CCNP or Bachelors in IT

egrizzlyegrizzly B.Sc (Info. Systems), CISSP, CCNA, CCNP, Security+Member Posts: 425 ■■■■□□□□□□
Hello guys,

I thought to bounce thoughts off similar minds. Being that one has an Associates degree + CCNA with a lot of help desk and desktop type experience, is it better to finish college with a Bachelors degree in IT or go forward the cert route by obtaining a CCNP? Still at the beginning stages of trying to sort this out so figured to post it up here? Certainly welcome your thoughts.
B.Sc (Info. Systems), CISSP, CCNA, CCNP, Security+
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Comments

  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    a degree is not going to get you the better job, it may get your foot in the door at some companies for the positons you want, but not the job, but on the job note you didnt' even say what job you were looking for so in my list below. Also does your job have anything cisco related. Moving to a positon inside the company can be easier at times, but onto my list.


    1. Figure out what path, I assume cisco is your intrest.
    2. Locate locations with a lot of cisco jobs. VA/TX/NYC are some off the top of my head. Outside the US I'm not sure
    3. Move to those places and hit up recruiters.
    4. GN3 is your friend. Study, Study, Study everything cisco related. If you have your CCNA and you arent' using it, you will forget a large share of it.
    Currently Reading

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  • StephenOnTheGridStephenOnTheGrid Banned Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    There are never guarantees in life with having a certificate or college diploma, but my recommendation would be get that four year general education out of the way and during the winter and summer breaks work on the CCNP. Remember the four year college diploma doesnt have to be in CIS. It can be in economics or accounting all anyone cares. From what I see is the real learning comes from IT work experience and certifications in a specialized field. Don't skip the traditional college education. Employers still value it. The piece of paper at least betters your chances to better opportunities in life. Once you rack up the trials and experiences you will definitely feel an accomplishment. You will have your ups and downs in IT or in life in general. I know I sure have. When things are not working and you bang your head a few times you might sometimes want to wish you never got into IT but once things are working like they should its a good feeling.
  • nehalemnehalem Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    IMO, there is really no substitute for the good old Bachelors degree. You'll need it eventually, especially if you want to move up in a company. Going into the industry, I think it is better to have a Bachelors + CCNA as opposed to an Associate + CCNP. If you can, by all means do them both at the same time, but give preference to your schoolwork during those times when the time is tight.
  • YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Go ahead with the Bachelor's - At this point if you are not actively using your CCNP-level knowledge daily, it will fade. Finish the Bachelor's, get a job doing networking, and then get your NP.
  • lordylordy Member Posts: 632 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Go for the Bachelor. You can get a CCNP anytime but if you skip the Bachelor know you may never get it.
    Working on CCNP: [X] SWITCH --- [ ] ROUTE --- [ ] TSHOOT
    Goal for 2014: RHCA
    Goal for 2015: CCDP
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    Go for the Bachelor AND study for the CCNP while you're at it. You can easily get the CCNP while you're off for a summer or if you go to a Cisco Networking Academy college, you can get the course there for the CCNP as part of your degree program
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • charlemagnecharlemagne Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    shodown wrote: »
    a degree is not going to get you the better job, it may get your foot in the door at some companies for the positons you want, but not the job, but on the job note you didnt' even say what job you were looking for so in my list below. Also does your job have anything cisco related. Moving to a positon inside the company can be easier at times, but onto my list.


    1. Figure out what path, I assume cisco is your intrest.
    2. Locate locations with a lot of cisco jobs. VA/TX/NYC are some off the top of my head. Outside the US I'm not sure
    3. Move to those places and hit up recruiters.
    4. GN3 is your friend. Study, Study, Study everything cisco related. If you have your CCNA and you arent' using it, you will forget a large share of it.

    ??? A degree will not get you a better job? I have to inquire where you obtained any evidence to support this statement? I agree that a degree is no guarantee but much depends upon precisely what one's degree is in and what level it is (i.e. BA, MS, Ph.D or professional degrees such as M.D., J.D., D.Pharm, etc). Yet, you honestly believe that relocating and "hitting up recruiters" is more beneficial than obtaining a degree in a high demand field? I focus upon the word "better" job. I ask one thing: What empirical evidence do you have that can provide even an ounce of validity to this statement? I am not asking for an opinion. I simply want to be pointed to evidence (statistical, something from the Dept. of Labor, anything other than "I think..."
    I am in no manner attempting to offend you as you have every right to state your opinion. I'm just wanting to see what evidence exists to support this premise?
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Most of the info traded on these forums are based on personal experiences and judgement. The OP asked for advice. The OP should take any and all advice given w/ a grain of salt.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • sides14sides14 Member Posts: 113
    A four year undergraduate degree is a good start for any career. One note of caution is to be very careful about the degree. Instead of Information Technology, go with Computer Science. There was a list on Yahoo a couple of weeks ago that listed degrees that weren't very beneficial (didn't specifically say IT, but it was IS). In addition, the choice of school is extremely important. While I believe that all education has a benefit, some (let's just call them for-profit) cost significantly more and the degree is somewhat frowned upon. Heck....who says you can't be a four year college graduate and have a ton of certs to go along with it!
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    I know about the Yahoo article you are talking about. I wouldn't put much weight in it though since the IT field in general has the lowest unemployment rate and how they were scoring degrees "usefulness" was rather silly as I recall. Then a few days later, they released another article where they posted the "worst degrees" while offered alternate better degrees and the alternative they offered under one was "Information Systems." icon_rolleyes.gif

    CS/EE degrees are great and you'll learn a lot but for the adult learner who needs to maintain a full-time job, it's MUCH more difficult because your degree options for both are more limited. There are a few for-profit schools that offer online or hybrid degrees online for both majors but you have to worry about school reputation and the ROI on such high tuition rates. Plus not all people are made for programming and heavy math classes and it might be overkill for what they plan on doing in their IT career. It all depends on the type of student, what kind of time they have to attend classes, and the kind of mind/passion they have.

    Edit: Yahoo released another article saying that Information Systems majors are on their top ten list for money-maker degrees: http://education.yahoo.net/articles/degrees_with_potential.htm
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    ??? A degree will not get you a better job? I have to inquire where you obtained any evidence to support this statement? I agree that a degree is no guarantee but much depends upon precisely what one's degree is in and what level it is (i.e. BA, MS, Ph.D or professional degrees such as M.D., J.D., D.Pharm, etc). Yet, you honestly believe that relocating and "hitting up recruiters" is more beneficial than obtaining a degree in a high demand field? I focus upon the word "better" job. I ask one thing: What empirical evidence do you have that can provide even an ounce of validity to this statement? I am not asking for an opinion. I simply want to be pointed to evidence (statistical, something from the Dept. of Labor, anything other than "I think..."
    I am in no manner attempting to offend you as you have every right to state your opinion. I'm just wanting to see what evidence exists to support this premise?


    Check my post over the years. I went from not having any certs to moving 4 times over 4 years getting the certs I have listed I have to making well over 6 figures and I did that in 4 years using the above methods. I didn't even know anything about a IT career in 2008 I knew basic log into a router and run show commands, now I can design some pretty decent sized networks. I'm proof of what I posted becuase I made it work. For futher proof you can talk to a few people on this site who I coach and there careers have taking off as well. I dont't mean to sound rude as you were just asking for proof of the methods, but there they are.




    1 Last thing I forgot to add is that you have to know how to hustle. I don't want to say either you have it or you dont' cause I'm unsure of that. You can't be a IT geek in this new world. You will just get abused and crushed, and I know some of you are rolling you eyes at me cause I say this over and over, but I can't emphase this enough.
    Currently Reading

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  • spicy ahispicy ahi Member Posts: 413 ■■□□□□□□□□
    First and foremost is whether having a degree is important to you. It's costly, and may not translate into an asset until later into your career so at this stage you have to really sit down and think about whether or not just having it is a worthwhile achievement in itself. Can you succeed without it? Sure. Does it help if you have it? Of course. It's too early in your career to really say if it's worth it. So I would say think about it - will earning it be satisfaction enough? Is walking down the aisle with a cap and gown, mom and dad looking on proudly at you enough of a reward to work on it? If not, then have fun with CCNP. If so, then do it! I went after my degree not to get a job, but so that my mom could see me do the "graduate walk." That in itself was priceless.

    Outside of making my mom proud, my degree didn't really translate to much outside of being a check mark to clear HR or as a means to weed out candidates for a competitive position in the early years. Where it has come in handy was later when I applied for management roles where it was mandatory to have a degree. Again, it's not a hard and fast rule for hiring but in my own experience every IT management job I've applied to required a minimum of a bachelors degree, and required one in IS/IT/CIS or some other technical discipline. So I was lucky in that regard because I got the degree out of the way early and didn't have to worry about it when I started moving up into management roles. Another place it's important is in any type of government positions, whether city, state, or federal. Many of their postings say they require a degree for some of the better paying positions so if you're thinking about applying for a govvie job, then that's probably the only time I'd say it's mandatory.

    Bottom line, you can succeed in IT without a degree and I'm sure you can find a good number of folks on this forum who are living proof. So I'm not going to sit here and tell you that you have to do it. But if you can find another reason to do it, then definitely do it and you'll more likely than not look on the experience in a positive light.
    Spicy :cool: Mentor the future! Be a CyberPatriot!
  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    Earning my BS resulted in an immediate raise and solidified my start in IT.

    It's not necessary but can be very beneficial as it's an HR checkbox for a lot of jobs.
  • ZorodzaiZorodzai Member Posts: 357 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I've lost out on some really good opportunities due to my not having a degree. IMO - get the degree, it might not result in an immediate pay raise but you will definitely find it necessary as you progress further in your career.
  • charlemagnecharlemagne Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    shodown wrote: »
    Check my post over the years. I went from not having any certs to moving 4 times over 4 years getting the certs I have listed I have to making well over 6 figures and I did that in 4 years using the above methods. I didn't even know anything about a IT career in 2008 I knew basic log into a router and run show commands, now I can design some pretty decent sized networks. I'm proof of what I posted becuase I made it work. For futher proof you can talk to a few people on this site who I coach and there careers have taking off as well. I dont't mean to sound rude as you were just asking for proof of the methods, but there they are.
    1 Last thing I forgot to add is that you have to know how to hustle. I don't want to say either you have it or you dont' cause I'm unsure of that. You can't be a IT geek in this new world. You will just get abused and crushed, and I know some of you are rolling you eyes at me cause I say this over and over, but I can't emphase this enough.


    I appreciate your reply and, though my writing style might sound a bit "dry," please do not think I had any intention of being rude. If such an impression was given, then I'm the first to say I am sorry. If I sound a bit academic, then it is because I am one. My "world" is one that revolves around attempting to prove why a college degree is worth it. I am aware that one does not always need a Bachelor's Degree or advanced degree to get a good job. I have to admit that given your persistence and achieving what you have is quite an accomplishment. Honestly, I doubt I could do it as you did. This is a huge compliment to you because you, along with many others here, have certain inherent characteristics that would help you succeed in almost any market. A lot of people don't have these traits. It is people with such characteristics that, given the credentials required, could become administrators in our universities and change a decayed system and do so without a decade of debates, useless meetings, endless conferences and illogical barriers that has led to what is billions of wasted dollars being funneled into higher education with little result except higher drop out rates. It really comes down to motivation. But, what do I say to those that come to me personally and ask whether they should drop out or not? I can't say "yes, you don't need a degree" because, generally speaking, the entire point of obtaining a university degree is more than (much more) than books but also social skills and, above all, instill within every person the importance of lifelong learning.
    I don't have to worry about a job because I stayed with the same one long enough that I can retire within a few years and begin life anew. I love new challenges. Good luck and keep up the good work. You will surely do well.
  • MickQMickQ Member Posts: 628 ■■■■□□□□□□
    As with all the comments above, it is a fine balance of location, cost of learning, jobs available, own time available.

    Personally from my experience of the US, I'd go for the CCNP first, then upgrade the degree. If you can get both at the same time, then even better. You really need to sit down and work out how long it'll realistically take for each and all options, payback, relocation, etc.
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I firmly believe in order to become more successful you must set your focus on what will get your there in a reasonable amount of time (shorter rather than longer :) ). If you are looking to take off into the networking realm getting an NP and getting experience at that level will only benefit you and probably present you the best opportunities in the retrospect. I believe in most professions experience will speak on a higher level than any certification or degree. A certification or degree simply states that you have background knowledge on the subject and you could eventually perform in the field at a high level. It is your experiences that REALLY teaches you or instills what you learned fundamentally from the certification or degree path.

    Do what will make you most successful. If a certification or degree puts you one step closer than go the route that takes you there. Some my say its easier to come back and get the cert. If you didn't need it in the first place why would you come back for it? Same thing can be said about a degree as well.

    I think its best to understand what path will make you most successful and aim for it. Only then will the experiences you learn from initially setting your sights will you really shine above the rest.

    Just my thoughts and what I am doing for myself.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
  • egrizzlyegrizzly B.Sc (Info. Systems), CISSP, CCNA, CCNP, Security+ Member Posts: 425 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Big thanks for all your responses. I think getting some insight from peers who have been in my shoes before is priceless. It is definitely something that has helped me make an informed decision.
    B.Sc (Info. Systems), CISSP, CCNA, CCNP, Security+
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    A few points:
    1. Cert vs. Degree Thing
    2. Memory Loss Thing
    3. Do Both?!
    =====

    1. Cert vs. Degree Thing
    I hope this isn't another cert vs. degree debate. (They each have their merits, depending upon the circumstance.)

    Personal experience:
    I often get job offers because of certs I have.
    I've never gotten a job offer because of a degree. I have worked jobs that required degrees, but I"m currently at a job that "requires" a degree, and a coworker is still trying to get a bachelor's...


    My main caution is to not spend a lot of money on a degree.
    2. Memory Loss Thing

    As far as skills deterioriation, I'm cosigning with shodown on this: if you don't use it, you will indeed lose it. If you take extended breaks from your study, you'll have to start all over again ... not sure that you want to do that to yourself.

    As soon as you stop learning new information (or repeating the old info), your knowledge volume will decay with the speed of exponent. Not the best news in our already uneasy world!


    Why am I quoting him?

    Petr ... is the only person in the world to have obtained four CCIEs in under two years, passing each on his first attempt.

    For Petr's full post, go​ here: How to study for your CCIE

    3. Do Both?!

    If you had time to go to school and get the CCNA at the same time, then you definitely have time to go to school and get the CCNP at the same time. Laying the foundation is the hardest part. Keep building upon it.

    .
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • 7of97of9 Member Posts: 76 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have a bachelor's degree in a completely unrelated field, which I've never worked in. Still, at least 3 of the jobs I've gotten required a bachelor's degree. Two required one in anything and the other required one in a "technical field," which can be stretched to include pretty much anything math or engineering related. So, for me, having a degree has been VERY beneficial.

    My husband, on the other hand, has no degree and only certs. He has still done very well and often managed to get degree requirements waived, but that's after many, many solid years of experience. He says he would have liked to have gotten a degree when he started out, but he just wasn't the college type at the time. If it helps, he is determined that both our kids get degrees, regardless of what they plan on doing.

    I think that, if you can possibly do it, the combination of degree + certs, combined with experience, is the best way to go and it is easiest to get a degree when you're first starting out rather than down the road when you have more entanglements that make it harder to go back to school.

    Good luck!
    Working on Security+ study, then going back to re-do my Cisco Certs, in between dodging moose and riding my Harley
  • irexirex Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Degree is for life too. The certification is good for a few years
  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    irex wrote: »
    Degree is for life too. The certification is good for a few years

    A degree is not for life 100 percent. It doesn't have a validation date, but if you don't use it, it might as well be toilette paper. MBA shelf life is 5 years. If you dont have a MBA type job within that 5 years don't expect to get one. While I would say a degree will always get you in the door if the knowledge you have from it is out dated you will just get walked right of the door. All these pieces of paper no matter what they are are just tools, in the changing landscape of the world the tools we use all change. A lot of the newer start up IT firms we just put the degree on the job posting just to put it there. Get one if its cheap and affordable and be of value to you, but don't go into major debt or get a degree you cant use quickly after getting it.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • 7of97of9 Member Posts: 76 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have a degree in Architecture...not the architecture of IT stuff, but the actual, brick and mortar building architecture. I don't know...it seemed like a good idea at age 17 and I stuck with it to graduation. I never worked a day a an architect, much to my father's chagrin...that is until the recession and all my architect friends from college were laid off.

    However, I learned a ton from those four years of sleep-deprived hell that were architecture school that I likely would not have learned studying for certifications. That, and I owe at least 2 of my jobs to having had a Bachelor's degree in "something technical." I also use a lot of the autoCAD skills and understanding of floor plans and building materials whenever I work on a wireless project.

    Point is, I still reap benefits from that college degree now...a rather embarrassing number of years after graduation. My MCSE exams? Not so much.

    I think the problem here when comparing degrees to certifications is that we're not comparing apples to apples. We're comparing apples to oranges. Apples and oranges are both good in their own way, but don't necessarily replace each other.

    If you're young and don't have entanglements like a mortgage or kids, or other reasons why time is of the essence, I'd still say, get the degree. You can go to a cheaper college and even go part time, but get it done. It's far harder to go back later if you decide you want it after the fact. Some things, like college and getting your wisdom teeth removed, are just a whole lot easier to knock out when you're a young adult.
    Working on Security+ study, then going back to re-do my Cisco Certs, in between dodging moose and riding my Harley
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,198 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Do both, its easier than you think.
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCTHPv2, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2021 Goals
    Courses: eLearnSecurity - PTXv2 (complete), SANS 699: Purple Team Tactics (completed), PentesterLabs Pro (ongoing)
    Certs: eCPTXv2, CRTE, AZ-500, SC-200 (March 5th)
  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Connection Overlord Member Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Certs: They get you an interview.
    - After they see your creds it's up to you and your communication skills to dazzle them. If you line up, great, if not, no big deal.

    Degree: They keep you the job for the long-run.
    - With all the big companies downsizing these past few years it has sometimes come down to those who have degrees and those who don't. A company might randomly decide it's better for looks if all their employees have degrees... at this point those who don't, are out!


    I agree with everyone else, finish off the degree while slowly moving on your CCNP studies.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    f0rgiv3n wrote: »

    Degree: They keep you the job for the long-run.
    - With all the big companies downsizing these past few years it has sometimes come down to those who have degrees and those who don't. A company might randomly decide it's better for looks if all their employees have degrees... at this point those who don't, are out!

    I've never seen any kind of indication of this. Do you have any kind of data to back this up? If anything I'd say its the opposite. A degree can get you an interview, but continuing to improve yourself and getting certifications to show for it will keep you in the job.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Connection Overlord Member Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I guess it's completely dependent on the company then. A local company here where I live (whose name starts with H and ends with P and is two letters) did this exact thing.
  • malcyboodmalcybood Member Posts: 900 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Go for a degree, it's more valuable in the long run and you don't have to renew it every 3 years!

    Get the CCNP after or during your degree study........If you have a CCNA and experience in configuring networks it's not as big a bridge to gap as you would think.

    Don't let it affect your degree study though.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    f0rgiv3n wrote: »
    I guess it's completely dependent on the company then. A local company here where I live (whose name starts with H and ends with P and is two letters) did this exact thing.

    Can you give us any kind of proof of this? Not to call you a liar or anything, but this just seems ridiculously odd for a company to do and Google doesn't bring up any results.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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