Certifications vs associates degree?

Connor2kwikConnor2kwik Member Posts: 43 ■■■□□□□□□□
I'm coming here to ask as well as give a little update. I managed to land a job at a grocery store as a stocker and while the job is decent I still want something better out of life. I'm debating on whether or not to pursue IT certifications of get an associate degree in IT. I want to know which one has the better investment? 

Comments

  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 1,005 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would say get both.. start with your associate degree.. and toward the end. do a few certification. This will help you get a head start. 
  • Connor2kwikConnor2kwik Member Posts: 43 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would say get both.. start with your associate degree.. and toward the end. do a few certification. This will help you get a head start. 
    I have a few more questions to ask if I may. What are some good certifications for beginners? What is a good area of IT to get an associates degree in? Will I be able to land a job/ do web development with just as associates degree? 
  • Neil86Neil86 Member Member Posts: 179 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited May 12
    I got my associate degree first (A.S. in Network Admin), then landed my first gig, and then started working on certifications. An associate degree will cover your basic general education courses, as well as whatever program-specific courses are included. I would look at your local colleges and see what programs they offer and what they consist of, you might find one for web development. Also, look outside of your area for online learning. Do some searches for popular schools/training for web development. Reach out to the enrollment departments and ask questions. They usually have professors/staff that work in the fields they teach that you may be able to chat with and get some ideas on a plan.
  • AverageJoeAverageJoe CISM, CDPSE, CISSP, SSCP, CYSA+, SEC+, NET+, A+, LINUX+, PROJECT+ Member Posts: 316 ■■■■□□□□□□
    In my opinion, it's not about doing one or the other, it's about learning what you want to do.  You can be successful either way, but if you need more structure to learn you should consider the associate's degree because the learning plan is spelled out for you.  If you're good at learning on your own you might pursue a certificate first, but you may not even know what certifications to look at yet.  And there's no single answer because it depends on what part of IT you expect to work in.  Coder?  Help desk?  Network engineer?  It's a whole lot easier to figure out how to get somewhere if you know where you're trying to get.

    If you don't know, getting that associate's degree can help you achieve a broader base of understanding, which will in turn help you figure out what you want to do in the future.  A certificate will focus you in on a more specific area of study.  An IT related associate's degree may well include individual classes that pair up with specific certifications.  Like, you take a database class and maybe you decide you want to pursue Oracle certifications... or maybe you decide you never want to see another SQL statement as long as you live :).  Or you take a computer networking class and you really love it so then you take the CompTIA Network+ certification exam and/or a Cisco certification exam.  Etc., Etc.

    Just my 2 cents.  Good luck!
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,406 Admin
    You acquire degrees and certs not only to learn but also to satisfy the requirements to get first-round interviews with hiring managers. If you decide not to acquire either degrees or certifications then you will be removing yourself from possible job interview opportunities. If you start your own business then you may need neither.
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 1,005 ■■■■■■■■□□
    IMO, certs are more important if you choose the IT/sysadmin/networking route.. If you are more interested into dev, your best asset is a portfolio aka github account withe some side project.
  • dinosandinosan Member Posts: 1 ■■□□□□□□□□
     A college degree is for life! Certifications have to be renewed in general every 2-3 years.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,712 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Depends.  I like the answer of both but then that gets into what associate degree and what cert?   IT Associate and IT Cert is rather vague.  

    Maybe start off with a IT college course first and see how you like it at the community college.  Take an entry level course, computers/pc, or maybe networking or programming.   Off the top of my head those are the 3 realistic ones to go after.   
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,406 Admin
    dinosan said:
     A college degree is for life! Certifications have to be renewed in general every 2-3 years.

    I have a degree in anthropology from 1990 and an A+ cert from 2003--neither of which I have maintained. Therefore, you should not hire me to work on your computer or your family history despite both my degree and cert being "for life."
  • Johnhe0414Johnhe0414 A+, Network+, Security+, Project+ USA, CARegistered Users Posts: 169 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Look at the college courses and see if the classes give credit towards your Associates for certification classes offered. I have worked with a number of people that did not have their college degree but had excellent  IT skills. I have also worked under some people that had no college degree and no certification but excellent people/management skills. For myself, I took the degree and certification path at the same time (the college i went to offered cert classes). I was also working a full time job and only going to school part time. As long as you have the commitment, desire and passion - you should do well.
    Current:  A+ | Network+ | Project+ |Security+
    Working on: PMP
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