Degree situation... What are your recommendations...

TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
I currently feel I should get a degree weather or not I learn a thing from it due to Human Resource departments requiring it in most work places...

I currently work as a Systems Administrator and have 6 years experience. I have the certs in my sig and a bunch of proprietary certifications by vendors.

I feel as though any big company in the lower 48, (I live in Alaska) requires a degree to even get into the interview process.

My options for schooling are limited due tot he fact that I have to work full time/be on call due to my position. I love my position, but I am wanting to move to the lower 48 within the next couple of years.

My problem is, last cisco class I took locally, I knew more than the teacher teaching the class... Unfortunatly, he is still the same instructor for the computer courses for Computer Science. So I dont want to throw money towards a degree where I learn nill to none from the instructors just to obtain a piece of paper stating I have a degree. To me this is pointless and I could throw 30k somewhere else.

Here is my delima...

I really enjoy cooking for fun/entertaining. I was looking towards getting a culinary arts degree due to the fact that the program here is supposed to be amazing. I also feel I would be gaining a bunch of knowledge in an area that I need more training in. I would only be using this degree for personal use (cooking at home/friends/parties). I never plan to use this degree for anything other than just that.

I am not a manager, but I do help interview new employees. My question is, do most BIG employers HR departments care what your degree is in, as far as the interview pile/non interview pile? I dont want to spend money on a degree that I really enjoy, but then it doesnt help my career.

Currently when I look for candidates for our IT positions I check for years experience and computer certifications/degrees. I weigh experience higher than degree's/certifcations due to the fact that anyone can get a degree/certification if they have a lot of money. Constant growth of positions comes with experience and cannot be bought normally, it has to be achieved.

Anyhow, if anyone here is a Manager or knows how BIG companies HR departments work I would appreciate any information.

Comments

  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,621 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The short answer is no. Just having a degree instantly puts you at the top of the pile for a callback. I'm studying for a history degree even though my career is in ISP operations. I like history and I wouldn't learn a damn thing in school about my career that I don't already know, so who cares. According to the HR people where I work, having a degree is more a symbol of ones ability to remain dedicated to a rather difficult educational experience than a representation of your skills. Industry certifications exist for this reason.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • SRTMCSESRTMCSE Member Posts: 249
    Personally I'm going for my Associates in Computer Info. Systems, but when I transfer to a 4 year for my Bachelor's I'm leaning toward a Bachelors in Business Administration or in Management of Information Systems. Honestly most college level Computer Science majors don't teach what you need to know in the field. I know guys who have come out of GREAT schools but don't run into much of what they learned, if any. Like it's been said, college just shows you have dedication and can work hard toward a goal, so take something you enjoy. Although I can see where a History degree would be great on a resume, I'm not 100% sure what a Culinary Arts degree would look like to a potential employer, just me, I'm not HR or hiring professional.
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Ok, how about this then.... I am willing to get a degree in the Computer Science area, but I want to take a regerious course that will put my knowledge to the test and require me to learn. So with that in mind, who here has been in the field for over 5+ years as an admin/analyst and has taken a college course that they felt was worth the money spent on the education? I dont mind getting a degree, I just want it to teach me something.

    Anyone have experience with online universities for this type of thing?
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You might have to bite the bullet and just do it, especially with your experience. I've just had to come to the conclusion that I'm paying a ton for a piece of paper. I've consistently known more than my instructors, and for the ones that I haven't, I still felt I could have gone through the course in about a quarter of the time and learned the material much more in-depth than I had in the class. I'm just wrapping up a psych degree, if you're curious. Maybe I should have just set out to really challenge myself and got an astrophysics degree or something :D

    It's funny, I actually ran into a man that was one of four or five people that ran a $200,000,000+ IT company. He asked me what I was studying, and I said psychology, and he said, "Oh really? I have a degree in theology". He later went on to get an MBA to get the position he currently has, but he worked as a network engineer with a theology degree and a CCNP certification for years. He said that my biggest weakness was that I didn't have a lot of interpersonal communication experience. I don't have any interpersonal communication problems, nor was he implying that I did, but had I been in a real interview with him, it would have been a definite negative. You seem to have that pretty well covered though.

    I would say just make sure that your degree comes from an accredited institution that provides a liberal education as well. If you take nothing but culinary courses, you may not appear to be as "well rounded" as those of us with liberal ed degrees, where we have had to take speech, writing, art, etc.
  • petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
    Paul Boz wrote:
    The short answer is no. Just having a degree instantly puts you at the top of the pile for a callback.. . .so who cares. According to the HR people where I work, having a degree is more a symbol of ones ability to remain dedicated to a rather difficult educational experience than a representation of your skills. . .

    Degrees open doors. You can't say it much better than that, but I'll elaborate a little.

    Degrees have now become an easy filter for HR. They flip through the pile that comes in for a position. . . "hmm, this one has a degree". . . "ummm, this one doesn't". The pile that has the degrees gets the calls. Even for those situations that say "degree or equivalent experience"-- don't kid yourself, if you don't have the degree you likely won't get a call.

    (It may seem unfair, but this is partly because most HR staffs are pretty swamped. It's also partly because they don't understand the technical side and shouldn't have to-- so they look for an easy filter.)

    While I agree that you can have an unrelated degree and it still looks good for demonstrating persistence, I'd say a related degree helps-- it doesn't even have to be IT-related. Having a degree related to the business's activities (for example, pre-med for medical companies) or a Business Admin degree can do wonders. A degree in Business Admin, Accounting and Management says you probably have at least some of the requisite knowledge for a company to entrust its activities to you, and that you may understand the ramifications of what you do in terms of the "big picture".
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • seraphusseraphus Member Posts: 307
    TechJunky wrote:
    Ok, how about this then.... I am willing to get a degree in the Computer Science area, but I want to take a regerious course that will put my knowledge to the test and require me to learn. So with that in mind, who here has been in the field for over 5+ years as an admin/analyst and has taken a college course that they felt was worth the money spent on the education? I dont mind getting a degree, I just want it to teach me something.

    Anyone have experience with online universities for this type of thing?

    I have 8+ years of experience, and every class was worth it. When I went
    back to school, I opted to earn a degree in Communication versus Comp. Sci.
    or Eng. because I felt that was redundant. I already knew a great deal, and
    preferred to study IT related technologies on my own. I enrolled in Communication
    because I wanted to build my leadership, interpersonal, and presentation skills.
    Now I'm in the MBA program for Supply Chain management at Strayer. If
    I had a choice, I'd go traditional. But I didn't and I'm satisfied. icon_cool.gif
    Lab first, ask questions later
  • sir_creamy_sir_creamy_ Inactive Imported Users Posts: 298
    Depending on your goals and how much you want to get out of it, I think it's not just a matter of getting *any* degree, but getting the *right* degree. If you say you want to be challenged then go for a technical discipline (CS/math), but just know what you're getting yourself into. If you don't *love* algorithms, data structures, CPU architecture, etc. then it's not for you.
    Bachelor of Computer Science

    [Forum moderators are my friends]
  • sir_creamy_sir_creamy_ Inactive Imported Users Posts: 298
    And CS is all theory so if your current knowledge is all based on practical applications than don't expect it to help much.
    Bachelor of Computer Science

    [Forum moderators are my friends]
Sign In or Register to comment.