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  1. Darth Lord of the Sith ITSpectre's Avatar
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    #1

    Default IT degree or not? Already have a BA degree

    I just wanted to ask a general question....

    Now currently I already have a BA in Biblical studies degree.... but I feel that its not going to help me get anywhere in IT. I am thinking of going to WGU next year for a BA in Network Operations and Security. I am still going to get certs... but I have heard that a degree matters/ It doesn't matter if you already have a degree. My goal is to move forward from tech support to a higher role... so im thinking maybe a degree PLUS certs will help me get there.....

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
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  3. Senior Member cyberguypr's Avatar
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    #2
    Why not go for a masters since you already checked the bachelor's box?
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  4. Darth Lord of the Sith ITSpectre's Avatar
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    #3
    Im not even sure my BA degree would qualify for a Masters.... the only classes I took was Biblical studies classes....
    No math
    No science
    No social studies
    just straight biblical studies.
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    #4
    I see, is your BA from a TRACS school? Meaning are they nationally or regionally accredited? For WGU, they require IT knowledge, certain certifications, and years of experience before being admitted. You can go for a BSIT from Brandman, Hodges, or WGU. If you have no prerequisites, or an AA/AS in IT, Hodges's program should be the easiest.
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  6. Darth Lord of the Sith ITSpectre's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjcheung77 View Post
    I see, is your BA from a TRACS school? Meaning are they nationally or regionally accredited? For WGU, they require IT knowledge, certain certifications, and years of experience before being admitted. You can go for a BSIT from Brandman, Hodges, or WGU. If you have no prerequisites, or an AA/AS in IT, Hodges's program should be the easiest.
    Well I have 3 years of IT experience....
    A MTA and Sec+
    so I should be good for WGU

    Yeah its from a TRACS school and they are accredited. it was from a seminary in Georgia.
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  7. They are watching you NetworkNewb's Avatar
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    #6
    I bet you could get in to some Masters programs by just taking some prerequisite courses to make up for lack of IT focused BA degree. I would check with some colleges and see their options.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ITSpectre View Post
    Im not even sure my BA degree would qualify for a Masters.... the only classes I took was Biblical studies classes....
    No math
    No science
    No social studies
    just straight biblical studies.
    My first thought actually was that you probably didn’t have a lot of the normal core courses...sounds like I was correct.

    At WGU it might, since they literally just made certifications the curriculum and those rely more on experience than core subjects...you would want to check because a Masters would be better than a Bachelors but honestly I’m not sure if you would be ready for the courses...usually the non related degree argument still forces you to have a certain foundation outside of the major courses.

    For sure any traditional school...online or b&m is going to make you get those core courses before anything.

    Kind of unrelated but how did you go from a Biblical degree to IT? Seems from one end of the spectrum to another.
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  9. Darth Lord of the Sith ITSpectre's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru80 View Post
    My first thought actually was that you probably didn’t have a lot of the normal core courses...sounds like I was correct.

    At WGU it might, since they literally just made certifications the curriculum and those rely more on experience than core subjects...you would want to check because a Masters would be better than a Bachelors but honestly I’m not sure if you would be ready for the courses...usually the non related degree argument still forces you to have a certain foundation outside of the major courses.

    For sure any traditional school...online or b&m is going to make you get those core courses before anything.

    Kind of unrelated but how did you go from a Biblical degree to IT? Seems from one end of the spectrum to another.
    I got the Biblical degree years ago.... MANY years ago.... back in 2005 2006. I got that because I was heavy into religion and used to be a Minister.
    I went from retail to IT.... started in IT 3 years ago.... did retail for 6 years
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ITSpectre View Post
    Well I have 3 years of IT experience....
    A MTA and Sec+
    so I should be good for WGU

    Yeah its from a TRACS school and they are accredited. it was from a seminary in Georgia.
    Have you decided on taking a Bachelors degree at WGU or a Masters at WGU? If you want, just apply to the Masters as WGU currently has a no-fee application waiver going on. If they accept you, great, if not, you can apply to their Bachelor's degree and get the Certs the way... another option is Hodges, or another option would be Brandman (they only have a Bachelors, no associates or masters).

    I recommend them as well, since they're competency based, for their BS CIT - you require 8 courses, and you can apply to their MIS as there are no prerequisites, you may want to take an MIS course at Saylor and a project management course at Study.com for 6 credit waiver to the MIS. The main difference with Hodges and WGU, is that WGU includes the certifications... if your company reimburses you for those exams, then it won't really matter.
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    #10
    It honestly does not seem easy to transition from a unrelated bachelor's to Masters in IT. I haven't been able to find any viable options. The thing is even if you do take the prereqs for a school there's a chance you wont get into the school anyway. Maybe I am wrong.. If anyone knows of any schools that do this please let me know
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by denis92 View Post
    It honestly does not seem easy to transition from a unrelated bachelor's to Masters in IT. I haven't been able to find any viable options. The thing is even if you do take the prereqs for a school there's a chance you wont get into the school anyway. Maybe I am wrong.. If anyone knows of any schools that do this please let me know

    Many Nationally Accredited schools will take you, as well as the FOR-profit schools that are Regionally Accredited. However, I would recommend you to take it from a smaller non-profit instead, or an in-state college or university. Which Bachelors do you have Denis92? There are some schools that have no prerequisites, some with very less, some with a few more... you can take a look at the list below.

    My list is pretty identical to this person's, with the exception of a few Nationally Accredited or International institutions:
    In no particular order, I would recommend the NON PROFITS first, then the State Universities, lastly Capella as it's a for profit.
    Master list of competency based BS and MS degrees
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  14. Senior Member shoey's Avatar
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    #13
    I have a Bachelors in Business Administration (focus on Intl. Buss.). I applied to the WGU MSCIA program and was required to provide proof of technical knowledge/experience. I did this by giving them some of my IT certs and was good to go. Completed the whole program (including capstone) in 1 term.

    You should ask an advisor/mentor about what IT certs can be used to prove competency. If I remember correctly, it's surprisingly easy (maybe just a Sec+ or SSCP). If that's the case, it would probably be worth it to just get one of those and then apply to the MS program, instead of having to redo an entire bachelors.
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    #14
    My opinion is unless your goal is being a director or above level, your better off just concentrating on Certifications than getting a masters degree.
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  16. Senior Member shoey's Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
    My opinion is unless your goal is being a director or above level, your better off just concentrating on Certifications than getting a masters degree.
    Maybe if you have a bachelors in a related IT field... But for those who don't have a bachelors in a related IT field it's probably better to just go for a MS instead of re-doing the bachelors. A friend/co-worker of mine has been in the field for a long time now (went the cert only route) and is back to school for his BS in order to keep up with others.

    It took me longer to study/pass the CISSP then it did to finish my MS degree.
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  17. They are watching you NetworkNewb's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
    My opinion is unless your goal is being a director or above level, your better off just concentrating on Certifications than getting a masters degree.
    I'd agree with this. You already have your foot in the door doing tech support. Think certs would probably be your best option and don't think what your bachelor degree is in would hold you back from moving forward.
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  18. Senior Member shoey's Avatar
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by NetworkNewb View Post
    I'd agree with this. You already have your foot in the door doing tech support. Think certs would probably be your best option and don't think what your bachelor degree is in would hold you back from moving forward.
    I agree that his BS won't necessarily hold him back - but I also think it depends on what the end goal is. I know a lot of analysts with BS/MS and certs trying to be competitive.
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  19. Senior Member yoba222's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by shoey View Post
    I agree that his BS won't necessarily hold him back - but I also think it depends on what the end goal is. I know a lot of analysts with BS/MS and certs trying to be competitive.
    It really will hold him back though. At least from companies big and corporatey enough to require a bachelors in IT or a related field. You can argue "better off not working there" but bachelors in biblical studies is simply not going to get past that particular HR filter.

    Masters in IT should though.
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    #19
    I agree with this. Focus on the certs and see where they take you.
    Quote Originally Posted by NetworkNewb View Post
    I'd agree with this. You already have your foot in the door doing tech support. Think certs would probably be your best option and don't think what your bachelor degree is in would hold you back from moving forward.
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  21. Darth Lord of the Sith ITSpectre's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjones1976 View Post
    I agree with this. Focus on the certs and see where they take you.
    I will def do that.... Let my certs be my guide
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  22. Senior Member shoey's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by yoba222 View Post
    It really will hold him back though. At least from companies big and corporatey enough to require a bachelors in IT or a related field. You can argue "better off not working there" but bachelors in biblical studies is simply not going to get past that particular HR filter.

    Masters in IT should though.
    I should have clarified my statement. If the OP was going to get another degree I'd go for the MS instead of redoing a BS. If that's the route the OP went then it wouldn't matter the BS because of the MS in IT.
    "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan
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  23. Senior Member shoey's Avatar
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ITSpectre View Post
    I will def do that.... Let my certs be my guide
    What certs do you think you'll be going for?
    "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan
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    #23
    The question of BS vs MS is not a cut-and-dried argument that some people believe it is. It depends on the positions you will be applying for and where you will be applying for those positions.

    I had a friend (not in IT) who had both a BS and an MS in his field and had this very same problem. He got his MS because he though it could only help him, not hurt him. But after some time of not being able to land an interview, let alone a job, he stopped listing his MS on his resume. He then started getting interviews.

    People tend to think that employers love to hire people who have the highest degrees. That's not always the case. You have to look at the job market where you are seeking employment and make your decision from that.

    If you are not applying for jobs in a major metro area and the jobs you are applying for do not typically require an MS, getting an MS can hurt your chances of landing a interview/job by being labeled "overqualified". "Overqualified" is defined by some companies as...
    - This person has a higher degree than we required and is eventually going to request more than we are willing to pay.
    - This person won't be happy here and will start looking for a position commensurate with his degree-level from day-one.

    If you think an MS would help you, by all means...go for it.
    But if, after research, you believe and MS is overkill in your market, and you think a BS (this time in you field) would be best in your market...go for the BS.

    But don't just assume MS = always the best choice in all cases.
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    #24
    Just put in your master's application essay that you can calculate in cubits and you know how to construct enclosures that are larger on the inside than on the outside.

    In all seriousness, a 2nd bachelors is almost always a waste of time. If you wanted to be an electrical engineer, where your degree affected whether or not you could sit for the PE, then it might make sense. But for IT, just keep pressing with certs. And if you really want another degree, go for a masters. Grad school financial aid is better, a masters is often less credit hours than a 2nd bachelors (unless you did both bachelors at the same time at the same school), and it'll get you up to speed in your industry faster.
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    #25
    Biblical studies wow thats a neat thing to study. I actually followed a syllabus when I was younger of a Divinity Degree and studied everything on my own that was covered in the degree because I always enjoyed the Bible, this was like when I was in middle school and read the Bible a lot. Went to bible studies groups all the time growing up and camps with church groups.

    getting to your post your problem with the Biblical Studies degree is kinda the same problem with my Masters in Education, it doesn't look to good on the resume for IT jobs. Even though I point out my bachelors is in Computer Information Systems, employers seem to have bad opinions of Education majors. I think getting an additional degree in computers might help you along with work experience in the field. You could always get the BA from WGU and then take off the Biblical Studies degree off the resume when applying to IT jobs. I am thinking of just from now on taking off my Masters in Education when applying to IT jobs and only include it on there if it a teaching job.
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