Bachelor in IT for experienced professional

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by steve9898, Oct 2, 2013.

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  1. steve9898

    steve9898 New Member

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    Greetings good folks!

    Here are the details:
    Many years of IT experience on sysadmin side both Windows and Linux: 8+ years
    Certifications: RHCE, RHCSA, MCSE 2003-Security, LPI, CCNA
    Associate degree in Computer Programming

    Which accredited institutions would be the best bang for the buck and would transfer the most credits in terms of AS, certifications, and possibly even work experience.

    Which program would be the quickest and possibly cost the least to gain a Bachelor in IT. Also need to make sure that ends up with a GPA at the end want to pursue a Masters possibly.

    Regionally accredited by a proper accreditation organization which is recognized.

    NOTE: I should include that priority is quickness over cost. Want to finish the program as quickly as possible.

    Thank you for your help!
     
  2. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

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    Have you looked at WGU?
     
  3. instant000

    instant000 New Member

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    WGU does not include a GPA, so that excludes it from consideration.

    At this point, the original poster is looking at Big 3.
    The Big three are probably the fastest choices available: Thomas Edison State College, Charter Oak State College, and Excelsior College
    After that, with what is brought to the table, I imagine the original poster could complete within one year at Regis also (which would be a bit more prestigious, and also considering that cost is a non-factor, only speed).

    There may be many more choices. Bringing in an associates degree, and some certifications that might be equivalent for credit (keyword: might), and with the OPs ability to test well (as noted by passing certification exams), the OP could be looking at a degree within a year or less.

    I would recommend that the OP consider CLEP Forum - CLEP Study - CLEP Testing - Study Guide and Strategies, for a little more information about options with the Big Three. Especially look over some of the degree plans, to get an idea about how alternative routes to a degree are feasible. (Note that lots of schools accept up to 90 transfer credits, and 30 credits can be completed within a calendar year, so it might be good for the OP to consider other schools, especially local schools that might offer courses online that may be for credit.)
     
  4. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

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    Good catch, I did not notice the GPA in the RFQ. :D

    One has to be pushing for a "high-end" MBA to need an official GPA. WGU has a letter they can provide that explains their not recording GPAs, which seems to suffice for many schools.

    Regis is a solid school, but a little pricey. Definitely a great choice if one lives near one of their campuses.

    As well as other options beyond the Big 3 of transfer schools. DegreeForum members have a great deal of awareness of alternate Bachelor's completion routes and their utility toward any Master's.
     
  5. siersema

    siersema New Member

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    Occupation:
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    Regarding speed. When I did my BS at Excelsior I found the BS Liberal Studies degree with a concentration in CIS faster than the BS IT due to more acceptance of certs and previous credits.
     
  6. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

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    Definitely look at the big 3. One of the benefits of having so many certifications (aside from getting credits for them) is that you are used to, and most likely very comfortable with) taking exams. You can take full advantage of this skill by testing out of a ton of credits at the big 3. I can't think of any schools that will be faster.
     
  7. novadar

    novadar Member

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    Frankly speaking here, just get a Bachelors in Liberal Studies or the like. It will be considerably faster and provide you just a much value.
     
  8. instant000

    instant000 New Member

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    LOL. Considering that the individual is experienced, that may be true.
     
  9. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

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    More truth to that than I care to admit. I've seen history majors run IT departments.

    Really, though, the bachelor's degree is becoming a stepping stone the way the associate's used to be. Where the program counts lately seems to be your master's. Once you have the bachelor's, you satisfy a lot of HR requirements and have a fairly broad variety of master's degrees and programs you can pick from. If you find a solid accelerated/inexpensive program such as the Big 3, you can get the bachelor's "out of the way" while saving money and energy for your master's.
     
  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Oh, really?
     
  11. steve9898

    steve9898 New Member

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    Thank you for all the responses. Sorry I forgot about this thread as a bunch of other things came up.

    Few questions:

    1. Do the big 3 issue GPA even if someone CLEP out of a bunch of credits? Are they also regionally accredited?
    2. I will check but Regis seems to be campus only. I am looking for distance/online.

    I am an IT professional so a bit hesitant to get a BS in Liberal Arts. Unless I am missing something here?

    Which school out of big3 would be recommended and which program?


    Thank you!
     
  12. steve9898

    steve9898 New Member

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    Sorry I had a few things come up and forgot about this thread.

    Is Regis on campus only?
    I am looking for distance/online program.

    Out of Big3 which one do you folks recommend in my situation?
    BS in Liberal Arts seems a bit out of place to do for an IT professional unless I'm missing something ?

    Thank you very much!
     
  13. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

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    Incredible the majors I've seen with IT managers. I've heard of history, accounting (somewhat understandable. . . kinda), psychology (also vaguely understandable). I am hoping I see less of this over time-- my strong opinion is that IT staff should have some sort of fundamental structured education in IT. If not degrees, they should have certifications.

    You've got some reading to do. I spent several months combing this board plus a few other resources before taking on Excelsior College and Western Governors University.

    The short answers to your questions, but you should spend some time searching this board:
    1. Yes to GPA at Excelsior, not sure about the others. These schools would not be so heavily mentioned here if they were not RA. Also see CLEP Forum - CLEP Study - CLEP Testing - Study Guide and Strategies.
    2. No, Regis has online programs. You'll want to give that page another look.
    3. Of the Big 3, only Charter Oak hands out degrees that scream "Liberal Arts".
     
  14. steve9898

    steve9898 New Member

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    Thanks Pete!
     
  15. novadar

    novadar Member

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    My undergraduate degree is in History, my Masters is in Public Administration. I have worked full-time in the IT industry for 15 years now with the lion's share at a large Enterprise Software company in a variety of roles: Consulting (as a Manager as well as an Individual Contributor), as a Technical Director in the Development organization, and now as a Sales Engineer. Over the years I have also taught classes to paying customers in the Training organization.

    If anything my History degree is helped me way more than hurt me. Research skills I learned as an undergraduate has me immensely in troubleshooting and being able to write Technical documents and training guides that are coherent and logical. Along with my DBA and PMP certifications I think I have a pretty good balance of Liberal Arts with Technical skills.

    YMMV.


     
  16. jam937

    jam937 New Member

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    1. Thomas Edison only issues Pass/Fail for CLEP, DSST and ACE.
    2. Thomas Edison has like 3 different computer related degrees all online

    You will regret getting a liberal arts degree instead of a computer related degree. Your an IT professional, get an IT degree. It will be easy for you as you have experienc ein IT plus it will help your career more.

    I was in your position about 3 years back. I had 16 years IT experience with no degree. In 3 years I completed a BA in computer science at Thomas Edison and a MS in computer science at Univ. Illinois both online.

    For my bachelors, I tested out of like 25+ classes using CLEP and DSST. I took stats via Aleks. I took Calculus and some other courses via Straighterline. I did almost all my electives for free via FEMA. Everything transferred to Thomas Edison. I even got 15-20 credits for several Microsoft certifications. I ended up only having to take ~6 courses at Thomas Edison. Computer courses will be very easy for you. Discrete Math was the hardest course for me.
     
  17. novadar

    novadar Member

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    I think it is a bit of a reach to state the OP will "regret" getting a liberal arts degree. I guess perhaps in an accelerated mode it might not provide all the value that a liberal arts degree can provide. I have encountered significant numbers of IT/CS trained individuals who cannot write a proper paragraph to save their lives. Although things might change in years to come it seems that having "a" degree and professional experience/skills is all that matters. My Masters it not even a pure Management degree (an MBA) but it has been accepted as such for me since I got my start as a Civil Servant. If the OP has experience "a" degree in anything is all that will matter. The degree is simply a checkbox on a form for anything past an entry level job which does not require formal licensure.
     
  18. jam937

    jam937 New Member

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    In the original post he stated he was looking for a bachelors in IT. I think he would regret getting a liberal arts degree when he wants an IT degree. A degree in your field will provide more opportunities then one outside your field. Regardless of experience. That's the simple truth. I've seen HR departments automatically throw out resumes that did not have an IT related degree regardless of experience because that was on the screening form the IT manager gave them. A degree in "anything" just won't cut it in the private sector.

    An IT professional's job is not to write proper paragraphs. Writing adequate paragraphs is good enough. Their job is to monitor, maintain, secure, backup, code, etc. computer hardware and software.
     
  19. novadar

    novadar Member

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    I guess I overlooked the original lean towards an IT degree.

    Fair enough on the point about HR departments, that is why it is perilous to leave your career progression in the hands of IT professionals. Virtually every IT-related job I have held I got by making contact with the hiring manager not HR. HR staff have a difficult time accepting individuals who do not "fit the mold".

    I have worked in the software industry for some time and the folks who get promoted are those who can communicate exceptionally well. That is just my take on being all around.

    One final word, my first job in IT was at MicroStrategy as a Production Consultant. Our CTO, the head of Development, had a Philosophy degree from an Ivy league school. He was (and still is a genius). Of course I am biased but based on my own experiences I don't think anyone needs an IT degree unless they are striving for a Software Engineering position at a major software company. I have encountered many, many, individuals who have degrees in other disciplines, even loads with no degrees. I have not worked for the government in an IT role, my 15 years has been with nothing but private companies.

    IT is just one of those disciplines where skill trumps all else. Those who can do the work and demonstrate their skills rather than rely on credentials will always do well.

    I will agree to disagree with you. I am just calling it as I have seen and see it. Best wishes!
     

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