Liberal Arts Degree - But thinking about certs?

relivethefirerelivethefire Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
Okay,

This is going to sound like kind've a strange story.
When I was in high school I went to a vocational technical center as a dual enrolled student to study A+ Hardware and Cisco networking. I didn't continue with it, but used the information I learned to build several computers over the years and secure networks for people. I'd always enjoyed doing it, and have loved learning about the more technical aspects of computing. Unfortunately, I never continued with it, and enrolled at the University of Michigan as a liberal arts (Chinese language) major.
One of my friends graduated UM recently and got a job that allows him to get free CBT Nuggets software. He told me that if I wanted to use them to learn more complicated computing and possibly even study for exams, than I could. I'm more of a computing hobbyist, but figured this could be something to study for after work/in my spare time. I figure, why not?

My questions are these:

Can video tutorial software like CBT Nuggets adequately prepare you for certification exams on their own (or possibly combined with practice exams)?

Would it be worthwhile me getting certifications even though I have a liberal arts degree? I'm not necessarily looking into the IT world for employment per se, but was thinking if I had some certs than it could possibly add extra job security? Though I have no idea.

Would certifications on their own be enough to get me an entry level job in the IT world on their own?

Can you get certifications for programming? Ex. C++, Perl, Java, etc.?

Thanks

Comments

  • DigitalZeroOneDigitalZeroOne Member Posts: 234 ■■■□□□□□□□

    I'm more of a computing hobbyist, but figured this could be something to study for after work/in my spare time. I figure, why not?

    My questions are these:

    Can video tutorial software like CBT Nuggets adequately prepare you for certification exams on their own (or possibly combined with practice exams)?

    Would it be worthwhile me getting certifications even though I have a liberal arts degree? I'm not necessarily looking into the IT world for employment per se, but was thinking if I had some certs than it could possibly add extra job security?

    Thanks

    From your post you sound like you don't really want a job in IT. I have friends who are computer hobbyist, and they always thought that IT was easy, mainly because they would see IT folks surfing the web, or generally "not working". I say that because non-IT people don't realize how much intellectual work is involved in IT. Speaking for myself, I constantly get new tech books, take exams, read tech magazine, etc. I really enjoy technology in general, so I guess it could look like I'm "doing nothing" when I'm really troubleshooting a problem.

    If you don't really care about an IT position, I would not waste time studying for certifications. Having said that, depending on your aptitude level, you could pass an exam by going though some CBT Nugget videos, but you would really be a paper cert, or more accurately, a video cert.

    You really need some kind of hands-on, but good luck either way.
  • relivethefirerelivethefire Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I say that because non-IT people don't realize how much intellectual work is involved in IT.

    I'm not as much looking for a job purely in IT, as much as I am curious if that's all that was required. I have a great respect for the IT field because it requires a lot of critical thinking and analysis that solely utilizing videos couldn't prepare me for.
    I'm actually looking into the marketing field, and was curious if I could achieve certification with those videos. Because marketing is moving on to the web and, in general, utilizes a lot more technology, if I can achieve some sort of certification, it would make me stand out to other applicants in the application process. From what I understand, a lot of people in marketing don't have a lot of technical skill with computers, so anything looks better than nothing.
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I don't know how much fun the exams would be to a hobbyist but I could see some advantage to having some entry level certifications, especially if you are planning to work in really small businesses/non-profits. When companies with a small staff want to hire they may view a Chinese linguist who knows basic IT troubleshooting/server support roles as a better candidate than a Chinese linguist who doesn't know how to do that.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • relivethefirerelivethefire Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well, I'm leaving academia soon and am applying for jobs in the workforce. I'm intrinsically interested in IT as a hobby, I've actually watched a couple of the videos on A+ and I think they're interesting (but almost everything is review), and I figured if I could get some certs out of the deal to make myself look more marketable at non-IT positions, what could it hurt? I just knew the tests were kind've on the expensive side, so I didn't know if the videos made you adequately prepared or were more for the purposes of review.
    I'm also (regardless of taking the exams or not) probably going to work through a couple of the courses in the series anyway, so I figured I'd see what the IT community felt about the effectiveness of the programs before spending the money on the exams.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    1. Your major doesn't matter, just that you have a degree.

    2. CBT Nuggets have very strict licensing. Even for you to be sitting over his shoulder while he is watching is a violation of the agreement. You stealing means I have to pay more for my subscription. I'm not a fan of that.

    3. Yes, video tutorial along with old fashion studying, reading, and labbing is usually enough to pass.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Well, I'm leaving academia soon and am applying for jobs in the workforce. I'm intrinsically interested in IT as a hobby, I've actually watched a couple of the videos on A+ and I think they're interesting (but almost everything is review), and I figured if I could get some certs out of the deal to make myself look more marketable at non-IT positions, what could it hurt? I just knew the tests were kind've on the expensive side, so I didn't know if the videos made you adequately prepared or were more for the purposes of review.
    I'm also (regardless of taking the exams or not) probably going to work through a couple of the courses in the series anyway, so I figured I'd see what the IT community felt about the effectiveness of the programs before spending the money on the exams.


    As someone who supports "academia" in an IT function (so I already have preconceived notions about you and your ilk....and if I wanted to tell you what they were, I would have done so), I can tell you that it has helped me for certs like Security+ to review things *again* just so that I know what I have to deal with on the test. I actually had to do that with A+ and Network+.

    I also started as a "computer hobbyist" and would have preferred to remain one. If I had known my parents buying me a PC would have ended up getting me into IT, I probably would have been better without one. [I wanted to be a lawyer...]

    I'm more an exception than a rule though; just because you can take a PC apart doesn't necessarily translate that you can deal with IT as a job, let alone a career. There are a bunch of other variables you have to take into account...
  • kiki162kiki162 Member Posts: 635
    1. Yes but it won't help you to understand the material. Like if they talk about things like hard drive fragmentation, or updating a BIOS, or power management features, do you have enough experience to know where these things are? If you don't then you need to rethink your plans. Getting a book, and starting to experiment with a PC would be helpful to understand the concepts of any exam.

    2. A degree is a degree...it's what you make of it job wise. I know people that had Chemistry degrees, but instead went into the IT field and are smart as hell.

    3. Maybe, but you'll be starting at entry level salary. Most of us that have done and passed certs know that going off of JUST videos won't help you. Having books, labbing and hands on experience will help you.

    4. There are certs for those out there. But again it won't help you get a programming job, you really need to come with experience on that.

    Looking for a job in marketing won't help you get a job if you have IT certifications. The only way I could see that being useful is if you are looking to create products like CBT Nuggets.
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