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  1. Senior Member hypnotoad's Avatar
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    #26
    Wasnt it Fred Brooks whose research nearly 40 years ago discovered (in The Mythical Man Month) that there was a 3000% productivity difference between the good programmers and the bad ones?

    Neither college nor certs is going to prove yourself to anybody. Every department has someone with a respectable resume but they actually suck at their job.

    So which one do you pick? Certs or college? There are A+'s ive met who cant put a PCI card in, and BS's ive met who cant write an email or do basic math.

    The credentials alone mean nothing.
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  3. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by hypnotoad View Post
    Wasnt it Fred Brooks whose research nearly 40 years ago discovered (in The Mythical Man Month) that there was a 3000% productivity difference between the good programmers and the bad ones?

    Neither college nor certs is going to prove yourself to anybody. Every department has someone with a respectable resume but they actually suck at their job.

    So which one do you pick? Certs or college? There are A+'s ive met who cant put a PCI card in, and BS's ive met who cant write an email or do basic math.

    The credentials alone mean nothing.
    You are absolutely correct. Though I think pursuing a Bachelor degree is a very wise course of action long term, I have as well have met excellent IT professionals who chose other methods of education.
    Last edited by veritas_libertas; 01-21-2011 at 05:13 PM.
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  4. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #28
    Quote Originally Posted by hypnotoad View Post
    So which one do you pick? Certs or college? There are A+'s ive met who cant put a PCI card in, and BS's ive met who cant write an email or do basic math.

    The credentials alone mean nothing.
    Out of those two, and assuming experience is not a factor, the guy with the BS.

    Let's be honest, you can teach almost anyone how to do MOST things IT. Much of IT is learned on the job and not through memorizing a bunch of facts in a book to pass an exam. If that person lacks the aptitude, that's when HR gets involved on the best way to fire him/her without the risk of getting sued.

    The interview process is the best way to weed those people out though...if someone like that fell through, who's fault is that? (Hint: not the candidate...)
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  5. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #29
    Quote Originally Posted by erpadmin View Post
    Out of those two, and assuming experience is not a factor, the guy with the BS.

    Let's be honest, you can teach almost anyone how to do MOST things IT.
    Much of IT is learned on the job and not through memorizing a bunch of facts in a book to pass an exam. If that person lacks the aptitude, that's when HR gets involved on the best way to fire him/her without the risk of getting sued.

    The interview process is the best way to weed those people out though...if someone like that fell through, who's fault is that? (Hint: not the candidate...)
    To play Devil's advocate...

    Couldn't the same thing be said about a Bachelor's degree?

    My wife and my sister can (yes within reason) go through any college class and get A grades. They have an amazing ability to memorize anything put before them. It's absolutely amazing! That being said, they for the most part don't remember anything but the classes they enjoyed (and my wife admits this.)
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  6. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #30
    Quote Originally Posted by veritas_libertas View Post
    To play Devil's advocate...

    Couldn't the same thing be said about a Bachelor's degree?

    My wife and my sister can (yes within reason) go through any college class and get A grades. They have an amazing ability to memorize anything put before them. It's absolutely amazing! That being said, they for the most part don't remember anything but the classes they enjoyed (and my wife admits this.)

    You can teach most people, who have already exhibited aptitude in a given setting what they need to learn. However the key word I didn't state in my earlier statement was aptitude.

    Anyone can get a Bachelors, Master or Ph.D...but you can't demonstrate knowledge without the wisdom, understanding and aptitude to back that up.

    Same is true for IT or anything else.
    Last edited by erpadmin; 01-01-2011 at 08:07 PM.
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  7. Senior Member hypnotoad's Avatar
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    #31
    @erpadmin

    Yeah, I agree. Aptitude is the key -- going through college demonstrates it. Although you have to get in a good program, in my opinion, because colleges have become so competitive that they will let anyone in to make a buck. The programs have become watered-down. They say the BS is the new high school diploma. Well, thats true in a number of ways.
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  8. Happy Guy GeeLo's Avatar
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    #32
    Quote Originally Posted by erpadmin View Post

    If I'm a hiring manager that is asking for an MCSE to support our current Windows 2003 servers and you have a resume that shows an A+ from 1999, an MCSE NT 4.0 (no 2000, no 2003...just straight up NT 4.0) and no relevant IT experience since 2000, what good is your non-expired lifetime cert then? You think those type of resumes don't exist today?
    If some one just has MCSE NT on their resume, they better have some real world experience listed in regards to Windows 2000, 2003, 2008 server environments as well. What ever is listed on the resume, the person still has to pass the entire interview process. Before I was hired on one job that I had in the past, there was about 4 system administrators that "grilled" my technical knowledge about heterogeneous networks and server platforms.. for about an "hour". Companies do that quite often no matter what certs are listed on the resume.

    Also to note, there are some companies out there that still run legacy workstations and servers as well, so seeing some older certs on a resume, is not that shocking. Also shows to the hiring manager that this may be a seasoned IT person that has been in the business for a while. In closing, just because the cert is old, does not mean that the individual is not up to date on the latest technologies.

    In regards to your comment about security+, you also must dislike M$ certs as well.
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  9. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #33
    Quote Originally Posted by GeeLo View Post
    If some one just has MCSE NT on their resume, they better have some real world experience listed in regards to Windows 2000, 2003, 2008 server environments as well. What ever is listed on the resume, the person still has to pass the entire interview process. Before I was hired on one job that I had in the past, there was about 4 system administrators that "grilled" my technical knowledge about heterogeneous networks and server platforms.. for about an "hour". Companies do that quite often no matter what certs are listed on the resume.

    Also to note, there are some companies out there that still run legacy workstations and servers as well, so seeing some older certs on a resume, is not that shocking. Also shows to the hiring manager that this may be a seasoned IT person that has been in the business for a while. In closing, just because the cert is old, does not mean that the individual is not up to date on the latest technologies.

    In regards to your comment about security+, you also must dislike M$ certs as well.

    My last interview was one of those group interviews and my skills were grilled for an hour as well. That was a good sign as I sensed I was "passing the test." One of my interviewers was my current colleague and I could sense he knew I knew my stuff.

    There are shops that have legacy systems, but if they're not in the process of being upgraded/done away with, I wouldn't have an interest in working there anyway. (If it was 100% legacy, as opposed to 10-20% and I'm not including XP in that caveat...) By "legacy", I mean stuff like NT 4.0 servers as they would crash if you sneezed in the wrong direction. W2K boxes and up are doable.

    As for me disliking MS certs, not really. In fact, I don't dislike CompTIA certs either (at least mine, as I can always say they're lifetime). I just dislike how CompTIA is trying to get me to pony up more money by paying $147. I personally won't have to because I'm not DoD 8570.

    I just googled Microsoft's recertification policy and am glad that you don't have to recertify every three years (this must have been recent):

    MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) | Training Courses for IT Professionals

    Q. Is there a recertification policy for the MCITP certification?


    A. We no longer require a "refresh" or recertification of the MCITP certification within three years. To better meet our customers’ needs, we now retire a certification when mainstream support for the related technology phases out. If you earned an MCITP certification before the policy change, no action is required—the updated policy applies to your certification, which will remain valid until mainstream support for the related technology ends.

    So I have no reason to dislike their certifications...
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  10. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #34
    You don't have to have a college degree, but you will be limited without it. Sure, there are always exceptions, like Bill Gates.

    And here is something that seems anti-academic, but degrees don't do anything for you. Your education is only as good as the effort that you put into it. If you are a competent person, you can easily get a 3.2 GPA at any school just by coasting through it. The fact of the matter is, a person that is dedicated to improving their situation and success will go after a degree, and the top of the pile will compete with each other for the "best schools." It has been proven repeatedly that these top schools don't really offer a better education, but what they do express is the drive and determination of the students that are accepted. That is the real determining factor... the most driven people do everything they can to show that they are the most driven. This means getting a degree, getting a good GPA, and doing it at the best school that they can afford and get accepted to.

    Degrees are marketing tools and nothing else, despite what academic elites would suggest. You don't have to go to a school to learn, as the earlier Frank Zappa quote clearly identified.

    Like I said, if you are serious about your success, you do what is within your grasp to prepare for the best opportunities.
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  11. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #35
    Quote Originally Posted by GeeLo View Post
    College is "not a requirement" for working IT. A lot of people here will post that it is, when it fact it is not. Certification, and more importantly real world experience is.
    None of those are requirements to working in "IT". It will vary by employer, or even by hiring manager, and they may require some, all, or even none of those.
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  12. Custom User Title Hypntick's Avatar
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    #36
    Quote Originally Posted by MentholMoose View Post
    None of those are requirements to working in "IT". It will vary by employer, or even by hiring manager, and they may require some, all, or even none of those.
    I can attest to that. Even if it was only network help desk. Had 0 experience with it and no certs. Had the company not sold their IT departments to someone else I would be well on my way to a NOC spot, provided one became available.
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  13. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypntick View Post
    I can attest to that. Even if it was only network help desk. Had 0 experience with it and no certs. Had the company not sold their IT departments to someone else I would be well on my way to a NOC spot, provided one became available.
    Me, too, since my various jobs have had varying requirements. For my first IT job, well, I didn't really have previous IT experience! I sort of did (had done some IT-related tasks at a previous, non-IT job), but that didn't get me the job (nor did a degree or certs, since I had neither at the time). For my current job, IT experience and a degree were the requirements, and nobody there cares about certs at all. So it really varies, and I'm not sure you can even generalize accurately by industry, let alone by the entire IT field.
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    #38
    Hey guys, i wanted to thank you for all your post's/discussions/thoughts/ and ideas..... I appreciate it more than you think. I now plan on taking night classes after my work (im going to have no life for 2 years, : / but i think it will be worth it in 3 : ).

    I have a meeting scheduled in a week to look at a local campus's labs and teachers. Here is the program i plan on taking, or at least am looking to plan on taking it.

    Network/Internet Professional Degree Courses | Berks Technical Institute

    Thanks again.
    Sincerely,
    Ben
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  15. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #39
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcdevitt View Post
    Hey guys, i wanted to thank you for all your post's/discussions/thoughts/ and ideas..... I appreciate it more than you think. I now plan on taking night classes after my work (im going to have no life for 2 years, : / but i think it will be worth it in 3 : ).

    I have a meeting scheduled in a week to look at a local campus's labs and teachers. Here is the program i plan on taking, or at least am looking to plan on taking it.

    Network/Internet Professional Degree Courses | Berks Technical Institute

    Thanks again.
    Sincerely,
    Ben

    Ben,

    My opinion, but I would look to see if maybe you might be served with a community college that offers a AS or AAS in Networking or something similar, instead of a school like Berks. You want a college that is at least regionally accredited and you never know if you're going to want to pursue a BS sometime after you complete your two years, and Berks will not cut it if it's something you want to do later on.

    I'm not even pushing WGU on you; but I am saying that if you want to go to school, go to one that will benefit you more in the long term...like a community college or something.
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  16. Junior Member
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    #40
    Quote Originally Posted by erpadmin View Post
    Ben,

    My opinion, but I would look to see if maybe you might be served with a community college that offers a AS or AAS in Networking or something similar, instead of a school like Berks. You want a college that is at least regionally accredited and you never know if you're going to want to pursue a BS sometime after you complete your two years, and Berks will not cut it if it's something you want to do later on.

    I'm not even pushing WGU on you; but I am saying that if you want to go to school, go to one that will benefit you more in the long term...like a community college or something.
    ill look into WGU, i thought tech schools were same as community collage. I need to work a full time job, thats my problem....but from what i understand when you go to a job interview they dont ask if your school was credited, my high school wasnt -_- but dont get me started on that place lol...., i went to a private school.... i thought this 2 year program was just as effect as a BS, guess im way off.

    EDIT:
    Jeez, looked into the WGU, that would be incredibly worth it...
    Last edited by bmcdevitt; 01-05-2011 at 06:56 PM.
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  17. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #41
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcdevitt View Post
    ill look into WGU, i thought tech schools were same as community collage. I need to work a full time job, thats my problem....but from what i understand when you go to a job interview they dont ask if your school was credited, my high school wasnt -_- but dont get me started on that place lol...., i went to a private school.... i thought this 2 year program was just as effect as a BS, guess im way off.
    erpadmin is talking about educational accreditation, not credits or something else, and not referring to high school. It provides various things, but the most important from a student's prospective is transferability. If you take classes at a school that is not accredited, you will not be able to transfer them to another school, which is really bad if, for example, you move and need to continue your degree elsewhere, or you finish your degree and want to pursue another degree elsewhere. Different types of accreditation provide different levels of transferability, but with regional accreditation you are reasonably assured your courses can be transferred.

    Community colleges are a great option. Since one of the main reasons students attend is to transfer to four year colleges and universities, community colleges have programs designed for that purpose (and obviously the necessary accreditation), and even have agreements with other schools to guarantee admission as long as certain requirements are met. They are also usually much, much cheaper, than tech schools, and just as accommodative of working professionals (e.g. plenty of night/weekend/online courses).
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  18. Junior Member
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    #42
    I'm one of those guys with experience and certifications, but no degree and here is my take...

    In terms of actually doing your job, I feel that in most cases with IT Certs + Experience are just fine. In terms of getting a job it will depend on the employer. Most big companies will want someone with a degree and are difficult even get an interview with without one. HR people screening resume's may quickly discard you if they don't see a degree or any college attended at all.

    This can be overcome if you're a very good interviewer and have a well written resume. Luckily I manage to do well in those areas, but it can still be tough going without a degree when the job market is rough as it is right now.

    I would recommend this... Get certs no matter what and get a job in the field if you can to get experience. While doing both of those, try to attend classes at a college (especially if your employer offers a tuition reimbursement).

    You'll especially want that degree later on if you want to get into management. That's where I am now. I'm starting to look at getting into management and am looking at how to earn my degree quickly in the process.
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  19. Senior Member
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    #43
    I suggested this to a cousin a couple years back and have repeated it several times here afterwards:

    Go to business school and get a B.A. degree. In the meantime get some certs and try to get an IT job that's related to the subfield you want to work in (networking, web design, app development, etc).

    The thing is I honestly dont think getting a computer related degree is worth it, basically for all the reasons many people have stated in previous posts in this thread, but mainly this one: by the time you finish your degree a very good portion of the knowledge you work so hard to acquire will be obsolete or close to it, and that doesnt happen to most other fields. Another solid point is that a mid level certification is sometimes more sought than a bachelor's degree. A CCNP opens more door than a B.S. in Networking...

    The degree is a requirement for most positions in most of those companies people want to work in. Try hard to get the best out of the effort. Make it count. If you love history, then study that. Generally, when you are outside of engineering or medical school you have enough time to do something else, like studying for certs.

    You dont have to play by the rules and if you absolutely hate college then it is not for you. Just dont base your decision on what's easier. Try to focus on what's best. There is usually a big difference between both.
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  20. Tech Monkey
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    #44
    This is something that's almost destined to be debated until the end of time and what it basically comes down to is how much each individual person devotes to what they do and how they go about it.

    Me personally, college has never been a route for me. I tried it, didn't like it, and decided to go the certification route. I'm now working for a company that's on the Microsoft radar (for being bought out that is) and I'm making about three times as much money as I was a year ago. I applied myself to my certification studies and worked hard to get where I am and I'm still only climbing higher and higher.

    It all comes down to how you commit yourself to what you do, college works for some people, it doesn't work for everyone. For those that it doesn't work for then certifications might be the answer.
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  21. Junior Member
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    #45
    hey guys.... i started at BTI 2 days ago, i went in to look at the school and loved it... they told me i could start in 5 days and i was thinking no way in hell. but my girlfriend broke up with me so i figured better now than ever....
    here are my classes

    Network/Internet professional program

    customer service
    english composition 1
    english compostiion 2
    oral communication
    career development
    career management
    ethics
    intro to computers
    productivity software
    pc operating systems pc software and hardware
    network concepts
    microsoft client
    linux+
    microsoft server
    microsoft network infrasturcutre
    actve directory
    secutity+
    voice over IP implementation
    routing and switching 1
    mail server
    collage math

    1532 hours 94 credits, spread over 2 years... mon=thurs 6-10..

    my first classes were intro to computers = falling asleep so easy....
    and than a+ which i was the only one in there who knew the parts of a computer and MB -_- i was shocked... they only knew what ram was lol...
    and than customer service i started...

    i will get a associated degree from this, and they have you take certifications.... i wont say all of them, but the a+, and 642, 646, im already studying 640 on my own so i figure in 2 years ill have an associates, mcitp certification , a+ and a couple other small certs...

    im pleased over all, but stressed from my x, and i work 8-5 as a pc technician than school 6-10 and its an hr away from my work, so im exhausted and its only been 2 days of school so far... but anyway, ill be glad when this was over...

    something interested i wanted to mention, the advisor for the IT classes told me that when you have low work experience (me, about 1 year as PC technician) he said dont go out and go certification crazy, they wont want to look at you as they will expect you to demand 60-70k a year....

    just woundering .. what is the average income for you guys? i get 10$ an hour now, so im making 22-23 k a year.... what income can i expect after completing these coarses (employer will give me a "competative rate" when i finish)

    EDIT: Btw, im suprised at the people showing up to my classes, it seems i have the only normal to large IQ, i see 2 other people that i can tell think like me and can figure things out... everyone else is constant stupid questions and most idiotic comments that drive me nuts. idk if that makes me feel better about my job or worste
    Last edited by bmcdevitt; 01-21-2011 at 05:02 PM.
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  22. Junior Member
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    #46
    Quote Originally Posted by powerfool View Post
    Look, this is going to sound a bit boastful... and I am a boastful person , but I typically don't talk about salary specifics with others because it makes them uncomfortable... and these are going to be that specific.

    At this point in my career, I have a BS in Information Systems from a traditional private school that I earned in the evenings doing 12-16 credit hours a semester, several higher end IT certifications (MCSE: Security, MCITP: EA, CISSP, and CCNA), and I am working on my MS in Cybersecurity. I have now have 11 years of experience, and I didn't start my BS until I was about 4 years into my career. I now make twice as much as the average income in my state.

    I know how it is to have experience and no degree... it is tough. I saw my salary go from just over half that average salary to around the average salary just two years into my BS. Get started doing it in the evenings. At least showing employers that you are working on your degree makes a HUGE difference over not having one at all.

    The bottom line is, a degree shows that you take your well-being and success seriously. I have met several smart people that had no degree and were very good at what they did in IT; those same people had some major shortcomings, though. For instance, one guy that I worked with followed our then boss from job to job. Sure, he will always have a job, as long as she is around... but she has been battling major health problems for the past five years and could end up deceased within any given six months. It isn't the fact that he doesn't have a degree, but why he doesn't have a degree... he isn't a self-starter. A lot of inferences can be made about someone without a degree... whether they apply to you or not. It is just the way it is.

    Always do whatever you can to improve yourself. If you aren't willing to do that, I can't take you seriously, and I doubt others will either. Go after the degree and the certs. Do everything you can to improve yourself. Value yourself and others will value you as well. You do that by showing them what your willing to do to improve yourself.

    Many have made some great suggestions. Personally, I am still gun shy of online universities, especially for undergrad degrees... many folks view them as sub par, whether or not that is true. Many traditional private universities offer accelerated programs these days where you can complete one course in five to eight weeks only one night a week. I supplemented my studies with courses like that because my university did not offer the IS degree in that format. In addition, many private universities charge significantly less for students that take only evening courses, as did mine. Couple that with tuition reimbursement from an employer, and it makes it rather easy to afford. There are always options. And if you think that you really aren't college material, go the WGU route; you get to work at your own pace (which is great for mediocre students and highly motivated students alike), it is rather inexpensive, and you can earn certifications while you work on your degree.

    Start a program... in a year or two, you will be in a better place just having some college under your belt.
    2 Years later, thanks for the post

    A+ Certified, and going for my Net+ this friday
    Will have my BS November 30th

    I started IT with 10$ an hour, currently get 23 an hour, not bad for being 20
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