degree or no degree?

PAT82PAT82 Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
How many of you guys have IT degrees or are working towards one. Did it help you get a job in the computer industry or was it certs and experience. I’ve just started one and I’m not enjoying it, is it really worth doing. I am thinking of doing MCSE instead what would you do? Thanks :)


  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    I am in my last year of Computer Science. Currently working part-time as a database analyst.

    Education is very relative to the area you are from. I know that in my city, and probably every other major cities in the world. A degree is a like a 97% must. Some people do make it through to great places without one, but unless you think you are very lucky, and you are very good, dont risk without having one.

    Many threads has already concluded that certs in MOST cases DO NOT replace education nor experience. They simply compliments it.

    And I sure hope MCSE with 7 exams @ 125 = $875 does not replace my B.Sc. which will cost me upwards $25000 when I am done.

    Good luck!
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • goforthbmerrygoforthbmerry Member Posts: 244
    Yes experience counts. Certs count. Degrees will open doors that the other two cannot begin to open. I see help desk jobs that want a 2 year degree. Stick with it. One question. Is it the tech classes getting you down or is it all the other seemingly unconnected nonsense. If it is the other stuff, I say just stick with it. That stuff seems to have a way of coming in handy. Well.... Maybe not Psych 101 but the English and business are worth while to have. If it is the tech courses you don't like, you might rethink the MSCE. You will have to read a lot of boring white papers and technical requirements in your tech career. Get used to it now or get out.
    Going for MCSE:security, Intermediate ITIL, PMP
  • johnnyg5646johnnyg5646 Member Posts: 173
    I have a BS in computer science and I feel it really helped me to get my current position. My positino required an AS, but because I had a BS and certs, but not a lot of experience, I was still able to get the job. I think it gave my resume a nice boost :D
    BS - Computer Science
    MS - Computer Information Systems
  • PAT82PAT82 Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    No it’s not the classes it’s all the unconnected nonsense that I don’t like and there’s lots of it. Also I don’t mind reading white papers if I am interested in the subject. Thanks for the advice people.
  • SlowhandSlowhand Mod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    I think my former boss said it best: "An education, a degree, is what sepeartes the technicians from the engineers."

    What he meant by that was you're really just a grunt, regardless of the amount of certs and experience you have, on one level or another. You have to go about getting through the industry the hard way, and you're really stuck in this industry, without a degree. Even if your a CCIE, that won't do you much good if you decide you want to take up a whole new profession. A degree, on the other hand, even when in a specific field, is usually seen as a more robust and more "complete" education. Even if your degree is in CS, it means that you spent two to ten years in school, getting more than just "computer classes".

    Something I've heard from hiring managers and business owners is that a degree is something that's seen as "finishing a major project". It shows them that you're willing to do more than just what you're specifically interested in to get what you want. I suppose they meant that it shows a level of maturity they expect from their candidates. Certs are good, experience are good, but they only take you so far without the foundation of a complete education.

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  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    *clips * clips * clips*

    VERY WELL said!

    Going back to a traditional argument. Even if you're really good and you have all the good certs or CCIE and you are a "Network Engineer", without your education, (in many areas) you can not tell someone you are License Engineer because you will not be able to write your P.Eng. However, having experience, certs, and a degree, you will be qualified to write P.Eng and be a "Licensed Certified Network Engineer".
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • boyles23boyles23 Member Posts: 130
    A degree is definitely worth pursuing, just having a degree will get you a job even if it isn't in that particular field. I am working on my BS in IT and will be done next May. I know the feeling of having the other classes along with your IT but it is part of what the degree stands for. Just tough it out and hang it there, I can't wait to get mine over with. I work fulltime, a parttime job and carry a fulltime school schedule online icon_eek.gif , I just stay focused on next years goal and it makes it worth it.

  • PAT82PAT82 Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Cheers people this has made me think. I’m staying at uni LOL. sounds like i will be doomed if i dont LOL

    Does it matter what the degree is in. I’m doing IT, but I want to be a network engineer in the future.
  • SlowhandSlowhand Mod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    "Stay in school, work your butt off. If you got an education, you can be whatever you want to be. You wanna be a loser, be a loser. Just stay in school!" - Rodney Dangerfield (Back to School)

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  • boyles23boyles23 Member Posts: 130
    I would want an IT degree if you are working in IT. Other companies like fedex or pepsi, were you can't be a manager without a degree, don't care what your degree is in, as long as you have one.

    Good luck and work hard.
  • SmallguySmallguy Member Posts: 597
    A degree will never hurt you but it isn't a necessity ot get inot this industry.

    I've had sokme Hiring managers tell me if they want soemone who can DO a job they want peopel with a Diploma form a Technical school and Certs are a bonus.

    if they want someone who will be alot of paper work and some hands on the want people with Degree's.

    this is probably just one companies opinion but it does make sense. I did 2 years of university and Hated every minute of it.... hours of calsses very little lab time you just memorized theroy really but never put it in ot practice. I also hated donig electives that i had veryu litle interest as well as business courses that weren't what I wanted.

    I don;t tihkn there is a single answer because what one company likes and other doe;snt....usually hiring is based on past experiences.

    for example the IT dept where I work is 3 people all 3 of us graduated from the same technical school.

    they used to have 2 people from a different technical school they didn't work out so now HR beleives that school is inferior to the one I graduated from.

    most of the time HR looks at past experiences and makes their judgement on that.

    all an all a Degree will not hurt you but it will also not open as many doors as it once did
  • Badger95Badger95 Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ummmm yaa we are going to need to take that red stapler back. yaa icon_rolleyes.gif
    Velle est posse, tempus fugit, vivere disce, Cogita Mori
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have an awesome job doing Microsoft Consulting (I'm one of the guys who does the easier stuff for now). I also have a lot of time to work on labs at work when i'm not on a project. This allows me to spend quite a bit of time studying for my MCSE. I wouldn't have been able to get this job without my Bachelor's Degree. They also pay for all education so I wont have to worry when I go back to get my Master's Degree in busines.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say, is definitely go get a bachelor's degree. It'll open many doors for you. You'll also be one of those people with a degree, certifications, and experience. Can't beat that (as long as you're good at what you do).
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • keenonkeenon Member Posts: 1,922 ■■■■□□□□□□
    i started in IT 6 years ago and no degree .. 6 years later in IT no degree.. has it helped

    i have been at the bottom and to the top in that time frame

    right now i'm good where i'm at looking ahead ... no degree icon_wink.gif
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • hanakuinhanakuin Member Posts: 144
    I'm in the same boat as keenon, I started in IT 6 years ago without a degree and six years later still don't have a degree. Even though my position requires a degree at my company. (Which was added to my job description 3 or 4 years ago.) I started off with a single cert and have just started to decided to bulk up on certs over the last 10 months.
  • borumasborumas Member Posts: 244 ■■■□□□□□□□
    A degree can really help if you want to move into a project manager or manager role, other than that from what I've seen you can get away with just good experience and certs. It depends all on who's hiring, I've been at places that don't care if you have a bachelors in basket weaving and couldn't troubleshoot your way out of a paper bag and would rather hire you over the guy with no degree and loads of experience or the one who got a degree from community college and has some experience. Then there's the guy who would much rather hire someone with experience than someone with a degree and little hand's on knowledge. A bachelors will help you if you can get it, it definitely will not hurt you, I would like to eventually go back for a bachelors myself but for now I want to get more certs under the belt.
  • computerguy9355computerguy9355 Inactive Imported Users Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I would say go for your degree. Thats what i am doing right now. Working full time while trying to finish my degree part time AND I am also pursueing certifications.

    You gotta have all 3 of them to be competitive in this field.

    FYI, I don't have a degree (still working on one), got a great job at a telecomm company making 40k. So the point is, you don't really need a "degree" to get a job, but its nice to have one and it will definitely open a lot of doors for you.
  • Megadeth4168Megadeth4168 Member Posts: 2,157
    I am currently back in school after 5 years off... Wow is it tough going back after so long.... I think 50% of the reason I'm going back is for my own satisfaction and the other 50% is to help open more doors....

    One thing I have learned through my own experiences and many of my friends is that having experience in the field has always been a higher selling point for any job I've gone for vs having a degree... Of course all of these Jobs did not require a degree....

    There have been really 2 jobs I have seen posted in the past year that I thought I would be perfect for but they required a 4 year degree.... It does not bother me much because I love my job (of over 6 years). However I know that there are some jobs that will always be out of reach if I never get through school.

    School will pay off in the long run by opening more doors that are currently not open by not having the degree.
  • SlowhandSlowhand Mod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    I think something we have to remember is that a degree, lots and lots of experience, certs, and the like are not all required to get a job. Sometimes, a degree, alone, will get you that job. Sometimes experience gets you in, sometimes it's good timing, and sometimes it's just plain luck. There are a lot of people who have jobs without the "three prerequisites", but these are not typical cases.

    What a degree does for you is open doors, it gives you a lot more potential to find a job. Certifications do the same thing, they increase your chances of landing that job you want, and so does experience. Given, each of these things brings it's own advantage to the table, but the culmination of the three is what gives you a better chance when you're just one of the candidates for some job. If you don't know someone in the company, if you can't get in and have an interview to impress them, if the company is so large they see dozens of candidates a day, you need all the help you can get.

    Which do I put the most value in? As far as all-over value, the degree is your best bet. If you want to be a network engineer, and IT or engineering degree will get you there. If you want to be an underwater basket weaver. . . the IT or engineering degree will get you there. Higher education opens up more doors in more areas. Experience is second-highest on my list, because it simply lets you do the job. If you don't know how to administrate Exchange 2003, you definately have no business taking a job as a postmaster in a company that uses it.

    After that, certificates are a high priority. They should be interchangable with experience, but that's not always the case. In a perfect world, we'd all be getting 100% on all of our cert exams, and no one would be using ****. In a perfect world, all cert exams would be lab and experience-based, with a minimal amount of multiple-choice questions. In a perfect world, an MCSE would know everything there is to know about Windows Server and a CCIE wouldn't need to keep any books on his shelf or on his desk for reference. The problem is that no test is perfect, and no certification encompasses everything you could possibly encounter in your career. The value of certifications is undeniable, (seeing as how I got a job the day after I completed my MCSA,) but we have to appreciate the fact that certs, when earned honestly, give you a baseline of what you need to know; they're not the be-all and end-all of experience and knowledge.

    What you "need" out of the three depends on a lot of things. The job market in your area, what type of job you want to be doing, and how much time and effort you want to invest. One out of three is okay, two out of three is better, and three out of three is ideal. Still, though, there is no guarantee, only more potential as you gain more and better credentials.

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