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Going back to school to take A+ courses, so excited!

#31Worknofun370Posted 7/15/2014 6:50:11 AM
GeminiX7 posted...
And to the people who only have degrees and work in the field, I don't mean to insult or downplay your achievements. I'm only saying that from hearing family, friends in the field, the professors and even some students(the ones serious about the program) have told me that having the certifications mean ALOT(only thing that matters more would be on-the-job experience) as it gives a very specific definition of your abilities. "Anyone can squeak through a class" as many would say.


I've worked in IT for the past 12 years, have a degree and a handful of certs. (Had certs before the degree too)

You're simply wrong here... and slightly right. A degree holds more weight than certs for the majority of IT jobs when talking about non-experienced candidates. I will hire/recommend someone with a degree over a cert in nearly every single situation. And pretty much every IT person I know and have dealt with (Including many respected posters on this board) say pretty much the same thing. Now, my anecdotal experience doesn't mean it's going to be that way everywhere, but that's been my experience for sure.

First, it's much much easier to pass a cert exam than to get a degree. As you said "Anyone can squeak through a class." Well... anyone can cram study for an exam and pass it too. It's actually shows far more determination to stick with school and get a degree than it does to walk in with a CCNA (or even worse, something like an A+)

The hands down worse thing you can do in the IT world is collect certifications with no experience to go along with it. If you want to go the cert route (which, for the record is 100% fine and a very good way to get into the IT world.) get specific ones in the field you want to be in, get an entry level job with those certs, and then start building up experience. Otherwise, those certs will hurt you far more than they're going to help you.

For IT, Experience and who you know are the biggest factors for getting a job. Really is the truth.

GeminiX7 posted...
For instance, my dad has a certification in Cisco(i forget which) and the course he took for it at NJIT(He's originally a Chemical Engineer, but took the course for job advancement and his general love of computers) was three months long. The same course at my school is less than a month for the same certification.


What? How do you even know that if you don't know what cert he has??
#32BeerOnTapPosted 7/15/2014 7:16:47 AM
GeminiX7 posted...
CrimsonVendetta posted...
Sorry to hijack the topic, but GeminiX7, how was the transition going from nursing into your new career? I'm actually trying to move from medical technology to system administration by starting off with certifications.


Well, I'm pretty much leaving the actual Nursing credits on the back burner as I'm in a certification program for the next six months to get all of those certs I previously mentioned. The program I am in helps you find work once you finish the program(helped my uncle - who has no prior comp knowledge - an 80k a year job in Dallas). If I'm not a fan of the prospects(top of my class, so who knows, maybe I'll get sent abroad to a place like Dubai ^_^) then I might apply for work in IT either at PSEG or at a hospital I worked at.

For Systems Admin, you essentially want the certs I mentioned. If you go on the CompTIA(The company who hosts all the "+" tests), they have a pretty good cert/career map for a bunch of IT professions.

Luckily, for IT, Certifications and experience matter ALOT more than degrees(rare to see someone with just a CS degree getting a job over someone with certs), so if you focus on getting those certs, you should be good.

Once I find a job I plan to get my bachelors(and eventually masters) in CS. I shouldn't have to wait too long as I can easily start working once I get my Network+ in addition to my A+.


I am finishing the A+ book I got from CompTIA. But how can I get into the program you're in that gives me ALL those certs in one shot? How much is it?
#33GeminiX7Posted 7/15/2014 7:24:08 AM
I understand what you are saying, and I apologize if I misspoke(mistyped, whatever), I wasn't very clear, but that is exactly what I was planning to do. Get certifications for my focus, get entry-level(well, as high a position I can get, but I don't expect higher than entry level) and work on my degree while working. A person with experience is going to have a better go of it when looking for a job than anyone else, be they certified or holding a degree. Thats how it goes for pretty much any professional field(aside from ones that specifically need some kind of liscensure), All I meant to say was that when going for a job(again, entry level) without any experience, having the certifications for said job help alot more than simply having a general bachelors or associates. I'm not saying that a degree isn't needed to eventually advance, or that I'm going to be making 100k+ starting with just an A+ certification. Just saying from people I've spoken to, many also in the field both stateside and abroad, that certifications have alot of wieght. I don't mean to downplay what you are saying as you clearly have experience in the field as well, just going by what I've been told by people who would have no reason to lie to me(well obviously school employees might have to be taken with a grain of salt, but family, close friends, and peers in the field have no real reason to lie to me, especially if you knew my family heh.)


And about my dad's certification, it's more of a tip-of-the tongue issue than not knowing what cert he has. We spoke about it when I went up to NJ to visit him, but I simply forgot the actual name of the ceritifcation and I was too lazy to look it up for the last post.
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#34Worknofun370Posted 7/15/2014 7:32:58 AM
GeminiX7 posted...
, All I meant to say was that when going for a job(again, entry level) without any experience, having the certifications for said job help alot more than simply having a general bachelors or associates. I'm not saying that a degree isn't needed to eventually advance


Heh, I would flip these two around. :) A degree really isn't needed to advance at all, once you have that experience is when certs become that much stronger. Some dude walking around with a CCIE is going to get 10000x more phone calls and make a crap ton more money than a guy walking around with a CCNA and a Masters.

I understand completely you're going to listen to those close to you. I don't expect you to change your view on something because some random guy on a message board said his experience is different.
#35Digital StormPosted 7/15/2014 7:47:17 AM
Most of mine came at the request of my employer but I also made sure to make them foot the bill for them. I think the only one I really paid for the was the A+ cert and that was way way back when they were still using the 90s version of the test and it was still fairly "new".
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#36datopgamerPosted 7/15/2014 9:00:28 AM
If you are trying to get your foot in the door a degree is going to go a lot farther for you. After that what you do is only going to help or hurt you. You can stay at the job and gain experience in the field and be fine with moving up in whatever company you work for, but if you get experience and certs then you have a lot better chance at moving elsewhere. Not saying you can't get a job with only certs and no degree but most employers I know would much prefer someone who was dedicated enough to finish school over someone who can pass an exam.
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