Any benefit to certificate in Computer Science?

SteveFTSteveFT Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 149
I have a BS in Kinesiology. This has been enough to get into IT, but I'd really like to get more into the Computer Science side of things. I really enjoy learning and I think having a MS in Computer Science would prevent me from losing out on any jobs due to lack of a real science degree. My goal is to get into networking or security role down the road. Currently in desktop support and trying to move into Sys Admin position in next year and half.

In any case, I can get a certificate in Computer Science from BU for about $6,600 (what a steal...). I'm hoping to me hired at my current job soon, which would cover $5000/year starting a year from hire date. Worst case scenario: I can finish the certificate and put a certificate in CS on my resume. Best case scenario: This certificate is also the pre-requisities for their graduate degree (would cost ~$24-30k depending on how many summer courses I take).

To reiterate, I am a very curious person and enjoy learning on my own. I have no doubt that I can grasp all of these topics on my own. My goal is to look good on paper because I don't want to lose out on good jobs because I lack a CS/Engineering degree. Any thoughts on the value of the certificate alone if I were to end up not moving onto the MS? Also, would that $6k be better spent getting a BS in IT (there is a program that is only 10 courses, 2 of which I have finished)?


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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    Here is what I have learned so far in my field. Remind you I am 4 years in and 3 of those are as a network engineer.

    The lack of a computer science degree wont hold you back at all. College degree shows that you are dedicated to something. Most the people I have worked with that are veterans done even have one. The ones that do are shooting for the fast track to management.

    Experience will help you get the jobs you want and even the ones that have insane requirements still apply to.

    I am all for one for education and continuing it. If you already have a BS then I think you are ok personally and should save that money for certs.
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    DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    If your goal is sys admin and network security, I'd skip the Comp Sci certificate. Get industry recognized certifications that apply to the sys admin/net sec jobs you'd want. Learn skills useful for those jobs. Then get experience that would be a building block towards those jobs.

    For your plan it'd probably be best to go for an MCSA/*Nix cert, then CCNA, and transition out of desktop support duties.
    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
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    iBrokeITiBrokeIT Member Posts: 1,318 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If you want to become a full time programmer then do it right and get a the full BS in Comp Sci.

    If you want to work in IT start applying for helpdesk and NOC jobs in addition to working on higher level certifications. Experience is king
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA 
    2021: GRID | GDSA | Pentest+ 
    2022: GMON | GDAT
    2023: GREM  | GSE | GCFA

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security | SANS Grad Cert: Cyber Defense Ops SANS Grad Cert: Incident Response
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    SteveFTSteveFT Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 149
    Right now I'm not considering becoming a full-time programmer. However, I'm still very new to the field and don't know what the future has to hold. Do you guys thinking the $8k for a BS in IT is worthwhile? The course load is minimal and allows me to study for certifications at the same time, while getting exposure to C, C++, data structures, etc.
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    Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I am working on switching careers to IT. So take my experience with a grain or salt.

    From my experience most positions are looking for a degree or experience.
    If you already have a higher level degree you will get minimal return on acquiring a certificate for most things.
    You may gain some additional benefit by getting an additional degree in Computer Science or related field.

    The exception to this might be if you are looking for a specific position in a company that you know requires the certificate as they might be working with the school on the program and internships.

    If I was in your position I would consider taking a couple of certifications that are listed in the job postings you are interested in. If you enjoy school then by all means go for the BS if time and money are not an issue. For now I think you just need to look for your first step out of help desk.

    Good Luck
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    henrytimrodhenrytimrod Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I don't think getting out of help desk is the issue. The issue is getting into something else. Certifications may not always help, but they never hurt. Try Brainbench.com for some certs you might be interested in. They're not Oracle or Microsoft or as known as some of the others, but they at least show some effort without paying hundreds for a cert. If nothing else you can at least still say you're certified in whatever field you want to get into and stand out with the other thousands of help desk people also trying to get out.
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