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Degree in Computer Science = Know how a Network works

By CG IT ·
There's been a great debate about the value of a Microsoft certification or a CompTIA certification. I've read a couple of recent articles on paper MCSE's, one in particular in Redmond Magazine. I've recently began looking at just what certifications are supposed to mean vs having a degree in computer science and how that equates to actually doing the job. Just look through Careerbuild job offerings for network administration and many companies want a bacholars degree in computer science with a couple years experience. So what exactly is a bacholars degree in computer science? Do workers who have a bacholars degree in computer science actually know how networks work? Could they actually setup DNS, DHCP, Active Directory, design a network infrastructure? For that matter could MCSEs? [MCSE's are supposed to know but heck what about the paper MCSEs?].

Are companies really getting someone who has a degree in computer science that can do the job better than someone who has a certification?

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CS degree

by Info-Safety, LLC In reply to Degree in Computer Scienc ...

A CS degree probably includes coursework in networking, and may or may not include hands-on networking. Students are essentially given a roadmap for life-long learning, and the potential for getting some pretty good jobs, doing and learning many things that they may or may not have covered in school. At the other end of the spectrum is a trade school certificate designed for a fairly narrow range of jobs. Of course there is no substitute for experience, but in the long run, to me potential is more important than a fairly narrow skill set. People with either or neither can be successful.

Craig Herberg

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How could it

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Degree in Computer Scienc ...

Networking is a specialized subset of computing. A cert is usually a specialised vendor/platorm subset of that. Admittedly my cert in DECNet networking helped me with windows networking, but that was I could map the tools from one to the other. A strong background (not a degree) in computer science did help me do that.
But I've met people who think DNS or TCP/IP would be wholly different under different platforms because they couldn't and some of them had a degree in computing.

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usually 'no' in Australia

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Degree in Computer Scienc ...

Don't know how it is elsewhere but in Australia most big companies hiring staff for IT organisations hire people with Tech College qualifications or years of experience not Uni Degrees. Experience has shown that the Uni quals are more theoretical than practical - some unis are now addressing that issue and this could change. NB some uni grads do have extra knowledge obtained outside there curriculum that means they are useful.

Some organisations are also revisiting the need for over specialised qualifications. One organisation I know had been hiring staff to manage their servers and insisting that they have quals related to MS software and eyars of experience with Exchange, Win 2000 Server and the like. When recently reviewing their operational security they had a report recommending that they switch some servers to Linux and found that they needed new staff as no existing staff were able to build or manage non MS servers.

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Certs or degree. Neither means much till your working in the field.

by tbragsda In reply to Degree in Computer Scienc ...

I don?t think much of certs. I have hired many people with certs that were worthless. On the other hand I have meet people with advanced degrees that could hardly understand a router. How is this possible? Well, nothing means much of anything till you have your hands on the equipment, the problems, and the projects that prove skill.

Get your certs or get a degree. They will go a long way to getting your foot in the door, but nothing makes you a good net admin other than experience.


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by johnnywatt In reply to Certs or degree. Neither ...

True that, brother.

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Experience sums it all up

by flowcom In reply to Certs or degree. Neither ...

I think that a degree is good and having certs are good. Both really puts you in the mix for getting a good job. The bottom line, is texperience. I have seen job advertisements for all kinds of IT positions, and most if not all want experience to backup the certs or the degrees. I would say that do what you can to get expeerience while you working your certs or heading towad your degree. Experience go a long way.

"Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes
from bad judgment." Rita Mae Brown

Experience is a wonderful thing.

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Amen to that!

by KrYpT In reply to Certs or degree. Neither ...

All I have is experience. Not much, a couple years is all, but I work with a team where they all have a bachelor's degree and a bunch of certifications without them being better or worse then me.

To me, you don't learn IT, you are IT.

I will go get my degree because I aim to higher responsabilities but experience and individual character are really what counts.

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I have a BS in Computer Science and ,,,,

by caestelle In reply to Degree in Computer Scienc ...

I did not learn what I know about networking while in college. I had one class that dealt with networking and it was strictly theory, with no hands on experience. The rest of the course load was all programming. It wasn't until I landed my first IT job and starting working with networks, that I actually began to truly understand the theory that I was taught in my class.
My brother also has a BS n CS from another school and his experience was the same.

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is CS degree almost all Programming?

by CG IT In reply to I have a BS in Computer S ...

Most of the CS degree holders I've come across are programmers. They can program [or write scripts] but many haven't a clue what DNS, DHCP routing tables are much less Active Directory, Group Policy, OUs.

However, if one takes a look at Careerbuilder jobs and use MCSE as a keyword, up pops all these jobs for Windows based platforms and they want a BS in CS., couple of years experience on a Windows platform plus they add MCSE cert desired. I see this time and again. Whats worse is I see these "schools" who advertise internships and what I found out was they are job retraining programs that give the graduate a MCSA or MCSE.

I for one am glad that Microsoft has put in their Windows 2003 certification program hands on configuration questions to be able to pass the exams.

Still I can't fathom why companies would want to hire someone with a bacholars degree in computer science that is is mostly programming based for a network administration position that requires really hands on skills with the operating systems.

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You are correct

by ObiWayneKenobi In reply to is CS degree almost all P ...

As far as I know a CS degree is 100% programming; my co-worker has one and while she can do programming, she knows next to nothing about networking (I have given her some cross-trainining in it since it's a small company). From what she has told me it's almost all programming theory (i.e. the basics of programming languages and such) and tons of math (which is the reason I didn't go for it). I don't think she took any networking classes at all.

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