Is it better to just get the certs or the degree

kidjudgekidjudge Posts: 22Member ■□□□□□□□□□
I am thinking about WGU but I am thinking is it better to just get the certs or do you need a degree as well? Does it matter if you just get the certs (A+ and the like)?

I am thinking if you get a degree and you dont have experience what is the difference between having certs and no experience?

Comments

  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    It can vary by job opportunity -- but having both can help maximize your job opportunities.

    Someone with experience may not even be considered for a job if they don't have the certification to get their resume pulled from a pile.

    Some companies may not even consider someone without a degree -- no matter what your experience or certifications. But you have nothing to lose applying for those "degree required" jobs since some companies will consider experience in lieu of a degree. And other companies just put it in to use as a reason to reject candidates.

    You want a combination of education, experience, and certifications to maximize your opportunities in an IT career. And experience is ultimately king. But people/networking skills and some luck can be the wildcards that also affect your IT career success.

    Certifications are NOT a magic ticket to a job, but they are one thing that can be done quickly to add some meat to a resume that could have a positive effect on a job search. But if a certification gets your resume pulled from a pile, you still need to demonstrate the knowledge and skills during a job interview.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAPosts: 3,987Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    It can vary by job opportunity -- but having both can help maximize your job opportunities.

    Someone with experience may not even be considered for a job if they don't have the certification to get their resume pulled from a pile.

    Some companies may not even consider someone without a degree -- no matter what your experience or certifications. But you have nothing to lose applying for those "degree required" jobs since some companies will consider experience in lieu of a degree. And other companies just put it in to use as a reason to reject candidates.

    You want a combination of education, experience, and certifications to maximize your opportunities in an IT career. And experience is ultimately king. But people/networking skills and some luck can be the wildcards that also affect your IT career success.

    Certifications are NOT a magic ticket to a job, but they are one thing that can be done quickly to add some meat to a resume that could have a positive effect on a job search. But if a certification gets your resume pulled from a pile, you still need to demonstrate the knowledge and skills during a job interview.

    I totally agree having a combination of certifications, experience, and a degree is the best way to maximize your IT career. :)
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
  • jtoastjtoast Posts: 226Member
    Experience got me my current job. Not having my degree cost me ~$10Kyr in salary...hence my current enrollment in WGU.
  • PHAsquarePHAsquare Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have about 15 years in IT and until recently hadn't considered a degree or certs. I just didn't need them. I started out working for the city in an entry level IT position for about $32k four years later I was a manager making about $48k then I did some project management and other data center consolidations and that got me picked up by the "Fortune 500" EMC. Traveled the country at about $70k and then the bottom fell out of the economy and I got laid off.

    I found myself with all this experience and getting tons of interviews with 2nd and 3rd call backs...only to lose out in the end to someone who had a degree or a few certs. The PAPER RULES! Be it Degree or Certs...so one thing is for sure...if you do something like WGU it will help propel you into a class ahead of a lot of people once you pick up the experience. Remember Cert + Degree + Experience = $$$
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    jtoast wrote: »
    Experience got me my current job. Not having my degree cost me ~$10Kyr in salary...hence my current enrollment in WGU.

    Pretty much this but I'm not going to WGU.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    kidjudge wrote: »
    I am thinking about WGU but I am thinking is it better to just get the certs or do you need a degree as well? Does it matter if you just get the certs (A+ and the like)?

    I am thinking if you get a degree and you dont have experience what is the difference between having certs and no experience?


    It depends.


    Go for a degree if at all possible.

    Certification is helpful, but you'll need the experience to reap the benefits of the paper.

    However, if you're just skilled and able to work with people, why not simply consult on your own? You don't need anything except the ability to 'do the job' when you work for yourself.

    Strive for always learning something in your field, and if you have the means do both the degree and continue with certifications.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • illmaddenillmadden Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    From personal experience, it depends on whether or not you're currently in the IT field or not. If you're already in the field, then go for your degree. If you're just beginning or transitioning (like myself), then I would suggest getting some certifications before getting your degree. That way while you're in school getting your degree, your certs are sufficient enough to at least get you recognized for certain IT positions you apply for.
  • flash23flash23 Posts: 24Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I told a professor one time I was thinking of just getting the certs instead of finishing college he told me you get the certs to compliment the degree from personal experience previous posters are correct usually a combination of all three it varies from employer to employer experience education are the best if certs are required unless they are the more advanced ones some companies allow you time to get them in.
  • tonyg1tonyg1 Posts: 32Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hey guys what is WGU?
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 Senior Member Posts: 1,185Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    tonyg1 wrote: »
    Hey guys what is WGU?

    Western Governers University

    Online University Degree | Western Governors University Online
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    kidjudge wrote: »
    I am thinking about WGU but I am thinking is it better to just get the certs or do you need a degree as well? Does it matter if you just get the certs (A+ and the like)?

    I am thinking if you get a degree and you dont have experience what is the difference between having certs and no experience?

    I would say get the cheapest and fastest way to get a degree possible. The developed world is getting degreed in a big way so tick that box and move from there.
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    Turgon wrote: »
    I would say get the cheapest and fastest way to get a degree possible. The developed world is getting degreed in a big way so tick that box and move from there.

    Like this cat said, knock it out as quick as you can and move on. If you can get some experience while you're going that's even better. Up until 2008 I hadn't studied for a cert ever, just rode it out on 8 years of various experience. I recently moved into a contractor role and I'm going to be working for one of the largest health care providers in the country. My CCNA didn't get me this job either or the massive pay increase. Four classes to finish my degree as well.

    Experience, certs, degree in that order.
  • hoelscherahoelschera Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Depends on your goals…

    Certs are a quick way to move of the food chain and increase your salary. The ceiling is management. You will cap out at the mid level. To get above a Sr. Manager or Director you will need a degree. Work ethic and certs will only get you so far.
  • Michael2Michael2 Posts: 305Member
    Good question. I don't know if having a degree specifically is important, but you have to be able to prove some sort of education. If you just have a diploma from a trade school, that's probably sufficient to fill the education requirement. However, you do need the certification to enter the specific field you want to go into. For instance, you need to sit a networking exam and earn your certificate to go into networking. I wouldn't be surprised if most companies now require two certifications in your chosen field.
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