Questions

Another Degree or Certifications?

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Another Degree or Certifications?

sw_a_o_89_ohlin
I have a quick question for anyone who might be knowledgeable on the subject. I'm currently in the process of finishing up my B.S. in biology. I will be a senior this year and by May I will have obtained it. I have been on the pre-vet med college path, but the more I think about it the more I think a career in something like network administration might hold more interest for me.


My school does not offer a computer science or IT-related degree, so my plan has always been to finish my current path up so I at least have a 4 year degree in something. So here's my question - after I graduate this year, would it be more beneficial for me to go on to more schooling and obtain an M.S. in Computer Science (or some other field?), or would it be better for me to start working on gaining some of the more prevalent certifications?


If anyone has any good advice, or if anyone has experienced a similar scenario, please let me know. Any information is appreciated! Thanks!
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    robo_dev

    Perhaps your college has some sort of guidance office or career services staff?

    The ideal scenario would be to somehow use both the biology knowledge with the interest in computers.... medical computing, medical imaging technology, healthcare management systems?

    You need to sit down with a career counselor and try to figure out what sort of job role you are good at, determine what you think you want to do, and figure out how to get there. A lot of what you want to do depends, for example, on how well you work with people.

    In the field of IT, there are some good jobs, but also an awful lot of really crappy and boring jobs. Before you dive into the world of IT, try to get an Internship at the sort of company or industry where you may want to work. An internship is a great way to find out what it's like in the real world.

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    Tony Hopkinson

    If you wanted to do development style stuff, and you picked a some one in the biology domain, then may be a goer. You might get there "with clever enough to get a degree" plus certs but they won't pay you for it and it would only put you in front of people with just certs.
    My advice would be to stick ith your current career path, unless you aren't confident you can get the rest of it. Either way you are looking at another two years ish education are you not. Be a long time before it starts paying it's way in IT as well.

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    tbmay

    I don't advise kids to get into IT now. The jobs aren't there, and the ones that are are 80 hours per week. And the rate of change only increases. It doesn't decrease.

    I'm in my mid 40's and I'm one of the oldest people you'll find walking around darn near any IT shop.

    It's hard, when you're in your early 20's (I'm assuming here) to think where you want to be when you're my age, but the love of problem solving and technology will very likely take a back seat to reality when you realize you don't have time to get good at something before it's yesterday's news.

    No job is perfect, but there are better careers for your health and "well roundedness."

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    GMcFlyPCGuy

    I respectfully disagree. Information Technology is one of the five fastest growing professional fields. The IT field grew dramatically since 2008 (recession years). I left the Army and found an IT job in 2 days. Maybe the jobs won't be there in rural areas but if you live anywhere near a decent size metropolitan area, you can easily find opportunities. The only downfall you have is experience. I don't have any degrees or certifications, but I have five years of experience (thanks to the military). I wouldn't rain on this guy's parade only because of your hardships.

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    tbmay

    Fair enough. No intention of raining on anyones parade. I'm simply trying to give him another perspective, aside from the party line.

    I'm degreed and certified and I have MUCH more than 5 years in the field, so bear with me. Granted, my area is rural, with one big town an hour away.

    You're priorities change with age, and it's nigh impossible to predict what the landscape will be even 5 years from now. Let alone 20. Are we still going to need people to set up, configure, and optimize servers? Are we going to need coders? Are we going to need desktop support?

    I'll be we will need vets though.

    Just think about it.

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    akeim1

    one question to ask yourself before hopping onto the IT wagon is 'am I a people person". if you are, IT is not for you. Ditto for operating under stress. if you don't perform well under stress, IT is not for you. and why network administration? there are a gazillion of those, yet there are a reported 30k IT SECURITY jobs in and around Washington DC. I would think that that area is one growing faster than others, as breaches become more and more high profile and profitable for the hackers.

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    one9ooh6

    So y do u feel that if you are a people person, the IT field isn't angod selection.

    Also, the IT security jobs you have referenced in DC, do they require certifications.

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    GMcFlyPCGuy

    I would definitely go for it if that is what you want to do. You are young enough to make a career change. It would be silly if the career path you chose at 18 is the one you are stuck with until retirement. I wouldn't recommend going for your masters though. The IT world is built off of certifications which aren't that difficult to obtain. You can find most study material on the internet or buy a book from a bookstore. Good beginner certs to have are: A+, Network+, Security+, Cisco CCNA, any Microsoft servers or Active Directory certification, or even a helpdesk Certification (for a entry helpdesk position. Good Luck

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    simsnola

    You should look up Bioinformatics, it is a way to use Biology and Computer Science together, if you took BioStat then you should look up Bioinformatics. If you want to do networking, find a school that has the masters program in it and apply, or you can do a Cisco certification. The University of New Orleans, which I attend for graduate school, has a great Bioinformatics, Digital Forensics, and Networking graduate programs.

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    kduplechain

    The IT field is not what it use to be it has become a contract haven and a place of outsource to people you can barely understand you will never have benefits or paid time off stick with vet school kid trust me

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    Akivaran

    Concerning the cert vs degree debate, I'll offer my personal experience. When I lost my job 2 years, I went on several interviews afterward. I would always ask whether my associates or certs (A+ Net+ MCP) mattered. Most said that they viewed the certs better b/c they applied directly to that company.

    If you're considering going to a TechSkills or New Horizons to get some certs, be careful. These places tout that you can be MSFT certified in 6 months. Maybe, but in my experience, you'd have to be very skilled at note taking and retain information very easily.

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    olayks

    Hey check out this link http://matc.edu/student/offerings/biotechdegree.html. This is something I also want to obtain (have BS in ISS). This sounds like a perfect career for someone who has a background in Biology already and want to do something IT related. Hope its useful!

  • +
    0 Votes
    robo_dev

    Perhaps your college has some sort of guidance office or career services staff?

    The ideal scenario would be to somehow use both the biology knowledge with the interest in computers.... medical computing, medical imaging technology, healthcare management systems?

    You need to sit down with a career counselor and try to figure out what sort of job role you are good at, determine what you think you want to do, and figure out how to get there. A lot of what you want to do depends, for example, on how well you work with people.

    In the field of IT, there are some good jobs, but also an awful lot of really crappy and boring jobs. Before you dive into the world of IT, try to get an Internship at the sort of company or industry where you may want to work. An internship is a great way to find out what it's like in the real world.

    +
    0 Votes
    Tony Hopkinson

    If you wanted to do development style stuff, and you picked a some one in the biology domain, then may be a goer. You might get there "with clever enough to get a degree" plus certs but they won't pay you for it and it would only put you in front of people with just certs.
    My advice would be to stick ith your current career path, unless you aren't confident you can get the rest of it. Either way you are looking at another two years ish education are you not. Be a long time before it starts paying it's way in IT as well.

    +
    0 Votes
    tbmay

    I don't advise kids to get into IT now. The jobs aren't there, and the ones that are are 80 hours per week. And the rate of change only increases. It doesn't decrease.

    I'm in my mid 40's and I'm one of the oldest people you'll find walking around darn near any IT shop.

    It's hard, when you're in your early 20's (I'm assuming here) to think where you want to be when you're my age, but the love of problem solving and technology will very likely take a back seat to reality when you realize you don't have time to get good at something before it's yesterday's news.

    No job is perfect, but there are better careers for your health and "well roundedness."

    +
    0 Votes
    GMcFlyPCGuy

    I respectfully disagree. Information Technology is one of the five fastest growing professional fields. The IT field grew dramatically since 2008 (recession years). I left the Army and found an IT job in 2 days. Maybe the jobs won't be there in rural areas but if you live anywhere near a decent size metropolitan area, you can easily find opportunities. The only downfall you have is experience. I don't have any degrees or certifications, but I have five years of experience (thanks to the military). I wouldn't rain on this guy's parade only because of your hardships.

    +
    0 Votes
    tbmay

    Fair enough. No intention of raining on anyones parade. I'm simply trying to give him another perspective, aside from the party line.

    I'm degreed and certified and I have MUCH more than 5 years in the field, so bear with me. Granted, my area is rural, with one big town an hour away.

    You're priorities change with age, and it's nigh impossible to predict what the landscape will be even 5 years from now. Let alone 20. Are we still going to need people to set up, configure, and optimize servers? Are we going to need coders? Are we going to need desktop support?

    I'll be we will need vets though.

    Just think about it.

    +
    0 Votes
    akeim1

    one question to ask yourself before hopping onto the IT wagon is 'am I a people person". if you are, IT is not for you. Ditto for operating under stress. if you don't perform well under stress, IT is not for you. and why network administration? there are a gazillion of those, yet there are a reported 30k IT SECURITY jobs in and around Washington DC. I would think that that area is one growing faster than others, as breaches become more and more high profile and profitable for the hackers.

    +
    0 Votes
    one9ooh6

    So y do u feel that if you are a people person, the IT field isn't angod selection.

    Also, the IT security jobs you have referenced in DC, do they require certifications.

    +
    0 Votes
    GMcFlyPCGuy

    I would definitely go for it if that is what you want to do. You are young enough to make a career change. It would be silly if the career path you chose at 18 is the one you are stuck with until retirement. I wouldn't recommend going for your masters though. The IT world is built off of certifications which aren't that difficult to obtain. You can find most study material on the internet or buy a book from a bookstore. Good beginner certs to have are: A+, Network+, Security+, Cisco CCNA, any Microsoft servers or Active Directory certification, or even a helpdesk Certification (for a entry helpdesk position. Good Luck

    +
    0 Votes
    simsnola

    You should look up Bioinformatics, it is a way to use Biology and Computer Science together, if you took BioStat then you should look up Bioinformatics. If you want to do networking, find a school that has the masters program in it and apply, or you can do a Cisco certification. The University of New Orleans, which I attend for graduate school, has a great Bioinformatics, Digital Forensics, and Networking graduate programs.

    +
    0 Votes
    kduplechain

    The IT field is not what it use to be it has become a contract haven and a place of outsource to people you can barely understand you will never have benefits or paid time off stick with vet school kid trust me

    +
    0 Votes
    Akivaran

    Concerning the cert vs degree debate, I'll offer my personal experience. When I lost my job 2 years, I went on several interviews afterward. I would always ask whether my associates or certs (A+ Net+ MCP) mattered. Most said that they viewed the certs better b/c they applied directly to that company.

    If you're considering going to a TechSkills or New Horizons to get some certs, be careful. These places tout that you can be MSFT certified in 6 months. Maybe, but in my experience, you'd have to be very skilled at note taking and retain information very easily.

    +
    0 Votes
    olayks

    Hey check out this link http://matc.edu/student/offerings/biotechdegree.html. This is something I also want to obtain (have BS in ISS). This sounds like a perfect career for someone who has a background in Biology already and want to do something IT related. Hope its useful!