Get an I.T. degree or certifications

nsquared1nsquared1 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am sure this question has been asked before but I am new to the forum. I have completed 75 credits in a non-IT degree. My current employer reimburses me for tuition but I'd have to stay with the company for 1-2 years after I finish my degree, so 4-5 years. I have been told that getting certifications like CCNA and Network+ can supposedly move you up the ladder and pay scale. I have also seen many job postings that do no require a degree or accept experience in lieu of a degree. My current position is in help desk. Any opinions? What certifications should I take if that path is chosen?


  • olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You work helpdesk and your employer pays for you to get a non-related degree?
    Sign me up for that company!

    Anyway both certs and a degree will help you move up but your experience is more important.
    Since its free you might as well finish up that degree or transfer to a related degree if you're serious about IT.
    Since they want you to stay with the company after you finish school look into moving up within your dept after you finish.

    You can study for certs anytime and should base them depending on what you want to do.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Experience, Education, and Certifications are all worthwhile and help determine your market value. If you have a good opportunity to pursue education, I'd stronlgly encourage it. A solid degree is worth much more than most certifications.

    You can always spend a couple months to get your CCNA before, during, or afterwards. ;)
    nsquared1 wrote: »
    I have completed 75 credits in a non-IT degree.
    If your goal is IT, that's silly. Go for a BS degree related to technology, the more challenging the better.
    My current employer reimburses me for tuition but I'd have to stay with the company for 1-2 years after I finish my degree, so 4-5 years.
    If you're in America, you wouldn't have to stay--that would amount to slavery. At most, they can make you re-pay for your college, in which case their offer amounts to a loan plus a later bonus equal to the cost of college. If you later receive a much better job offer there is nothing they could actually do to prevent you from leaving and taking it.

    So: What are the terms if you leave early--repayment timeframe and interest rate? What if they fire you or lay you off? If you were to do this without them, how much would college cost, and what loan terms would you get? Would you actually do it?

    Some questions to think about. :)
  • spartensparten Banned Posts: 72 ■■□□□□□□□□
    XP > Education > Certs

    in that order

    sadly, no one will give you the opportunity to gain XP unless you have atleast a BS/BA these days. Another 10-15 years its probably going to be MS/MA minimum for most jobs, so unless you've got some great connections or networking skills that will get your foot in the door, you're screwed like the rest of us in this economy.

    XP and/or Certs alone definitely will not cut it for most people. just be safe and stay in school for as long as you can afford lol work force is ****.....
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    Why choose?It shouldn't be one or the other. I would say just strive for experience + education + certs.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • puertorico1985puertorico1985 Member Posts: 205
    I will give you the same advice that someone gave me when I was first starting out. (Of course, this was due to my situation where I was without a job)

    1. Get IT certifications to get a job
    2. Once you have a job in IT, go and get your degree.
    3. After you have your degree, get another degree or keep pursuing certifications.
    4. Whatever you do, never stop going after the next big "thing" (ie. degree, certs, experience, higher position, etc...)
  • ObsquaciousObsquacious Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    My boss suggests if you're going to get a degree to work in IT, he suggests going for Computer Science. I'm currently working on my first MS cert, and as soon as I learn to do math will be back in school working on my BS in Computer Science!


    Sorry, I didn't answer the question at all. In my opinion Certs are a great great short term goal. The degree will take a long time, but the certs will get you started and prove you can be useful in the work environment.
  • eansdadeansdad Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Transfer to WGU and get both.
  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Member Posts: 732 ■■■■■□□□□□
    We really need a comprehensive thread on this as a sticky.

    bascially, Certs will help you short term(getting first few jobs), Degree will help you long term(access to more jobs, higher pay, greater job stability, easier to change concentrations in IT, better overall IT knowledge). Masters is to focus once you find an area you are certain you want to stay in(comp sci, Cyber Security, MIS).
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