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  • #2074634

    College, Certification, or Expierience?

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    by shs_bulldog ·

    Hi. I just graduated High School. I have been second in charge of our School District’s network for about 2 years. I know pretty much everthing that our Network Adminstrator does. My question is, if I want to be a Network Administrator should I go to college, get a certification, or go for the expierince? I have been looking at the college programs and most of the degrees in computers have nothing that I would be intrested in or that would even have something to do with Network Administration. If certification, which one?? Thanks for the responces.

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    • #3777588

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by avachon ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      Hi, consider this: you have 2 years experience in admin. and certfication would validate that experience (or add to it depending on what you have done). However, this is somewhat of a short view since technologies change all the time, which I’m sure you know. A college education will provide you with much more than technical exposure. It sharpens your critical thinking abilities which enhances your troubleshooting skills ultimately. You’ll gain insight into other fields (related and non-related to admin. which will help you see how other fields, ideas, methods do relate to administration and working with people. You may find yourself exploring related fields 10 or more years from now and a college education is a prerequisite. And think of this, if you felt that certifications were very important (beyond experience) you can work on these during or after your college training. It’s difficult to look 10 or 15 years down the road, but doing so will equip you for changes beyond a specific cert. Get your deg

    • #3777586

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by avachon ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      (got cut off) get your college degree and than augement it with certications if necessary or keep your experience going with part-time contract work, internships, etc. while in school. Certifications change but the fact that you have your degree will not change. If you ever decide you want to move into management, you’ll need that degree as well. Good luck.

    • #3777552

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by mckaytech ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      Short term answer: you could probably do okay without the degree for awhile. Many IT organizations are critically short-staffed and as long as the shortage lasts, degrees may be less important. When the industry matures and the shortage tapers off, you’ll be in a weaker position.

      Long term answer: I would strongly encourage the degree and now is probably the best time in your life to pursue it. Rather than going heavily into debt to get the degree, you would use your experience to get a great job while you are in school (sure beats the work-study positions that pay minimum wage) and have the degree at the end of it. Plus, I think you’ll find after six years of Network Administration, there will be other things you’ll want to try and the degree, combined with the experience, will help open those doors.

      If none of the degree programs look appealing right now, you still have two years of basics in which to sort things out.

      paul

    • #3778911

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by budnelson ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      Do not even think twice about this one , go to school. Once you get your degree you can do anything you want to , work in IT , be a carpenter , make ice cream. It doesn’t matter what you do. Pursuing a degree will help you grow as a person, to travel , get away from home, etc. Once you get a degree no one can take it away. Most employers just want to see that you have enough gumption to stick out 4 years of education. You don’t have to work in the field your degree is in.

    • #3778907

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by tedbovis ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      Most of the Answers here say go and get that Degree, well I’m going to be different….actually no I’m not. Follow the good advice and get the degree, it WILL do everything that they say it will, however depending on your commitments try and pick upa contract during your holiday/time off however short this will get you commercial experience which to begin with is more important than anything although the line bluurs and the Degree is more important after a few years when you want to progress. Once you have finished the degree and are earning money start the certifications, MCSE, Cisco or whatever alse there is, but don’t take time out as things move to quickly for that, use self study books or short courses to get those exams.
      I’ve followed a similar route to this and things do look very good after a few years, but contracting is where to get lots of good skills and get thown into the deep end of things, then you can look at a staff job doing the admin role. Good Luck 🙂

    • #3778890

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by ruturaj ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      A good mix of all three,
      or at least 2.
      The certifications will definately boost your career in terms of asking rate.
      & Experience will help you get the job done about 3 years back I thought I knew everything there was to know for my job but I now realise that every day you live and learn.

    • #3778848

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by jhlavergne3 ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      Well, I know that in my degree I am going for, I have asked my professors what is better. He told me that they all are good, but the certifications are mostly what the corporations are looking for. Even though experience is good, you can have a problem with being over-experienced with just experience training.

      Hope this helps.

    • #3778830

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by inspectorclave ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      Getting a degree is something that you probably won’t regret. HOWEVER, you should look deeper into what you really want to do. I can tell you (by experience) that one of the main reasons some companies want individuals with a degree is because that shows them that you are a person that can set and accomplish goals. In the IT world, a CS (computer science) degree or equivalent will not give you much of the working knowledge that you need to solve problems. IT Certs give you more of an in-depth look into the OS’s, apps, and technologies that are used in the enterprise environment. Besides, if you are a person that can setup your own learning environment, grab the materials, and knock out some certs…. that takes just as much gumption as going to college (maybe even more). Good luck in your endeavors!

    • #3778815

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by ryank ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      Do all that you can in terms of education and experience! College is an excelent way to prove to the non-technical community that you are a capable person at not only network administration but communicating with your peers and end users. More importantly college also helps to eliminate any glass ceilling a lot of corporations put on management positions. While right now you might be saying management is the last thing you would ever want to do, remember you’re young right now and you might change your mind when 40 doesn’t seem so old. A really big bonus of a degree is often higher pay, and more often then not the higher pay will eventually make college loans worth it.

      Certifications are also helpful, but for the right reasons and they are usually only meaningful coupled with experience. A lot of people out there are MCSEs, and many probably shouldn’t be. I have friends that are MCSEs and really don’t what they are doing. It was either an academic exercise for them or they attended a “boot camp”

    • #3778799

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by kevin_b ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      The ugly truth is that a college degree is the benchmark people look for. Just look at the want ads in papers or the internet. All start with college degree as the first requirement. A degree proves that you can think and learn. No one comes into a job knowing all about it. They want someone that can learn to do the job and the degree shows that you can. You can get experience via contract jobs on the side or a co-op program where you go to college for a while and then take a quarter/semester to work in industry. Certifications expire or become useless, BUT DEGREES NEVER DO. If you don’t believe me, look at the MCSE flap going on now. A degree will open so many doors for now while you learn and in the future, it is incredibly short sighted not to do it. You will not regeret it, I promise. Good Luck!

    • #3778758

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by aaron v ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      Go to College. Study. Party (a little, not too much). Get a degree in something, anything. I work with excellent consultants who have degree’s in Philosophy, History, Humanities, Poli-Sci, Chemistry, Math, Physics, etc. As has been said in the above, it isn’t truely important what the degree is in, so long as you try hard and get it. The benefit of most degree’s is showing you can do it, learning to think and evalutate in new ways. If you want to continue technical work during college, look for internships, or try to work on campus in the IT department while going to school (as a network admin, or computer lab admin, etc).

      Good Luck!

    • #3778751

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by nsa13 ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      I was kind of in the same boat as you. Had a lot of raw computer experience but only had a high school degree. So, I went the certification route. I got an MCP in NT Server and went from being a hw tech at $25K to about $57K doing Network Admin.Now, it was a Jr. position and I was learning alot but thats what its all about, right? Learning and playing with toys. The next year I got hired on at the Pentagon making more than $80K. I just turned 24. I feel that I’ve accomplished alot. But, salary and toys aren’t everything. I
      m actually looking at going to school in the evenings to gain my degree. goto http://www.regents.edu. You can get college credit for your certifications and exp. Work, get certified and then get the degree. Hack the system. =)

      Being a Network Security Engie isn’t too bad… 😉

    • #3778642

      College, Certification, or Expierience?

      by mikeheitz ·

      In reply to College, Certification, or Expierience?

      Well, there is a lot of good advice here. I can tell you from my own experience that my college degree is worth more than the paper it is printed on. The overall experiences of putting myself through college are invaluable. The best thing i could tell you to do is this…

      If you have the opportunity to go to a top-notch college, you MUST take that opportunity and run with it. Now, if you are planning on studying computers in school, you can probably also squeeze in the MCSE or CNE while you are in school. Might be tough, but it won’t be too far off track from your studies. There are a lot of companies that have tuition re-imbursement programs as well. If you can find an admin spot with a company like that, your problems are solved. You will make more and more money, get your degree, gain experience all at the same time.

      The bottom line is that all 3 are important. It’s just a matter of how you fit them all in to get to the next step in your career.

      GOOD LUCK!

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