Big 3 CS/IT BS thru Testing... Choosing is Hard

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by thadius856, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. thadius856

    thadius856 New Member

    Hi all. Long time lurker. :) Need a little help choosing a degree and testing plan that fits me.

    I hold a BS in Aviation from San Jose State University, concentration Managemet, minor Busiess. Go it the B&M way. Chased down a bunch of exotic skills (Private Pilot training, certified scuba diver, guitarist, years of CAD & Architectural Design, amateur woodworker, home DIYer, etc) before realizing I keep coming back to technology.

    Been a techie since an early age, around about '99. Consider myself very knowledgeable. Currently two years into a Cyber Systems Operations (server administration) career in the US Air Force (3D052). CCAF graduation pending 5-level coding paperwork to clear in MILPDS. Currently only holding CompTIA Security+. Want more Education in case I decide to go to the dark side some day (contractor).

    Transcripts currently show about 30 units of IT credits from CCAF, 132 from SJSU, 18 from testing.

    Want a second BS closer to my career field, but TA won't pay. Saving my GI bill for my wife. Was thinking I could work on a Masters in CS/IT using TA and complete the second BS enroute. Here's what I've drummed up so far:

    TESC Masters in Infomation Technology (TA pays up to 12 undergrad credits)
    TESC BSBA Computer Science by CLEP/DSST at the same time.

    TESC doesnt seem to allow enroute, so finish the Masters in the Fall and have all of the testing credits done. Tuition is prepaid annually. Take BSBA CS capstone in the spring and graduate again.

    Would this work? Is there anything in this plan that could get me in trouble? Not set on those exact degrees and that school. Big 3 seems easiest way on the surface.
  2. novadar

    novadar Member

    In the IT field, there is little to no benefit to getting a second bachelors degree. You are working as a System Administrator, that is the most important thing of all. If you feel it is necessary work on the Masters degree only since TA is available to you the concentrate only on that. I would think outside the Big 3, perhaps Univ of Illinois Springfield (they have a very reputable distance Masters). More importantly I believe you should concentrate on professional certifications. You have a Bachelors degree already and frankly that is all you really need to move ahead in the IT industry. There are scores of folks with Associate degrees and some with no college classes who are doing exceptionally well.
  3. Sauron

    Sauron New Member

    Additional certifications from SANS and/or ISC2 may benefit you more career wise. It looks like you have secret or higher clearance?. Are you interested in moving into management or information assurance? I don't think it would necessarily be a bad thing for you to take additional courses in networking, security or computer science.
  4. thadius856

    thadius856 New Member

    My BS in Aviation is an asset in the IT field? News to me.

    Certifications are great, but I'm not aware of a way to get TA to pay for them. Money's tight as an E-3 with a family.

    I get one $3,000 cert in my entire career...

    If I'm going to use it, it better be for a real showstopper of a cert. Any ideas?
  5. jaer57

    jaer57 New Member

    I know you are reserving you GI Bill for your wife, but you can still use it in the mean-time to get reimbursed for certification tests with minimal impact to the total benefit. Others can better recommend which certs to shoot for, but I wouldn't rule out using the GI bill for reimbursement. You can ask the VA directly what it would cost you in terms of the full benefit here:

    Good luck!
  6. novadar

    novadar Member

    Don't underestimate the utility of having a BS in hand. It could be in PE, seriously, IT is one of the fields where Experience in the field offsets specificity in the the degree. MANY people start but never finish their undergraduate degrees. You should take pride in accomplishing reaching that goal.

    I think you can probably find courses in many University programs which prepare you for certs. That way TA can cover the coursework while you only pay for the actual exam. You can simply enroll as a special student and not be actively pursuing a degree program.

    The new TA sounds nice, 100% right? When I was on Active Duty 18 years ago we only got 75%. I had no GI Bill since I enlisted for the Loan Repayment Program, not complaining however. It worked out incredibly well.
  7. thadius856

    thadius856 New Member

    100% is indeed very sweet. I just find it lame that they won't pay for me to get a BS because I got mine before I came in.

    I understand they don't want to pay for repeat degrees. That makes sense. But I never got to use the benefit. I didn't have college loans, so no benefits were applied there. The only benefit I got was E-3 on first day (all other branches give E-4). However, six year enlistedda get DOR backdated to first day of BMT, so my only compensation for that BS was E-3 pay during BMT/Tech Training.

    Wish it were waivers me in such situations.

    I'll look into MGIB on certs. Thanks guys.
  8. thadius856

    thadius856 New Member

    In the meantime, should I decide to go the path in the OP, would that work?

    Can a BS be Completed enroute like that at some or many colleges?

    Where can I find a testing plan for a CS/IT degree? Couldn't ind any on the wiki.
  9. GreggWilliams30

    GreggWilliams30 New Member

    I would consider going back to school, if you can. There are a lot of schools out there that offer a computer science engineering degree. I would research different schools and see what all of the programs that are out there. More knowledge is always a good thing, especially when you are changing careers.

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