Degree verses Computer Certifications
There are many computer people that have studied hard to collect the standard computer
certifications, such as, an MCSE, CCNA or CCNP, Linux, Netware and Unix certification. These
are all good certifications to have, but remember, in today's job market, certifications are
the basic minimum required by employers. Most positions require a degree as well as certifications.
If you have the opportunity to go to a college or university then you need to do.
There are those that can just sneak by with a few certifications and land a high paying
computer job, and many others that are extremely disappointed. If you are of the personality
that is aggressive and smart, you will find a job in anything you seek, however, if you are
the type of person that must rely on your credentials, you will need all the help you can get.
Computer certifications without working experience are only a garnishment to a resume, therefore,
you cannot rely on them to land you a job.
If you have just graduated high school and have the financial means to attend college
but are undecided, you had better take my advice and get the degree. There are not many 17
to 21 year old computer professionals. Additionally, not having a degree hinders your ability
to advance within a large corporate environment. You may very well sit on a help desk for four
years and lose a promotion to Systems Engineer to a recent collage graduate.
What happens if you do not have the resources to attend college? Will someone still want
to hire you without a degree? Yes, and it happens every day. I taught myself, ,just as many
of my friends have done. As I stated earlier, without a degree, our selections are limited.
If one day you want to become a CIO (Chief Information Officer) or Vice President of Technology,
you will be required to have a degree. As an IT Director, I might have to accept that, because
I do not have a degree. Of course, if this sounds like a path you will take, you will discover
other options in the course of your career and being a CIO will not really matter.
However, I know plenty of people that are self-taught, self-studied for their certifications,
and they are working in the industry today. You just have to be dedicated and self-disciplined.
If you do not have these two traits, you are going to have to learn them or lessons will be
long and slow for you. When people ask me how I learned computers and networking, I like to
tell them, "I taught myself. Because I didn't know much to begin with, lessons were long and
slow an the instructor wouldn't stop talking about himself."
Many employers place a great deal of value in someone that is self-taught. I know a women
named Ellen that is a good example of this. She quit her job, dedicated herself to doing nothing
but learning networking, self-studied, and in two months, she got an MCSE. In her first week,
she had five interviews; four with Microsoft and received four offers. The job she chose was
to work with Cisco Routers on the Microsoft backbone in Redmond, Washington.
Dave, her boss, picked her because of her drive and determination and her ability to
learn. It took her another five years before she ever looked at a local area network. i always
choose someone with a positive attitude and the aggressiveness to learn above anybody else.
I will always hire eager without experience over someone lackluster with experience.