General discussion


Between IT Certification or IT academic studies

By low_wh ·
Hello! Everyone.

I'm curious about the value of: -
(1) IT professional certification programme (e.g. MCSE, CCNP) and
(2) Computer academic study (e.g. diploma in IT, degree in IT, master programme in IT or a higher IT learning one).

Which type of IT study holds a better and higher value?

Appreciate your opinion.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Trends are changing !!!

by stargazerr In reply to Between IT Certification ...

It definately used to be IT degrees and academic study...But by far, Certificates are coming up as the winner...

During my interview for the job I am currently in...they didnt even glance once at my pile of degrees and diplomas. all they were interested in was, that I am an MCSE ... period.

But I say, that degrees are also important because the trend might change yet again ... and its always good to be a Graduate :)

Collapse -

It depends...

by jdmercha In reply to Between IT Certification ...

...on where you're at and where you want to go. But certs are temporary, while degrees are forever.

Collapse -

IT career development

by low_wh In reply to It depends...

Thanks for your opinion.

You have a 25 years of experience in I.T. field. Could you share your career development with me?

Your kind reply may help me to develope my IT career prospect.

Thank you very much.

Collapse -


by jdmercha In reply to IT career development

I have a BS in EE. I have 15 years of experience as a Nuclear Engineer. A lot of this experience involved CAD. With the decline of nuclear power I turned my hobby into a carreer.

My first real IT job was in sales for a small IT firm. That lasted two months before moving into tech support. I ran the tech support department for about two years when the company folded.

I then managed to get a contract-to-hire, job as a Network Engineer. Even though I'd never seen a network before. That lasted about two years when I took a Director position in a small department, where I've been for the past 7 years.

In the meantime I taught computer courses at a local community college, and I finished an MS in IT.

Collapse -

Again, its not either/or

by RknRlKid In reply to Between IT Certification ...

From where I sit (in a vocational school advising on career availability and trends) it never pays to have an either/or attitude.

Bottom line is, eventually you will need both.

To get your foot in the door, you will need the certifications. Regardless of the relative merits of certifications, they are what get you looked at seriously. Here in the U.S., the highly valued entry level educational requirement is the Associate of Applied Science degree (2 year specialized in a vocational field).

The value of the degrees, however, is when you move up the career ladder. The degree will be needed when you attempt to move up into supervisory positions later in your career. I've heard the exceptions stories all over these posts, but lets be serious. If two people are trying to get a supervisory position, a college degree is the ticket you have to have punched.

There was a study that showed the differences between an associate and a bachelor degrees. Initially, the holder of the associate degree made more money than the bachelor. This stayed pretty consistent until about the 10 year point. At the 10 year point, the bachelor holder's salary skyrocketed compared to the associate. This was because the bachelor's degree was the requirement for management, where the bigger money is.

I think that everyone neds to change their way of thinking. Think LONG TERM, and it will make sense. You need a two year degree PLUS certifications to get into the career field, and you will then need to plug away at a bachelor's degree for the first roughly ten years. With bachelor's degree in hand, you can then apply for management positions being fully qualified with degrees, certifications AND experience. If you eventually want to be the really big boss, you may want to consider a master's degree too at some point (especially an MBA).

Regardless of the practical worth of any of it, there do seem to be unwritten rules about career advancement in any career field, and that seems to be it for technology related career areas.

Collapse -

by Shotokan1978 In reply to Between IT Certification ...

In my opinion, you need both to succeed in this industry. Most of the time the academic side show that you know the theory behind IT and gives you a good basis for promotion. Where-as the professional certs/qualifications show that you have the practical skills in implementing IT, and hopefully know what you're talking about - whether it's your CCNA, MCSE etc. Having both shows that you've got 2 out of the 3 desirable points (the 3rd being experience). I say this both as a technician and someone who does interviews. But then again this is only my opinion and everyone has a different one.

Hope this helps.

Collapse -


by jck In reply to Between IT Certification ...

to be honest, they're all pretty much a dime a dozen...

some certs are much more respected because they have to be earned, and some are as easy as reading a couple of books and taking the, it really depends.

Since the 1990s, the degrees from CS/IT have been pumping out of universities like a broken water main. I was one of 50 CS majors that graduated my a university of 4,000 students...we accounted for over 1 percent of the graduating class in a university whose big programs were accounting, social services, and education.

From what I understand now, my university easily doubles that per year. And, that was a small state university.

I just wonder when the market is going to reach saturation.

If I had to tell you one or the other...I'd say go with a 2 year degree...then get a part time job and transfer into a 4 year program and finish a BS in CS/IS/IT over a 3-4 year period and have 3-4 years work experience when you get out of school with your BS degree.

That way, you can go straight into a job or move to grad work (so long as you keep up your GPA).

Collapse -

A Blended Approach is Needed...

by ramabrooks In reply to ummm

I got my 1st IT job as a Desktop Support Tech for the State of Indiana 7 years ago because of 2 things. 1) I have CompTIA's A+ cert and 2) I did a 2 month UNPAID internship.

Not all certs can be passed by just "reading a few books" those that can be are "entry level." The 2 certs I have 80% of time prepparing was studying/reading books while the remaining 20% was "hands on" and those certs are A+ and Network+.

Studying for MCSE/MCSA or whatever's Microsoft new certs are called does require hands on with the technology (this is from guys who passed those certs giving me advice.)

I agree with the post about an AA Degree when applying for your 1st job. Keep in mind, if certs get you your first job, start taking night classes for an AA Degree. My 1st boss was impressed when I worked full time fixing different agencies computers then went of to take night classes. My GPA was 2.5 but I carried 12 credits a semester.

What they care about is 1) willingness to update skills without asking the boss man to pay for it 2) time management and prioritizing skills learned.

Working full time and working on a college degree full or half time is not easy. But it says a lot about your character and work ethic.

As for certs, if you are new to IT or looking to move into a new area, look at the entry level certs first. If you have been in IT for a long time and are considering going for a Bachelor Degree, see what certs map to the classes you need to take. I saved 9 credits by getting credit for 2 classes because of my A+ and credit for 1 class for my Network+ cert.

Certs do give us a chance to "specialize" in different technologies/fields in IT. A college degree does give us a more "well rounded view" when looking at the problems at hand. Let's face it, we are a lot like both the medical and legal professions in which we "keep on learning" or our careers "start to die."

If it is not an entry level cert, you are going to need a lot of hands on. We don't need anymore paper tigers out there. What is sad, the kids I went to school with, most of them never did fully grasp how to open a PC case.

Collapse -

IT Cert or Academic Qualification ???

by kgaamangwe In reply to Between IT Certification ...

In my environment Botswana , Southern Africa its is :

1) Relevant Academic Qualification :Certificate ,Diploma Bachelor of Science , Bachelor oF Enginering , Msc , etc in a related field.

2) Complemented by Industry Certs. e.g CCNA, CCDA, MCP, MCSE , Comptia tech Certs A+, Network+ , etc ,

For supervisory and Managerial Jobs : ITIL , IT Project+ , Strategic Management (Generic or IT Strategic Management).

Experience however at employers discretion can be considered in lieu of the above , with the possibility of a hands on screening exam .

My current position (ICT Network Manager) required :

i) Degree in Computer Science/Engineering or Electronic Engineering , the latter being what i graduated in .

ii) Professional / Career Cetrt e.g. CCNA
At he time of applying I held a valid CCDA.

iii) IT Management Qualification : e.g. ITIL

I hold an ITIL V2 Foundation Cert , and am IT Project+ Certified

iv) 8 years post graduate ICT Networking experience .

I reckon you need all of the above , education , certs (tech and IT Managemnt) and relevant expreience.

Else prepare a comptency based resume based on :

Tech Skills , Management Skills, Best Practice Competencies (ITIL, COBIT,ISO17799 etc) etc



Related Discussions

Related Forums