A.A.S Degree and Certs?

SyliceSylice Member Posts: 100
I was currenty generally discharged from the u.s military. Ive always had a passion for computers so I want to pursue my dream and get into I.T(specifically the Network Engineering aspect). So, I will be attending my local community college to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Networking Technology and at the same time start out with CCNA, SECURITY+, and maybe an A+ cert. I know experience is also key I plan to get that by practicing in a homemade cisco lab and experimenting in the college lab. I also plan to start in a NOC in the Raleigh area. My primary goal is to become a full time Network Engineer. Am I on the right track?


  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    Yes. This sounds like a good plan. If you had come here just asking "I want to be a Network Engineer, where do I start?", then this plan is pretty much what would have been recommended: get education (AS/BS), get certifications (A+/Net+/Sec+ and CCNA), get experience (home lab, volunteer, intern, any paid IT job).

    The AAS is great place to start, because that plus a bit of experience, you could go on to complete a BS in Networking at WGU, and who knows maybe later a Master's. An AAS will likely get you jobs, but it's great to have options. The CompTIA trifecta (A+/Net+/Sec+) is a good starting point, and CCNA is nearly mandatory to get into a NOC. Don't panic if you can't get into a NOC job straight away, take whatever IT jobs you can and build up that experience.

    The only other piece of advice I'd offer is to start looking at jobs now, so that you have an idea of what to expect and what qualifications to aim for.

    And Raleigh is not a bad place to start, either.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • SegoviaSegovia Member Posts: 119
    Well I was like you (except not a vet) but I went to a "community" college that seemed to have a pretty good IT department. Two years and a lot of stress and debt later here I am with 2 AAS degrees. Well now I'm getting a BS online but so far looking back on it I think most of it was a huge waste of time. If I could do it all over again I would have just gone straight for the Bachelors. The only great part about going to this brick and mortar school was all the hands on experience I got. For example, the many hours of Cisco networking academy and so on. But for the price of just one class you can set up your own home lab.

    Then again if you have the GI Bill you're pretty much set, you might as well go to a real school and have fun on the government's dime. The only frustrating part is taking so many classes where you hate the teacher or it doesn't relate to your future.

    Good luck man!
    WGU BS - IT Security ... Enrollment Date 10/15 ... Progress 45/124 CU {36%}
  • goatamagoatama Member Posts: 181
    Segovia wrote: »
    Well I was like you (except not a vet) but I went to a "community" college that seemed to have a pretty good IT department. Two years and a lot of stress and debt later here I am with 2 AAS degrees.

    No offense, but maybe it's because you got *TWO* AAS degrees? Sounds like you weren't really sure what you were trying to accomplish and just kept taking classes. Only time I've seen someone get two lower-level degrees is when their employer was paying for it and encouraged more schooling.

    Most community colleges are much cheaper than four year colleges, and the classes usually transfer whole cloth to a university, depending on what you're doing, so you can get a Bachelor's degree. That's the most economical way to do it, but you have to have a plan and it has to mesh with your end goal. If you eventually want a BS, then you need to pick a program that will transfer to the University you want to obtain that from, otherwise you're just spinning your wheels.

    If you're paying out of pocket, this is the best way to do it. If you're on a GI Bill, I'd say go straight for the Bachelor's.

    This all said, I definitely recommend going for the undergrad degree eventually if you want to move up in IT. The AAS and certs will get you a good ways, but you'll need more to really move up. Just my $0.02.
    WGU - MSISA - Done!!
    Next up: eCPPT, eWDP, eWPT, eMAPT
  • SegoviaSegovia Member Posts: 119
    You make it sound like I was trying to find my major, when I really just elected to do more with my time. They are in Networking and Forensics, and I went there for two full years (every quarter). The second degree came from only 5 or so classes extra. I took the forensics classes because I wanted the credits to transfer into their new bachelor program in Cybersecurity, which is why I put community in quotes because they removed the community from their name. However after going through the program once I decided I had enough and chose to go to WGU instead.

    And BTW I only received 29 CUs from those two AAS degrees at WGU.
    WGU BS - IT Security ... Enrollment Date 10/15 ... Progress 45/124 CU {36%}
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