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College Degree for Certifications

By meerdja ·
I've been diligently researching various avenues of IT training. One of the most interesting possibilities that I've found is an accredited institution in California (Master's Institute) that offers an Associates degree in Sytem Administration. Youearn the degree by completing the courseware for A+, CNE, MCSE, and (if I understand correctly) CCNA, as well as, a smattering of general education requirements. The coursework is a combination of CBT's and CompTIA, Novell, Microsoft, Cisco Certification study books. Tuition is $20,000, but qualifies for Federal Financial Aid programs. I am seriously considering jumping, does any one out there have any insight into whether I should or shouldn't?

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College Degree for Certifications

by whistler In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

My first thought is, gads that is expensive. I would also want to know if the cost of the certification exams was included or was extra. What exactly are you paying $20,000 for? Have you looked at www.itdegree.com which will take already earned certificates and apply them as course credits for a degree. Also, www.leapit.com offers free online courses and study guides for the courses are quite reasonable. Also www.freeacademy.com offers almost free, $10 admin. fee.

Be Wary.

Regards,
PaulLarson

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College Degree for Certifications

by meerdja In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

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College Degree for Certifications

by avachon In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

Hi, I too think that is pretty expensive. But, I'd want to know more. How much time is devoted to CBTs? How much to books and what are those books? How much instructor interaction? Even if the program qualifies for financial aid, what is the interest rate? What is the "real" final cost you project? Any placement services for jobs? After all that you'd still have 2 years if you wanted the full college degree plus certs. change so training continues. I'd look at places such as www.elementk.com, www.msartforce.com (CBTs), www.leapit.com; www.freeskills.com; mspress offers microsoft training kits, novell has lots of documentation on their site and cisco has quite a bit in terms of tech. papers. Hope this helps.

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College Degree for Certifications

by meerdja In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

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College Degree for Certifications

by McKayTech In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

If this is for CBT training only (no instructor-led sessions), the price is very, very high.
A couple of cautions. First, just because a school is accredited is no guarantee of quality. Before making a 20k investment, ask for names of several recent graduates and talk with them. See if you can also find some who didn't make it and get their impressions of the school.
Second, make sure you don't have unrealistic expectations. Not everyone can benefit from CBT - know what your learning channels are and choose a program that complements them.

And Part Two of the second caution. Even with all this paper, you are still going to be lacking in what employers are seeking most and that is experience. So you may still be looking for work when the student loan payments start coming due.

If it were me, I'd look for another way.

paul

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College Degree for Certifications

by meerdja In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

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College Degree for Certifications

by parish_ru In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

I am a System Administrator in the IT department of a City (local gov). An AA means very little, except for Operator type jobs. The certificaitons, MCSE, A+ mean a lot more. Ideally you need to get a BA or BS to be a programmer or system administrator, but it's not mandatory. The CERTs mean more in these days of ever changing technology.

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College Degree for Certifications

by meerdja In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

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College Degree for Certifications

by wmaxwell48 In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

What is your real career goal? If you love systems work, and want to work with your hands and mind, then the you need the certs to get into the industry. In Washington State there are 15 or more Community Colleges that offer an AA and the cert courses. Total costs for resident admission @$9,000 plus books board and labs. That buys 2 years work.

If your goal is management in the IT world, then BA/BS/BSEE is the way to get started. The certs can still be dialed into this track. That makes you that much more "saleable". It also costs @$25,000 plus books board and labs at a state run college for 4 years work.

I have been through it all BS/MA/CNA/CNE in almost every track in 25 years. Which is probibly the key issue. What ever track you do, the requirements to stay certified after you get certified never ends - until you hand up your tools and walk away. Upgrades cost $100 for a test and 90 days study for each upgrade.

So as Joe Campbell said whatever you do "follow your bliss."

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College Degree for Certifications

by meerdja In reply to College Degree for Certif ...

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