Are degrees really that necessary?

sorry_not_moosesorry_not_moose Posts: 3Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Good Morning Everyone, active duty military guy here who's making a career change from healthcare to IT. I don't have a degree in IT/IS/CS, but I'm seeing it as a requirement for even entry level jobs. I'm planning on getting my A+/Net+/Sec+ over the next 90 days, and I'm hoping that will be a viable substitute in place of an actual degree. What are your thoughts on this? Any hiring managers willing to chime in? Thanks in advance and have a great day! 

Comments

  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 812Mod Mod
    Some recruiters require a degree of some form or another, but it's not absolutely necessary to have one. I've seen some users get turned down when applying for jobs because they haven't got an A+, even though they have a degree. It depends on where you're applying and what role you're going for. If I were you I'd focus on the CompTIA exams for now and an entry IT position such as a helpdesk role. From there you can built your experience and certifications and create your own career path to follow.
    Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to. - Richard Branson
  • LionelTeoLionelTeo Posts: 526Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Only had a diploma, but had like 12 GIAC Certifications with GSE. Eventually, your accreditation boils down to your experiences. TBH I don't really care about working for a company who cares about that degree paper. Most importantly is to work for a company that cares about the work you had done and appreciate the work you are doing. I would apply the same thought process in my hiring. 
  • Infosec_SamInfosec_Sam Security+, CCENT, ITIL Foundation, A+ Madison, WIPosts: 334Admin Admin
    edited May 20
    I would expect the A+/Net+/Sec+ to be enough to get you into the door in IT. Like @Skyliinez92 said, it does really depend on the role and what the individual hiring manager values, but I don't think you'll have too much trouble finding someone who values certifications over a degree, especially in an entry-level IT position. From there, your experience will be what carries you up the ladder into better positions.

    If you're going to just do certs though, I'd consider also grabbing some equipment for a home lab and tackling some projects with that. You might find some value in actually working with equipment along with your cert studies, and it'll give you something cool to talk about in an interview. 
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  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,900Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Really depends on the company, some companies require a degree even for janitors, others ask for one, but it you have experience and/or certs, they will still hire you. More and more companies are moving away for must have degree requirements, IBM CEO for example says they will hire employees without a degree, but if this filters down to hiring manager is hard to say.   
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • Chrisbari14Chrisbari14 Posts: 76Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    It depends on the type of Job you're trying to apply for and the companies hiring. I once interviewed for a System Admin job at a University  and was told I was the best interviewer they had come across in the  3 months of interviewing. I also had the most certifications. But I was told that because I hold a associates degree and not a Bachelor's Degree, that I was not considered, although I was the only person to answer all technical questions correctly. So I think it depends on the company and hiring manager. Some consider experience to trump degrees, but others prefer Degrees over experience.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,900Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    It depends on the type of Job you're trying to apply for and the companies hiring. I once interviewed for a System Admin job at a University  and was told I was the best interviewer they had come across in the  3 months of interviewing. I also had the most certifications. But I was told that because I hold a associates degree and not a Bachelor's Degree, that I was not considered, although I was the only person to answer all technical questions correctly. So I think it depends on the company and hiring manager. Some consider experience to trump degrees, but others prefer Degrees over experience.
    Universities are pretty much inflexible with the degree requirement, I had similar experiences in the past. I'm surprised they bothered to interview you when they seen your resume didn't have a degree on it.    
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 399Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Depends mostly on the area you live in.

    Some areas are more "strict" than others - have higher requirements.

    If you already have a degree and/or background in medical, I'll say it's probably unnecessary for you in total for now as it stands.

    Go for the Net+, get a Cisco cert or two, and apply to medical providers. You "should" be a shoe-in ... I know you would be in my area.

  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Posts: 462Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Degree falls into a category of "nice to have" I learned that by having a degree or certifications doesn't mean that you'll have jobs falling on your lap.

    You still have to interview well and have the right experience.
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,373Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Really depends on the company, some companies require a degree even for janitors, others ask for one, but it you have experience and/or certs, they will still hire you. More and more companies are moving away for must have degree requirements, IBM CEO for example says they will hire employees without a degree, but if this filters down to hiring manager is hard to say.   
    TechGromit pretty much nailed it.   Some companies will require a 4 year degree.   The 4 year degree can be in anything!!!!.  I know there are some companies by me that have this requirement.   

    If you have no college degree at all, then it might be harder to find an entry level IT role.

    Get tbe CompTIA certs you listed and you should be able to find an entry level IT role.


    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • TrunksXVTrunksXV A+, Network+, Security+, CySA+, Project+, MCP, ITIL Foundation Posts: 32Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    It really does depend on which organization you're applying to. What that organizations business culture is. 

    I would go read Bryan Caplan's book "The Case Against Education" it provides a nice overview of why employers like to see a college degree on the resume, despite the fact that none of the classes are really relevant to the job in question. It all has to do with what Caplan calls a signaling model. 

    They will pay us more, if we can get through all these classes with boring and irrelevant information. I'm doing my Associates Degree currently and will graduate in less then 11 months, but I'm not at all excited or have high hopes for any better prospects depsite this. I'd like to see some results after i graduate but I'm not all that hopeful. 

    The good news is I will be debt free, and I will have gotten more certs at my current job. So its not all bad. 
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, Project+, CySA+, MCP, ITIL

    Future Goals: DevOps, CASP+, Server+, Linux+, Red Hat, PenTest+
  • DZA_DZA_ Untitled. Posts: 372Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I agree with the statements above. Some of the real value that degrees come into play is when you apply for more senior roles up the chain; this is applicable to MBAs as well. For some companies, they love to see managers and senior folks who have a technical degree (computer science, comp engineer, etc). The perspective for a degree, there is a certain level of standard - abstract thinkers, more academically speaking. But for what it's worth, you'll do just fine as I came into IT industry with an advanced diploma or going into the industry with solid experience and certifications along the way. 
  • si20si20 Senior Member Posts: 471Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm currently doing my master's degree in digital security and honestly say that the main reason i'm doing it, is because it forces me to focus and get work done, because of the constant deadlines. If I didn't have those deadlines in my face, I probably wouldn't be consuming as much information as I am doing. It's exhausting and at times, I wish i'd not got into IT. But that said, I know for a fact that MSc is going to increase my salary by 10k per year once i've done it, so a one off payment of 6-7k for my MSc will see a great ROI.
  • maryna_bmaryna_b Posts: 2Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Having a degree is a good bonus but it certainly doesn't mean you'll get the job just because you have it.
  • slim27jointslim27joint Posts: 32Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Like everyone else, I think it depends on the organization. Do you need one to get in the field and excel?...No. I do find value in a degree/higher education. I happen to get mine in Software Development & Security, which was by far my weakest area and built me up to a proficient level without necessarily rushing it. I actually nailed a lot of my web application security/assessment interviews bc of it. If you find a degree plan that interests you, I say go for it, but experience trumps everything IMO.
  • MrNetTekMrNetTek 41 certificate exams, 51 training certificates, and a bachelor's and master’s degree. Posts: 92Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited July 31
    This is my recommendation for degrees, if you have the opportunity and the intelligence, obtain a degree in something you love. As others have stated, the degree doesn't have to be in tech. You can't go wrong with that philosophy. 


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  • SanErSanEr Posts: 17Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    In general, a degree is not always a sign of skills and knowledge, but I think, it is better to have it in order not ot face any issues at work.
  • MrNetTekMrNetTek 41 certificate exams, 51 training certificates, and a bachelor's and master’s degree. Posts: 92Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited August 29
    @SanEr

    Exactly. There are numerous employers, including the one I work for now, that require a degree just to get your foot in the door. Experience is almost always better, but...acquiring that experience can become quite difficult for many jobs. Obtaining a degree has never been easier. So, unless it's purely a financial reason, enroll somewhere, especially if you're entry-level, looking to break into the industry.


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  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 Posts: 589Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    MrNetTek said:
    This is my recommendation for degrees, if you have the opportunity and the intelligence, obtain a degree in something you love. As others have stated, the degree doesn't have to be in tech. You can't go wrong with that philosophy. 


    -MrNetTek at your service-
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    Yup! I got a degree in history because I initially wanted to be a teacher and history was the only subject I truly enjoyed in school. Even though it's about as far away from tech as it gets it still allows me to check that box when I apply. 
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