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  1. Junior Member
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    #26
    Quote Originally Posted by dontstop View Post
    Take it from someone who has both that you need both. Just make sure you spend the minimal amount of money and time going to college. For IT you just need the paper and where you go to college means squat. Knock it out and never look back, during college you can study certs which will help you during your studies. It will also help you gain a bunch of experience as college is very theory based. Although certs are theory they're much more practical real world theory.

    Unfortunately the industry is driven by HR and recruiters and they're only goal is to quickly weed out candidates on a bunch of requirements they really don't understand. My Degree has opened the door to countless jobs because it's seen as a gold standard. You're only 16 and I cannot predict what the world will be like when you're 21+ but at the moment a college degree with certs is the way to go.
    Is there any specific degree you would recommend like CS or IT? I heard that CS would be more well rounded since it also opens you up to dev jobs incase IT falls through or does it just not matter.
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  3. Junior Member
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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by stryder144 View Post
    One thing to consider is that quite a few certs, such as A+, Network+, Security+, and CCNA all have expiration dates (generally three years). As such, if you are planning to go to school full time make sure you stagger your certifications.

    Year One - A+
    Year Two - Network+ (renews A+ for three more years)
    Year Three - Security+ (renews A+ and Network+ for three more years each)
    Year Four - CCENT/CCNA (can be used to renew Network+, which will renew A+, each for three more years).
    Year Five - CCNA: Security (renews the CCNA and Security+, which as you've probably already guessed, renews A+ and Network+ for three more years).

    Naturally, when year one is for you depends on you. I would get the A+ my senior year of high school then go work for Geek Squad or Micro Center during the summers/part-time during the school year. I would also see if I could work in the computer lab at the university and participate in every cyber-challenge they had. Add in an internship or two, and you'll have built up experience while you go to school for your degree. If you follow the roadmap, you will graduate college and have about two years left to renew everything. Since all of your certifications will be current, and you'll have graduated with a degree and some IT-related experience, you'll find the post-college job search that much easier.

    Good luck.
    I think I'm just gonna go A+ N+ in the same year due to the fact that I can get it all into my school schedule but I was definetly looking at the renewal process in general. When it comes to a job/internship I don't know how it would pan out right now due to a very packed summer, and the nearest Microcenter/BB is about 50 mins away. I'm certainly going to look into if I have an opportunity for a job and capitalize on it if the opportunity presents itself.
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  4. Senior Member
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    #28
    Quote Originally Posted by curtis2 View Post
    Is there any specific degree you would recommend like CS or IT? I heard that CS would be more well rounded since it also opens you up to dev jobs incase IT falls through or does it just not matter.
    Computer Science will open more doors than IT, but it ultimately comes down to what interests you the most. If you don't like programming, then CS isn't worth the headaches. Take a look at the class lists for the different degree programs, and see which one has the most classes that you're excited to get into and learn the content.
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  5. Are we having fun yet? UnixGuy's Avatar
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    #29
    Go to College (University). IF you are US based, aim to go to the best college possible or a state university.

    College is a good time to hone your social skills and grow as a person! Trust me this will pay dividends!

    Make friends, join social clubs if they're available..learn...explore! It's a good time to build an outgoing personality and it's a good introduction to the real world.
    Goal: GCFA (DONE), GPEN
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  6. Senior Member shimasensei's Avatar
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    #30
    +1 to certificates, experience and college.
    When I was still in HS I worked summer jobs as an IT intern for various companies. It will help you gain valuable experience. Continue your internships as you go through college, it will be helpful in getting you an open door to full time employment by the time you graduate.
    Goals: 2017 - 2018 Certification Season
    Completed: CCNP:RS, CISSP | Ongoing: WGU BS:IT-Sec | Not started: PMP, CCNA CyberOps
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  7. Senior Member E Double U's Avatar
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    #31
    Quote Originally Posted by curtis2 View Post
    My school offers A+ and Network+ Cert classes and possibly Linux+/Security+ but im not too sure on either.
    We still had a typing class on typewriters when I was in high school lol. Damn I feel old, but I digress.

    You have the interest and opportunity so take advantage. If I were in your position I would get everything my school has to offer. My cert path was CompTIA -> Microsoft -> Cisco -> and then the stuff you see under my name, but that was guided by the jobs I landed.
    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
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  8. Senior Member
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    #32
    This may sound strange, but get a part time job waiting tables. You will learn more about interacting with people, and dealing with high pressure job situations than anywhere else.

    Some of the best colleagues and employees I have ever had, all waited tables at some point.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #33
    Quote Originally Posted by curtis2 View Post
    Is there any specific degree you would recommend like CS or IT? I heard that CS would be more well rounded since it also opens you up to dev jobs incase IT falls through or does it just not matter.
    Computer science is probably the more common degree program at most schools, but many other programs are also popping up (Cybersecurity, Business/Management Information Systems, etc.). CompSci is usually more math intensive and is probably better for those who want to get into Software Development. Personally, I did my degree in Information Systems with a minor in Business and enjoyed it thoroughly because I got to take classes in several different disciplines (Networking, Security, Systems Design, Database, Web Development, Programming, IT Project Management, Business IT, etc.). To be honest, unless you plan to go into Software Development, your specific degree program won't really matter as long as it's technology focused. Your extracurricular activities and pursuit of certifications are what will make you stand out in the early part of your career. If you are planning to go to a brick and mortar school, then look at working part time for the school's student tech support and seek internships during the summer. Also see what the classes entail. Project based classes will be a much better learning opportunity compared to classes that just require papers and written exams.

    Some people say degree's don't matter in IT and that may be true in regard to performing the job, but it's better to have the degree than not. Make sure you do plenty of research on the school, avoid for profit universities and take advantage of any career services that schools may offer!

    Just my .02...
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  10. Member
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    #34
    Quote Originally Posted by dave330i View Post
    Certs are waste of money if you're planning to attend college full time.
    I respectfully disagree. Masters degree will not get you a position (from experience). It will put you in a strange place of you have book knowledge but no real experience to appeal to companies. Security+ will guarantee you work in the government sector. A+ will guarantee you a help desk/repair position. I think the trend now is certifications to get in a field and degrees to garner more pay.
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  11. Senior Member dontstop's Avatar
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    #35
    If I was to have my time again I'd do CompSci (IT) or Telecommunications & Network Engineering (Engineering), I'd very much avoid "fad" degrees and streams like "BICT", "BIS" or "Mechatronics" which end up just teaching you a bunch of outdated JOAT skills that are irrelevant before you graduate. Like I mentioned before, see the Degree as just another certification and focus on your Industry certifications while you study.

    In current economic times where hiring managers are 20-somethings with HR Degrees...

    Degrees get you in the door, Certifications + Experience get you the job.
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  12. Junior Member
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    #36
    Quote Originally Posted by dontstop View Post

    In current economic times where hiring managers are 20-somethings with HR Degrees...

    Degrees get you in the door, Certifications + Experience get you the job.
    priceless quote.
    A great degree, solid ccna skills and Sec+ knowledge will bake you very well for your first security gig
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  13. Member
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    #37
    Quote Originally Posted by curtis2 View Post
    I will certainly be pursuing a college degree, but I'm trying to look in the more short term so that when I am out of college that I have years of experience with a job. I just notice that to become for example a sysadmin you need x amount of prior IT/CS job experience that I can get out of the way after highschool. But I was wondering if a measly old comptia cert would land me a entry level job to get me that sweet sweet job experience. ty for the reply btw
    You have the right attitude. When I was going to school, while my friends were partying and having fun, I got a job on campus at the computer labs. I worked my way up from lab monitor, to technican, to lab supervisor, to student network admin. I did two internships while I was going to school. When I graduated, I had my A+, Network +, and Security + and a boatload of good experience. I landed a great job thanks to that experience and certs I got when I was in college.

    Anyway, getting a job on campus is a lot of fun if you are working in your field. Plus, you can leverage your work experience and get your certifications on campus at a discount while you are going to school there.

    My overall plan would be for you to continue to learn as much as you can while in high school. If your school offers A+, Network+, and that kind of thing, then by all means go for them. Continue to push the envelope on your overall knowledge. Learn as much as you can. Be passionate about IT. Get your degree, and by the time you are in your 30s, the world will be your oyster with that kind of work ethic and passion in IT.
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  14. They are watching you NetworkNewb's Avatar
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    #38
    Quote Originally Posted by cbdudek View Post
    When I was going to school, while my friends were partying and having fun, I got a job on campus at the computer labs.
    Can't say I agree with this college strategy... But getting an internship or two is definitely key to get before graduating.
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  15. Member
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    #39
    Quote Originally Posted by NetworkNewb View Post
    Can't say I agree with this college strategy... But getting an internship or two is definitely key to get before graduating.
    Yea, well, I was a square back in college. I was a Resident Advisor on campus. School paid for my room and board and half my tuition for being an RA. I worked the max that I could (only 24 hours a week but I worked more and got paid at the end) and really pushed myself technically. I don't deny that I wish I could have had a bit more fun, but I had great memories of college and learned a lot. That is the express purpose of college.
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  16. Junior Member
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    #40
    Since you are only 16 and know what you want to do, get those certs and get your degree when you're young since you already know what you want to do.

    Don't be in such a hurry that you just go to work and scrap getting certs and an educations. It will bite you in the arse quickly.

    Don't spend your time drinking and screwing around in college. Spend that time studying and working part time in the field of study even if for min wage. The "college experience" is not about drinking/smoking your life away. That's a lie concocted by certain enemies inside our govt - believe it or not. Before you know it, you'll have a degree with no direction and end up in a crappy job probably not even related to IT and, god forbid, paying back a loan you can't pay back.

    If you want to succeed in life, look at what the majority of people are doing...THEN GO THE OPPOSITE WAY!
    People are cattle, especially the young. Don't be a cow.
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  17. Darth Lord of the Sith ITSpectre's Avatar
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    #41
    Take it from me....

    you DONT I repeat DONT want to work on the Help desk....

    The help desk is where IT careers go to die.... Your young so skip the help desk alltogether and get your degree + the A+, Net+, and Sec+
    After that you can be working on your degree. start with your associates then get a B.A. in a specialization if you wish....
    But again I say.... the Help desk is NOT your first option....
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
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  18. Darth Lord of the Sith ITSpectre's Avatar
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    #42
    Quote Originally Posted by LarryTR View Post
    People are cattle, especially the young. Don't be a cow.
    i disagree..... most people still are cattle.... being young you are taught to be a cow.... but as you get older you can still be a cow... a follower, and a pushover.... it all comes down to 2 things

    1. How bad do you want to succeed
    2. What will it take to get there

    if you want it you will make a way.... if you don't make a way then you don't want it.
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
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