Is an IS/IT degree still viable?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by decimon, May 31, 2017.

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  1. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    They seem all to lead up to some industry certifications so why not just get the certs to complement a business or liberal arts degree?
     
  2. AsianStew

    AsianStew Member

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    That's true, most competency degree programs will have those industry certifications complementing a degree.
    You might want to check out Brandman, Hodges, and WGU. The Big 3 may have programs too, COSC/EC/TESU.
     
  3. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    I'm 71 so this isn't for me.

    I've looked at some of those programs and come away with the same thoughts. Initially that might be, "Oh. Like. Wow! You get those certs along the way!" But then it becomes, "Hmm...why not just get the damned certs? Why spend all of that time and money on a techie degree when you can study on your own for the certs while getting some other degree?"

    Am I off track or are the not-calculus-based techie degrees becoming passe?
     
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Active Member

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    Most IT degrees do not include certs. WGU is the only school I can think of that covers certs and courses at the same time. Edmonds CC did this, but that program has ended. Everyone else either studies for certs on their own or uses the knowledge they gained from their college courses to pass certs.

    For jobs that require a degree, those with a non-IT-related degree will be at a disadvantage. I've seen many jobs that require or prefer a degree in IT or CS. Additionally, IT is much more applied than CS. Someone who did well in a networking course should be able to pass COMPTIA Network + with little to no study. You're essentially killing two birds with one stone.

    For example, I probably will not be taking networking to finish my BSBA. So, after all that time studying management, accounting, finance, etc., I would have to spend a lot of additional time studying for IT certs. Unless you're testing out of a degree, which over 99% of students won't do, an IT degree will not be any more expensive than any other degree.

    Back to WGU, it would be cheaper and faster to do an IT degree with them, and your certs will be part of the curriculum. WGU is one of the cheapest colleges around, so not having to pay for your certs in addition to the low tuition is an excellent deal. That's a lot better than getting a degree in some non-related subject and spending additional time and money in certs.

    Edit: I remember that I had to pay for my certs with Edmonds, but the certs were awarded college credits.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2017
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    This is true to an extent. All things constant, a CS/IT major and a BS major go up for the same IT job and the CS/IT major has an advantage.

    But few things are ever constant and two candidates very seldom resemble one another, even on paper.

    If you're hiring a software developer then there are two things that hiring managers generally look for; professional experience and a portfolio.

    If you have someone with a BSBA with, say, 4 years of experience as a software developer at a known company (not necessarily a large company, but one known to the hiring manager even if it is only a local company) then they will be at a significant advantage over a recent CS graduate with no related experience or whose only experience is as a self-employed developer.

    With many other IT areas, certifications are key. BSCS? Cool! Do you have the relevant cert? If not then you are at the disadvantage compared to the person with the cert.

    While I always felt that an IT degree plus certifications made for a double barrel blast there is, at least the appearance that, a large segment of folks with IT degrees who don't care about certs and hope to ride off of their degree and experience only.

    I have a friend who is a database developer. His degree is in English Lit. He has an MCSE and has worked as a database developer for 15 years. It is highly improbable that he would ever face an issue in hiring. His experience and certification outweigh the lack of a CS degree. And, at this level of hiring (10+ years of in field experience) the conversation shifts from degrees entirely.
     
  6. sanantone

    sanantone Active Member

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    I still have Neuhaus on my ignore list, but that obviously only works when I'm logged in. I have to do a better job of remembering to log in.

    I'll basically write what I just told people on the other forum. But first, I'll address something different. In occupations that don't require a license, there are always a million different variables. Unless there is a specific situation being presented, the best we can do is speak in generalities.

    Now, I will present a specific situation. During the recession, the unemployment rate for new graduates of CS programs was relatively high even though there were still plenty of tech jobs out there. Why was that the case?


    Well, let's look at cities like San Antonio. Tech companies there do a lot of recruiting out of state because there is a shortage of IT professionals in the city. So, what happens to all the San Antonians with newly-minted IT, CS, and related degrees? A lot of them move because they have difficulty getting a job in a large city that just so happens to have a pretty good number of tech jobs.

    A common question millennials ask is "how do I get experience when everyone requires experience?" Of course, not everyone requires experience, but it's certainly a task to find employers who don't and try to compete with the hundreds to thousands of other applicants. In the end, they still might select someone with experience.

    So, someone from generation X or a Baby Boomer tells you that no one cares if he or she has a degree because he or she has 20 years of experience. Well, good for you, but what you're telling me is meaningless because I don't have 20 years of experience. It would be helpful if you could tell me how I can get a job today. They often can't. They can tell you how they got a job 20 years ago when degrees and certifications were less required across the board.

    It's like when older people tell you to pound the pavement and, when you do that, employees at the company look at you crazy and tell you to apply online. I remember when I was trying to get my first job around the age of 16 during the slow recovery from the recession. My mother kept telling me to ask to speak to a manager. Sometimes, the manager would come out and tell me that I would get a call if I was selected for an interview. Many times, I never got to talk to a manager.

    So, today, one of the easier ways to get your foot in the door is to take advantage of internships that are only available to college students or recent graduates. You may or may not be able to start at some low-paying, tech support job at a call center. Employers may or may not take that experience seriously since those jobs tend to not be all that technical. If you want to do web design, you can build your own portfolio. Programmers may be able to volunteer on open source projects. People need to be aware of the fact that the job market is much more competitive.

    For example, you only need an associates degree to become a licensed chemical dependency counselor in Texas, but that doesn't mean it's good enough to get a job. Employers know that there are plenty of people with bachelors degrees to choose from. Most of the jobs in Austin that pay a living wage require a bachelors degree.

    And, if you're wondering why you're getting so few interviews for adjunct teaching jobs that only require a masters degree... Well, you're probably being beaten out by people with PhDs. If I decide to teach after graduating, online jobs may be out. I have 1.5 years of teaching experience. Many online jobs want 2-3 years of teaching experience for McDonald's wages. A lot of them specifically want online teaching experience; I taught on ground. This takes me back to "how do you get experience when everyone requires experience?"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2017
  7. jhp

    jhp Member

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    In US government IT jobs, certificates are king.

    Look for DoD Directive 8570.1
     
  8. ITJD

    ITJD New Member

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    Yes, but you often if not always need to have a recent security clearance to lower the cost to the employer or qualify. Depending on a person's military background this can be a serious non starter.
     
  9. jhp

    jhp Member

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    True, but we were discussing certificates. Many use their clearance coming off active duty.

    To the OP, getting a degree and certificates is a good thing. Most of us will be able to keep up with technology just for so long before we have to be kicked up to management. It is easier to do that with a degree.
     
  10. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    More chiefs than Indians?
     
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    So, certainly rule. We've heard this before. It's been a fairly consistent message. Still, I have to guess that a degree has some value. Is this a situation where a UPeople degree might make sense? Low cost, etc...
     
  12. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    I see that they now accept up to 50% of an undergraduate degree in transfer credit. From other schools or ACE approved, like CLEP.
     
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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  14. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    I'm sure that such programs will help some people but not sure of how many. Leaving a job to train is especially risky.

    The certifications gained would fit well with a CLEP, DSST, Big 3 strategy for gaining some needed degree.
     
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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  16. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    Couldn't find a review of that but $40.00 isn't much of a gamble.
     
  17. nyvrem

    nyvrem Member

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  18. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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