1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Certification or Degree

Discussion in 'Technology' started by tarheelfan_08, Jul 6, 2010.

?

Get my Bachelors now or work on Certificates

Poll closed Apr 1, 2013.
  1. Bachelors

    91 vote(s)
    87.5%
  2. Certificates

    13 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. Jul 6, 2010 at 6:45 PM
    #1
    tarheelfan_08

    tarheelfan_08 [OP] Carolina Alliance

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Member:
    #4098
    Messages:
    2,946
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    North Carolina
    Vehicle:
    2010 White 4x4 Double Cab Tacoma Short Bed
    Chrome Grill, Chrome accessories(door handles and mirror covers), LEER Super White Cover, Mirrors with Turn Signals, Window Vent Visors, Step Rails, WeatherTech Digital Floor Mats, Mini Maglight Holder, Chrome Bull Bar
    As many of you know I just obtained my 2 year degree in computer information technology and I have begun working full time as a computer programmer. Now I am at a point in my life where I can not decide what path to take next. One path is to obtain my Bachelors in Computer Programming. The other path is to obtain certificates. For instance, A+ Certification, Computer Security, SQL, Microsoft etc. And after I obtain a few certificates I plan to then continue for my Bachelors. In hopes that obtaining these certificates will help me obtain my degree easier and with fewer classes.

    My question to you is, should I go ahead and begin working on my Bachelors. Or work to obtain these certificates that I want.
     
  2. Jul 6, 2010 at 6:56 PM
    #2
    Ry4nVan

    Ry4nVan Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Member:
    #36735
    Messages:
    33
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ryan
    NM
    Vehicle:
    '12 Tacoma DCSB TRD Sport
    Go for the bachelor degree!! Certificates are great, but a bachelor degree will help you the rest of your life far more when it comes to getting hired against competition.

    When I graduated high school, I told myself college isn't for me. So I ended up getting my Associates of Applied Science in aviation Maintenance Technology within two years. Thought to myself, "hmmm, but a bachelor's seems so far away!" I ended up getting a bachelor's in Management with a Minor in Airport Management within another two years. Before I graduated, I told myself, "a masters is a waste of time"... And now I'm 1/3 into my Masters of Aeronautical Science degree with an emphasis in Aviation Management and Aerospace Safety Systems through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

    I'm telling you all of this because I'm proud of my education. At first, it didn't seem to be something I wanted or needed... but it's quite the opposite- It's changed my life around and now I encourage all of my subordinates at work to do the same!

    Bottom line... GO FOR IT!
     
  3. Jul 6, 2010 at 6:59 PM
    #3
    HondaGM

    HondaGM Roll Tide

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Member:
    #25056
    Messages:
    5,769
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    James
    South-Pole
    Vehicle:
    09 DC 4x4 Blown Honda VTEC V8
    trd exhaust,step bars,vent visors,bed lights,tailgate mod
    go for the bachelors.OJT is still the best though.
     
  4. Jul 6, 2010 at 8:11 PM
    #4
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Member:
    #38505
    Messages:
    3,228
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dave
    virginia
    Vehicle:
    08 Tacoma 4x4
    Hitch and wiring, aux back-up light, rear strobe lights, radio and underseat sub.
    Degrees. They usually translate into more money than a cert.
     
  5. Jul 6, 2010 at 8:24 PM
    #5
    SlurpeeBlueMetallic

    SlurpeeBlueMetallic FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Member:
    #18825
    Messages:
    1,660
    Gender:
    Male
    Get your bachelors degree first while gaining more OJT experience which will then allow you to complete our some certs with reduced studying/classes. Degrees, especially in this area for your field, carry WAY more weight than certs.
     
  6. Jul 6, 2010 at 8:44 PM
    #6
    afd23a

    afd23a Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Member:
    #9483
    Messages:
    1,838
    Gender:
    Male
    The Dynamo of Dixie
    Vehicle:
    05 Access Cab 5 Lugger
    Factory Fog Lights, Removed Secondary Air Filter, Metra Ipod Adapter, Int Wiper Stalk, Wet Okole's, URD Short Shifter, Scanguage II w/Blendmount, Fat Bob's 2.75" spacer lift, ARE topper, SP Performance Pads & Slotted Rotors, 4.10 gears
    Bachelors degree. Like others have said it will help you out for the rest of your life. It may be necessary to get certificates for certain jobs, but if you have the bachelor's, I'm willing to guess that the certificates will be a lot easier to obtain. You may even find that the degree will substitute for certifications at some jobs. I think some colleges are able to get certification exam discounts for students.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:01 AM
    #7
    JCfromDEMELLO

    JCfromDEMELLO Well-Known Member Vendor

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Member:
    #30593
    Messages:
    204
    Gender:
    Male
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    Black 2000 4x4
    Had to sell 'em all
    I have A+ already and was working toward MCP for XP before I realized that the certs are all very overrated. A+ will get you a $12 an hour job on Geeksquad, man. My VA counselor finally convinced me to get my ass into college at 34 and I'm now working on a 2 year degree that will include Cisco certs (which from what I've heard are about the only certs anyone even cares about). Everyone I talk to, every where I look in IT, all seem to say the same thing; it's who ya know AND what ya know that count. Certs look pretty and sound impressive to people OUTSIDE of IT. Degrees look prettier to hiring managers and HR. Actually getting a job usually requires demonstrated knowledge and lots of friends on the inside.

    Keep working on the degree and talk to everyone you can. Although degrees also depend on what you have a degree in, mind you. My wife has a BS in History. That'll land you an $8 an hour job at Starbucks.

    Best of luck. You're ahead of me at least.
     
  8. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:19 AM
    #8
    Brunes

    Brunes abides.

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Member:
    #7011
    Messages:
    17,641
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rotorhead
    DC or New Jersey - Depends on the day....
    Vehicle:
    08 Red/Graphite and Satin Black
    Inside: Tint, Wet Okole 1/2 Piped Red/Black Covers, Black Weathertech Digital Fit Mats, URD Short Throw w/ TWM Weighted Knob, USA Spec iPod adapter. Outside: 4300K Retro w/ Angel Eyes and Red Shrouds, 5000K Blazer Fog Light Retrofit, Debadge, Bed Locking Handle, Satin Black Rims Performance: TRD/Steigmeier Blower w/ 2.7 Pulley. 668 Injectors and 320 LPH AEM Fuel pump. URD UCON and 7th Injector. DTLT Headers, URD Y-Pipe, Wicked Flow Muffler. Suspension: Both: OME Shocks Front: 886X's and TC UCAs Rear: Dakars Armor: Relentless Front Bumper Relentless High Clearance Rear w/ Tire/Rotopax Swing Out Relentless Front, Mid, and TCase skids BAMF Diff Skid Recovery and Spares: Fullsize Spare Tire 2x2 gal Rotopax 1x1 gal Rotopax 1x1 gal Water Rotopax Warn 9.5XP-S Winch Hi-Lift Extreme 60" Ironman Off-Road Recovery Kit
    You need to pick the right certs- but that is the direction I would go if you have a job already.
    Degrees are good for theory in the most part. Being a certified (insert system here) engineer is stronger imo...IF that system is used where you work. Getting random stuff or general type certs won't be as helpful.

    My dad has been an IT professional for the past 12 years. He started as a copier tech at Xerox, then was a flight engineer for them, then moved to IT. All without a Bachelors. But he is an MSCE with about all the Cisco system certs that exist. He got the job and then proceeded with education that would help him keep it and be valuable to the company.
     
  9. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:19 AM
    #9
    ::childstoy::

    ::childstoy:: Hi-Tech Rednek

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Member:
    #23556
    Messages:
    723
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Southeast, PA
    Vehicle:
    Black 2010 TRD Sport
    TRD Exhaust, Tint, Stubby Ant., Debadged, Weathertech Mats, Grillcraft... Currently collecting donations for a New Tires Fund.
    Certs can get outdated and become meaningless after a few years. No one can take a degree away from you.

    I am in kind of a weird situation myself. Me and another guy operate a computer consulting company. I have a few certs and no college experience. I have been doing this for over 5 years and found that computers and electronics come very easy to me and I have a natural troubleshooting mind, as well as a strong business sense. With that said though if I were to ever not be able to be here anymore I would have to just go on experience and a couple certs which most likely won’t even get me an interview somewhere.

    I am 28 and just now I am looking into going back for a business IT degree. It will be worth more in the long run whether I use it or not.

    So... Go for the degree.
     
  10. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:22 AM
    #10
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Member:
    #38505
    Messages:
    3,228
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dave
    virginia
    Vehicle:
    08 Tacoma 4x4
    Hitch and wiring, aux back-up light, rear strobe lights, radio and underseat sub.
    What you also have to factor in is if you have any aspirations of being a manager. Business mgmt degrees will help there.
    You can do whatever you set your mind to do. Degrees and certs just help grease the wheels:)
     
  11. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:31 AM
    #11
    larryde09

    larryde09 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Member:
    #39759
    Messages:
    560
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Larry
    Rochester, NY
    Vehicle:
    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    I agree...bachelor's is by far the best route in the end (assuming you have the funds/aid). I wouldn't count on certs counting as classes, you might get one or two waived, that's probably about it. However, don't neglet your certifications because they are things you can put on your resume that might give you that edge over the competition.
     
  12. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:33 AM
    #12
    Lurkin

    Lurkin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Member:
    #17497
    Messages:
    11,101
    First Name:
    Rod
    Pearland, TX
    Vehicle:
    09 PreRunner SR5 DC
    Lots of good advice, but keep one thing in mind, without a degree you won't make the first cut for almost any job that you may want later. Jobs are not plentiful, if you are in a job search situation, forced or voluntary, you want to ensure you keep yourself moving up through the hiring process.

    Certs may be beneficial AFTER the bachelors cut. I've rarely see a hiring cut that starts with certs though. Both my wife and I both went through the "I have a 2-year degree and plenty of relevant job experience", but do not make any of the interview stages. With a degree on your resume, you make many more. BTW, she is in HR, I am in IT.

    This all also assumes that you will work your bachelors while you remain employed! Not a good idea to quit and finish the degree if you are already in the field you want to be in.
     
  13. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:33 AM
    #13
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Member:
    #38505
    Messages:
    3,228
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dave
    virginia
    Vehicle:
    08 Tacoma 4x4
    Hitch and wiring, aux back-up light, rear strobe lights, radio and underseat sub.
  14. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:39 AM
    #14
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Member:
    #1138
    Messages:
    14,256
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Jandy
    Lancaster, PA
    Vehicle:
    2016 GMC Canyon SLT w/ LineX and....
    You already have a job.....and you're gonna need those certificates anyway regardless. Talk to your employer. Ask them what they think you should do.

    How long does it take to get these certificates VS how long will it take to get a bachelors degree? It sounds like the certificates are 'short term' - GET THEM.

    Take care of the short terms stuff and work on your Bachelors degree for the long haul.

    Bachelors degree is nice - BUT - those certificates are directly related to your career and will almost immediately benefit you. Get the certificates done now and work on your degree after that. Certificates are something employers will like to see. Regardless of how lame they may be to some - I can quarentee you - employers like to see it.

    Yeah, I have a BA - but I'm certainly not in my career field. I make good money as a Machine Operator, but the department I should've ended up in got laid off, replaced by computers, & sent offshore. So, in a sense....I'm glad.
     
  15. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:42 AM
    #15
    2009Silver

    2009Silver Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Member:
    #20002
    Messages:
    429
    Gender:
    Male
    Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2009 Silver 4x4 DC TRD Sport
    WeatherTechs Bed Extender Bed Mat 3" Lift Spidertrax Clarion DVD HU Overhead Monitor
    I was going to say certs, but apparently that's more of a Cisco thing. I'm in a Cisco shop, and we pay more for a CCNP CCIE even CCNA than someone with a bachelors in computer science...
     
  16. Jul 7, 2010 at 6:51 AM
    #16
    ::childstoy::

    ::childstoy:: Hi-Tech Rednek

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Member:
    #23556
    Messages:
    723
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Southeast, PA
    Vehicle:
    Black 2010 TRD Sport
    TRD Exhaust, Tint, Stubby Ant., Debadged, Weathertech Mats, Grillcraft... Currently collecting donations for a New Tires Fund.
    Is it me or are there alot of IT guys / Taco owners lol???
     
  17. Jul 7, 2010 at 7:02 AM
    #17
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Member:
    #924
    Messages:
    17,781
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Milton Juevos Portimous II
    NJ
    Vehicle:
    '06 TRD Access Cab, v6, 6-speed
    Scaffolding and a painted grill
    A bachelor's degree in any field demonstrates that you have the ability to learn. The knowledge you gain in school is rarely applicable to any computer job you'll get, and almost any job can be picked up over time as long as the employee has the ability to learn it.

    Certifications provide more focused knowledge, but even then many of the people with certs have no applied knowledge and flounder when put in a real-world situation.

    As long as you can stay employed while going to school, go for the degree. The work experience will be what carries you the farthest.


    My background: I have no certifications, no degree, and have been programming professionally for 15 years now. I failed any CS classes I've taken but have developed in everything from DSP core assembly language in modems to .Net applications for network management.

    I'm currently a development and hiring manager at a company that has no problem getting rid of underperformers. From the turnover that we've had over the past few years, it's consistently attitude and personality that impact a person's success more than their certificates or degrees.

    That said, we as a company encourage our employees to further their education to the point that we pay for exams and study materials. Especially when it's applicable to the job, a good employer will work with the employees to further their learning. Current knowledge benefits both, so it's well worth it.

    Have you spoken with your employer to see if they'd be willing to help you out with time off, cost reimbursement, salary increases based on milestones, or anything else?
     
  18. Jul 7, 2010 at 7:09 AM
    #18
    jhodge83

    jhodge83 Any dog under 50# is a cat and cats are useless... Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Member:
    #1432
    Messages:
    28,120
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jamie
    Moncks Corner, SC
    Vehicle:
    09 Timberland Mica DC 4WD Sport
    wat?
    same here. people wont even get looked at for hiring w/o some form of Cisco cert. I've got my CCNA and working on my CCNA security, as well as already having net+/sec+ (both BS), and 8 classes left for my bachelors.

    to the OP, if you want to get into the workforce, go certs...if you want to stay in school, go bachelors and then still have to have certs in specific career paths...CCNA, MCSE, red hat, etc
     
  19. Jul 7, 2010 at 7:28 AM
    #19
    thebigk

    thebigk 6 Double 5 3 2 1

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Member:
    #8770
    Messages:
    3,330
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ken....
    Odessa, TX
    I work for a telecommunications company. 1 person in our dept has a degree. The other 11 of us do not. And you know what? He's been here 2yrs longer than me and I make 20 cents less an hour than he does.
    I have certifications out the ying yang (MCSA, MCTS, MCP, CCNA, CCDA, Certified Fiber Optic Tech, NM Journeyman ES7J & ESJ..etc etc) and that's what my company pushes. Since we are partners with Cisco, Alcatel/Lucent, Mitel, Panasonic, Microsoft etc. they like the certs. I have to go to Panasonic phone system training in August and will have another cert.
    Then again...there's a very large oil company here that won't even look at you unless you have a degree. You can have all the certs and exp in the world but without that degree your resume goes in the trash.

    So it's a tough choice really. I'm all about real world experience. To me a degree means you could stay in school. Now if you can get BOTH a degree and some certs.....you're going to be ahead of the game.
     
  20. Jul 7, 2010 at 7:58 AM
    #20
    BuckNakedBooda

    BuckNakedBooda There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Member:
    #36937
    Messages:
    1,484
    Woodbridge, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tundra Crewmax Limited 4x4
    Congratulations on getting your AA in CIT.

    Does your school have an assistance program that when you get your AA that they provide guaranteed acceptance into a 4 year university ? If so, defintely go for it.

    I have been in IT for 18 years now. I have a BA and a MS in Management Information Systems. I also have multiple Microsoft and CompTia certifications. It was until I finished my Masters that six figure salary opportunities opened up for me. I don't know of too many IT jobs out there that you can get into six figures unless your are a CCIE or possess that level of expertise in a specific area.

    I would defintely concentrate on your degrees. If you want to get into a management position, you may even want to consider a MBA with a minor in IT security. This is one of the hot positions there are in the IT world.

    I am currently looking at other positions right now and the folks that I have interviewed with look at the degrees first. The degrees show how dedicated you are in achieving your personal goals.

    Good luck in your endeavours.....
     
To Top