To anyone thinking of getting a IT/CS degree

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by jeepster78, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. jeepster78

    jeepster78 New Member

    My degree is in Information Technology and IMHO it was a mistake, I love the field and I'm very good at it but the guys in my department with no degrees at all make as much as me but with the lack of education along with much needed core knowledge in the field.

    I'm currently working on a degree in a different field at the age of 32; The best advise I could give anyone is get a degree in a field that requires a degree or you will be like me and feel screwed. IT/CS is not a professional field in my opinion, if it where it would have educational requirements and not hire someone that is just good at working on PC's, or writing some code that they learned by messing around.

    If you really want to get a get a degree in IT/CS more power to you and best of luck but just know ahead of time it will might not put you ahead of someone with no college at all.
  2. Rohan

    Rohan New Member

    I disagree with you. What you are saying may be true for an entry level position in IT. But if you are going for a senior level or management position, companies favor those with at least Masters degree. If you want to be a developer , yes then you just learn the hottest language become a consultant & be ready for the market. I know many who don't have any degree and have been developers all their life making good money. But development is not easy my friend. At some point in your life, if you want to settle down and go to senior level position in another company, you need a degree. It wasn't like this in the dot com era but now degrees are becoming important. Sooner you realize and be done with it, better. Else 10 years from now you will be pursuing the degree. Just my experience of the industry, I have been in for the last 10 years.
  3. jeepster78

    jeepster78 New Member

    I really think that someone wanting a degree would be better off getting a degree in a field that requires it. My boss has only certs and no degree, his boss (IT Director) has an associate degree and we are talking about a huge company. Not saying IT/CS is a bad field but IMHO its not worth years of college just to work with people in the same position or even higher positions that didn't go get a degree.
  4. Mohammed

    Mohammed New Member

    Yes. A degree is mandatory if one is looking at a senior level position. This is invariably so in any industry, not just in IT.
  5. jeepster78

    jeepster78 New Member

    Experience will be taken in place of education on a year for year basis sound familiar to anyone in the field? Yeah a four or even 6 year degree will get you working with non college graduates making the same amount.
  6. louieknucks

    louieknucks Member

    What degree are you working on now if you don't mind me asking?
  7. jeepster78

    jeepster78 New Member

    Bachelors in Psychology followed by Masters, I will be done in 4 years.

    I feel that my IT degree will always benefit in a way but just not in salary.
  8. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    There are elements of truth to this thread.
    I consider myself a great programmer, and a great analyst. I have been doing development since I was eight years old and had As all throughout school till I got to college where I was bored and quit after 3 years to go directly into software development.
    Within a year I was a technical lead and had 4 direct reports 2 of which had masters degrees (foreign nationals). I had multiple certifications and was much better spoken, a superior developer and better trained for the job.

    They respected me because I made sure that they knew I was there to help them become more productive. I also lauded their accomplishments in education and told them how some day I would finish my degree as it bothered me to not have it.

    At this point I am now finishing my degree online and will do a masters also.

    Mohammed is wrong in my experience. You do not have to have any degree in this country to succeed. Bill Gates had no degree and many top executives have just a bachelors degree.

    I am not saying a degree cannot help you.

    Here are the places where a degree will DIRECTLY affect your compensation:
    - living in a communist country with a command economy
    - working for the government or as a government contractor
    - being a teacher
    - working for a union

    In all other cases, in the free market labor is priced based on the laws of supply and demand. If you have the skills that are in demand and not many others do then you can command a high salary.

    I expect zero increase in salary after completing my bachelors masters or doctorate since I work for a private company in a free market capitalist system.
  9. Mohammed

    Mohammed New Member

    What you are quoting are exceptions rather than the norm. Bill Gates is an entrepreneur extraordinaire. You are also under estimating the value of education. Free market or not, apart from skills, employers need to ascertain that individuals that they hire or promote have the requisite education. A degree serves this purpose, i.e. it provides the necessary certification of one's knowledge.
  10. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I am in the IT industry, and I am only 27 years old. I am the Manager of my team, and I have Bachelor of Science in Computer Science when I applied for this position. Some people have over 20 years experience, but they did not have a degree. I got to be their leader because I have an undergraduate degree. My director has a Bachelor degree, my immediately manager has Bachelor and Master degrees.

    In the IT industries soon will require a minimum 4-year college degree. Why? Well, the new generation, almost everybody has a college degree. Therefore, they have to compete each others for the job. The older generation might not require a degree because of their years experience. I see lot 30% of folks in IT for awhile and return to college to get their Bachelors.

    I have MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, and CCNA. I am working on my CCNP and CISSP. I also have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Telecommunications & Managements. I am working on my Master of Professional Studies in Information Security/Assurance at Georgetown University, and Ph.D in Organization & Management at Capella University.

    My plan was stopping at a Master degree; however, I continue going to schools because I get paid and FREE tuition. Besides, I am aiming for higher position in the future or having my own business. Therefore, I don't see my degrees are useless in the IT industry.
  11. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    I'll second Tekman but I'll also echo some of the points of the OP. I've seen both sides.

    In the 90s you could show someone that you knew your way around MS Office configs, could type and do some basic DOS commands and you'd land in an IT job. At about the same time there were tons of Information Technology doctoral programs going live and these programs were creating IT Ph.Ds that were being gobbled up by tier 2 schools and being given tenure. IT was expected to be as valuable to firms as accounting and sales were and the structures were geared towards growth.

    A lot of the people in IT management without degrees joined a firm in this time period or shortly after and elevated over time. If they didn't collapse under the weight of their own lack of ability, they're still well employed at good salaries.

    Around the middle of the first decade of the 2000s I started to notice that the IT field was getting more competitive.. first at the big consulting firms, then on the academic side. Good luck getting a job if you didn't have a degree - I chalked this up to the IT field maturing and hitting puberty. There was an oversupply of IT degreed candidates and businesses could get picky. Of course if the managers or teams didn't have degrees, there was discrimination against candidates that did during the hiring process.

    A+ people hire A+ people. B people hire C people. Just the way it is.

    Now you've got an industry that wants the "right education for the position". If I have an undergrad in IT and a MBA, I need to be applying to PMO or Business Analyst positions if I'm not going for head honcho jobs. I've just killed my sysadmin chances with that MBA even if I've got all the experience and certs.

    God help me if I go on for a Ph.D, I'm limiting myself to academia and consulting unless I run my own firm or work at a firm that only does IT. IT is a strange beast. My recommendation is finding a company whose employees match your demograph. IT people will always be happier in IT focused companies and I feel that it's a matter of time before companies stop maintaining internal IT shops if they're not technology firms to begin with.
  12. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    This a nice look into the Nerd field opps I mean IT field....j/k.
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    As an aside, I'm not sure there's such a place on Earth. Most so-called capitalist countries don't really have free markets. What we have in the West is corporatism, where decision makers in business and decision makers in government cooperate for their mutual interest.

    Anyway, I'm an IT who got started before I had a degree because I had some skill, so I understand the argument that a degree isn't strictly necessary. But it does help, especially when unemployment is high. Besides, the point of school is to learn things -- so if you actually pick up some IT skills while enrolled in your IT program it serves the purpose for which it's actually intended, and that will translate into better jobs.

  14. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    Are you sure that a psychology degree will open any more doors for you?

    If you want to be a counselor, you may want to look into MA in Counseling programs. Many of them allow you to enter without a BA in Psych.

    Psychology is one of those degrees that is also quite limited in utility.
  15. james_lankford

    james_lankford New Member

    yeah, things now aren't like they were 15 years ago.
    Your boss without a degree would never even get an interview now.
    HR won't even let you get in the door without a degree (unless you are very, very lucky).
    I am a self taught programmer. Never went to college for anything. Not even an AS degree in any subject.
    In the 90's and early 00's that wasn't a problem.
    I worked for Bear Stearns in new york city. I worked at Skadden Arps in nyc (a MAJOR law firm).

    Then I left to go work at an internet start up :(

    The bubble burst. Funding dried up. IT were laid off right and left. Not only where I worked, but everywhere.

    I went on interviews. Great resume. 10 years experience. Great references.

    Interviewer: "Oh, I didn't see your degree listing on your resume?"
    Me: "Oh, I never went to school, but I have lots of on the job experience and have always stayed current with the latest technology."
    Interviewer: "I'm sorry, but this position requires a degree."

    I was unemployed for a year. A YEAR.

    The interviewers would have taken ANY degree, but obviously an IT degree would have been an advantage.

    If 2 people are interviewing for a job and they're fairly close in experience, but one has an IT degree and one has a BS in psychology, who do you think is going to get the job ?
    The guy with the psychology degree will be lucky to even get an interview.

    There was a post on Digg a few days ago: someone had found the original job posting Amazon had made when it first began and was looking for programmers.
    What do you think the job posting was asking for ? People with certificates ? Psychology majors with programming experience ?
    They wanted MS and PhD degrees in IT.

    If you want to work in IT then get an IT degree.
  16. spiralthinker

    spiralthinker New Member

    I am starting to feel this same way and it makes me nervous. I am currently an IT student and have a job in IT, but am realizing that there are plenty of people in this field with no degree at all. I only have a year left of school and would feel incomplete if I didn't receive my degree, which I have worked hard for. What suggestions does anyone have as far as maybe gearing my degree toward a part of the IT field that is more credential based? I am currently getting a bachelors degree in Informatics: New Media at Indiana University but there are different options as far as that goes.
  17. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    A friend of mine does PHP, Python, MySQL, etc. He has no degree, but got taken on by the web team at NPR. Perhaps it helped that he went through an agency on a temp-to-perm contract, but the bottom line was that he was good at things they needed, and even nowadays that was sufficient.

  18. Love2Learn

    Love2Learn New Member

    Thanks for your feedback. I am currentyly studying for my BBA.IT but since I've been reading the negative feedback about this field from people that are currently working in it, I've decided to major in accounting. I asked my advisor about this and she said my degree will list all my concentrations. I'll have a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Technology and Accounting.
  19. Love2Learn

    Love2Learn New Member

    Wow. Very admirable at your age to have so much experience and education under your belt. I commend you, especially for your ambition to continue forth and pursue a higher degree!
  20. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Thanks, Love2Learn! I just want to complete the whole academic journey before having a family. Besides, they are for FREE; otherwise I have to pay out of my pocket later or end up with a chunk student loan. :)

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