Looking to advise one of my students

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Shawn Ambrose, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    OK Computer Gurus:

    I have a young man in my office who is looking to complete Gen Ed's at my CC before transfering. He wants employment as a Network Specialist.

    He mentioned the University of Phoenix as a possibility. I showed him the program at Dakota State.

    Between UOP and DSU, where would you go and why, and am I missing any other low cost online possibilities?

    He plans to complete an Associates Degree (probably General Studies - at my institution). Thanks in advance!

  2. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

  3. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    He's going to be starting pretty much from scratch. Hence 2 years earnng the AA here (at my school)

  4. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Okay, just checkin, cuz sometimes kids have taught themselves enough to already be network specialists before they even start college (hacker types :D)

    Re UoP vs DSU, I'd choose DSU ... state university ... and wouldn't have the stigma that UoP has. Probably cheaper too.
  5. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    What are your schools placement rates for people earning a two year degree in Network Administration? Or even placement rates for people with two year degrees in Gen Ed? Anyone taken that route before?

    He's pretty much going to need a BS in CS for a decent IT job, along with some certifications too. In my area entry level IT jobs pay between 12-15 per hour and some require 4 year degrees, along with some experience and a certification or two. Best advice you can give the young man is to learn how to research his career field and seek out internships while in school.

    All things being equal I would guide him towards DSU with its better name and its probably less expensive too.

    Not sure where you are located but here are some Network Administrator positions from Akron, OH: Job Results

    1st job that came up, and here are the requirements:
    Associate's degree or equivalent from two-year college or technical school. 8 years experience in Cisco based network is required. 7 years experience managing/installing/configuring a Microsoft Active Directory environment is required. 6 years of experience supporting desktops and applications is necessary. 2 years experience with ITIL methodologies is required.

    2nd job and its requirements, and it pays great = $35,000:
    Applicant must possess excellent written and oral communication skills. Applicant must also possess excellent knowledge of switches, routers, firewalls, and cabling. ERP or integrated software knowledge highly recommended. Knowledge of MS SQL scripts and stored procedures required. Microsoft certification is desirable but not necessary to apply. Network Performance Tuning, LAN Knowledge, Network Design and Implementation, Problem Solving, Strategic Planning, Multi-tasking, Quality Focus, Coordination, Technical Understanding, Quick Study, Technical Zeal.

    3rd job and the requirements:
    We see a network/systems administrator with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or equivalent work experience, and three or more years of experience in a corporate environment. The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of, and experience with Linux/Unix workstations and servers, Microsoft workstations and servers, computer and network hardware, computer network architecture (including operation of routers, switches, filters, etc…), virtual server environments, and VOIP phone systems. Demonstrated Linux and Unix experience is required. The ability to manage teams and multiple projects is a plus.

    Careful advising people towards IT careers, its not 1999 anymore. The IT career field did not recover too well from the 2000/2001 bust and it certainly is not in any better shape now.

    Also, I suppose we should examine the curriculum from both schools and see which is a better fit for the jobs he wants to do.

    Good luck!
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Well, UoP would be out right away. The name (fair or unfair) does not conjure up a good image. Of the two, Dakota would be the choice. Even an AA degree and some certs and experience could help land a job. In the IT world, the experience really counts. Does he have any experience? If not, start to get some. I have recommended people volunteer to gain experience. I helped at a local Humane Society in the Thrift Store. Two Saturday's a month I used to go in and test all the electronics that were donated. What ever was broken, I tried to fix (I used to work for Sanyo repairing VCRs many years ago). I already worked in the IT field and had experience but realized this was a great way to gain some if you did not have any.

    When I was in school working on my computer certs, a group of us students formed a "business" where we offered free IT support to non-profits like churches to gain experience. These are just some ideas.
  7. ideafx

    ideafx New Member

    What about UWF or FHSU? They're both very reasonably priced. UWF might be tough to get in as an out-of-state CC transfer though.
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    FHSU is a great choice. I think they also include the prep for the certifications.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Have you had the Charter Oak talk with him yet?

    Either way, between those two, I'd certainly prefer Dakota State to to Phoenix if for no other reason than simply tuition.

    He may also want to consider getting some IT certifications. Charter Oak gave me 12 semester-hours of transfer credit for having MCSE certification. I know they're better than most schools on that sort of thing, but I'm pretty sure one can get transfer credit from schools other than the Big Three for IT certs.

  10. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. Some things to keep in mind:

    1. We are a small tribal community college and our computer coursework is very limited.

    2. Student needs developmental work based on ACT-Compass scores.

    3. The realistic expectation is that the AA from here will cover Gen Ed's. All of the IT work will have to come from the senior institution.

    Keep the suggestions coming - thanks for the shout out for Fort Hayes.

  11. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Does the reservation have a casino? I think that would be a great place to get a start in IT, especially if he can get preference hiring. The casinos around me have a few IT openings and would probably be happy to have a kid from the res come in and learn the trade.
  12. Malajac

    Malajac Member

    The situation may be quite different here so it may not apply to the US, but over here I'd advise such a person to go for an industry certificate, in this case most probably Cisco Networking Academy CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) program.

    I work with or have met CCNAs (and CCNPs, and even a CCIE I believe) who were or still are high-school graduates or still attending college with decent jobs as network admins (or better with more advanced certifications), and on the other hand I've seen electrical engineers who took it to be more competitive. Some CS departments at a few universities here offer it partly integrated with or in addition to their regular coursework. Maybe there is such a DL program, but I'd first check how the labs are done. Maybe the best thing would be to find a university that would accept CCNA certification for credit and do the coursework at a local Cisco Networking Academy.

    CCNA, I believe (I don't teach that particular track myself), also ties in smoothly with more advanced Cisco certifications.

    Disclaimer: I am, among other things, a Cisco Certified Academy Instructor.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2010
  13. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I have to agree, the CCNA would be a big plus for his job hunt. He could probably find something with just that while he takes classes part time.
  14. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I agree - CCNA or CCENT is a great start.
  15. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    First off, thanks for the advice everyone!

    What I plan to do with this young man is to have him enroll here for the developmental work, and then have him transfer to Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, about one hour south of here and recommend this program to him:


    WITC is a Cisco Academy, and after completion of this program, and picking up some certs, he should be in good shape. Thoughts?

  16. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    That program above looks like a great match for his goals. It'll give him the needed skills to find a good entry level job in the industry and forms a good base of skills he can build on to advance down the road. Great job advising!
  17. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Sorry to go O/T but what about a military guard/reserve gig? I'm in the Air National Guard and we get some fantastic training and work opportunities. Its part-time, you get help for school...The training that I completed was four-months long and I was awarded 29 credits towards an associates degree. In the Air Guard deployments are handled much differently than the other services. To this day, it is almost all volunteer. Anyway just a thought, but I think your plan sounds pretty good. Cisco training is a great "get" for IT wannabe's.
  18. KariS

    KariS New Member

  19. rickyjo

    rickyjo Guest

    I agree that certs are a good way to go, I also agree that Cisco certs are the most respected in the industry. That said, no IT education is going to be as useful in real life as teaching yourself on wikipedia (sadly). All my Certs had a lot of time wasting information i had to learn to pass the tests, but I needed the credential. I would like to note that at my CC you get your CCNA on the way to getting your Associates. I think that is brilliant.

    I disagree with the poster who believed a 4 year was required (in general) to get a good paying IT job. If you know what you are doing and NETWORK (no pun intended) you can get an IT job with no certs and no degree. Also most of the people I know in the business believe certs are as important as a degree (some say more). I believe this to be the case, general education is not as critical in IT as learning the specifics. It also depends who is hiring you, an experienced IT pro for a staff, or a business person who knows no other way. Alas, this can often be the case if you are trying to get into a mid to small size company.
  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Me too -- I know this isn't the case from personal experience. I didn't get my Bachelor's until after I'd left the IT industry, and I had a number of different good positions. And even now, a friend of mine with no degree (but who has mad skillz) is making eighty as a programmer.


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