College vs MCITP

bmcdevittbmcdevitt Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
Im hearing it is not good to go to college and learn broad topics in computer sciences, im told its better to pick one topic and stick to it and keep current, like windows server 2008....

do you guys think it is neccessary to go to colllege and also get certified, or is one that is well certified better than computer science classes?

what do you guys think about this. im having a hard time with knowing what to do icon_sad.gif
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Comments

  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    A combination of both in my opinion. Many jobs now 'require' at least an Associate degree. Many of them say a Bachelor degree or equivalent years of experience.
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yep, don't think there is a valid debate on the topic of Certifications vs. Higher Education. They complement each other and should be used together if you are serious about your career. In my situation, I already have a BS in Information Systems and several great industry leading certifications, including the highest average paying "technical" certification, the CISSP... and I am going back to school for a graduate degree.

    With that being said, if you are trying to get your foot in the door, start doing what you can to get a job now and get them to assist in financing your education. The extra years of experience should not be sacrificed for education... get them both at the same time.
    2021 Goals: [X] Terraform Associate [X] AZ-204 [X] AZ-400 [X] AWS Cloud Practitioner [X] Terraform CHiP
  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I asked this in another thread, but may as well ask it here as it's a bit more on topic.

    I really do not understand the emphasis of college in the workplace. Especially in the IT field as most of your college knowledge is outdated by the time you graduate or soon thereafter. Can anyone explain that to me? Is it a commitment thing? Is it a "this person owes 30k in student loans so needs the job more" thing? I'm baffled.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • bmcdevittbmcdevitt Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hypntick wrote: »
    I asked this in another thread, but may as well ask it here as it's a bit more on topic.

    I really do not understand the emphasis of college in the workplace. Especially in the IT field as most of your college knowledge is outdated by the time you graduate or soon thereafter. Can anyone explain that to me? Is it a commitment thing? Is it a "this person owes 30k in student loans so needs the job more" thing? I'm baffled.

    this is what i was thinking, and i also heard exactly what you said and what i posted erlier from the guy who founded the MCITP boot camp (get MCITP in one week or 2 depending on what it is)

    and now with the economy, getting out of collage and looking for a job in 4 years from now... thats going to be tuff.

    so right now im just baffled at what to do, but for now im going for at least one year experience (6 months left) and continuing with the ive had 4 years of experience compaired to 4 years of schooling, or other way around hence my post.... but thanks for the comments so far, i agree and thats why its such a hard decision, and such a big one. also it doesnt help when i am in debt i cant sleep, if i was in collage knowing i would owe 100k $ and i didnt even have a job, that would bother me non stop, but i guess thats my own problem.
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Hypntick wrote: »
    I asked this in another thread, but may as well ask it here as it's a bit more on topic.

    I really do not understand the emphasis of college in the workplace. Especially in the IT field as most of your college knowledge is outdated by the time you graduate or soon thereafter. Can anyone explain that to me? Is it a commitment thing? Is it a "this person owes 30k in student loans so needs the job more" thing? I'm baffled.

    Somethings just don't change. That is the foundation that college creates. Take for instance programming, computer architecture, etc. Sure it may change here and there but not as a whole. You need to understand those things, and the history behind them.

    Also, you need a well rounded education since you will be supporting a business. In certain companies you may be supporting a BS or BA is required because they want to show (or they respect) that they have college educated individuals working for them: i.e. hospitals, law offices, etc.
  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Somethings just don't change. That is the foundation that college creates. Take for instance programming, computer architecture, etc. Sure it may change here and there but not as a whole. You need to understand those things, and the history behind them.

    Also, you need a well rounded education since you will be supporting a business. In certain companies you may be supporting a BS or BA is required because they want to show (or they respect) that they have college educated individuals working for them: i.e. hospitals, law offices, etc.

    Fair enough, I just know for a fact that I am not a good fit for college. Maybe WGU, as it's a set your own pace kind of thing, but even then that might be pushing it. The thing that bothers me the most about the whole college situation is the need to be taught things that are not applicable to your career path. I had that same mindset in high school, thus why I did homeschooling instead.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Hypntick wrote: »
    Fair enough, I just know for a fact that I am not a good fit for college. Maybe WGU, as it's a set your own pace kind of thing, but even then that might be pushing it. The thing that bothers me the most about the whole college situation is the need to be taught things that are not applicable to your career path. I had that same mindset in high school, thus why I did homeschooling instead.

    WGU may be perfect for you then. I was homeschooled and it's working well for me.
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    Hypntick wrote: »
    Is it a "this person owes 30k in student loans so needs the job more" thing? I'm baffled.

    Close. From the employer's perspective, the person owing 30k is the slave to the employer as they can't afford to go anywhere else.

    You can gain the knowledge and much more in self study and hands on practice. Get ye to your local library. You can get hired at good places without a college degree if you can prove your work ethic, knowledge, and skill set to a worthwhile hiring manager.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • davidspirovalentinedavidspirovalentine Member Posts: 353 ■■■■□□□□□□
    undomiel wrote: »
    You can gain the knowledge and much more in self study and hands on practice.

    To the OP, if I could add. I went the other route, I don't have any form of college accreditation, no degree, nothing... But what I do have is a CCNP and I'm 4 years younger than everyone I work with.

    What does this mean for me? I get paid more than my workmates who have a degree/BS/you name it. Because I believe and my employer believes my skills are practical.

    What does this mean for you? Do what you feel is best, if yr tight on cash, self study and cert up. Get a job and go back to school when you have the money (that's what I'm gonna do, I'm saving up to go back and get my BS in Computer Science).

    Why go back to school you ask? Well as stated above, higher education + IT Certification is what employers are looking for.

    Hope this helps,
    David
    Failure is a stepping stone to success...
  • mypcrepairguymypcrepairguy Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    OP,
    what about obtaining MCITP through WGU? this will give you both a degree and a high level cert to boot.
    Just my .02
    (Start date 1/01/2011) BSIT: Network Design and Management

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  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Everytime this question comes up, there are always people that post about doing X and getting paid Y without a degree. Some, maybe a lot, have done it. Not having a bachelors degree has made things more difficult for me, but after getting over 10 years of experience, getting some certs, completing an Associates, and working on a BS, things are getting easier.

    Getting a degree is easier when you are younger, can take it full time, and don't have a family commitments.

    You can also go the non-traditional route. Take classes part time at a local community college for an associates degree or even a certificate. Classes are cheaper, may transfer to a BS/BA program, and may be more technically oriented then others.
    Andy

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • bmcdevittbmcdevitt Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    ajs1976 wrote: »
    Everytime this question comes up, there are always people that post about doing X and getting paid Y without a degree. Some, maybe a lot, have done it. Not having a bachelors degree has made things more difficult for me, but after getting over 10 years of experience, getting some certs, completing an Associates, and working on a BS, things are getting easier.

    Getting a degree is easier when you are younger, can take it full time, and don't have a family commitments.

    You can also go the non-traditional route. Take classes part time at a local community college for an associates degree or even a certificate. Classes are cheaper, may transfer to a BS/BA program, and may be more technically oriented then others.

    yeah i talked to someone at a trade school yesterday for computer science, so i guess i should do night classes after work, than try to study at work for my MCITP.... collage is not a fit for me either, and it makes things 10x worste when you have a girlfriend -_-
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    There's a huge bubble in education right now -- it's easier than ever to go to college and the schools are competing so much that the value of the degree has dropped a lot.

    I used to teach higher ed. I remember the first time I saw an ACT report. The kid had an 11. I thought it was a computer error but the admission rep was like "omg sign this dude up!"

    That's when I realized that most of the time, higher education isn't about education.
  • valenvalen Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hypntick wrote: »
    I asked this in another thread, but may as well ask it here as it's a bit more on topic.

    I really do not understand the emphasis of college in the workplace. Especially in the IT field as most of your college knowledge is outdated by the time you graduate or soon thereafter. Can anyone explain that to me? Is it a commitment thing? Is it a "this person owes 30k in student loans so needs the job more" thing? I'm baffled.

    I agree. College is a tax. It sucks, but it can't be helped. You have to pay the tax and get the piece of paper (Diploma) that shows you paid. If your serious about becoming an infrastructure guy, (sys admin, net admin, etc...) then you should get a degree in whatever interests you the most or whatever is easiest, because that is written on the paper isn't going to matter. All that matters is that you paid the tax and got the paper. While your doing that, keep up on the tech and get practical work experience and get certified.
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Look, this is going to sound a bit boastful... and I am a boastful person :D, but I typically don't talk about salary specifics with others because it makes them uncomfortable... and these are going to be that specific.

    At this point in my career, I have a BS in Information Systems from a traditional private school that I earned in the evenings doing 12-16 credit hours a semester, several higher end IT certifications (MCSE: Security, MCITP: EA, CISSP, and CCNA), and I am working on my MS in Cybersecurity. I have now have 11 years of experience, and I didn't start my BS until I was about 4 years into my career. I now make twice as much as the average income in my state.

    I know how it is to have experience and no degree... it is tough. I saw my salary go from just over half that average salary to around the average salary just two years into my BS. Get started doing it in the evenings. At least showing employers that you are working on your degree makes a HUGE difference over not having one at all.

    The bottom line is, a degree shows that you take your well-being and success seriously. I have met several smart people that had no degree and were very good at what they did in IT; those same people had some major shortcomings, though. For instance, one guy that I worked with followed our then boss from job to job. Sure, he will always have a job, as long as she is around... but she has been battling major health problems for the past five years and could end up deceased within any given six months. It isn't the fact that he doesn't have a degree, but why he doesn't have a degree... he isn't a self-starter. A lot of inferences can be made about someone without a degree... whether they apply to you or not. It is just the way it is.

    Always do whatever you can to improve yourself. If you aren't willing to do that, I can't take you seriously, and I doubt others will either. Go after the degree and the certs. Do everything you can to improve yourself. Value yourself and others will value you as well. You do that by showing them what your willing to do to improve yourself.

    Many have made some great suggestions. Personally, I am still gun shy of online universities, especially for undergrad degrees... many folks view them as sub par, whether or not that is true. Many traditional private universities offer accelerated programs these days where you can complete one course in five to eight weeks only one night a week. I supplemented my studies with courses like that because my university did not offer the IS degree in that format. In addition, many private universities charge significantly less for students that take only evening courses, as did mine. Couple that with tuition reimbursement from an employer, and it makes it rather easy to afford. There are always options. And if you think that you really aren't college material, go the WGU route; you get to work at your own pace (which is great for mediocre students and highly motivated students alike), it is rather inexpensive, and you can earn certifications while you work on your degree.

    Start a program... in a year or two, you will be in a better place just having some college under your belt.
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  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■■■□□□□□
    That may be the point of persuasion for me to get a degree. Great post.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    powerfool wrote: »
    Many have made some great suggestions. Personally, I am still gun shy of online universities, especially for undergrad degrees... many folks view them as sub par, whether or not that is true. Many traditional private universities offer accelerated programs these days where you can complete one course in five to eight weeks only one night a week. I supplemented my studies with courses like that because my university did not offer the IS degree in that format. In addition, many private universities charge significantly less for students that take only evening courses, as did mine. Couple that with tuition reimbursement from an employer, and it makes it rather easy to afford. There are always options. And if you think that you really aren't college material, go the WGU route; you get to work at your own pace (which is great for mediocre students and highly motivated students alike), it is rather inexpensive, and you can earn certifications while you work on your degree.

    Start a program... in a year or two, you will be in a better place just having some college under your belt.


    First of all, this is an excellent post and after I'm done adding to this point, I will rep this.

    I feel that powerfool is right about the online degree, to a point. However, how he feels about the online degree, employers can feel the same way about having no degree, an AS/AAS or even a degree from a traditional school that is bottom-tier (a no-name state school that no one outside your state has heard of). Having an online BS degree is better than no degree at all. If WGU wasn't regionally accredited, I really would find it useless as if I wanted to go to a traditional brick and mortar school afterwards for a Masters, I couldn't because the admissions officers would just laugh at my face and not think twice about it. I won't mind doing a Masters for 3-4 years because I'll be in the same boat with people just like me (professionals who are busting their butt during the day and going to school at night, as opposed to some teeny-bopper getting ready for a party right after class). I can make some sweet contacts too. If I were to do the same thing right now for my undergrad, it would either cost way too much or would spend way too much time. I don't have to worry about that with WGU.

    Seriously though, many, like myself, have proven that the sweet IT job can be achieved with some college, no (relevant) certs and no degree. If you want to break that glass ceiling, however, whether it's WGU or traditional B&M, you need a plan and you have to work to stick with it while providing enough latitude to deal with life's changes.

    This is one argument that I will always state in these type of arguments:

    Degrees are lifetime--Certifications are not. Even the CompTIA "lifetime" certs have a shelf-date. Would you hire an A+ certified individual who certified in 1999 but never updated his skills beyond DOS/Windows 3.1?
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Degrees are lifetime--Certifications are not. Even the CompTIA "lifetime" certs have a shelf-date. Would you hire an A+ certified individual who certified in 1999 but never updated his skills beyond DOS/Windows 3.1?

    Good point. But if the CS dept just stopped teaching cobol 3 years ago (like mine), you probably should sign up somewhere else :)

    There's no one-size-fits-all for certs vs. education. I've hired AS people over BS people strictly because of the school the BS people went to.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    Good point. But if the CS dept just stopped teaching cobol 3 years ago (like mine), you probably should sign up somewhere else :)

    There's no one-size-fits-all for certs vs. education. I've hired AS people over BS people strictly because of the school the BS people went to.


    You'll be amazed at current high-end applications (like PeopleSoft) that still use COBOL. PeopleSoft (and Oracle) have been talking yap about switching from COBOL to Application Engine since before I started being an ERP admin (over 7 years and going on 8 now.) I still have to compile them, needless to say.

    That last sentence did validate my earlier point though. Then again, from our earlier conversation in the Iowa thread, those AS folks probably aren't going to balk at the salary they're going to be making at your shop either...
  • GeeLoGeeLo A+,N+,S+,M+,C+,CySA+,CCT+ Member Posts: 112 ■■■■□□□□□□
    College is "not a requirement" for working IT. A lot of people here will post that it is, when it fact it is not. Certification, and more importantly real world experience is. College is also "not a factor" of how much an employer will give you, for whatever job you are going for.. the average salary is already pre-determined (and probably less then what it actually should be icon_wink.gif ) for that position in advance.

    With that said, going to college will help you prove to future employers of your over all drive to succeed, and also will probably help you in other career areas. So if you have an opportunity to go, that's great but do not forget the information above.

    Good Luck to You

    Geelo - 20 years in IT
    Vendor Neutral Certified in IT Project Management, Security, Servers, Workstations, Software, Networking, Windows, Unix and Linux and.. Cloud. :-)
  • GeeLoGeeLo A+,N+,S+,M+,C+,CySA+,CCT+ Member Posts: 112 ■■■■□□□□□□
    erpadmin wrote: »
    This is one argument that I will always state in these type of arguments:

    Degrees are lifetime--Certifications are not. Even the CompTIA "lifetime" certs have a shelf-date. Would you hire an A+ certified individual who certified in 1999 but never updated his skills beyond DOS/Windows 3.1?

    Yes certifications are lifetime, because it is the "individual" that is responsible for upgrading his or her skill set, not any company or organization. That should be reflected in the individuals resume and during the interview process. The only reason why CompTIA changed it's lifetime cert policy, is to make more $$money$$ off of DoD branches in regards to ISO requirements, like USACE. icon_thumright.gif
    Vendor Neutral Certified in IT Project Management, Security, Servers, Workstations, Software, Networking, Windows, Unix and Linux and.. Cloud. :-)
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    GeeLo wrote: »
    Yes certifications are lifetime, because it is the "individual" that is responsible for upgrading his or her skill set, not any company or organization. That should be reflected in the individuals resume and during the interview process. The only reason why CompTIA changed it's lifetime cert policy, is to make more $$money$$ off of DoD branches in regards to ISO requirements, like USACE. icon_thumright.gif

    So, where's the part that you disagree with me on certs having a shelf-date? Certs don't have to have an expiration date to be considered useless.

    If I'm a hiring manager that is asking for an MCSE to support our current Windows 2003 servers and you have a resume that shows an A+ from 1999, an MCSE NT 4.0 (no 2000, no 2003...just straight up NT 4.0) and no relevant IT experience since 2000, what good is your non-expired lifetime cert then? You think those type of resumes don't exist today?

    I did state that CompTIA money making scam in the Security+ forum (earlier today, as a matter of fact.)
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    Nah, they still balk at the salary we offer them. I think it has something to do with the fact that people feel like they are "entitled" to make a lot of money and have a sweet job - especially IT kids. But yeah, our salaries are pretty crappy.

    Edit: my last school (4 year) had 4 semesters of cobol and 1/2 semester of networking, 1/2 semester of hardware. So yes, Id rather hire the guy with the 2-year degree.

    Theres a lot of material to teach to CS majors. About 60 credits or 20 courses most places...that means every class you can get them in is a pretty valuable commodity. Something has to be cut. So all other things being equal, I'll take the kid with the slimmed down efficient 2 year program over the kid with the bloated and antiquated 4 year program.
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    Wasnt it Fred Brooks whose research nearly 40 years ago discovered (in The Mythical Man Month) that there was a 3000% productivity difference between the good programmers and the bad ones?

    Neither college nor certs is going to prove yourself to anybody. Every department has someone with a respectable resume but they actually suck at their job.

    So which one do you pick? Certs or college? There are A+'s ive met who cant put a PCI card in, and BS's ive met who cant write an email or do basic math.

    The credentials alone mean nothing.
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    Wasnt it Fred Brooks whose research nearly 40 years ago discovered (in The Mythical Man Month) that there was a 3000% productivity difference between the good programmers and the bad ones?

    Neither college nor certs is going to prove yourself to anybody. Every department has someone with a respectable resume but they actually suck at their job.

    So which one do you pick? Certs or college? There are A+'s ive met who cant put a PCI card in, and BS's ive met who cant write an email or do basic math.

    The credentials alone mean nothing.

    You are absolutely correct. Though I think pursuing a Bachelor degree is a very wise course of action long term, I have as well have met excellent IT professionals who chose other methods of education.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    So which one do you pick? Certs or college? There are A+'s ive met who cant put a PCI card in, and BS's ive met who cant write an email or do basic math.

    The credentials alone mean nothing.

    Out of those two, and assuming experience is not a factor, the guy with the BS.

    Let's be honest, you can teach almost anyone how to do MOST things IT. Much of IT is learned on the job and not through memorizing a bunch of facts in a book to pass an exam. If that person lacks the aptitude, that's when HR gets involved on the best way to fire him/her without the risk of getting sued.

    The interview process is the best way to weed those people out though...if someone like that fell through, who's fault is that? (Hint: not the candidate...)
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Out of those two, and assuming experience is not a factor, the guy with the BS.

    Let's be honest, you can teach almost anyone how to do MOST things IT.
    Much of IT is learned on the job and not through memorizing a bunch of facts in a book to pass an exam. If that person lacks the aptitude, that's when HR gets involved on the best way to fire him/her without the risk of getting sued.

    The interview process is the best way to weed those people out though...if someone like that fell through, who's fault is that? (Hint: not the candidate...)

    To play Devil's advocate...

    Couldn't the same thing be said about a Bachelor's degree? icon_wink.gif

    My wife and my sister can (yes within reason) go through any college class and get A grades. They have an amazing ability to memorize anything put before them. It's absolutely amazing! That being said, they for the most part don't remember anything but the classes they enjoyed (and my wife admits this.)
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    To play Devil's advocate...

    Couldn't the same thing be said about a Bachelor's degree? icon_wink.gif

    My wife and my sister can (yes within reason) go through any college class and get A grades. They have an amazing ability to memorize anything put before them. It's absolutely amazing! That being said, they for the most part don't remember anything but the classes they enjoyed (and my wife admits this.)


    You can teach most people, who have already exhibited aptitude in a given setting what they need to learn. However the key word I didn't state in my earlier statement was aptitude.

    Anyone can get a Bachelors, Master or Ph.D...but you can't demonstrate knowledge without the wisdom, understanding and aptitude to back that up.

    Same is true for IT or anything else.
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    @erpadmin

    Yeah, I agree. Aptitude is the key -- going through college demonstrates it. Although you have to get in a good program, in my opinion, because colleges have become so competitive that they will let anyone in to make a buck. The programs have become watered-down. They say the BS is the new high school diploma. Well, thats true in a number of ways.
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