To Continue degree or not continue my degree?

nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
Once again i turn to the loyal followers of TE icon_cool.gif

im nearing the end of my 3rd year in my degree which i do on a part time basis. Once this semester is finished i shall have attained an bsc network computing degree.(In the UK the levels go degree, honours degree, masters etc.) i did originally start this with getting an honours degree which would mean another 2 year of PT study. However i recently moved to another country in the UK in an internal promotion and all has not turned out as rosey as i was told it was gona be. i came to be a sys admin and its basically desktop support again (which i hate).

anyway to attend uni i have to go during the day through work hours (no uni in the city does degree's as a night course believe it or not!) and then work back those hours when i get back to work so i work later every night. making it difficult at times to go home and be motivated to do work (btw i also dislike the degree because i dont feel it to be a benefit to me although i feel having a degree on my CV will be a benefit).

Thing is i want to specialise and do something i enjoy instead of helpdesk work which i have done for 6 years nearly (im 22) and are basically sick to death of - it has litterally come to the point of considering a career change unless i can step up. i have an interest in MS infrastructure but also have a strong interest in the cisco side which i would like to go into.

I know i couldnt study for a degree, work FT, and study for certs at the same time. ive tried and i find i cant give 100% to all which i prefer to do.

If you were me what would you do? would you stop once i attained my bsc degree and move onto higher certs like the mcse/ccna & ccnp or would you continue to do the degree another two years and then do the certs?

at the minute i am leaning towards the 1st option but this is a huge decision for me and i would really like your guys input because i know i can count on your opinions and support, where at work they will tell me what i want to hear basically!

Sorry for the huge post but as you can see its a toughie for me to decide!
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Comments

  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    Is the program considered a professional masters or is it an academic masters? Do you believe the curriculum and the work involved with the degree will benefit you?

    I ask because I was a Ph.D. student for a while, until I realized I never wanted to watch someone do long division in binary ever again.
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    Since you will have hit your a milestone in school, and it sounds like you've had enough...going off your post alone, it sounds like you'd be happier if you moved on.

    You only get one life, make it a happy one. You're credentialed well enough, and young enough to be hireable anywhere I know of. And, at your age, you can always go back. I didnt finish my degree until I was 29.
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Is the program considered a terminal or professional masters or is it an academic masters? Do you believe the curriculum and the work involved with the degree will benefit you?

    Im not sure about the master but to be honest i very much doubt i will study at that academic level anyway.

    I feel like little benefits me. i think it suits people who do not know which area of IT they want to be in because theres a big range of subjects. but i know the area i desire.
    Since you will have hit your a milestone in school, and it sounds like you've had enough...going off your post alone, it sounds like you'd be happier if you moved on.

    You only get one life, make it a happy one. You're credentialed well enough, and young enough to be hireable anywhere I know of. And, at your age, you can always go back. I didnt finish my degree until I was 29.

    Thanks for the complement...

    i guess you are correct,, i have had enough. i feel i would benefit more from finishing my mcse and going onto ccna / p. i recently applied for a net admin job and didnt get a response because (i think) my lack of cisco qualifications and skills.
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    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • KasorKasor Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You need to live, and you need money to do so. So, work always go first in today society. You can always get your degree or certification later. Remember everything need money and going to school is one of those situation.

    Try to get something that you really want first, but ensure you can live.
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Kasor wrote:
    You need to live, and you need money to do so. So, work always go first in today society. You can always get your degree or certification later. Remember everything need money and going to school is one of those situation.

    Try to get something that you really want first, but ensure you can live.

    i realise that more than anything otherwise i would of quit by now! haha. besides even if i didnt agree i always believe its best to have a job than not have one. i have to pay the rent - and its expensive living in a capital city!
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    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    brad- wrote:
    You only get one life, make it a happy one.

    Truer words have not been spoken.

    As I understand your post you will complete your formal studies soon and have a BSC degree. If you continue two more years you will have an honours degree.

    The question I would ask myself in this situation is along the lines of a cost-benefit analysis.

    Consider the cost of two more years of study. Cost includes more than just hard cash, also think in terms of time you will spend, the amount of unhappines, and other potential opportunities you will miss in the short-term to pursue this path. Then consider the benefit of the honours degree. Does it outweigh the costs?

    I realize a lot of this is subjective in this case, but what helps me in similar situations is writing these things out in two columns on a sheet of paper. The first column is "Costs", and the second column is "Benefits". After I list all of both categories, my quasi-objective, mostly subjective determination points me in the right path.

    Once you've made your decision, move forward, and don't look back.

    Looking at your current certs, it looks like you're very close to the MCSE. You have several years of experience, plus nearly a BSC degree, plus nearly an MCSE. My opinon is that closing the loop on those last two things as quickly as possible will put you in a position to find a happier job and have a happier life.

    MS
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well after a quick 5 minutes of eMeS suggestion here are some thoughts:

    Costs:

    1. 2 more years at current job which i dont like
    2. for the 2 years it will cost upto £2000 for PT tuition fee's, a few books etc
    3. may have to rely on credit cards to pay costs like i have done in the past (which i know is not good!)
    4. Uni and uni work alone takes up 26 hours of my week. a semester is approx 12 wks = 312 hours per semester. add my "normal" working hours of 35 hours per week. This part takes up a huge part of my life. Some weeks i barely get a night to myself. thank god my gf is understanding!
    5. The degree doesnt guarantee a specialist job ( i feel it will just maybe open a few more doors)
    6. I feel i benefit little from the degree because its very theory based and most i cannot transpire across to my job.
    7. having to rush across a capital city from one end to the other whilst rushing back to work is a pain. most of the time i dont even know where i am!

    Benefits:

    1. good qualification / look good on cv
    2. possibility work may pay but i highly doubt it as i have been doing it for 3 years and they havent payed a penny

    i will probably go home and think of more. it was a good suggestion to do this.

    i just want to point out regarding number 5 of costs. i know a certification doesnt guarantee you a job either but i think if i went for a network administrator (for example) then i feel a ccna/p would fair better than a degree.
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,035 Admin
    I know a lot of people who, for one reason or another, regret never having finished their degree, but I know of no one who says, "Boy, dropping out a school was the best thing I ever did!"

    Put your head down, nose to the grind stone, grit it out and finish the degree. You'll sacrifice a little happiness now to earn a lot more happiness later. Years from now you'll be ever so glad that you did.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    JDMurray wrote:
    I know a lot of people who, for one reason or another, regret never having finished their degree, but I know of no one who says, "Boy, dropping out a school was the best thing I ever did!".

    Funny...I've yet to hear this either.

    In fact, it seems like the absence of a degree can keep you from things you want, whereas the presence of a degree can open doors, but does not guarantee you will be permitted to walk through those doors.

    MS
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the reply JD, i was wondering when you were going to weigh on in ;)

    i've thought about this side of things alot too. Biggest thing was i didnt want to back down from a goal i wanted to achieve, which i would be doing. My main concern is not the degree itself but the job i have. i find most days really boring and i get unhappy with my current situation. Also the place i work is like this for many people - out a dept of 20, 11 people have left in the last yr alone icon_eek.gif

    ideally i would have a good job and be able to do the degree. i wouldnt rule out going back at some point and finishing it off. infact i know i probably would at some point
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    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • HeroPsychoHeroPsycho Inactive Imported Users Posts: 1,940
    Take this for what it's worth.

    Statistics show experience, then certifications, then college degrees are the order of preference in IT. There is something to be said for getting experience and certs potentially at the expense of the college degree. However, it will likely only become more difficult to finish your degree, not less.

    With that said, I don't know what good something like an associates degree will do you. If you've come this far, if it were me, I'd stick it out and get your four year degree if you want a degree that is going to help you.

    At least... that's how things are in the US.
    Good luck to all!
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    What qualifications do you have that might bring someone to hire you as a jr. sysadmin? If you think you are qualified to land a job like that, personally I would go ahead and start looking. Experience counts, but at some point if you want to get out of support altogether, you have to rack up some years at the next tier or half-tier up.

    If I were that fed up with stuff, I would maybe take a semester off and get the professional side of my CV a little more shored up - maybe look for a more technical job that is a more than just desktop support, or working on your next certification, or maybe some more targeted training at a local technical school if your uni degree is more theoretical and not much hands on. But either way, commit yourself to jump back in to school PT in a semester and finish off that 4 yr degree.

    At 22, you can't expect to land truly great jobs just yet, but at your age you're probably not having to support a family so you might be able to land temp or temp-to-hire kind of jobs that are more along the lines of what you are wanting to do. Those jobs where the company doesn't have to benefits expenses seem to be more plentiful.
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  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Nel, I think you knew the answers you were going to get before you posted this. There's not a "right" way to go about this. Everyone has had different experiences, and they often contradict each other. In the end, you need to do what you want to do. Even though finishing your degree may be seen as the "best" solution, if you're not into it, you're not going to do well, and you're just going to waste your time. That'll likely hurt you if you ever decide to go on to a more advanced degree. You have to follow your interests.
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ive found when looking for a higher tier job there is so much age discrimination against me. I have some pretty good experiance already. in my last job i upgraded domains, installed and upgraded exchange 2k3, done the usual AD/exchange administration, installed all new servers and i worked on several other high profile projects. i proved to them that i could do a good job and was willing to push myself etc. problem was that these jobs didnt come round very often so i found myself in the same situation as now (bored etc). i was offered an internal promotion which was supposedly working with servers and the network infrastructure and was given a sys admin title. but it hasnt worked out like that at all. and for a job i moved 150 mile to and where i know no one! i hope you can understand my frustration.

    personally i believe i can do a good job because ive worked my way up the ladder but i believe my weakest point to be my cv. When i look at it i have little on there for it to stand out - which is why i started my degree aswell. but when i am doing my degree i find that i havent got the time to do the certs aswell.

    ive also just been given a project to replace the network infrastructure which will start this summer and wanted a ccna to coincide with it because at least, i would be getting experiance and that would look more worthy on a cv than a ccna without experiance. ive also got a chance to work on the Voip project which will follow afterwards and again would like to get certs while i was getting the experiance but i know i couldnt do any cisco track while doing a degree realistically. i know ultimately my degree would suffer in terms of results
    Nel, I think you knew the answers you were going to get before you posted this. There's not a "right" way to go about this.

    i knew this was gona be the case but i just wanted different peoples input ive been thinking about this for months and still have not got any further icon_cry.gif
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    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    I would check to make sure you can still go back and finish up with with an honour's after you graduate. That is not always an option at some schools, you might not be able to take the necessary classes to get an honour's if you decide to graduate and leave with your general degree.

    If you already have a job and do not see the immediate interest in pursuing your master's, I would just graduate and leave with your degree. The chances of you actually getting any financial or job-related benefits JUST because you have an honour's is very low. My observation is that the difference between a B.Sc and B.Sc(Hon) is blurring more and more anyway because so many universities are moving towards a 4-yr system. That and the fact that to say an employer will care alot to only want candidates with an HONOURS degree is far-fetched. For the most part, having your degree already satisfy the "education" requirements for most jobs.

    I can assure you that the honours practically only give you the "benefit" of pursuing your master's. I say that in quotation because that's entirely up for debate.
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • SepiraphSepiraph Member Posts: 180
    JDMurray wrote:
    I know a lot of people who, for one reason or another, regret never having finished their degree, but I know of no one who says, "Boy, dropping out a school was the best thing I ever did!"

    I guess u never heard of Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Mike Lazaridis, Steve Wozniak or Steve Jobs? Then again if you meant people you personally know, then I guess I haven't either. icon_lol.gif

    (Just being the devil's advocate here).
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,035 Admin
    Sepiraph wrote:
    I guess u never heard of Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Mike Lazaridis, Steve Wozniak or Steve Jobs? Then again if you meant people you personally know, then I guess I haven't either. icon_lol.gif
    So dropping out of school is the "secret" to success? Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard during his last semester to make a statement. If I were from the second richest family in Seattle I might have considered the same thing.
  • taktsoitaktsoi Member Posts: 224
    JDMurray wrote:
    I know a lot of people who, for one reason or another, regret never having finished their degree, but I know of no one who says, "Boy, dropping out a school was the best thing I ever did!"

    Put your head down, nose to the grind stone, grit it out and finish the degree. You'll sacrifice a little happiness now to earn a lot more happiness later. Years from now you'll be ever so glad that you did.

    +1

    OP, if i were, i would hang in there. You are so close to touchdown. Why don't you finish it? 1 or 2 Years is actually affordable and NOTHING comparing to your whole life. You have to make a little bit more efforts and dedications. Driven yourself. Not only do you earn your degree, it is also your ARCHIEVEMENT and LIFE-AWARDED.

    Just my suggestion. Can't you do full time to finish it off in 1 year?

    At the same time of Next Year, You would be saying "Wow, I am graduating". 2 Years later, You would be saying "YEAH, I DID IT!" And Your resume would be saying" Bachelors of XXX from XXX University". Isn't it nice? :D

    Hang in there dude. You can do it.
    mean people SUCK !!! BACK OFF !!!
    The Next Stop is, MCSE 2003 and CCNA.
    Bachelors of Technology in 1 More Year.

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  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    taktsoi wrote:
    2 Years later, You would be saying "YEAH, I DID IT!" And Your resume would be saying" Bachelors of XXX from XXX University"

    Where is XXX University located? I am extremely interested in their Bachelors of XXX degree. I'm not sure how good it would look on my resume though. That seems to be one of those programs that has no applicable value in the real world. You would probably have to continue on to a PhD and become an instructor or personal tutor.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    Sepiraph wrote:
    I guess u never heard of Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Mike Lazaridis, Steve Wozniak or Steve Jobs? Then again if you meant people you personally know, then I guess I haven't either. icon_lol.gif

    (Just being the devil's advocate here).
    Something worth noting: the people on that list, along with others, are the exception to the rule. For every Bill Gates there are thousands of others that dropped out of school and ended up struggling for the rest of their lives. Just because one person makes it on a particular path, doesn't mean that everyone who went the same road will be the next great success story.
    eMeS wrote:
    In fact, it seems like the absence of a degree can keep you from things you want, whereas the presence of a degree can open doors, but does not guarantee you will be permitted to walk through those doors.

    MS
    This is probably the most important point made in this thread. An education won't guarantee you success, certifications don't guarantee you success, even a lifetime of experience and skills won't guarantee you success. What all those things do for you is give you a better shot at success and living the life you want to lead.

    nel, my advice to you is this. It's your life, you lead it any way you want. The thing you have to consider is when you want to put in the work. You could drop out of school, pursue the certs and work your way towards what you want to do. This could be a good thing, this could be a bad thing. You never know when you'll hit that wall, down the road, that requires a degree for you to get over. Seeing as how it's far more difficult to go back to school than it is to continue going as you're in it, I'd say that staying where you are is the best thing for you.

    In the end, the certs may do more for your career than the degree ever will. Still, it's a whole lot better to have a degree gathering dust than it is to have a career, (and a life,) on hold because you don't have the credentials to move forward. Stick with school, otherwise you might end up in the boat I'm in, where you're desperately trying to figure out how you're going to get back.

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  • pryde7pryde7 Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Slowhand, you really hit the point.

    Its risky trying to be like exceptions in society. No one will want their kids or juniors to drop out of school even if they did....indicating that they regret dropping out of school.

    Circumstances cause people to drop out of school, its not always a premium choice. If you can afford or have the priviledge to pursue a degree, don't hesitate or try to make shortcuts in life.

    Many complain about time, whereas they cannot make a useful 2hrs per day.
    Above all, its all about you! Only you can decide what you really need in life.
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    +1

    OP, if i were, i would hang in there. You are so close to touchdown. Why don't you finish it? 1 or 2 Years is actually affordable and NOTHING comparing to your whole life. You have to make a little bit more efforts and dedications. Driven yourself. Not only do you earn your degree, it is also your ARCHIEVEMENT and LIFE-AWARDED.

    Just my suggestion. Can't you do full time to finish it off in 1 year?

    At the same time of Next Year, You would be saying "Wow, I am graduating". 2 Years later, You would be saying "YEAH, I DID IT!" And Your resume would be saying" Bachelors of XXX from XXX University". Isn't it nice? icon_biggrin.gif

    Once i get the degree this year it will be a bachelor of science. The next year is bachelor of science with honours.

    There has been some good points made. all which have already passed through my mind. I have no problem putting in the effort for another 2 years what so ever - i knew this would be the case when i signed up to do it on a part time basis.

    I guess my main issue is my job. I love IT and how it never stops and your always learning etc. that along with the passion i have for the subject. but i am in a desktop support role at the moment and im dying to find a decent job where i can actually think for myself and work on more interesting things than the issues i deal with on a daily basis.

    I would love to get into the cisco world and i also have a strong interest in MS infrastructure too. but lets face it no where will touch someone for a net admin without experiance or the certs. and with doing the degree i couldnt study for cisco or MS certs at the same time. ideally i would have a jnr net admin job and i would be more than happy to carry on doing my degree - no hestiation what so ever. if i continue my degree then i would be probably in the same crappy job for at least another 2 years then it would take another year or 2 to work up the cisco certs - and believe me i am not keen to stay at the current place.

    originally i thought it may be better to gain my bachelor of science then to do some cisco and MS certs to try and get a "better" jobs in my eyes like a jnr net admin for example then to go back and finish my honours years?

    P.S. I Couldnt do the degree full time because i all ready have a full time job which is why i done the degree on a part time basis initially.
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  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    Keep studying those computers and you'll be the next bill gates!
    Keep working that counter and you'll be the next sam walton!
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    nl wrote:
    Keep studying those computers and you'll be the next bill gates!
    Keep working that counter and you'll be the next sam walton!

    What does that mean icon_confused.gif: lol :D
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    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • BeaverC32BeaverC32 Member Posts: 671
    Keep studying those computers and you'll be the next bill gates!
    Keep working that counter and you'll be the next sam walton!

    And that brings up another good point, kids -- don't smoke crack. :)
    MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003, LPIC-1, MCP, MCTS: Vista Config, MCTS: SQL Server 2005, CCNA, A+, Network+, Server+, Security+, Linux+, BSCS (Information Systems)
  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Keep studying those computers and you'll be the next bill gates!
    Keep working that counter and you'll be the next sam walton!

    What does that mean lol

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Walton
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • nl wrote:
    I ask because I was a Ph.D. student for a while, until I realized I never wanted to watch someone do long division in binary ever again.

    Amen to that...
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    have to admit i have never heard of sam walton but have of his stores icon_redface.gif
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    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • AlexMRAlexMR Member Posts: 275
    nel wrote:
    Thanks for the reply JD, i was wondering when you were going to weigh on in ;)

    i've thought about this side of things alot too. Biggest thing was i didnt want to back down from a goal i wanted to achieve, which i would be doing. My main concern is not the degree itself but the job i have. i find most days really boring and i get unhappy with my current situation. Also the place i work is like this for many people - out a dept of 20, 11 people have left in the last yr alone icon_eek.gif

    ideally i would have a good job and be able to do the degree. i wouldnt rule out going back at some point and finishing it off. infact i know i probably would at some point

    Man. life is not about making the decisions that are easier in order to feel happy in the moment. It really is more complicated than that. The best things really take a lot of sacrifice. Sometimes, when you dont know which path is the right/good one, you can probably pick the hardest choice and be sure you'll be picking the one that is going to give you the most satisfaction in the long run.

    I went through a lot of stuff to finish my B.S., mostly because I was in the hardest university of my country doing on of the most intense and time consuming programs in the engineering school (i think it's the most but that would be totally debatable), civil engineering. It was so hard because life got in the middle. I had to get a job to cover LIFE. The job had great potential but overall sucked. The program of studies is not designed for people who are working full time. It was really tough. the fact that my treu passion has always been technology made it even harder (dont ask how i ended up being a C.E. please).

    You should stick to your studies and get at least the bachelor's. It shows determination adn willingness to learn and commit to hard goals, more than great skills on anything.

    For anybody trying to get into this field i think the Master's is a little overkill, as most master's in IT are generally the guys with high level certs. I think that is the optimum path. Get your BS and try to work on a few certs while at it. Then after graduation start piling certs in the field you are interested the most. Then you are are getting close to management a master's might be a god choice but more than a master's in IT an MBA.

    I know a guy with both a B.S and M.S from Standford university. He has an amazing job at intel and no certs. He got an interview for IBM (i think it was IBM) and the person interviewing him when he saw boths degrees smiles and said "kiddo, those are two of the most expensive pieces of paoper that you can clean your ass with...where are your certs?"

    That was just to let you know about the other side of the coin. The truth is that those things happen, but not that often. A degree will set you apart from those who didnt have the courage and determination to finish one.

    Sepiraph wrote:
    JDMurray wrote:
    I know a lot of people who, for one reason or another, regret never having finished their degree, but I know of no one who says, "Boy, dropping out a school was the best thing I ever did!"

    I guess u never heard of Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Mike Lazaridis, Steve Wozniak or Steve Jobs? Then again if you meant people you personally know, then I guess I haven't either. icon_lol.gif

    (Just being the devil's advocate here).

    Those are the equivalent of GrandMasters of GrandMasters. Whatever they did to get there simply doesnt apply to us simple mortals. That list is made of several geniuses who have admitted to consider theirselves total lucksacks. That sample means squat...

    The IT field is weird. It has intricacies that are exclusive of it...The guys making the most money in IT at least as employees here in DR are the guys with high level certs and some experience. All of them have Bachelors and even Masters, but most of those degrees are not even in IT. A Harvard degree in IT from 1986 is good for what???

    A soon of a good friend of mine is going to start college soon and he wants to study IT systems engineering. I suggest him to make some research about certifications and that we should have a discussion afterwards. My point is that i think he'd be better getting a degree in business and using all the available time that he should have (those B-school students have so much time I have always h9d them!! :D) to get some certifications starting with A+. He should be able to get a job and start learning/getting experience while getting some higher level certs. By the time he gets his degree he could be in a very decent position and can decide if he want to be a CCIE or an MBA. The options are huge witht hat route!

    Dont stop studying. Chances are you will regret it. Push through it. Quitters suck. Dont u ever forget that.
    Training/Studying for....CCNP (BSCI) and some MS.
  • moss12moss12 Banned Posts: 222
    AlexMR best advice thank you brother hell motivated me icon_cool.gif
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