I graduated in 2017 with a BS in Business Management from a very respected university in my home state. When first starting college, I was actually in the IT degree program but changed to Business about halfway through. After graduating I funny enough got a job working as an IT Systems Analyst at a fairly large employer in the city I am in now. Great upper-entry-level/mid level IT position. I attribute landing the position due to my time working IT in college (PC Tech, Help Desk, etc...) as well as the great soft skills I had from the business degree. Also, I had enough of the IT program under my belt to know SQL, C#, database fundamentals, and other useful skills for the job. At any rate, I now find myself increasingly interested in getting involved with Cybersecurity. Specifically, I am setting my eyes upon (when I have the skills and experience) applying for an entry level Cyber Analyst role.
The only thing I am actually semi-worried about is my bachelors degree. The problem I am seeing is that tons and tons of even entry level cyber jobs literally say they require a bachelors degree in CS or IT. Some even state they require a "technical bachelors" and go on to spell out IT specifically. Furthermore, even outside of Cyber, a lot of the IT jobs in my area do the same thing... they require and spell out IT/CS bachelors degrees. To be fair, some say preferred, but I see more and more requiring this degree type to apply. I talked to a few HR directors in my area and they told me the preference is given (usually) to the candidates with the specific bachelors degree. Furthermore, I was also told a lot of online application systems are now filtering people out if the degree does not fit the job posting requirements. How many do this and if this really happens a lot is unknown to me. Perhaps I was given wrong information.
Additionally, because I came from a business major, I am having to play "catch up" on a lot of IT related things because I did not go all the way through the IT program. Had I stayed, I would have had a lot more exposure to programming, databases, and other useful skills for my current job and future jobs as well. So this got me thinking of a crazy idea... What if I could go back to finish that IT BS assuming it would come at a low cost to me, not be a financial burden, and would allow me to stay at my current job gaining experience and making money? My college has just that option. Because I was so far a long in the program and all I have left are the IT specific courses (upper level ones mostly), I can actually be readmitted immediately, take the remaining courses online, and stay right where I am at.
Now I want to throw out that in no way am I eager to waste money, time, and sleep to work and balance school again. However, if that means another year or so taking online classes that improve my skill set on my current job and help me even just a little bit for the future, that to me is totally worth it. This second bachelors would be ZERO financial burden on me as well, so money is not the issue. Again, that doesn't mean I am excited about spending extra money nor am I eager to unless it calls for it. The cool thing is the remaining classes I would have if I were to do it would literally be directly applicable to my current job.
I am sure a lot of people will tell me to just go for the Masters instead. I agree, however there is a problem with that option. Almost all of the reputable Masters programs also want you to have a bachelors in IT/CS specifically as well. You can in some cases take a crap ton of classes to "bridge" your bachelors to the Masters degree, but by the time I do this, I would be close to the second bachelors anyway.
The other thing I worry about is even If I were to get the second degree, how would I account for that on my resume? My education and work history would show the following dates:
2017- graduated BS Business Management
2017- IT Systems Analyst job
2019- graduated BS IT
I could just leave it all on there and explain that I wanted to go for both degrees. They will be from the same school, so that makes it a little easier. But I am worried employers might think this looks funny. Will they frown at the fact that I finished up the classes online? How else could I keep working and graduate with another degree later? Will they frown at another degree because it looks like I was indecisive? Hopefully they won't care that much and I can just list everything as it is. To be clear, unless I tell them, they would have no idea I finished the degree online. It is the same degree as the on campus one.
Thank you for reading this far if you have, I know I wrote a book but I really need some solid advice from the pros in this community.
So below is a list of questions I thought of regarding my situation and IT jobs.
1. Given the specific situation I am in, would you say it makes sense to go for the IT degree just to have it, even if it might only help me a little bit? Or is it still just a crazy idea? Would it hurt me?
2. How would an employer look at someone like me with a bachelors degree in business management and a bachelors in IT? Would it make me any more marketable? Does it actually hurt to have a second bachelors? How would I account for the different degrees at different times? Would the employer frown at the fact I finished it up online If I were to tell them?
3. In your experience, when job postings say they require a BS in IT/CS, do they really require that? Is it really going to help me to have that second degree? Or do 90% of employers say that but really just want you to have a degree in general?
Again, I know the answer to a second degree is usually not worth it, however I just feel my specific situation may actually warrant giving it a go, but I fully admit I could be totally wrong and it is still not a good idea. Let me know what you think.
Thank you all!
Second bachelors Degree.... how do employers view them and is it for me?
Hoping to get some solid advice on my current situation. It is long and has a few variables at play that might make my specific situation somewhat unique. I will post my specific questions at the bottom of this post. I apologize for the length of this post, so if you read all of it, thank you!