College vs Certs

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  • boxerboy1168boxerboy1168 Posts: 394Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I keep reading about WGU, are they eligible for the PEL grant?

    Do employeers recognize them as a legitamate university?

    What about labs?
    Currently enrolling into WGU's IT - Security Program. Working on LPIC (1,2,3) and CCNA (and S) as long term goals and preparing for the Security+ and A+ as short term goals.
  • jcundiffjcundiff Posts: 486Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I keep reading about WGU, are they eligible for the PEL grant?

    Do employeers recognize them as a legitamate university?

    What about labs?

    Yes, all federal financial aid
    Yes, they are a legitimate accredited university
    Course have labs, some do anyway, mostly its for your use, if you want to take the time to go through them... for technical courses, I would highly suggest taking advantage of them
    "Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn't Work Hard" - Tim Notke
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,905Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Does having a degree offer any benefit to you in the job market over that of certs?


    The Short answer is it depends. Usually if the hiring manager has a College degree, he tends to only hire people with College degrees. If they don’t have a degree, they will hire people with or without a degree, experience and certifications.


    Having a degree do you still require the certs? ?


    College is very broad education, Certifications on the other hand usually indicts you have had specialized training (even if you self-studied)


    Do I need the certs even if I have a degree?


    Need no, but they help you land a job, especially if you don’t have experience.


    Been encountering a lot of, "You need a degree."


    Again depends on the company, usually when your just starting out, they throw the you really should have a degree in your face, but if you have experience they are in need of, they will not say anything and hire you anyway without a degree. If you’re really in demand, you can tell them were to shove “You really need a degree” comment and they would still hire you.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • jibtechjibtech Posts: 377Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    jcundiff wrote: »
    since you are prior service, if no one has told you about it yet, be sure to check out Fed VTE, lots of free IT/IS training (https://fedvte.usalearning.gov/)

    Holy ****. How did I not know about this?!

    Signing up now.
  • shimasenseishimasensei BSc IT, CISSP, CCNP:RS, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:RS, CCENT, Sec+, P+, A+, L+/LPIC-1, CSSS, VCA6-DCV, ITILv3:F Posts: 241Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Just joined this recently. It's open to military, federal, DOD employees, etc. as well.

    They have a CISSP prep course! (among others...)
    Current: BSc IT + CISSP, CCNP:RS, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:RS, CCENT, Sec+, P+, A+, L+/LPIC-1, CSSS, VCA6-DCV, ITILv3:F, MCSA:Win10
    Future Plans: MSc + PMP, CCIE/NPx, GIAC...
  • mbarrettmbarrett Posts: 397Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    A College degree does not have to be renewed every 3 years...
    College is not so much about the subject you choose to study, it's purpose is to learn how to learn, and develop better time management skills.
    In the IT field, I have worked with plenty of people who majored in "soft" disciplines like English, Art, Social sciences, liberal arts, etc. From that point, it's easy to go back and pick up a couple of IT certs to get you in the door at some company so you can start earning a paycheck.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,170Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Certs "Vs." Degree:

    Either/Or, if you are starting out and are early in your career.

    Both, if you want to move up. You can experience for either, but it will take longer.

    Neither, if you want to stay in the callcenter or helpdesk for the rest of your life.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCSA 7, learning Ansible
    Future: RHCE? VCAP6.5-DCD?
  • boxerboy1168boxerboy1168 Posts: 394Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Decide to go the WGU route, awaiting approval for acceptance into the program. Still taking Net plus in June and the other certs are apparently part of the program, not totally sure but hope they are.
    Currently enrolling into WGU's IT - Security Program. Working on LPIC (1,2,3) and CCNA (and S) as long term goals and preparing for the Security+ and A+ as short term goals.
  • dhay13dhay13 Posts: 580Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats! I'm glad to see people push themselves to achieve more! Good luck!
  • boxerboy1168boxerboy1168 Posts: 394Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I gotta step up my game in life not happy with where I am at.
    Currently enrolling into WGU's IT - Security Program. Working on LPIC (1,2,3) and CCNA (and S) as long term goals and preparing for the Security+ and A+ as short term goals.
  • ErtazErtaz Posts: 919Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I gotta step up my game in life not happy with where I am at.

    Saint Augustine agrees: "[FONT=&quot]If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing."[/FONT]
  • jelevatedjelevated Posts: 139Member
    Both. I've seen lots of resumes. Most Everyone has a bachelors, that is just enough to get your resume not thrown away immediately.

    Very very rarely do I see certifications. Everyone wants to have them but no one puts in the work. Oh you are working on your cissp, and your ccie, and a couple of giac certs, but you don't have anything at the moment?? Ok...

    TE are freaks in this regard, sometimes it's hard to remember that.

    Experience matters, obviously, Imo , those who have followed the certification path (where one exists) often have very interesting stories to tell from the trench.

    Certification is no guarantee/magic key. If you are a Quad CCIE unicorn, but have no database experience, I'm not going to hire you for a DBA role.
  • ErtazErtaz Posts: 919Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    jelevated wrote: »
    TE are freaks in this regard.

    https://youtu.be/t9Pb8dWxzu4

    Yup.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAPosts: 4,009Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Experience+Certs+Degree = Holy Triforce icon_thumright.gif

    This gives you leverage in all scenarios and gives you the best advantage in the competitive market. The more you know the better off you will be.
    *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."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, GCP Architect, Series 6, Series 63
  • renacidorenacido Posts: 387Member
    For the vast majority of IT jobs, relevant work experience is far more highly valued than certs or college.

    By order of importance in the eyes of most hiring managers:

    Relevant work experience > relevant certs > relevant degree > any degree > any work experience

    These have a cumulative benefit by the way. They all help, just not equally.

    Someone with years of relevant work experience doesn't usually need anything else to get interviewed. They've demonstrated that they can do the job and meet an employer's expectations; they're low-risk hires. If they interview well, they are usually a front-runner to get the job. If they have the experience PLUS relevant certs, and/or a relevant degree, all the better.

    In the IT world, certs offer some credibility in lieu of work experience. Degrees do the same, though usually not as well since academic programs tend to be more general compared to certs, and enterprise IT requires a high degree of specialization. The main exception to this is software/hardware engineering.

    Very few IT jobs actually require a degree. Even for those that do, an Associate's is sufficient for most of those. But you can sometimes get a higher salary with the degree (easier for managers to get approval from compensation boards/committees to pay you more if you have a degree).

    Hope this helps.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    Whether or not you should get a college degree is up to you. Whether or not you should get certified is up to you. I can say this, there's really no "versus" about it, unless you're in a position where you absolutely can't afford the academic route, even at the community college level. Having a degree, even an Associate's, will help you in this career. Having a work-related degree - computer science, information systems, engineering, etc. - is helpful, but a lot of times you'll find people in this industry who have all kinds of academic backgrounds, I've worked with people who have degrees in everything from business and economics to sociology and medieval literature. In cases like the former, certs really help show your knowledge in the specific field you're in, while the degree shows you've got a formal education and you can finish a project. Having a degree, particularly an advanced degree, is usually also pretty helpful in climbing the career-ladder, it's not too often you'll find managers or architect-level folks who don't have some kind of college degree.

    As for whether or not certs are worth it, in general, that's a subjective question. Where I live and work, in the San Francisco Bay Area, having a cert on your resume opens up all kinds of doors and gets recruiters and hiring managers calling you at all hours of the day with potential job opportunities. In some companies, getting certified on various things either helps you land your bonus, gives you a boost on your employee review, or can help the company maintain its standing with various vendors. In other parts of the world, though, it's less important to have certs. On a personal level, I like to think of certs as a way to get myself to learn; studying the material and knowing it well enough to pass a test gives me a baseline of knowledge, and that's always helpful.

    You won't really see any negative impact from earning certs, aside from the cost of taking the tests, and you'll most likely benefit from the knowledge you gain on the way. I like to think of it in terms of a recent New Yorker cartoon:

    "Renewable energy is affordable and perpetual so we don't have to worry about running out. Without coal or nuclear plants we ensure clean water, air, and protect nature for future generations."
    "Psshh, but what if climate change is a hoax and we create a better world all for nothing?!"

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