan) as it's fairly cheap if you work quickly at it.


    I will look at WGU for sure. In my initial thoughts I had assumed a bachelors would be way better than an associates. I had thought maybe an associates would be better than no degree.
    2020 Certification Goals: OSCE GXPN
    Blog: https://hackfox.net
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Mooseboost wrote: »
    I had looked at WGU, but thought I needed to be in IT longer than a year to attend. The reason for the focus on the associates was that is specifically what they pay for. The only way I could work here and do a program was if it was online. We work a rotating schedule that isn't that flexible so in-person classes would not be a go. Anything past a technical "2 year program" they do not cover. I had suspected a bachelors would benefit me far greater. I may look at WGU again. I had been hoping to stay student debt free, but I suppose that may be something I have to invest in.

    You don't have to be in IT longer. You can be admitted with certifications instead of experience. Your CCENT should suffice.

    If they only pay for an Associate's and you're locked into help desk for that long, I'd pass. Better ROI by doing WGU on your own (especially if you can get a grant or scholarship) and taking a better paying position.
  • Eston21Eston21 Posts: 71Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    If you are looking at staying with the company long term you should do it, because an Associates is a good stepping to getting your BS which may be a requirement for future management opportunities.
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Posts: 775Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    markulous wrote: »
    You don't have to be in IT longer. You can be admitted with certifications instead of experience. Your CCENT should suffice.

    If they only pay for an Associate's and you're locked into help desk for that long, I'd pass. Better ROI by doing WGU on your own (especially if you can get a grant or scholarship) and taking a better paying position.

    Thanks for the information! I will check out WGU.
    2020 Certification Goals: OSCE GXPN
    Blog: https://hackfox.net
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    No problem. Let me know if you have any questions as I'm almost done with my degree here.
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Posts: 1,277Member
    An associates is better than no degree yes.
    With the experience I have even though i dont have a bachelors (yet) i have my associates it helps me get through the HR filter a lot of times because I at least graduated with some education.

    Would I recommend keep going and get your bachelors? Absolutely but if that option isn't available at the moment then yes I'd do the associates.
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Problem is he is locked into employment there until a year after he graduates and he doesn't anticipate any openings there to be promoted. I don't think being locked into a help desk for a couple years (when you have a year experience already) is worth the price of an associate's degree. More money to be made by going somewhere else to get more pay, accelerating your degree with WGU, and moving up quicker.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,269Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    As some other stated, you're 24, if you are in for the long haul in IT be prepared for a lifetime of education. Most of the people here really love the aspect, some people hate it, they are usually also the same people who have been stagnant at the same level for 10 years.
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Posts: 1,277Member
    markulous wrote: »
    Problem is he is locked into employment there until a year after he graduates and he doesn't anticipate any openings there to be promoted. I don't think being locked into a help desk for a couple years (when you have a year experience already) is worth the price of an associate's degree. More money to be made by going somewhere else to get more pay, accelerating your degree with WGU, and moving up quicker.

    Ohhh I read it wrong. I thought he meant he was paying for it himself. Sorry am technically blind in both eyes. Twice.
    I wouldn't lock into a company for that level.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    markulous wrote: »
    Problem is he is locked into employment there until a year after he graduates and he doesn't anticipate any openings there to be promoted. I don't think being locked into a help desk for a couple years (when you have a year experience already) is worth the price of an associate's degree. More money to be made by going somewhere else to get more pay, accelerating your degree with WGU, and moving up quicker.

    He's not locked in. He just have to payback pro-rated amount. Also, if the new company wants you badly enough they'll cover it.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    dave330i wrote: »
    He's not locked in. He just have to payback pro-rated amount. Also, if the new company wants you badly enough they'll cover it.

    I don't know about that, I was just going off what he said.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    markulous wrote: »
    I don't know about that, I was just going off what he said.

    If you read any educational reimbursement agreement (training, exam cost, school, etc), there's a part about how much you'll owe the company if you leave before x period of time (usually a year).

    My advice to anyone is to take full advantage of educational reimbursement plan if offered, and if you happen to leave before it's fully paid off, ask the new company to cover it.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Posts: 775Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    dave330i wrote: »
    If you read any educational reimbursement agreement (training, exam cost, school, etc), there's a part about how much you'll owe the company if you leave before x period of time (usually a year).

    My advice to anyone is to take full advantage of educational reimbursement plan if offered, and if you happen to leave before it's fully paid off, ask the new company to cover it.


    The agreement terms is the full amount paid if you leave than a year after the payment date. Which isn't the end of the world. Its free, granted I follow the rules.
    2020 Certification Goals: OSCE GXPN
    Blog: https://hackfox.net
  • aspiringsoulaspiringsoul Posts: 314Member
    Education is always worth it.

    Knowledge is power.
    Education: MS-Information Security and Assurance from Western Governors University, BS-Business Information Systems from Indiana Wesleyan University, AAS-Computer Network Systems - ITT Tech,
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Mooseboost wrote: »
    The agreement terms is the full amount paid if you leave than a year after the payment date. Which isn't the end of the world. Its free, granted I follow the rules.

    That's pretty onerous. I'm gonna guess that rest of the benefits aren't that great either.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • philz1982philz1982 Posts: 978Member
    Op your 24 your young. Get your bs in is or cs!
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