Whats the value in a BS in networking

Ungadunga911Ungadunga911 Posts: 53Member ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm currently a student at a regionally accredited school and was wondering why employers would place so much stock in a degree. Almost everyone i know doesn't know allot about computer network and security. The networking is taught through netacade witch wasn't very successful but im continuing to practice through gn3/cbt nuggets. The programming language in c ++ i was told that i will never use by others already in the field. But its mainly the liberal arts studies that take up around 80% of my time leaving me with very little to actually study networking. It almost seems like once im done with my degree that ill actually have a chance to start from the ground up working towards my CCNA. Im currently a junior and have been told by guys that work in the field or the ones that just started that is that they have learned more in 3 weeks than that past 3 years in a institution. I still have SQL and Linux and Unix ahead of me with 2 classes in programming not to mention calculus, the programming is very difficult for me, and math is just going to be a miracle. I just cant rap my brain around why people want BS degrees cause to me it just seems counter productive for someone trying to learn computer networking and server ex.

Comments

  • ThePawofRizzoThePawofRizzo SSCP, A+, N+, Sec+, CySA+, Cloud+, CWTS Posts: 389Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    There are many companies that won't give you a serious look without a Bachelor's. My company prefers a Bachelor's degree, at least, although they have hired a couple engineers with proven experience. Mostly, a degree can give you that edge on your resume amongst a number of other candidates, particularly early in your career.

    College is mostly going to give you a generalized education with exposure to a number of different disciplines and aspects of IT. Many a college freshman wonders why they must take a composition class, or basic Accounting courses, to fulfill a BS in IT, however many IT jobs do require you to have at least some rudimentary communication skills and some knowledge of business. Hence, an exposure to a variety of other disciplines when pursuing a degree. In my IT degree for networking, I've had to struggle through some programming courses...and am not planning on ever doing software development. However, I do some scripting in my IT job, and the programming exposure did help me become a better scripter, and more understanding of object-oriented concepts. Of course, there are courses like history or humanities that may not really be used in IT, but college is also meant to make you more aware of the world at large. And for my degree I had to take an "Emerging Technologies" course in which a lot of the historical data I learned in earlier history classes applied as we discussed technologies over time. So, most of the college coursework is meant to expose students to a lot of useful information.

    Also, a degree can show your employer that you have an ability to set a longterm goal, discipline to complete a challenge, and have an ability to learn. A degree takes discipline over years to complete, so do longterm work projects. Completing a longterm goal shows a person has some ability to stay focused and achieve goals. With the variety of coursework and assignments any degree offers, a student has to have the ability to think and put together information, which can tell an employer the applicant has some ability to learn. Of course, someone without a degree may have all these same qualities, but with a degree you will have paperwork - especially early in your career - to show these traits.

    I work with a couple talented IT admins who don't have degrees. I also work with a whole lot more mediocre IT staff who never pursued a degree. Given the ratios I've seen in my experience, if I were a hiring manager I would first consider those who have pursued educations: first in degrees, and then certifications. Of course, experience and personality also play a part as well.

    A degree won't necessarily be the one magic pill that launches your IT career. However, it can be that big feather in your cap to make a big difference both in the job search, and also enable you to "hit the ground running" when someone hires you.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,277Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Most BS programs require an English course and writing skills are definitely an important skill everyone needs to learn... icon_silent.gif
  • beadsbeads Posts: 1,442Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    First a real, full four year degree will teach you some very basic, if not well needed skills, such as punctuation, grammar and well thought out writing skills, in general. See above for what is referred to as a "wall of text"

    Second, those liberal arts courses beyond English are there to teach you some outside logic and the ability to discuss something BESIDES networking to other people. Its an old theory that goes back to the Universitas of Bologna and has proven to be quite effective centuries later. We all suffer through the natural sciences lab and statistics for freshman level coursework. You too shall survive. If you wanted to simply geek out on networking there are plenty of schools willing to separate you from your course dollars but a degree will last a lifetime.

    Old school Computer Science course were actually dual degree programs or Mathematics with a heavy side of playing with computers. What little you describe sounds like my sophomore year in CS before hitting crap like non-linear geometry and senior level physics courses. Yep. Lots of junk I never used.

    If it helps I can assure you I study more now at and after work than I ever had to study in my undergrad program. icon_surprised.gif

    Those who come before you, understand.
  • Ungadunga911Ungadunga911 Posts: 53Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Does 7 years a military service prove i am able to stick with something ? just kidding, i appreciate the input.
  • beadsbeads Posts: 1,442Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Given the current political environment, service may help or may hurt. I have always kept my resume clear of my military service for some time now. However, being more fresh out you may have more difficulty explaining the last five career years on your resume so keep that part to a minimum unless you know your audience is "mil-friendly".

    Chicago is definitely not the most military friendly place I have ever been but most people are at least OK with it.

    - b/eads
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 947Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    beads wrote: »
    First a real, full four year degree will teach you some very basic, if not well needed skills, such as punctuation, grammar and well thought out writing skills, in general.

    No offense, but i learned how to properly construct sentences during my K-12 years.
    Shelling out another $50k for this honor... is not something that interests me.

    The world has changed.
    Once upon a time, a 4-year degree may have been a wise decision.
    But Institutions of Higher Learning have been perverted by the College Industrial Complex.

    And once you discover how little of the tuition actually goes to the instructors.... you realize it's a sham.

    It sounds like OP is finally seeing through the con.

    There is nothing wrong with pursuing an Associates degree from an adequate Community College program (especially for anyone interested in IT).

    beads wrote: »
    If you wanted to simply geek out on networking there are plenty of schools willing to separate you from your course dollars but a degree will last a lifetime.
    There's part of the problem.
    There is nothing relevant about my Computer Science degree from 15+ years ago.
    My body of work (in the past 4 years) is inarguably more valuable.

    I think your student loans have a better chance of lasting a lifetime...
    /rant
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Posts: 879Member
    If it helps you get a good entry level job that you wouldn't have been able to get without the degree then it's worth a lot. If you can get that good entry level job without the degree, then it's less valuable.

    Something to keep in mind is that people that say that degrees aren't worth anything usually got their entry level jobs years ago when it was much easier to break into whatever field they are in. The more mature a field is, and the more people there are with degrees relevant to that field, the worse of a candidate you will seem for not having formal education.
  • johndoeejohndoee Posts: 152Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Does 7 years a military service prove i am able to stick with something ? just kidding, i appreciate the input.


    You could have been a cook in the military. You could have been an armorer in the military. Being in the military means nothing towards the ability to stick to something. You could have been sticking oil to the grill so the pancakes didn't burn.
  • Mike RMike R Posts: 148Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would say there are two different types of degrees-

    1. Traditional B&M degree full of a lot of courses that teach you nothing about the field your interested in. As much as we all love someone who can perfectly punctuate with a semi colon is it worth 15K+ a year to do that? I'm not saying illiteracy is cool but with the advent of spell check this need has died down monumentally. It's worth remembering we're talking IT here and not being a doctor or lawyer where going to (insert ivy league here) is important. By the time you graduate from the typical B&M school what little tech you learned will be outdated and old news.

    2. Online 4 year degrees from accredited colleges. We all know about WGU. Assuming no high school transfer credits and no certs you have 2 English courses and 3 math (including statistics). Half of the entire curriculum is done like the trades are. Real world knowledge relevant to your field, oh and the cert at the end is 0 cost for you (this should not be forgotten). The cost? $7,000 a year. Also it doesn't have to take you 4 years to earn it, making the cost cheaper.

    So here's my disclaimer. I don't have a degree, I didn't start in IT. After high school though I evaluated multiple colleges for my field of expertise. I observed the exact same as you OP that the majority of courses had absolutely no bearing on the field I was going into. I couldn't see spending $60K out of pocket for instruction that didn't help me perform my job more efficiently or productively.

    I am though going back to school through WGU in June. For the very reasons I outlined in comparison #2. I can't afford B&M pricing and I can't quit my job to go to school. I want to progress faster in my new career and a BS will help with that, but also the technical knowledge and certifications gained through the WGU BS will put me ahead of any standard B&M student applying to the same job.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,277Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    volfkhat wrote: »
    No offense, but i learned how to properly construct sentences during my K-12 years.
    Shelling out another $50k for this honor... is not something that interests me.

    I would venture to guess a very high number of non-college grads would prove this statement incorrect. Having to write a lot of papers in college definitely reinforces this. I don't know about other people, but high school was a joke to me. (the OP is not helping your case either)

    I agree that a lot of classes can be a waste, but amount of higher level positions that require a degree almost makes it silly not to get one. Not that you can't succeed without one. Just gonna cut your opportunities by fair amount. Of course experience > everything else. But early in ones career, and arguably later on as well, a degree can be invaluable.
  • johndoeejohndoee Posts: 152Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Mike R wrote: »
    I would say there are two different types of degrees-

    1. Traditional B&M degree full of a lot of courses that teach you nothing about the field your interested in. As much as we all love someone who can perfectly punctuate with a semi colon is it worth 15K+ a year to do that? I'm not saying illiteracy is cool but with the advent of spell check this need has died down monumentally. It's worth remembering we're talking IT here and not being a doctor or lawyer where going to (insert ivy league here) is important. By the time you graduate from the typical B&M school what little tech you learned will be outdated and old news.

    2. Online 4 year degrees from accredited colleges. We all know about WGU. Assuming no high school transfer credits and no certs you have 2 English courses and 3 math (including statistics). Half of the entire curriculum is done like the trades are. Real world knowledge relevant to your field, oh and the cert at the end is 0 cost for you (this should not be forgotten). The cost? $7,000 a year. Also it doesn't have to take you 4 years to earn it, making the cost cheaper.

    So here's my disclaimer. I don't have a degree, I didn't start in IT. After high school though I evaluated multiple colleges for my field of expertise. I observed the exact same as you OP that the majority of courses had absolutely no bearing on the field I was going into. I couldn't see spending $60K out of pocket for instruction that didn't help me perform my job more efficiently or productively.

    I am though going back to school through WGU in June. For the very reasons I outlined in comparison #2. I can't afford B&M pricing and I can't quit my job to go to school. I want to progress faster in my new career and a BS will help with that, but also the technical knowledge and certifications gained through the WGU BS will put me ahead of any standard B&M student applying to the same job.

    [h=2]Whats the value in a BS in networking[/h]

    Read that again so you can stop subject hopping and venting icon_thumright.gif
  • shochanshochan Senior Member Posts: 876Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    I probably get passed up all the time with only an AAS in CIS, but sometimes having my 19yrs IT experience gives me a second look, but not always...I have thought about the BS in IT, but I rather just self study at my pace and grab some important certs down the road...I tend to only focus on 1 cert a year since I left my MSP job, because I didn't have time to self study, so frickin busy all the time with projects.



    "It's not good when it's done, it's done when it's good" ~ Danny Carey
  • Mike RMike R Posts: 148Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    johndoee wrote: »
    Whats the value in a BS in networking



    Read that again so you can stop subject hopping and venting icon_thumright.gif

    Subject hopping and venting..... did you read what I wrote?

    The OPs point was 80% of a BS is gen ed garbage, and for the cost does it have a value. A BS in ANY field consist of gen ed credits that are almost always the same.

    The value of a BS from a school like WGU I clearly outlined. Your biggest obstacle of not having a BS is HR throwing your resume in the garbage. Some people consider going for a BS meaning B&M classes all day full of worthless credits as the OP clearly outlined. I not only identified with his grievances but also offered alternatives that will aid him in his future.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,078Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    First, let me say that while I have a degree, I got it as a full-time working adult.

    The value of a Bachelor's degree is over-rated on one hand and has hidden value on the other. One things I often hear is that "it teaches you to think". I think that we can all agree that anyone who goes into debt "to learn to think", to the tune of tens of thousands, if not close to a hundred thousand dollars, failed the first test. But there are a lot of things to be learned with any sort of education.

    Today, a Bachelor's degree is what a High School Diploma was in the 50s. Necessary, no but useful. Back then, you could drop out and still get a decent job. Especially if you dropped out and went to a trade school and that's essentially what we have in much of IT today; certifications and the IT equivalent of going to a trade school to learn HVAC or plumbing.

    Is a degree necessary? Of course not. Why should I hire someone just because they have a Gender Studies degree? But there is value to the prerequisites that almost all US universities require. It astonishes me how many people don't know how to communicate and don't know much about how the world works. I like being around people who are smart and curious and if I make a weird joke about something, are far more likely to "get it."

    But as a hiring manager I recognize that I hire skills, I don't hire opinions and outside of the ability to troubleshoot, I don't hire "the ability to think." I manage engineers, not philosophers. But HR is always pushing me "what kind of degree is required? "None". I'm almost close to making it a macro.

    But there is one thing I respect and that's an Associates Degree. It shows two things: first, you still went through some English courses and hopefully learned a bit more about how to write than HS taught you. Second, it shows that you know the value of a dollar. People who get an Associates Degree are more likely to pay for it themselves and aren't concerned with "the college experience". They want to learn and doing it on their own dime, are probably pretty thrifty. That's the drive I respect and want to hire.
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