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  • #2275625

    Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?


    by c_djraj ·

    I was just wondrin to hear comments from the group based from their experiences and locales if a person who happens to be an undergraduate but with experience stands a chance in the IT industry compared to newly Grads and degree holder?

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    • #3366422

      I would generally rather hire

      by admin ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      a person that is already hands on trained and doing well in a position than a person who needs unlearning before they can start to get hands on training.

      It really comes down to the individual though.

      I would prefer a person who lived, slept and breathed networking in or out of school and had both verified excellent work performance and could demonstrate a deep understanding and knowledge in the field. School doesn’t really have a lot to do with it. Conversely, to get to me through HR is a lot easier if you have a degree. They will also approve paying you more.

      • #3368020

        Better educated the more valued

        by jimhm ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        I have found that a college education gives a good rounded experence base – so this person can stand up infront of executives and give a presentation – or write white papers – or do independent investigations and write a research paper –

        I have found the certification folks are locked into one thing – that certification and need hand holded through a presentation or white paper or any other non-cert assignment they are tasked with.

        And like you said it depends on the job – but give me that well rounded education – and I will show you a top performer in all tasks… give me a certification and I’ll show you a performer in that certification only …

        This guys in the cat bird seat as they say… if the manager isn’t affraid of his/her skills and talent…

        • #2702587

          How small minded

          by ramrod ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          To say that the only type of individual that you can put in front of management is a very small minded view. It will always come down to the individual. Sadly though these are the type of misconceptions that are being perpetuated throughout the industry that somehow a person who holds a degree is more intelligent than an individual without. There are many intelligent, efficient and highly disciplined IT professionals with certifications and no degrees and just like that person with a degree they have to keep their knowledge up to date otherwise they would not survive either. And to do this also takes the same skills it would to earn a degree.

        • #2702574

          degree is better

          by sediking82 ·

          In reply to How small minded

          you knw the difference between the two is that in a degree a person get taught many different things about the industry at large.As for a person with experience he will start of knowing what that company requires only.So a person with a degree when hired has a broader view of everything hence can modify develop and think of other ways to solve the problem after he got to learn what the company is all about.i.e,what is expected of him.and this will take him les time compared to a person without a degree.

        • #2702569

          You are right!

          by cloudedyoda ·

          In reply to degree is better

          I’ve read all the postings and I find Sediking to have the best reasoning. A person with degree with have wider coverage and good grounding. With the foundation laid over 3 years, it takes lesser time to adapt and apply IT solutions.

          But if I may add, LUCK plays a big role. The success stories that you heard of ppl with experience who got hired is due to “luck”.. the same goes for the degree person.. right person, right time, right place.

          So I wouldn’t worry too much either way. Just do your best and hope the best comes to you.

        • #2702521

          a bit both ways

          by ozpenguin ·

          In reply to You are right!

          I have over 15 years IT experience and no degree.

          There are a number of jobs I know that I can walk into easily (in the private sector)

          But I also know that I would have lesser chances of getting into a multi-national company, and next to no chance with the goverment sector.

          So, it really just knowing the market you are prepared to work in.

          Chris King

        • #2702483


          by csco ·

          In reply to a bit both ways

          I’ve been in the business for over 19 years without a degree. But my certs are up to date. I am currently working for the state of Idaho as a senior network admin. Certs and experience are what employers look for around here. I know of several who have degree’s with no experience. Most of them are slinging hash or have some other unrelated job. A CIO is not going to put a rookie in front of a console, only if there’s a seasoned IT Pro to back him or her up, or if they have some kind of OJT/Carreer Development program withing the company.

        • #2702469

          A Degree helps but isn’t all that.

          by problemslayer ·

          In reply to a bit both ways

          I think a degree often helps you get in the door. It says you committed yourself to something and saw it through. Hopefully you learned a few things along the way as well. Ultimately I think experience is more valuable once you get the job.
          I believe it also depends on the individual. I now have a degree, but when I first got my job I did not. I sold myself by telling my future boss at the time, among other things how I made a working network hub out of broken parts and a power supply from an old Gateway computer. I got the job not because of a degree, but because of the way I sold my capabilities and work ethic to my prospective employer.

          As far as my job is concerned, I learned more about business, networking, computers, and banking (I am in the financial industry), in one year on the job, then I did in the many years of college. I am not saying that college is of no value, but I am saying that I think it is over rated. A whole lot of buck, not much bang. And once I did get my degree? well I am still waiting for that ethereal raise.

          To sum it up, College is helpful, experience is great, but ultimately it?s going to come down to the make up of the individual and the ?personality? of the company. Some companies require degrees, some don?t. So do, but will bend the rules.

        • #2702993

          It is all about the individual

          by jnbtz ·

          In reply to a bit both ways

          I have been in the industry for 12 years. 2 with the private sector, 4 in a non-profit organization and 6 in state governement. I have an associate degree in advertising design. It does not exactly qualify me for the IT industry. I have A+ cert as well as my CNA. The certs always came down to the employer wanted the peice of paper, but it was the work experience and the knowledge of working on many networks in many environments that got me in the door in the first place.

          If the hiring entity needs the skills you posess and you have the personality to sell yourself at an interview (a fair indication as to how well someone may do in giving a presentation) you will be the person hired!

        • #2702976

          They both open doors, just different ones

          by tahiti16 ·

          In reply to a bit both ways

          After 26 years in the field i know a little about surviving. I also did not have a degree for many years. But when consulting on large $1 mil + clients would ask for resumes from the principles. Even though i had been working in the field for over 16 years at the time and an MCSE for 5 years they wanted to know if we had someone with a degree to lead the progect! Also some companies have the HR hopld that certain titles require a 4 year degree in order to even interview for the job. Those no amount of experience will get you by. Now by the same token a degree with no experience is not a gaurnteed slot either. If the only knowledge base someone has is from the hallowed halls with no practical experience that usually weighs against them also.

        • #2702717

          Remember one thing

          by mevcmv ·

          In reply to a bit both ways

          Certs can change and you can ‘forget’ to recertify. But a Degree can’t be taken away!!

        • #2702663

          Reply-“Remember One Thing”

          by rburello ·

          In reply to a bit both ways

          Degrees may stand forever but the knowledge gets old. Certs are renewed along with the knowledge.

        • #2702518

          I have been in this situation…

          by mary.armijo ·

          In reply to You are right!

          I have been in the situation where I had a hard time finding a good job because I lacked the experience but had the education. I luckily got into a very good position and have proved myself. In fact I will be applying for a Director position. I think personality and knowledge have a lot to do with it as well as work ethic. How can you possibly judge a person by education or experience. During the interview it is what the individual brings to the table. Certifications and degrees show that the person can make a commitment and complete it, however in my experience I have found that those with experience and no degree and limited in knowledge and only know what they have learned. Education does make you a well rounded person. If it weren’t for my degree I would have not been as successful with my new job.

        • #2705275

          And what about pure willingness to do/learn something

          by rdc02271 ·

          In reply to I have been in this situation…

          Some of you said that formal education gives more skills/knowledges than plain experience, but the truth is that those you wish to become the best will
          buy books,attend seminars/courses(not degree related) to improve their skills.
          This has nothing to do with formal education. A person may have a degree but their grades might be low. But then, when I think about it, do I want to hire someone that was the best in their class, but only knows what he/she has been taught at the university, or, someone with an average of C who has made a superb application, research work,etc that truly shows what that person is capable of?

          I have completed 3 of a 5 years degree. I left the university becomes I wasn’t learning anything I could not learn (at a lower cost) with a few books and the fundamental will power.

          Thanks for your attention and please be gentle when replying:)
          Jorge C.

        • #2717795

          I’m in that situation now.

          by qrubim ·

          In reply to I have been in this situation…

          I?m basically having the same problem but it?s just a little different. I just received my 4 year degree, a BA in Information Systems from a good school that is known for its engineering and computer science achievements. I?m fortunate to have 5 years experience in the IT field from win 9x to windows 2003 server and exchange 5.0 to 2003, Linux and etc? I even had a CCNA that just expired this year. I have noticed that even now I can not get my foot in the door in any company and I?m only some 10 miles away from New York City ?Thank goodness I still have my old job?. But to get back in track I have always been able to have a job in the industry because of my experience, the degree will help later on.

        • #2702489

          Pros and Cons either way

          by leketee ·

          In reply to You are right!

          Of course you can be successful with either situation. It’s up to the interested party who has the need to do a thorough and good enough investigation into the abilities of the candidates.

          But I agree that a good education should have it’s advantages, and does, and will almost all the time give you a well rounded individual who could successfully meet most of your challenges.

          Overall, mixing your knowledge and skills with faith in God will get you the best results.

        • #2702953

          RE: Pros and Cons either way

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to Pros and Cons either way

          > Overall, mixing your knowledge and
          > skills with faith in God will get you
          > the best results.

          Right. I’m sure God will be the deciding factor as to whether or not you get a particular job.

        • #2702467

          getting hired

          by trevor.clere ·

          In reply to You are right!

          I have the education. Decided to switch geers and went back for a Masters degre, MBA. Even earned two “specializations”. However, when it came time to interview, my lack of experience in my newly chosen field was very evident and EVERY employer wanted to hire me at entry level. I had already worked 8 years in Healthcare and spent an extra 3 yrs in grad school. A Pay cut was out of the question. Education is the foundation. Gave me a macro view of many things. Experience pays the bills. Hopefully my education will provide more opportunities in the long run. Experience is more valuable when job hunting (period).

        • #2710597


          by kphillips ·

          In reply to getting hired

          Thank you for your comments…I always thought the same way. If I was looking at a resume, and I saw that “Jane Doe” worked for 5 years at a local company that could be verified…and she had all the skills……. WHY WOULD I CHOOSE “JOE SMITH” with out any local work experience just because he has a degree? Its like making a blind date… you dont know what your getting.

        • #2702436

          Sediking best reasoning… NOT

          by red_wolf9 ·

          In reply to You are right!

          Following that logic, you should go to a general physician for brain surgery, because a Brain Surgeon is to specialized and can’t adapt to changes fast enough.

          There was no “luck” in my getting hired. I have no college degree and no certifications, but my hiring manager wasn’t so foolish enough to toss my resume in the trash (they like PROVEN track records). One interview and I was hired, guess even us “illiterates” can speak to managers in a professional way. Ever notice that it’s the people that went to college that perpetuate the myth that only college grads are good enough to employ (only if you too wasted tons of money can you be as smart as me).

          In closing while you were busy learning (book learning) and partying, I was busy doing (real world deadlines) so I could support my family. You know what the acronyms PhD and MCSE stand for don’t you?
          PhD = Piled higher and deeper
          MCSE = Must consult someone experienced (don?t get me started I have tons more on this one)

        • #2702383

          Agree with red_wolf

          by ebreder ·

          In reply to Sediking best reasoning… NOT

          I agree with red_wolf, having experience is definitely the most important thing to have. I have recently attained my MCSE, only after being in the industry for about 4 and a half years. I have seen plenty of people who would be termed as “paper MCSE’s” and just as many “degreed professionals”, neither of which have a clue as to what they are doing. So how could it possibly be drawn as a logical conclusion that either the certification or the degree should win out over the hard won experience earned by doing “your time in the trenches”?

        • #2702969

          I agree red_wolf

          by brian ·

          In reply to Sediking best reasoning… NOT

          20 years in the game, and the last official training I had was from Microsoft on DOS 5. There were no specific courses back then, so they came in direct and spread the gospel. Since then I have learned to survive in the real world providing real solutions, proven and tested. And the ability to get to the heart of most problems.

        • #2702863

          Agree w/”red_wolf

          by gaijinit ·

          In reply to Sediking best reasoning… NOT

          I have hired and worked with both graduates and non-graduates, and see no difference in the levels of ignorance or skill in either category (but definitely the grads score higher in the arrogance and playing politics categories), it all comes down to the individual, and I personally lean to the guy who made it on his own – decided what field he wanted to work in, got his certs (or just experience and a proven track record), and really wants to do the job.

          WTF does ‘Philosophy 101″ have to do with IT? There is so much time wasted in getting a ‘generally well-rounded education’ attending courses you will never use again and partying hearty instead of working in your field.

          If I need my IT people to make formal presentations, then I should make note of their abilities in that direction either in the hiring interview with some extra questions or by observing their documentation and work habits.

          Not all IT people may be suitable for standing up in the boardroom making a presentation, but having the college degree doesn’t guarantee such talent either. I have seen poor penmanship, spelling and stage fright from people with degrees just as much as from the ‘uneducated’.

          The only differences I have observed is that usually the college grads are quicker to come up with smokescreens such as “I’m too busy to worry about things like that, I leave it up to my secretary”. Well, la dee da!

          Making visual and oral presentations is a skill that can be learned after someone is hired if he/she is going to need it.

          Give me the hard-working self-achiever who loves his work, not the ones who feel the world owes them a favor for gracing it with their divine presence.

        • #2702854

          Thank You

          by gjanes ·

          In reply to Sediking best reasoning… NOT

          24 years and yet so much more to give. If I had wasted the 1st 4 years on paper I couldn’t afford tonight’s MGD.

        • #2710596

          MCSE HAHAHA!

          by kphillips ·

          In reply to Sediking best reasoning… NOT

          KEEP IT UP!

        • #2702379

          The last two posts talk about a degree but

          by imit ·

          In reply to You are right!

          In the last two posts the authors discuss the need for a degree in order to be well rounded and express yourself well to management, however the lack of proper grammer and spelling would make it impossible to make a professional presentation. If both of these indiviuals worked in my organization I would never allow them to present anything to management.

        • #2702325


          by crake ·

          In reply to The last two posts talk about a degree but

          How ironic, imit. You wrote, “…however the lack of proper /grammer/ and spelling.”

        • #2702312

          I’ve also been in this position

          by tigertim ·

          In reply to The last two posts talk about a degree but

          I have a diploma and not a degree and many years of experience. I’ve worked with people who have degrees. Some are very good and others are not.

          In a previous job, the management rehired a former employee solely on the basis of his computer science degree. He was useless. Even the other degree holders in the company couldn’t fathom his qualifications. He would frequently ask me how to do programming in C as well as other mundane tasks.

          On one occasion he disabled the company’s firewall and virus scanner so he could download a file from the net. The result: a virus hit our LAN and we were down for two days while the IT department and I repaired the damage.

          When I was employed by a government department, I frequently “held the hands” of fresh undergraduates who hadn’t a clue of what to do. Ironically, they looked down on me and my co-workers because they had degrees, while we only had diplomas + experience.

          To be fair, my colleagues who have degrees have stated that a having a degree does not necessarily mean a smarter or better employee. It’s basically the individual.

        • #2702958

          Grammar “ain’t” answering the original question

          by eriksblues ·

          In reply to The last two posts talk about a degree but

          Egotistical comments directed at others … how considerate and thoughtful … when all someone asked was a degree or experience. This forum is NOT preparation for a PHD … Get real. Went to college … been there, done that, and it had nothing to do with computers. Learned because I wanted to, needed to and did it by “hands on” … ANY employment opportunity becomes what the individual can or cannot make of it. HR pays more for degrees, yet management makes exceptions and rewards experience. Research the companies, personnel profiles, histories and follow your own path! Make a decision and the go for it!

        • #2702950

          RE: The last two posts talk about a degree but

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to The last two posts talk about a degree but

          > however the lack of proper grammer and spelling
          > If both of these indiviuals worked in my
          > organization I would never allow them to
          > present anything to management.

          What orgranization would that be, “grammer” boy?

        • #2702908


          by techrepublic ·

          In reply to The last two posts talk about a degree but

          Great. As a recent undergrad in Information Systems, I look forward to making those decisive presentations on your behalf. For a fee…

        • #2702890

          Lucky Bastard

          by puzzlemaster003 ·

          In reply to You are right!

          I agree, that and how many tech jobs are in your area. I have an A+ Cert and trying to find a place that would hire me. One more thing that we shouldn’t forget: networking plays a BIG role in the IT industry. So big that the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know” seems fiercely legit.

        • #2702881

          whatever you lack get it

          by ·

          In reply to You are right!

          Your actual expertise aside, when a hiring agent looks at your resume and sees no degree, it counts against you, not for you. When the same person sees a degree and no experience, its the same thing. You need both. Typically, a degree is not necessary to perform technically inclined jobs, but the higher you go up in any organization, the more necessary your soft skills become. i.e. communication skills, interpersonal skills, and an overall understaning of the organization as a whole, not just IT. People who do not have degrees are always defending why they don’t need one, but when you go to an interview, chances are the person conducting the interview has one. So, why are you wondering if you should get one.

        • #2702872

          Someone needs to broaden their Horizons

          by harvkim ·

          In reply to You are right!

          I’ve read enough to know that experience cost more and its harder to beat the person right out of college for the money positions. They can be retained for less money overall. The seasoned IT pro can usally take in more options and apply the new options faster because the seasoned IT pro is always looking to improve network and system performance. The book smart college grad usally comes to the IT pro for pointers and help or they say I know more because my school says so. This is coming from experince where I work.

          College is great but I was turned in a different direction i.e. get the certs and experence first then apply it to college courses. I find that the common sense of the field helps me and my employer. Good luck to all.

        • #2702845

          Definitive Answer

          by gperreault ·

          In reply to You are right!

          Let’s face it, IT folks fall into one of several categories:

          Wannabe – This person has been working with computers in his/her garage and fancies himself the next Bill Gates. Frequently has helpful ideas …if only you’d give him access to the router. He doesn’t know jack.

          Nick Burns – From SNL- this is an arrogant (degreed or not) person who lauds his skills over everyone. He takes delight in his cleverness and always works with “idiots”. The non degreed variety never misses an opportunity to belittle college graduates and executives or make them feel stupid.

          Paper Tiger – Once hired one of these. You name it, she had it. Must have had the entire alphabet behind her name. Didn’t know how to install RAM. Currently teaching MCSE classes.

          Snot Nose – Kid right out of college who thinks he has an entitlemnt…to big bucks. May have graduated Magna cum laude, very bright, but leaves a path of destruction in his wake. Knows it all, doesn’t listen, and frequently unable to find his car in the lot after work.

          The professional – This person has a capacity to learn. They frequently have a degree, but it is not a prerequisite. They have the intellect and capacity to be adaptable and learn new skills, generally the first time around. They are proactive. They have people skills and are good communicators, providing quality service to both the secretary and the CEO. They are committed to a vision and recognize their role is one of servant leader, not a Tech God.

          Hope that clears it up.

        • #2705385

          Reply To: Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

          by blatkn ·

          In reply to You are right!

          I hope you are right because I’ve been fortunate in my life finding good jobs. I’m one class away from my CIS degree, but have not garnered any certs as yet. Wish me luck.

        • #2717240

          Degree or not…

          by poppi ·

          In reply to You are right!

          Degree verses experience. It is simply this… an individual with a degree and no experience shows he is capable of understanding and applying what he has learned. Experience is dependent on how much… if it is considerable, that person too has shown capability and would be far more valuable if an immediate need is met. It is all relevent to the circumstance. Degree or not is not the most important consideration! Unless of course the job requirement says, 4 year degree!

        • #2702488

          Bovine Excrement

          by eschlangen ·

          In reply to degree is better

          We have MANY degreed individuals that not only do not have a “broader view of everything” but are barely able to function in their area of specialization with supervision. I have found that the good people are good with or without a piece of paper (either degree OR certification). You MUST look at the individual instead of being lazy and only looking at a piece of paper.

        • #2702471

          It is all the individual

          by joel ·

          In reply to Bovine Excrement

          I have seen all kinds of people come into this field. Some have taken their degree and undelying abilities and have done great. On the other hand. I have seen some very top notch programmers (and other IT people) who don’t have a degree and are at the top of their field. Love him or hate him, Bill Gates did pretty well for no degree.

          Just for the record I have an associates degree in business and never finished my 4 year degree, because it was in another field and this is the field that I belong in. I’ve been successful for an awful lot of years.

        • #2702451

          Experience is the real driver

          by unixdude ·

          In reply to Bovine Excrement

          What I see is that when a position opens up, whether new or as a replacement, management is looking for the qualifications and capabilities to do that job immediately. The candidate with experience is the person who can jump right in and contribute immediately, as opposed to the person with only a degree, who will take much longer to learn the ropes. The candidate with a degree does have a more well-rounded education, and is “teachable”, but the way technology changes from day to day, a lot of the college technical training is obsolete when he graduates. There are technical colleges in my local area that are still teaching obsolete material! I would prefer the experienced person, but you do have to look at personality and work ethics to get the right person as well.

        • #2702421

          Well rounded?

          by silari ·

          In reply to Bovine Excrement

          Many, many self-made millionaires do not have degrees. Why? Being consistent with what a group of individuals believes you should know and think awards the degree. Self-made millionaires can think out of the box. Degreed individuals, think one way — even with a broad knowledge base, innovation in thinking makes a difference.

          So to wholesale say degrees make a difference is wrong. To say that individuals that know how to be successful will probably have a degree is correct. You can also argue the point that a degree has little to do with success. I have seen many people with degrees that have a difficultly deciding which way to roll out of bed.

          So the bottom line is success is determined by the individual not on level of education or certifications (remember the saying good students learn in spite of the teacher). Continuing education and certifications would be an attribute of a successful person (read good employee).

        • #2702417

          Well rounded?

          by silari ·

          In reply to Bovine Excrement

          Many, many self-made millionaires do not have degrees. Why? Being consistent with what a group of individuals believes you should know and think awards the degree. Self-made millionaires can think out of the box. Degreed individuals, think one way — even with a broad knowledge base, innovation in thinking makes a difference.

          So to wholesale say degrees make a difference is wrong. To say that individuals that know how to be successful will probably have a degree is correct. You can also argue the point that a degree has little to do with success. I have seen many people with degrees that have a difficultly deciding which way to roll out of bed.

          So the bottom line is success is determined by the individual not on level of education or certifications (remember the saying good students learn in spite of the teacher). Continuing education and certifications would be an attribute of a successful person (read good employee).

        • #2702407

          Thank You

          by barrystacy441 ·

          In reply to Bovine Excrement

          I totally agree with you.
          “You MUST look at the individual instead of being lazy and only looking at a piece of paper.”

          I was a welder for 19 years until a corporate buy out eliminated my job. I went to a local community college and loaded up on all the IT courses but never got back to finish my Associates.
          I also agree with the person who posted about “luck” playing a role. I missed out on some jobs because I didn’t have the sheepskin. I am in a job now that I love.

          You need to find a person during the hiring process who is not afraid to tell you that they do not know how to do a specific task but is willing to do whatever it takes to learn. I was able to convey that during my interview and took an entry level job. I say communication skills and the “want” to learn is more important than the sheepskin.

          Why was The Computer Guy from Saturday Night Live so funny? Because he was so (unfortunately) true to form.

        • #2702369

          Degree Envy

          by jheath ·

          In reply to Bovine Excrement

          I see this response a great deal from those who have not completed a degree or barely completed it. I gained training and ten years of experience in electronics from time in the military. When I applied for jobs in the civilian world, I was rejected for lack of a degree. I went back and got the degree and am now upping the ante with a Masters. The degree gets you in the door. I have four technicians and none have a degree. They were the only ones that applied for positions that needed to be filled. I have a new position open and I am looking heavily for a degree or certifications. I do not have the time to teach someone everything from how to ping and so forth. A degreed person does possess a well rounded education. They can do presentations and prepare documentation better than non-degreed that I have dealt with. I have been in both boats and the degree is the best choice if all criteria are met within the interview. Education, bearing, and experience are all important to assess. If you are looking only at a resume or application for hiring, then you are not hiring responsibly. We test perspective employees on network and technical knowledge as part of the interview process.

        • #2702892

          Getting the heat out

          by womble ·

          In reply to Degree Envy

          There are a number of issues that need adressing
          1/ the first problem in getting a job is to get past the Recruitment agency filters. When there are 400 applicants for 1 job, you need to ensure that you can passage through the initial filtering stage, an especially important point when going through career change. A good recruiter is able to account for experience but there is a large number out there who take the easy option of prequalifying for degrees
          2/ the proportion of degree qualified people has grown from 2% of the population in 1970 to 30% now. Where people used to go to technical colleges, and night school to get technical quals, now it is expected that you go to university. This has resulted in a large portion of degree qualified people who are unable to find work without experience. Their alternative is to return to university and upgrade to a higher qualification is often resorted to.
          3/Good managers are also able to manage this by trying for a well rounded team. By mixing and matching, you are able to increase your preformance significantly. When recruiting they generally look at 3 criteria
          Can they do the job? Experience or Quals or a mix can prove this
          Will they stick around to do it? It costs to recruit.
          Will they fit into my team? This is the hardest to measure, and is usually based on if the manager believes the candidate has empathy with the team (Thats why you get teams of people who all seem similar, even if they come from different bacgrounds)
          I hope that this illuminates the issue

        • #2708954


          by pka ·

          In reply to Bovine Excrement

          Forget the degree or cert. I’ll hire good experience every time. The more rounded the better. Education? I’ll train my own help if they demonstrate a willingness to learn.

        • #2702487

          A matter of opinion

          by tux_vader ·

          In reply to degree is better

          While I do agree that a College education should provide you a well-rounded education, any individual with initiative can get that and more without pursuing a degree. Just for the record, I do not have a degree, however, I have taken numerous college courses covering many different subjects from advanced English literature to organizational management. I’ve actually taken so many courses that I could complete my degree with six more classes.

          In the time that I’ve taken courses, I’ve also been gaining experience by working. And although I’ve been in the IT field for the last 10 years, I’ve also held positions in marketing and operations management. I’ve learned about the industry I support from all aspects. So while someone else may have been toiling away in the business management class, I was gaining both experience and education at the same time.

          Ultimately, I believe that it’s up to each individual to determine the best path for them. Don’t pursue a degree only because you think there may be a larger pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Because by the time you get to the end, there will be a larger pot at the end of someother rainbow. You see this mentality with technical certification: “What cert is going to make me the most money…and where’s the nearest bootcamp?”

        • #2702453


          by comptech3 ·

          In reply to A matter of opinion

          I turned wrenches for 15 years before I decided to make a career change. I take college courses part-time, but like you, I’m also getting experience on the job.

          My major is management. The reason for this is that even if I don’t become a manager, what I learn will increase my perspective of the big picture and give me soft skills that will transfer with me wherever I go. Another motivation is that my employer is a college and provides free tuition vouchers. I’d be stupid not to take advantage of them.

          You are right. A degree should be pursued because it will benefit you in the big picture, not as a ticket to the biggest salary.

        • #2702458

          Well rounded in English?

          by bwilson ·

          In reply to degree is better

          Judging by your reply, I would guess that you missed English 101. I personally would not want to put this type of reply in front of an executive or a customer.

        • #2705380

          Barry please elaborate

          by c_djraj ·

          In reply to Well rounded in English?

          Barry please elaborate. What does English 101 got to do with this? Please address your answer directly to me at
          Looking forward….Thanks a lot, Chris

        • #2702455

          Educated doesn’t mean intelligent

          by brian hertziger ·

          In reply to degree is better

          Two sides definitely exist for this debate:

          Colleges usually lag behind current technologies when businesses have embraced them.

          Companies don’t implement some technologies because the older ones work

          Some students come through college thinking what they learned was the only way, without the benefit of experience to understand the difference.

          Most recent grads needed to be taught everything, like they had no knowledge.

          Often the way things are taught in schools must be completely or partially discarded to work in the business environment.

          I’ve had a more than a few experiences with those who were exceptional students, but failed to comprehend.

          Experience tends to create some adaptability which is critical when dealing with issues.

          I would usually rate experience as the more valuable side of the equation as it does imply exposure in real world situations. I also generally give experience a 1:2 ratio — one year experience is like 2 years of college.

          Further, those who gain certifications like the MSCE that we call the “paper MSCE” tend to drive down the value of that certification for those who have it and generally understand it. For that reason, I tend to pass on “overly certified” candidates.

          Lastly, those going through school tend to get lofty expectations regarding salary that cause them to ask for salaries that are beyond pratical. In the post dot-bust, slower economy, and shrinking IT budgets those high expectations are just not feasible

          Of course, like anything there always exist exceptions to the rule, but I’ve hired many people and this has served me well.

        • #2702873

          get full time experience work part time on education

          by bizman ·

          In reply to Educated doesn’t mean intelligent

          Brian makes some very good points. Let me add some to each of his.

          RE: >> I would usually rate experience as the more valuable side of the equation as it does imply exposure in real world situations.

          I teach at a community college, as well as work as an IT professional. I relate pretty well to my students, and I try to go beyond the text book and relate some of my “real world” experience to them. When I need to learn something new I usually look for someone like myself, who is a working IT professional, who teaches part time. My frustration with many IT instructors is that they are professional instructors, not IT professionals. For that reason, I don’t think anyone can say for sure that education alone is enough. There is a value in experience that seldom is duplicated in a training enviroment.

          RE: >> I tend to pass on “overly certified” candidates.

          This remark has me thinking a bit. Do you only list a few? Do you guess on what you think they are looking for? Are you saying that if I had several unrelated certifications on my resume I would scare you away? What is “overly certified”?

          RE: >> Lastly, those going through school tend to get lofty expectations regarding salary that cause them to ask for salaries that are beyond pratical.

          This is not just a post dot-bust issue, I saw this 20 years ago when I was applying for jobs going up against newly graduated college grads. I was already in the field a few years, and had a good idea for the going wage for techs, only I was working for a small company and was looking for a shot to work for a larger one. As I would chat in interview waiting rooms, I would hold my laughter as I would here new graduates discuss the minimum they would accept. I don’t think it has changed much in 20 years. There are many good companies out there to work for, if you are willing to start at entry level job, and work your way up the ladder.

          Maybe I’m showing my age, and my own personal bias, but I think it is harder for someone like myself, who has been in the business for many years, to jump jobs.

          The bottom line answer to the question, Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired? I say yes, absolutely.

          Learning really is life long. And I think anyone in technology understands that. If you can get some full time experience, while you work part time on your education, I really think that is the best of both worlds.

        • #2702438

          Sheepskin no guarantee of quality

          by jkstill ·

          In reply to degree is better

          The assumption that a person with a degree will be a more rounded person is pure hogwash.

          I have worked with a number of people with CompSci degrees, many people with or without any degrees, and people with or without any certifications.

          It has been at times surprising to learn of the level of education of some individuals after working with them for awhile.

          Some very bright people that I have worked with have had degrees. Also some people that were somewhat less luminent. I have also worked with some outstanding people that oddly enough, do not have a degree. As with the degreed, there are also some that don’t shine too brightly.

          None of the preceding pieces of paper offer any guarantee that the individual is more than marginally competent. And that statement may be generous.

          A degree is valuable for getting you an interview.
          After that, an individuals drive, intelligence, curiousity and ability to build relationships with coworkers are what makes an individual a valuable employee.

          The last attribute mentioned is actually the most important.

        • #2702428

          Interesting Answer – Facts?

          by tony1865 ·

          In reply to degree is better

          Trying not to be too critical here. Your synopsis was filled with grammer and spelling errors. Hard to believe a college graduate would make these simple mistakes. I am certified in my field and continue to progress, my boss would never accept communication in the form that you submitted on this subject.

          You state “So a person with a degree when hired has a broader view of everything hence can modify develop and think of other ways to solve the problem after he got to learn what the company is all about.i.e,what is expected of him.”

          Question, how could you have a broader view of everything when you haven’t logged day one in a corporate IT environment? Are you going to draw on your vast classroom experience when the mail server craps out and you have hundreds of customers calling for immediate action? I don’t think college is bad, it is a good way to start a career in IT, but it is not the only way. People with certifications have to work harder, learn to adapt to new and changing challenges, and also stay current with changing technologies. Most certified people do it because they love it and not just for the bucks. Most college people I have seen (not all) have a hard time with change, and believe that their way is the only right way. A little arrogance (or a lot) on occasion. After 5-10 years a college degree doesn’t hold a candle to experience and continuing certifications.

        • #2705377

          Oh, so painfully true!

          by mrleo1957 ·

          In reply to Interesting Answer – Facts?

          I spent years running a network for a major corporation. No degree, no formalized training, but I went from temp to network manager in three years. I spent a great deal of time bailing our degreed programmers out of trouble, because once they hit a snag that hadn’t been covered in class they were useless. Now I have a degree (in Business) and some certs, but they are just eye candy. they may get you a job, but they won’t help you keep it if you can’t do the work.

        • #2702350

          Hiring managers Self-Confidence/Self-worth

          by murdo ·

          In reply to degree is better

          I have been reading the responses to this conundrum we seem to have in the IT industry – to degree or not to degree, what is the answer?

          Well first let me point out that I am a 56 year old pro without a degree. I started in 1969. Taught myself IBM 360 assembler and cobol. Have been consultant, programmer, systems analyst, manager, etc.

          I have always been comfortable with my level of expertise. I know when I am in deep water and need to be saved or assisted through a swamp full of aligators.

          Being in this comfort zone has allowed me to hire and work with people who know as much and in most cases, more than I do. It didn’t matter if the individuals I worked with had degree or not. It was important to me that they were competent in the field, confident in them selves and that there was mutual respect.

          Having a degree does not make you more intelligent! It provides you with a base of knowledge to work from, a way of thinking and it shows that you have “stick-to-itiveness” or drive .

          From the ramblings of the “hire-only-a-degreed” IT pro, I get the feeling that they are either elitest or not sufficiently comfortable with themselves.

          There is no way a new university grad can have the knowledge and experience of a person who has worked in the industry for any given period of time, degreed or not degreed.

          I beginning to ramble as well… This is a hot topic for me because I have run into it quite often. Especially in the last 10 years.

          Cheers, Newbutold

        • #2702948

          Pick someone based on what they’ve proved they can do

          by drew.mcbee-tradesmeninternational ·

          In reply to degree is better

          As most have said, it depends on the individual.

          HOWEVER – here’s why the person with experience is generally a better choice: 1.) The background/certifications that they have were earned the hard way. 2.) They weren’t simply guided through the motions of education(college). They wanted it, went after it, and got it themselves – nobody gave it to them. 3.) Many of the people who do NOT have a degree, appreciate thier position, and understand how hard it is to get a job, thus they are more inclined to perform. 4.) Finally, I have known many “educated” folks (two who worked as my assistants)who really struggled with technical things, even though thier degree, or certification said they could do these things.

          The answer: Pick someone based on what they’ve proved they can do, not based on what that piece of paper SAYS they can do.

        • #2702865


          by kkurnia ·

          In reply to Pick someone based on what they’ve proved they can do

          IMHO: You can’t expect too always hire somebody that have had experience, because then there would be no place for freshmen. You’ll simply just wipe out chances for somebody to prove themselves.

          But, I agree that a degree doesn’t give us the skills that we want, but more into our passion towards technology that matters. I know people that has a degree but (just like you said) struggle thru technical things. but I also know people with the exact same background that turn to be briliiant and fast learners, regardless of grades that they’ve got when they were in colleges.

          I have a degree myself, and what I feel about my UNI times; I feel that I’ve got well rounded foundations to move forward, especially with real-world projects that we had in UNI. I believe I’ve got my first job partially because I have a degree. But most importantly in our career path, especially in IT are continous learning and passion about the technology itself. A degree I think will help us open the door, but the rest is entirely up to ourselves.

          But, too some stage we have too have a little bit of faith for the educational systems. It shows at least that the person who got thru the UNI degree has commitments to finish what they started. And of course it is up too us who do the interview to judge if someone is really worthy to be hired or just a paper based technologist, who knows nothing except for the certificate that they bring.

        • #2702935

          Value of College Degree

          by norman9 ·

          In reply to degree is better

          A college degree is a rite of passage in the business world. Regardless of what the major or degree is in, it demonstrates (in theory, anyway) that the person has a fair amount of overall intelligence and the discipline it took to graduate from college. It used to be that a high school diploma was the big milestone, but the world of work evolved to where it wasn’t enough. The college degree is now what the high school diploma used to be. Even a general Liberal Arts degree carries the “college graduate” aura of an educated person.

          It’s not an either/or deal….experience and certifications AND a college degree go a longer way together than either by itself toward making you an attractive prospect. Also, certifications BY THEMSELVES don’t carry the weight they used to. It’s one thing to take a course and cram for a certification exam, but that doesn’t count as much without on-the-job experience anymore. Except maybe at poor school district, non-profit organization or similar where they can’t offer a lot of money and will hire someone lower on the experience scale. I’m a 54-year-old college grad who changed careers to the IT field four years ago, by getting my A+ certification and having 15 years of computers as a hobby. I started at $17,500 as a tech in a school district to get my foot in the door and build on-the-job paid work experience. I’m now at another school district making a lot more.

        • #2702886

          Sorry buddy but I knew my stuff before I got my degree

          by nigel2 ·

          In reply to degree is better

          Hello there all those who avertise for a job candidate to have 1st or a 2:1 . Sorry to dissapoint you but I had my wide knowledge before the degree I got 5 years ago. Also I got a Computing Bsc 2:2 but many of my peers who I helped got higher degrees than me although they did not even really understand the subject, they were just good at sitting exams. Incidently recently I sat a technical test related to coding I beat those with higer degrees than me hands down. Contact this guy :-

          George Hillier
          Senior Consultant
          Alan Morris Recruitment Ltd
          020 8417 0656

          if you dont beleive me. My 2:2 is worth more than most 1sts now, partly becuase the standards are falling and so many students are cheating anyway.

          Kind regards,


        • #2717420

          A course or two in English might help…

          by jamesjmots ·

          In reply to Sorry buddy but I knew my stuff before I got my degree

          “…I helped got higher degrees…”
          “…did not even understand…”
          “…dont beleive me…”

          You may be a helluva coder, but prose is not your forte.

        • #2702855

          What? Educated?

          by gjanes ·

          In reply to degree is better

          I am a high school drop-out, a tech-school drop-out, and a corporate executive. I have the pleasure of working with an IT professional with a 4-year degree – this individual has trouble remembering how to get home. I have worked with tech-school graduates who cannot carry a conversation in real-time… try to decipher one of those emails.
          Base line on this is that education is a wonderful thing. The question is what one does with that education – is it a waste of time and money or does it add value to the indivuals natural talents?

        • #2704539

          You need a degree in writing

          by cshipman ·

          In reply to degree is better

          I hate to say it, but if you have a degree, why then, do you write so poorly?

        • #2710809

          Experience is better

          by tonyh ·

          In reply to degree is better

          If you’re talking about 19 to 21 year old techs a degree may be better. But in my 20 years experience i can tell ya that one fresh from school generally has no idea how computers work. All they ahve seen is XP and win2k. Maybe even a Cisco switch here and there. And programming… they teach programming with visual languages and rarely get any formal troubleshooting training. Ideally you have both. I degree proves that a person is willing to go to the trouble of school but experience is the keeper every time.

        • #2710341

          The person and the degree

          by bashar9090 ·

          In reply to degree is better

          The degree person get to know more than one thing in his/her education which makes him relatively having good knowledge in more than one field, rather who get certificate who is attached to that certificate. But in many times you can see degree people who lack the do stuff, and you can see certified person who has wide knowledge and do ability. I believe that its a matter of the person himself and its abilities, and well to know more and more and do more and more

        • #2716443

          different view

          by mdodd ·

          In reply to degree is better

          As a person that has a degree and now experience, I find that I lose most of the knowledge I gained in school because the majority of it is not put to use. The old saying “Use it or lose it” is very true. I find myself going back to the books for some of the very basic stuff and plan on going back to school for things I do not use at all just for a refresher.

        • #2702562


          by langstonha1 ·

          In reply to How small minded

          I’m trying to get hired now and I have a degree and cert. The folks that interview me would like me to have more experience. I have over five years but this is my second career and I think they would also like a little younger person (I’m 47) even though they can’t say that.

        • #2702557

          Second chances

          by cfc01 ·

          In reply to Experience

          Congratulations on having the courage to change your career.

          A pointer – If you are good, you are good. Age does not come into it.

          If the job market does not pan out – do freelance work until you have proven experience, and maybe by then, the entrepreneurial bug might have bitten you and you may choose to stay with your own business.

          Been there – done it – Sold the T shirt and consulting services to the to the guys that did not want to employ me!

        • #2702526

          Face The Truth

          by hanrahan99 ·

          In reply to Second chances

          I am 54 years old, I have never spent a single day in a college classroom. I have been in the IT industry since 1972. I have led many technial projects with IT professionals who had doctorates, masters etc… Conclusion: The most productive IT professionals are the ones who LOVE what they are doing and possesing certifications or degrees is unrelated. Another comment: I prefer well rounded core competent professionals over specialists.

        • #2702442

          Age does count!!

          by desertwman ·

          In reply to Second chances

          I know that education and experience both can get you a job. I have enough University Credit to get a masters degree but never got the paper (a story for another venue) and over 10 years technical experience. But the limiting factor in my job hunt seems to be my age and gender. There are lots of young grads with a couple of years experience which seem to be preferable to a grey haired grandma.

        • #2702416

          I agree with you

          by lhjr1947 ·

          In reply to Age does count!!

          Nobody wants to admit that they want younger (less salaried) people that they can work to death and then toss them out like a dirty old rag. I’m 56 with over 15 years experience programming business database applications. I have the latest .Net Certs and when they call me for an interview they comment how impressed they are with my experience and qualifications UNTIL they see me in person and then its the old “Thanks for coming in, we’ll get in touch with you” YEA RIGHT. Don’t hold your breath. I have been searching for almost 2 years now. So NO ONE is going to tell me that age is not a factor. Maybe I should move to INDIA (where my job was sent) and work over there for $30 a month. Thanks to George Dubya and his Haliburton buddies.

        • #2702544


          by richard.gossett ·

          In reply to Experience

          Ideally, experience in a related job will win over education only. Expecially if the job requires special skills. In most cases, individuals gain that knowledge not only on hands on, but through a solid base of basic education.
          I think that most will agree that you can’t be technical unless you can read and understand technical manuals and apply mathematical equations to such things as binary, octal, etc.
          You never stop learning, and to advance in our field, experience needs to be balanced by higher education in order to advance.
          Final note: For those interested in gaining both an education and experience. The govt does hire “co-ops”. These are individuals going to school and working at the hospitals in their related field. Pay is not the highest, but it beats Burger King.

        • #2702463

          Bill Gates?

          by problemslayer ·

          In reply to Experience

          Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Bill Gates dropped out of college. Now I am not suggesting anyone emulate him per say, but I do know of some very successful people who did not have a formal degree. I think it really comes down to initiative on the individual to learn, gain experience, broaden their horizons. If you can find such an individual you should hire them, degree or not.

        • #2702371

          Imagine our world if Bill stayed in school

          by vawwkayaker ·

          In reply to Bill Gates?

          Imagine the world if Bill Gates had stayed at Harvard (or was it Yale) to get his degree. How much would he be worth? How much would YOU be worth?

          I guess having and not having a degree really does make a difference . . . but which has more benefit ??!!

        • #2702367

          Bill Gates

          by jheath ·

          In reply to Imagine our world if Bill stayed in school

          One key point to make is that Bill Gates did attend college. He just did not complete the degree.

        • #2702392

          I’ll take experience

          by blueknight ·

          In reply to Experience

          I’ll take verifiable experience over education. Not that education isn’t worth anything, it is, but if you have a couple of good candidates with about the same experience level, then education may be the tie breaker. Education alone isn’t the deciding factor for me, I’d rather see good, rounded experience.

          I spent the first 16 years of my career without any degree. Everything I knew, I learned on the job, but back then companies were willing and able to provide OJT. I eventually went back to school and got a dual AA degree in Computer Science and Business Management.

          My experience is what has gotten me every job I have had. Although not in management these days, I am still asked to consult in the interview and hiring process. Education alone to me is like someone having only a CNE for example. Sure they’re certified, but it doesn’t show they can DO the work.

          Get all the experience you can and cultivate good references for when you need them… and don’t burn your bridges.

          BTW… 8 years ago, I was hired into my current position at age 47. Age discrimination IS alive and well – unfortunately. In the end, it was my experience that got me the position, so keep at it.

        • #2702415

          Small minded

          by kktm123 ·

          In reply to How small minded

          Very well put. The misconception that degree holders are somehow mentally far superior to non-degree holders is a farce. It does depend on the individual. I have seen complete idiots with degrees who live in a theoretical world and cannot come to terms with the practical real world concept. I have hired folks like this and been disappointed. I have also hired great people on both sides of the divide. If they can do what you need them to do and they can back it up then they should be given a chance, degree or otherwise.

        • #2702376

          I agree

          by vawwkayaker ·

          In reply to How small minded

          I totally agree that a degree does not = more value. In my generalize opinion, degrees are more about the displine of learning. Sure you capture knowledge, but really your purpose is to prepare you for the future, which is continuous learning. Certifications are more about acquiring and mastering specific skills and concepts. Both add value, although one has the potential for broader and long-term benefits, but don’t fall into the misconception that a Certificate is a blue-collar trait. I have a non IT degree, IT related certificates, and IT work experience. I use/used each of these at different points in my carrer. Oh yeah . . I can talk and present to management as well, but I did not get that from a degree. I got it from my wife. (i.e. you don’t get social skills from studying).


        • #2702356

          Skills prevail along with proven track record

          by willy macwindows ·

          In reply to How small minded

          I have neither certification or degree, only a long history of quality IT performance. On top of this I have strong interpersonal and communication skills. Meeting the demands of management in preparing white papers and presentations does require some education, however each is attainable through educating yourself in what your clients require.

          I guess what I am getting at is that it is the ability of the individual not what is written on a piece of paper – and the confidence to sell it.

        • #2705368

          Degree or no degree

          by nico ·

          In reply to How small minded

          I don’t think it was perpetuated in the response. It was merely stated that a degree gets you easier through HR and perhaps holds less risk for the hiring manager. If the hiree turns out to be a dud and without a degree, the boss is going to look at your ability to hire. If the mess comes by someone who holds a PhD, chances are everyone would say “bad apple” and move on.

        • #2705288

          Basic Business Skills

          by gario ·

          In reply to How small minded

          I think it’s the individual. As a hiring Manager, I have found graduates have more ability to work the basic business IT skills such as project management, budgeting, inventory, presentations etc., while my certified individuals not only man the network and machines, but act as consultants, and mentors to the entry level individuals (above). So again, I say it’s really the hiring Manager that counts. It’s a mix.

        • #2710600

          I will take “hands on” over “degree” any day.

          by kphillips ·

          In reply to How small minded

          Simply put, anyone with reasonable brains can take a class and pass it. But put in “real life” situations…like the ones I see daily..these “text book junkies” are just not prepared.Sure they know what causes this and that…and how it works…but when the system is down and you have a multi-million dollar company loosing money and everyone’s stress level is at high…just see how great that “degree” will help you…I have been currently 6 yrs. on this job and it is a factor of all past problems and solutions that keep me in the “know”. I keep files on all troubleshooting problems in the past and you have to be a great diagnostian and know where to start first all the while you have co-workers calling your phone constantly asking you when the system will be up…and what are you doing to hurry it along…etc. And you cannot ever forget the simplest things…like the other day…someone accidentally just unplugged the RJ-45 from the wall…connection went down on two isolated pc..and network printers…gee…I CAN SEE THAT “DEGREE” ON THE SERVER NOW…JUST LOOKING AT EVENT VIEWER…WASTING TIME…
          I am not against getting a degree, but for me…I have all the skills and experience but I AM A MUTT…NO PAPERS…

        • #2709081

          Agree 100% Ignorant statement

          by bcgreaves ·

          In reply to How small minded

          Of coures I do not have a paper stating “College Grad” which in my opinion is an accomplishment, BUT many of today’s “College Grads” are frauds respectively. Having a degree proves that you have the ability to learn and be desciplined when it comes to some grads, but with others, that paper could have been received in many different ways ie: rich parents, fraudulently, online (by guess who? techs!), and a slew of different avenues. I for one was in the sales business and have developed quite a knack for dealing with others, public speaking, presentations and so forth. Now that I have an MCSE (whoopty freaking Do!), a CCNA, A+ cert, and a bunch of other crap is the only reason why I am in the position I’m in: Network Administrator. This is the same guy who has passed people like me over time and time again, but I have the last laugh now. $75 plus yearly, and I LOVE my job ! I learn something new every single day. Screw him….

        • #2702567


          by cclef ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          The bottom line is experience. If you can demonstrate, or explain how your class/lab experience gave you a real life experience, and then translate to how that will enable you to perform on a day to day job, that will be a great positive. Unfortunately, a lot of employers are still looking for the degree to back up anything you have. If you are fortunate enough to get a face to face, and explain your life experience, then the degree may not weigh in as much. But still in these times, HR still looks for the degrees.

        • #2702542

          Something else to consider

          by alphastate ·

          In reply to Experience=Education

          I have found that having a degree will open a lot more doors, ie., oportunities, than with experience alone. Consider things from the Human Resources point of view. Suppose they hire a guy who doesn’t or can’t live up to his claims. Then they have to fire him or find some way of getting rid of them, which is a can of worms in and of itself, and THEN they have to go through the whole search and hire process again. Lots of wasted time and money.

          If a person has a degree, the probability that the individual, especially if he (or she) has good grades, knows what they are doing is greater. And even if they don’t know, how fast can they learn? Hiring good qualified people is a crap shoot at best, and they just want to up the odds in their favor as much as possible.

          But consider this, throughout my career, I have seen over and over and over guys get promoted who were way less qualified technically than their co-workers. Why? Because they knew how to schmooze. They played golf with the boss, went to the bosses parties, brown nosed, the whole bit. People with good social skills will almost always get ahead of the people who are very technically superior and who are absolute pricks to live with.

        • #2702446

          My Experience Agrees

          by a.d.e.p.t ·

          In reply to Experience=Education

          The only training I have received equates with what professional schoold offer – no colllege, no university.

          But my desire to keep learning and to undertake new projects and new skills has given me a reputation as an uncanny problem solver.

          I am now sysadmin for a national organization, specializing in SMS2003 and BlackBerry handhelds (with experience in Win servers, Netware and Unix) – fields where the habitual MCSE hunters don’t usually like to graze.

          Willingness to keep learning is more appreciated of employers, I think, than an actual degree.

        • #2702549


          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          You have got to be kidding. The ability to communicate _clearly_ is not automatically bestowed with a college degree. In fact, based on some of the work I’ve seem from many college graduates, I would sooner allow a high school student who paid attention in English class to write papers and give presentations.

          It doesn’t matter how many degrees they have if they can’t speak without, uh, well, like, uh, you know or if they can’t write without confusing nouns and verbs, their/there, or its/it’s.

          It’s not about education or certification, it’s about learning.

        • #2702528

          Really ……

          by bronzemouse2003 ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          I’ve known “HONOR” students who couldn’t articulate the time on their watch. And the most valulable employee I ever met never completed the 8th grade, but essentially ran the manufacturing/assembly department at Big Blue.

          Degree, experience – it doesn’t matter. Impress me with your knowledge, then show me what you can do.

          THINK – Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

        • #2702499

          Right on

          by hanrahan99 ·

          In reply to Really ……

          I could not have said it better!!!!!!!!

        • #2702508


          by ddissent ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          Well … I must say that’s a pretty bold assessment. So what you are saying is that someone who has proven that they can regurgitate information from texbook pages of our broken educational system can outperform someone who has been working in the field for as many years? How about I show you a Vet with NO degree and NO certification who has 10+ years experience in the IT field who could smoke your very best employee – especially at giving presentations in front of the suit squads?

          Sure, a degree might make it through HR easier and get you paid more but for me? If you have a degree and no experience …. I’ll give you a chance to earn the experience but please leave the 100% processed American Cheese Degree at the door. I need people who can recover a crashed server or network QUICKLY …. not people who can tell me how many bits are in a byte or if the socket packet pocket has an error to report.

          So much for my penny 1/2

        • #2702505


          by dkeggins ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          I don’t know about some places but around here, the most of the people with a degree don’t really know squat. It’s seems like it is just a piece of paper with some letters on it. The knowledge level in general isn’t any better, but usually worse. (I just had to explain to an IT Manager the difference between a hub and a switch! Degree knowledge?!) I didn’t have the chance to go to collage right out of HS and seem to be fairing better than some that has. It really depends on what field you are going in, but when it comes to computers, experience is the best. Certifications, however, isn’t a bad help, but I will always stand by experience to be equivalent, or better.

        • #2717693

          Reply To: Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

          by milton.lambson ·

          In reply to Degree=crap

          It is easy to tell you didn’t go to college by the way you write. I don’t believe that you can dismiss education or if real world experiences is enough. I know both sides and education is a big plus.

        • #2702504

          Better educated the more hand holding

          by mjnunzio ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          You forget that when in school what the student knows is what’s published in their text books.
          I have seem college grads come out of college and watch them be over whlemed with the task of actually doing the practiced tasks at school on a live system. What a IT professional without a college degree knows is real life experience that a college grad can’t get right away. Give me a mature IT pro with 5+ years of IT systems experience anytime.

        • #2702456

          Education <> experience

          by timeros ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          I replaced a guy with a degree in my office when he had no clue with a Win NT 4 machine and wiped out a client’s system. I have no degree or cert, though I do take classes to keep myself up-to-date.

          Ironically, I think the problem with education in the IT industry is that it’s out of date when it’s being taught. In any case, there’s nothing I can’t do with freedom and a good knowledge base . . seasoned with common sense. (i.e. don’t put a Win NT CD in the drive then click OK a few times, then cancel)

          BTW, the Engineer with the degree . . he has his own car detail service now. LOL!

        • #2702439


          by damfman ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          That’s a load of crap. I have excelled in all aspects of IT even before it was called IT. This includes communications/presentations. I have yet to meet any college graduate who could out-do me at anything except B.S.! Most of the really stupid people I have ever met are college graduates. The college degree stipulation is nothing but a club that those who have gone through use to hold back others. As such, to precede in this world I am having to pursue a degree myself – which by the way I am breezing through with an A+ average. The only thing holding me back is the fact that I can barely afford it – another conspiracy wrought by college graduates!

        • #2702426

          Better educated or better prepared?

          by dew812 ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          Better educated or better prepared?

          It never ceases to amaze me how some folks place more value on an individual who has a college degree more so then an individual who does not have a degree but has relevant experience. You would think that an individual with a college degree would know how to use proper grammar and spelling. Yet, I see college graduates who fail in this area more often then they should. Maybe spell check doesn?t work on their word processor. Does it take a college degree to fix that problem? There in lies the quandary about college graduates. Maybe they just spent too much time partying, socializing and having fun instead of learning and applying what they?ve learned! Those skills are certainly necessary to take with you into the work place; however college is not necessarily the only place available to acquire those skills.

          An individual who may not have had the opportunity to go off to school for 4 years may have learned another valuable attribute called responsibility developed through real world experiences. Imagine having to buckle down and deal with issues and circumstances that directly impact your personal life or the lives of the individuals that you care for. In this environment folks develop skills that are often not learned in school.

          What is the real issue here? Hiring somebody who is better educated or hiring somebody who is better prepared to do the job?

          That?s why you have interviews to go with the resume!

        • #2702418

          Engineering and Writing

          by steve ingham ·

          In reply to Better educated or better prepared?

          I have found in both the IT world and the Highway design and construction field that engineering competency is not related to reading/writing ability. Indeed, I have generally observed an inverse relationship. It is the rare individual that can write as well as design/build.

          About 20 years ago, I read that large banks such as Morgan-Stanley preferred to hire Liberal Arts majors because they demonstrated better problem solving abilities. They could teach thinkers how to program, but they could not teach programmers how to think. Do they still prefer Liberal Arts majors?

        • #2702420

          Bachelor’s vs. Master’s

          by chug ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          As a followup to the original question in this discussion thread, for people with degrees, how about a Bachelor’s degree vs. a Master’s degree? Looking for feedback mostly from people who might do hiring or have been hired based on these critera.

          Is a Master’s degree really any more desired by employers compared to someone with a Bachelor’s AND years of experience? Perhaps an MBA for management positions, but other than that?

        • #2702387

          More Value….

          by sublimedaze ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          Not every undergraduate has “only” a certificate. I have no certificates, no degree, but I do have over 20 years experience. I know more than some of the kids graduating today will ever know because everyone’s worried about specialization. If I can step in, do the job and do it better than some kid who’s still wet behind the ears, would you rather still hire him because he’s got a pretty piece of paper that the ink is still drying on?

          Yes, certifications have lost their appeal in the last several years because of the mass amount of MCSE’s cranked out by cert mills. This is also why MCSE correlates to “Moron Confused (by) System Errors”.

          The question here is experience versus degree, not certification versus degree. There’s a huge difference, and you’ll find yourself very restricted by your opinion. Opening up to experience is sometimes a manager’s best option.

        • #2702344

          Not always true

          by smcgirk ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          Just because someone has a degree from a university does not mean they have the ability to make a presentation. I know and have worked with several individuals that have various college degrees and cannot perform as well as others without a degree.

        • #2702989

          Experience/Skill better than Ed

          by lopaka ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          A degree or certification is not necessary in the IT Field. I know of several examples of high school drop outs that have achieved high position within their companies, (CTO’s and CIO’s). On my staff, I find the ones without a degree work harder and smarter than the ones with the degree/certificate. I have summer interns that come in from the local high schools that show my staff a thing or two every year. So, I believe that experience/skill will always out way education…:)

        • #2702957

          you never work no?

          by leonardo.toyos ·

          In reply to Better educated the more valued

          stand up infront of executives and give a presentation is your concept of IT work?
          you little mind never work in systems, you have the mind of a secretary

      • #2702545

        The Internet Job search

        by rstoebe1 ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        If you are using the Internet for your job search having a degree or a certification opens doors. If your involved in networking your experience will be more highly regarded and the lack of a degree or a certification is less of a factor. People that get to know you will be more aware of what you can do and not concerned about what degree you hold. And experience can definitely help you keep a job.

      • #2702539

        Book Smarts only takes you so far

        by usdoj ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        the most important piece of knowledge that I can impart upon anyone who is currently persuing an IT field of study is this. All the books and labs in the world will not prepare you for what you WILL encounter in Real Time situations. Do well in schiool, but also get into the workforce and learn hands on while you are in school. Then you can apply what the real world teaches you to the lessons learned from the book and become far more usefull when all is said and done. I am a 15 yr Network Professional who never finished his degree and have remained employed in the field from day one because of one simple reason.. I am one with the network 🙂

        • #2702441

          Applying your knowledge…

          by comptech3 ·

          In reply to Book Smarts only takes you so far

          Agreed. While taking college courses, I also worked at a major OEM in Tech Support. What I found was that the knowledge I gained in class helped me on the job. Conversely, the knowledge I gained on the job helped me in class.

      • #2702537

        Depends on where you are in your career

        by mharbert ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        Two things to consider are you hiring for a corporate environment or a mom & pop shop? If I am hiring someone for a corporation I would like someone with a degree. If I am hiring someone for a mom & pop shop I would look for the experience.
        I have personally found that my associate degree can only take me only so far. At some point in your career you will be asked if you want to take the next step and go into management or become a team lead. This is where a degree will help you accelerate your career. I can?t count the times when I have had to explain a major problem to upper management and the impact of an outage to a business unit. That?s again where that degree comes in handy. I have returned to college part time to finish my BS degree because the limitations of my Associate degree. So my suggestion is to get the certifications and experience first than let the business pay for your degree.

      • #2702519

        Degree = Unobtainable for most.

        by kiero ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        I myself have worked with many people in technical roles, similar to myself. And they have been lazy and generally complacent, merely because they have “a meal ticket” in the form of an IT degree.

        Some of the best people I have worked with have been NON-degree educated, but highly skilled and motivated non-the less.

        As well as the fact that recent UK Government surveys have detailed that degrees are worth LESS in the modern market place then ever before, and the debt you face getting one is higher than ever before.

        Meaning that people from less fortunate backgrounds, who may be just as skilled and talented, stand to get a worse job, because the well-off people CAN afford university or college.

        You want to hire people? Make your own mind up and don’t just rely on a piece of paper to make the decision for you. Generally people with something to prove can be more willing, skilled and motivated, then people that think they deserve it by default.

        If they have a degree and are the best person for the job, fair enough. But employeers – don’t get complacent, just because they DO have a degree.

      • #2702477

        From Working Highly Experienced lapsed Undergraduate

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        18 years in this trade, working all that period except for about three months between contracts. Fortunately a degree is far less important in the contract market, otherwise I’d be rounding up trolleys in a supermarket car park. Cannot get a sniff at a permanent role. Now I seem to be almost too experienced, even if I was prepared to drop down to a role where academic recognition was considered less important I would not be able to afford to take it. The big stumbling block is not that you haven’t got a degree but that most people in HR, Agencies etc know less than nothing about the discipline and so rely on an external appraisal of your knowledge. The fact that a mathematical or science degree qualifies you to write software probably explains my successful career as I’ve spent a good deal of time doing their work properly. No point in fighting the system though, if you are in a position to take time and earnings out to go get one then do it. If like me you’ve kids, house etc then you’ll have to tag along behind the academically recognised and clear up after them.

        • #2702450

          Totally Agree – Cleanup after them daily

          by admin@h ·

          In reply to From Working Highly Experienced lapsed Undergraduate

          I completely agree. I completed three years of college in Accounting. I was on the Dean’s List every semester. Then the kids came and life demanded that the education stop. I discovered that Accounting was totally boring and I loved computers. Started my own consulting business and was fairly successful. I gave that up for a job with a Global Fortune 500 company. I have been in IT for 12 years, but have never completed my degree or gotten any certs. Many of the people I work with have degrees and certs and I am constantly cleaning up the mess they create because the did something “cool” that had a negative impact to the business. Every corporate team I get put on I find I am the only non-degreed person. Many of these people are narrow minded and focused on what they can do with computers, not what they can do for the business with computers.

          If you want to hire a truly successful individual or you want to be a successful IT pro, learn/show what you can do for the business with the skills you have! Not what piece of paper you have aquired.

      • #2702445

        Experience Is King

        by saborbas ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        I am an IT Pro with 18 Years of Experience, I have a 2 year degree and no certifications, but at every position I have ever had, I am alway taeching the College grads and the MCSE and CNE how to do the job. The Degree dosn’t mean anything with out the experience.

      • #2702357

        My competition would have loved you

        by thumper1 ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        I have had a lot of experience with those “Highly educated” techs. One of them holds the record for the most money written off in a 30 day period. Never hired one out of school that didn’t need a minimum of three months re-training before we could re-classify him as “Not Dangerous”, much less start generating revenue.
        Needing a tech badly, (As opposed to a bad tech) I hired a guy with no education except a high school diploma and four years of hands on experience. Started making money for us immediately. Those highly educated guys are great, right up to the point where you hand them a screwdriver.

      • #2702891

        Degree vs. Experience

        by ohiois ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        I agree that a degree can show a persons commitment and dedication to a particular career path. However, I strongly disagree that it is proof of public speaking skills or even intelligence. I work with several people who have Masters Degrees and a couple who have doctorates that are incapable of communicating a sensible voice mail or e-mail. I am sorry to say that two of these people are in our IS Department.

        On the other hand, there are a few of us in IS that have only experience to fall back on. We are the ones writing our manuals, teaching end users and making presentations to management and the board of directors.

        In my opinion, education should be worth something. Considering the astronomical costs today for a decent education, there should be an end reward. However, if you are going to pay someone for their knowledge, make sure they have the necessary skills to communicate it.

      • #2705366

        BS ! u r just lipping theory while a real pro is worth gold

        by james.chau ·

        In reply to I would generally rather hire

        It matters not a bit if the hiring company is loaded with $ or humongous in size. These companies are loaded with people who are not worth much in relation what they can produce but they will always bring in a buddy, degreed or not. What u said is totally false and u know that, u will also bring in a buddy if he is ok, degreed or not.
        While a degree may invoke some kind of nominal trust it wouldn’t last and in reality it is more of a hinderance because of the added expectations, most grads couldn’t last more than 2 months due to the added pressure because the non-degreed workers gladly un-operate with these wiz kids and would love to see them stumble on silly yet essential things such as time reporting system accesses, infrastructural elements such as values used for program variables….in other words, politics and friendships rule supreme !
        Unless u r an accountant, lawyer, engineer or doctor, degrees mean nothing !!!
        And please, admit it to urself that if a real pro who can make u look like a kiddie in abilities is worth gold but u will never hire him because he will take ur job, especially if he is young, degreed, and not that experienced.

        • #2705280

          Hiring the best people makes ME look good.

          by admin ·

          In reply to BS ! u r just lipping theory while a real pro is worth gold

          “And please, admit it to urself that if a real pro who can make u look like a kiddie in abilities is worth gold but u will never hire him because he will take ur job, especially if he is young, degreed, and not that experienced.”

          Actually, I really would hire that person. If he is young, degreed and not experienced but highly skilled in areas we need, I want him on my team. That makes me, as a supervisor, look good when I have people who get the job done effectively, efficiently and for lower cost, as a person in that situation would be. It’s all about the skills once you get the job with me. I hate politics, and, as a supervisor, hiring your friends is a bad road to go down if you want clarity, minimal political problems and good decision making.

          The problem isn’t that companies generally torture the kids coming out of school. It’s that some of the IT schools aren’t teaching the students what they really need to fulfill business IT goals. The schools are too often focused on their own needs. Most of the best fresh Graduates I have worked with are the ones that were already doing the work anyway and just getting a degree or cert as a formality, to increase their earnings and to gain other related advantages.

          I know a lot of unfortunate people who have got degrees or certs and work for CompUSA etc in sales if not the local sub shop unable to stay with IT jobs when they find them. They are usually ANGRY so at least for a while they form an opinion similar to your post. Until they get over this and go back to the drawing board and develop an in demand skill set they do not succeed and this reinforces their errant opinion. The best thing to do if you are in this situation is to find out what businesses need that you want to work for and learn those skills. The business world is not all about you- your skills- your needs. It’s about what you can provide that the business needs. When schools teach this their students succeed, but when they try to recruit more people by offering programs that appeal to students without appealing to businesses needs, their graduates fail.

          I do not know why there is not more information shared against certain educational facilities by graduates.The unhappy graduates without good positions seem to keep coming out of the same schools and it is plain wrong that they would continue to do this IMO.

        • #3328419

          After the major pieces are done, get rid of the guy …

          by james.chau ·

          In reply to Hiring the best people makes ME look good.

          and hand those pieces to friends and buddies. I have been involved in many projects where once the hard parts of the project are done by the newcomers, out they go and the old gang just sit on top of these deliverables for another six months or a year, until the next one wandering in.

    • #3368025

      I would rate that person as the highest canidate

      by jimhm ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I would rate a person with Education and Experence as a prime canidate – over someone that is uneducated and experenced or Certified and Experenced – or uneducated and unexperenced.

      You’re in the cat bird seat with those quals..

    • #3367858

      Grad vs. Experience

      by kensmi ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Some time ago I worked for an organization in Canada where my manager always hired his staff based on experience in the industry. If he hired straight out of an educational institution then it was always a vocational college, such as Radio College of Canada, or DeVry. Never would he consider hiring a university grad without experience.

      His division was taken over by another company, and he was directed to hire university grads. He refuses as long as he could, but his superiors insisted and he had to relent. He hired 4 university grads to fill positions in a very stressful Network Operations environment. They were all gone in 8 months. They had the knowledge, but did not have the ability to use it properly and to think on their feet in times of stress. Needless to say, he had proven his point and hiring policy was changed.

      I think in some environments in the IT industry someone with a degree straight out of university will do well. In others, experience is vital. It’s one thing to have a high degree of knowledge, but another thing all together to be able to apply that knowledge and to think on your feet.

      • #3367821

        I agree

        by nd_it ·

        In reply to Grad vs. Experience

        Most of the people in the company don’t realize that I only have a associates degree in information systems, since I am invloved in other aspects of the company; project management, engineering, supply chain, etc. Some employees think I am an engineer (not an network engineer, but a Industrial Engineer) or even have a Masters. I have no issue with standing in front of management to give a presentation, in fact I enjoy representing our department and to show the things that we can do and have done. I never forget my roots as I started out as of college as a technician and continue to learn more as the industry changes, but I also think that I have become a more rounded individual from my experience here, just from getting invloved in other aspects of the company. I gained an internship during my last year of college and that is what really has gotten me where I am today.

        • #3366377

          The question will come into play

          by jimhm ·

          In reply to I agree

          The question of how that will count will come into play if you ever switch companies.

          Like the other poster said – his hiring manager was force to only look at College Grads – most position say – BS required – So how do you even get in the door to sell your excellent skills and talents –

          Thats the problem when HR sets a policy – you reduce your talent pool by 1/3.. Its not the education – but the ability to educate – that counts…

        • #3366368

          Very True

          by nd_it ·

          In reply to The question will come into play

          I have been very fortuante here at my company and I am currently looking into the possibility of continuing my education with online classes or some other format. When I came out of school, experience is what really mattered, not education. I know many people that couldn’t find jobs because of lack of experience, they had CS degrees, but nothing to show for it. Now the trend is different because of the dot com bust, the economy, and the flood of new IT people. HR has to look at all those things, which is why education is looked at for a requirement, but what really gets me is the hiring managers posting jobs with skills for everything under the sun, and all for only 30K again. It’s tough enough to get money to keep my current skills up to date. But I think it will improve again, when companies start spending more on IT, the hiring managers will look at the skills needed for that particular job.

        • #2702500

          What size of company do you want to work for?

          by sue’s comment ·

          In reply to The question will come into play

          You will find a job without a degree but you may not be able to work in a large IT department without one. The problem is that larger companies have HR departments and HR want a simple life!

          If you want a job and you have experience to offer look for a company small enough not to have a HR department!

        • #2702476

          Yes.. sometimes size matters

          by triturador ·

          In reply to What size of company do you want to work for?

          But, in a country like mine, education is too expensive for many to get it. The knowledge and experience can be obtained in other ways.

          My lack of a degree does not let me get a raise (money or job) in my workplace, doesn’t matter my job is pretty important in here. My boss knows it, but even he can’t do something. For the HR deparment my experience is not valuable enough.

        • #2702412

          How I opened doors

          by red_wolf9 ·

          In reply to The question will come into play

          I proved my skills to several consulting companies and let them drop resumes to HR managers. This requires even less action by the HR rep because they assume the candidate has been “vetted” by the consulting company. My experience allowed the consulting company to recommend me highly, because of my proven track record.

          I also find that people (like me) how love learning everything about computers can learn too. In fact, I try and learn or figure out something new everyday. Many of the college grads I work with seem to think learning stopped when they graduated. Sure they have proven that they can be taught, but far too many think they already know everything. I don’t have time to sit around and teach someone that can lean, I prefer to employ people that already know how to do.

          If I’m looking for a manager (someone one that thinks up ideas, but isn’t the techie that delivers them) then college grads are great. When it comes to “grunts on the ground”, those guys better be experienced.

          Since I have held every job from level one helldesk to project manager, I’m currently responsible for Internet connectivity for the entire USA (and Canada) for an International company. I think that makes me more “well rounded” then someone with a BS in IT (which is exactly that)! It?s my passion for computers that keeps me learning everyday and that is what makes me a better employee. I didn?t have to graduate from college (although I attended one) to obtain my passion. I sat down in front of an Apple II in 5th grade and haven?t stopped learning since.

      • #3366378

        I agree – but he has experence

        by jimhm ·

        In reply to Grad vs. Experience

        I agree with you – on the College grad without experence is certain fields within IT is a bad thing. But the same person in the right position in IT will do much better than the person from a tech trade school. So that is all part of the hiring managers job and job requirements matching.

        But this person is an undergrad with experence in IT – thats kind of the glowing stick you need in a person – the round education and experence..

      • #2702593

        In the IT Industry Experience is better

        by ebon234 ·

        In reply to Grad vs. Experience

        It will be better to hire somebody with an experience than to hire a fresh graduate who has no experience. In an It firm where training of fresher is not considered, hiring of a graduate without prior experience will disrupt the working of the entire network. Though a graduate is better in term of knowledge, but he has to get the practical know-how to get started.


      • #2711030

        What ever happened to training?

        by rknrlkid ·

        In reply to Grad vs. Experience

        The situation you just described illustrates poor management and supervision.

        I don’t care how a person got the job, if they are NEW to the company/position then it is the responsibility of the supervisory personnel to train them to do the job. If someone was in and out of a company in 8 months, then that company lost a huge investment in terms of money.

        This is another huge problem I see on these threads. No one is ever realistically expected to know EVERYTHING on day one. Not college grad, certified, or experienced person. Not assisting a new employee to meet their maximum potential is seriously poor management.

        From reading over these posts, I am starting to think the real problem developing in IT is in inexperienced people in supervisory positions, not in technical skills.

        I am surprised sometimes how any business, anywhere, actually stays in business with such waste going on.

    • #3366260


      by pgm554 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have degree in political science, which has absolutely nothing to do with the industry that I am in today.
      I had a professor that I asked what I could do with the degree, his reply was ?What you should have developed, is the ability to read write and reason.?
      The degree is secondary.

      Unfortunately,corporate America is too hung up on paper,and too many times ignores experience.

      • #2702592

        Degree with experience better

        by cfc01 ·

        In reply to Degrees

        I personally would prefer a degree with experience, but just a degree will do fine. When you invest in people, it should not be seen as a short term – get as much as you can out of the person, but rather as a long term relationship.

        People with degrees show me a few things:

        1. They have started something that required serious cost, time and intellectual investment and have completed it.
        2. They can be educated.
        3. They can think, read, write and more importantly, do research if the answer is not directly available to them.
        4. They have been placed in situations where they must relate to, and explain things to peers and senior educational staff with a lot less tolerance than you would find in your average business.

        I have found personally, that degreed persons with no experience struggle initially but in a space of six months can accelerate their learning past those that have just got the experience.

        That is not to say that experience only is less desired. In my field, IT, experience only just not cut it. IT changes at such a tremendous rate that ongoing education and futher studies are our perpetual lot.

        Regarding Certification: Certification is useful but persons with only a certification generally treat problems in the way that can be explained by the analogy: If your only tool is a hammer, all of your problems tend to resemble a nail.

        Whether you pick someone with a degree or with experience is not woth much in the long term if you are not willing to invest learning into that person.

        • #2702589

          Yes but…

          by happy ·

          In reply to Degree with experience better

          Could you not apply your four points to someone who has got certifications and has taken the time trouble and expense (sometimes) on their own? I’m sure you can

          Here in the UK it is unusual for a job spec. to say a degree is a requirement most ask for related experience.

          I’m sure a degree helps in boosting your salary but that is about all.

      • #2702564


        by lizziebg ·

        In reply to Degrees

        When I hire someone I need to know they are going to be able to do the job technically, communicate well with clients and have previous experience. Therefore I only take on people who can demonstrate all those things. That usually means a graduate who is literate and has worked in the industry before. I also write off anyone who can’t spell. If they can’t see their mistakes on a CV, how on earth are they going to spot errors in software? Several people have written posts here with errors that would have made me think twice about hiring them.

        • #2702563

          Whoops – Before you criticize

          by cfc01 ·

          In reply to Whoops!

          This forum is not limited to english speaking countries. Please remember that some participants may have English as a second or even third language.

        • #2702782

          Country of origin doesn’t matter

          by kaceyr ·

          In reply to Whoops – Before you criticize

          If they can’t effectively communicate with customers, management, and other technical folks, why hire them?

      • #2702527

        Reply To: Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

        by arleenw ·

        In reply to Degrees

        It’s true, what you have your degree in is really irrelevant – except for highly specialized degrees like law and medical science. A college education makes you a more rounded individual. It is a foundation upon which to build wherever life may take you.
        In IT experience is essential. Sure, a CS degree is a great foundation, but anyone can buy the books at Barnes and Noble and set up a lab at home if they have the interest. However, when an employer is looking at candidates – or even looking to promote from within – they are going to look to those people with degrees first, even if that degree is in something different.

    • #2702595

      Experience + Self-Directed

      by chubert ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      In my mind, we put way too much emphasis on paper. I believe College is beneficial for various careers, but lets face it, most people go to College and come out with fancy degrees and end up in a career that has nothing to do with the degree. As far as I’m concerned, these are the following attributes that make any individual an asset: Experience, being self-directed, motivated and being able to write and communicate well!

      • #2702497

        Experience + Self-Directed = So true

        by titssni ·

        In reply to Experience + Self-Directed

        churbert, you could have said it any better. It all comes down to the individual and his/her drive to excel and achieve a higher level of accomplishment. Many college grads end up with lower level jobs because they do not have the drive and ambition to excel. They sit back on the degree and think it’ll get em through life without any effort on there part. They are very educated and well taught but lack the inner mtivation when they get into the work environment without being pushed or forced to do more.

        On the flip side, the certified professionals try to stay abreast with the technical field they are in and some do excel to other levels, some stay only to what they get certified for and nothing else. Unless pushed or forced into a situation where they have to adjust and adapt, some people with degrees and certifications will never grow past the level they are unless they have the inner motivation and drive to go the next step/level.

        My true feeling on this.

        We need to stop paying so much attention to the paper and not the individual. We need to look at them together as both needed and both similarly important. They must go together to provide the perfect solution for the required environment.

        • #2702388

          Paper is a discriminator…

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Experience + Self-Directed = So true

          Nobody has the time to actually read 5k or more job applications for a position. HR uses the paper status to reduce the number of applications they must deal with. No degree? Gone! No certification? Gone!

          So much for a good majority of applicants! It doesn’t matter that the perfect fit for that job may have been in the discards. They only know that they now have a manageable stack of paper for the people who really know what the terms and expressions on the CV or resume mean.

    • #2702591

      experience counts

      by tom.howarth ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      you will find that if there is no HR interference then the degree issue will not raise its head. I will always take experience over qualifications. quals are an indicator of ability. experience a much better guidelline.

      it must be said that in trainee positions it irritates me that graduate degree required now seems to be a pre-requisite, I personally know several excellent techies who are not graduates and know a hell of a lots of graduates that i would not trust to tie their own laces, never mind design and install critical systems

    • #2702588

      degree + experience

      by alexlee ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      My core competency was in IT for over 18 years. through the past 3 years, i have been able to get in the HR and IT roles.
      Currently, both stands as my primary role and function.

      I’ll hire a college guy with experience anytime over a experience person without a degreehowever, having said that. The level and type of experience is just as important a consideration over a degree.

      That college guy without the experience now will get it over the next years and he will have both the expertises and the paper to back it up later.

      Experiences and a degree will be common. maybe not now. it will down the years.

      what does it takes to stay employable?

    • #2702586

      Experience is the boss

      by l p mohan ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      From my experience, I can strongly say experience is the best way than theoretical. I am the best example of this as I joined Mitsubishi as a Steno and now I am Executive-IT taking care of 4 offices in all communication related matters.

    • #2702585

      Experience is the boss

      by l p mohan ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      From my experience, I can strongly say experience is the best way than theoretical. I am the best example of this as I joined Mitsubishi as a Steno and now I am Executive-IT taking care of 4 offices in all communication related matters.

    • #2702583

      My Experience

      by paul ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I am currently working as a CIO for a technology company, and also own a technology consulting business. I started out in the IT industry as a sales support person, and worked my way through a variety of sales management, and IT management roles all the way to senior exec management.

      I have no degree, although at this point in my career I am considering doing an MBA to enhance my grounding in business in general…

      When I recruit, experience counts, and a proven ability to do the job… I have hired qualified people and to be honest most of the non-qual people have actually worked out better because of their experience.

      Some people say, and I would agree, that while you are at school getting your degree, there are others actually doing the work and gaining experience – the end result being that you can do the work (in theory), while others have proven that they can do it.

    • #2702582


      by stevenberkholz ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      In order for high end pos.:

      1. Experience.
      2. Cert.s
      3. Degree.

      In order for entry pos.:

      1. Experience.
      2. Motivation and interview gut feeling.
      2. Cert.s
      3. Degree.

    • #2702580

      Go for the Degree

      by i.hilliard ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Experience is what lets you get the job done. Unfortunately, most companies have an HR department which is responsible for hiring. These people don’t have a clue about the job. They are unable to tell whether the experience matches the job. This selection is done by the technical people, who in many cases don’t have a lot of time for interviewing.

      Before it even comes to the interview stage, HR has already filtered out most of the candidates. The easiest way to filter is based on the qualifications. Without the degree, it is quite likely that you won’t even get to the interview stage.


    • #2702578

      Get the degree – don’t drop out

      by willh ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      For IT support and development roles I would expect to hire someone with experience unless I was specifically looking for a trainee.
      In answer to the specific question I guess the issue here is whether I would hire someone who was on a degree course but wasn’t going to finish.
      Personally I don’t think that dropping out of a course is a good advert for the sort of characteristics I expect in my staff: commitment, staying power and self-discipline.

    • #2702577

      Reply To: Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      by btshabe ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I’m a recent IT graduate from South Africa and I can say that prospects of recent graduates are perhaps the same as those with experience. It might seem as if recent graduates have difficulty breaking into the industry. In our country more and more companies are offering internships to recent graduates but then a graduate still has to compete with other graduates for the same internship. It doesn’t hurt to have experience when looking for a job but the question still lies in “As a recent graduate. Where are you to get the experience from?” One way may be to volunteer your services in exchange for the experience but government has made it difficult to be able to do that with bigger companies. The challange for a recent graduate looking for employment is how to sharpen your skills and gain experience at the same time while looking for employment? I wish to ask those who already have passed this hard stage to share some advise in light of the question I have posed.

      • #2702573

        Grad. employment prospects

        by pwhistler ·

        In reply to Reply To: Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

        To a large extent it depends on the sector you try to enter. The banking and finance sector tends to recruit from the Graduate / undergraduate pool and usually grant internships. Whereas manufacturing / service sector tends to look for those with hands on experience. Salary expectations can be a problem. I think that graduates have to sacrifice earnings, at least initially to gain the experience. The real difficulty is getting relavent experience. I was lucky, I think in so much that the company I went to for work experience eventually employed me.

      • #2702535


        by dolivier ·

        In reply to Reply To: Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

        It is a hard position to be in, i’ve been there myself, it seems like you mostly need luck ;p Its probably easier to register a CC and run your own small business just to get some experiance. Otherwise its all about connections or luck :/

    • #2702575

      In UK and Spain, experience counts

      by q2digital ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Having left school aged 16 with almost no qualifications, but a fierce interest in computers, I have consistently managed to find work as an IT consultant throughout the UK and, in the last 12 years, in Madrid, Spain. That’s not to say a degree wouldn’t have found me better or more lucrative contracts, but I’d say that you simply cannot beat experience when it comes to dealing with “real world, real time, real IT” (where did I hear that catchy slogan?! 🙂

    • #2702568

      New Hires: Experience versus Degree

      by mypride ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      While it is the best practice for a job aspirant to have blended complements of these two career requirements, in my occupational field the educated is more favoured than the experienced who does not have requisite qualifications. This is because it is a belief that the educationally qualified has the capacity to learn faster as a result of the theoretical knowledge of their job functions.

      Of course, often times educated recruits display inexperience even with their utmost secrecy. But to save this situation, top management provides on-the-job training for such recruits to leverage the experience gap.

      ‘Yemi Oyebola
      Lagos, Nigeria

      I advise experienced hands to upgrade their education, so they can be better positioned for greater heights in their careers.

    • #2702566

      Good question Experience or Certification

      by rob ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Personally if somebody has been just completed his certification then I wouldn’t really give them a look in. Simply due to so many certifications being full of fantacy / perfect world shit.
      How many certifications have you found that in the real world the answer is not correct or just doesn’t cut it in reality.
      Therefore if I have a choice I would definately take a body with Experience over a freshman graduate.
      But if you have the oportunity to get somebody that is educated / certified and has a few years hands on .. FANTASTICO

    • #2702560

      You need to go for it ALL

      by unhappyuser ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I almost lost a job once because I didn’t have the “proper degree” but my experience of 10+ years, and an excellent interview in front of 8 people, got me the job. After a year, and a major transformation from Novell to MS, No one questioned if they had made the right choice. I moved on to another job after fours years to get into software development only to be laid off four months later when IT went bust. I went out and got three certs (A+, Network+ and MS) because I knew I’d need every advantage out there. I got my current job because of my experience but the certs helped us move from NT to 2000 without having to hire outside help (thus saving us big bucks). The bottom line: Get everything that you can get. Each of the aforementioned individually may get you an okay job with okay pay but having 2 of the 3 or all 3 (Degree, experience and Certs) will get you what you want at a quality salary.

    • #2702559

      How About Both

      by calais_norman ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Let’s be realistic: You should have both! Either can be used to get you in the door, but you first priority after learning your new job responsibilities should be to devote the time and effort needed to shore up your short-comings. Nothing beats hard earned experience in your field (that is a given) and that will always have you in contention for a position. But college degrees and certs speak volumnes to a potential employer about your personal strengths and your ability to complete personal tasks and meet individual goals (also known as discipline). Afterall, those will be the same strengths that the employer will be depending on you to use on the job. It’s nice to give them the impression that you’ve got that covered.
      And lets not forget that certs let an employer know that you are up on the latest technology. Even if you are just a “paper cert,” you still have the theory of that technology in your head, which makes it a hell of alot easier to turn into skill than someone with no specialized knowledge and who has to start from scratch. Experience is good, but technology changes and you have to change with it.
      And what about salary? Compare two candidates who have ten years experience, but one comes to the table with a IS degree, a CCNA, and MCSE. Who gets the nod? And even if they both get hired, who can demand the biggest salary?
      Lets face it: Neither you nor I know what the next employer who interviews you will be looking for. Some rely on experience, some on degrees and certs, and some look for both. Don’t you owe it to yourself to ensure that you are covered no matter what that employer is looking for? I think so. That is indeed PART of why our foreign friends are so successful in our workforce.
      There would be a lot less confusion on this issue if we take our “personal” oppinion out of the equation. This really has nothing to do with what we “think;” it is more of a practical consideration. Picture yourself as an employer and approach this issue and you’ll be fine.

      • #2702536

        Several good points there Norman

        by usdoj ·

        In reply to How About Both

        The most important point is to CONTINUE learning. What you learn from Classroom education is static but the field you are about to enter is anything BUT static. Never stop aquiring knowledge.

    • #2702555

      Experience or Education

      by cleanjoe ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      You know, sometimes we forget that humans have the way of overcoming surtain situations of life, I know from working in a big corporation. You grow where you are. Degree or experience, it all depends on the person. Some Degree holders will let that degree go to there heads and that can be bad for a corporation, while experience people will do what you ask them and get the job done. It’s all in the person and his or her’s attitude and what they want to learn. We all have the ability to adapt and overcome, that’a our nature. So saying that one person is better then the other is wrong. Yes Education is great,the whole world is one big classroom, so in saying all this, Degree holders and Experience people are one and the same, Overcoming in any situation. That is a good employee. One that can stay focused on what they are there for, to get the job done.

      • #2702530

        Experience IS Education

        by usdoj ·

        In reply to Experience or Education

        4 years in an accredited school is worth about 1 year’s worth of “working in the field” experience.

    • #2702554


      by wdoliver ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I am basing my comments on my 30 years experience in the IT arena and as a manager. I do not think it is a matter of which is more important education or experience. It is balance that counts. My comments are based upon the majority of professionals I?ve come in contact and there has always been exceptions.

      When hiring for entry level or junior positions it is a level playing ground. How you present yourself will be the deciding factor. If you are hiring for a senior technical position and one of the candidates just has education and the other experience then the experience is going to win hands down. When I am looking to fill a senior position it is important that the person has been successful in applying the desired skills in a ?real world? setting. The candidate with just education has a broader knowledge base and probably current with new methodologies. The problem is that many people just education and no experience find it extremely difficult to adapt its application to ?real world? situations. The major risk is the experience only person is successful; however, is not current on methodology and is more adapt to resist change in the way they apply their skills.

      If I am hiring for a junior management or leadership position and one of the candidates just has a degree and the other experience I lean towards the degree. The individual usually has a broader information based, better communication skills, and adapts more readily to change. If the technology position involves complex R&D work or devising the next technological jump then I look for PHDs.

      The person who has the edge when applying for a position with me is one who has ?verifiable? experience and has demonstrated they regularly seek to improve his or her education weather it be formal, CBT, online courses, or certifications. I have found the best professionals are those who recognize that both education and experience are equally important. Of course, I think most managers will agree that the deciding factor is often how the person presents themselves.

    • #2702548

      No degree….less green.

      by kjohnson ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I’d hire the right person for the job. If they have trench experience over a degree and their experience is relitive to the job I’m hiring for then I’d hire them. I’ve been in it for 13yrs and the key here is the way a degreed person is payed vs an experienced person. It’s usually quite lower…and since the IT bubble pop all IT positions for the most part are lower paying. I guess the decision is in finding the right fit of personnel for the position that your hiring.

    • #2702538


      by bronzemouse2003 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Always seemed your chances were the same whether degree or experience when you submit a resume or application. Although, you probably need 2-5 years experience to compete directly with an Associate Degree candidate. And pay scale is usually less without the degree.

      In either case, your chance of hire increases dramatically by acquiring a personal contact within the company. Being able to articulate your experience verbally to the person hiring is what truly gets you the job. If you don’t leave them with a good impression after an interview, it doesn’t matter what degrees or experience you have – your done.

    • #2702531

      Of course they stand a chance

      by stinphilly ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Experience, attitude, work ethic and skill all play a role in evaluating a candidate. A degree is a good indicator in many of these areas, however an individual person, with all of his or her strengths and weaknesses, is who you eventually hire. It is that individual and what they can do moving forward, not their academic accomplishments of the past, that will bring value to your organization. To exclude from consideration those who may have much to offer just because they lack a degree seems foolish to my way of thinking.

    • #2702524

      Depends more on where you live

      by adc24 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      If you are in an area with a high concentration of degreed applicants, it will be harder to get work if you are not degreed also, no matter how good you are. But 90% of it depends on the person doing the hiring. Bottom line, get the degree you’ll be better of in the long run. I know from experience.

    • #2702522

      Experience vs degree

      by rolf gitt ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Ironically, I think those with degrees in CS probably have the skill-sets that will prepare them for the LATER part of their career, rather than for the early years in IT.
      The first few years in IT are when you build your knowledge of real-world (not textbook-optimized) environments and systems – the “pay your dues” years with all-nighters, etc… It’s great hands-on learning that cannot be achieved through a University education alone or Certifications.
      If I were hiring, I would prefer someone who is articulate and provides rational answers to interview questions. I think the “what would you do if this system goes down” or “how would you deal with an aggressive client” type questions are most telling. Once hired, I would ensure he/she gets exposed to a diverse range of IT sub-fields (networking, sys admin, programming, webmaster, etc…) and try to find the person’s forte.
      The CS degree skills will more likely be put to use once the employee has 5+ years of experience and starts doing Project Lead work. This is where the organizational skills, and more theoretical knowledge comes into play in terms of project planning, etc.. Of course by this point in his/her career, they’ll already have the real-world skills to avoid underestimating complexities or time required to complete tasks – critical skills for completing projects on time, and within budget.
      So….personally I don’t think degrees are critical – and certainly it doesn’t have to be a CS degree. All-in-all, the most important thing is “can the person think and understand fairly advanced concepts?” In my view, there’s no dependency on degrees or certifications. Just give me an intelligent, well-rounded, solution-oriented person, and they should do well in IT as long as they’re truly interested in the field.
      The hardest part is always getting past the front-line HR staff who filter out resumes based on specific “key words” – I think companies miss out on some potentially excellent employees through that process. A more holistic approach to skills review would be better for the IT industry in general.

      • #2702509

        Experience AND degree

        by psu-curt ·

        In reply to Experience vs degree

        I graduated with a BS in Informations Systems Mgmt. and got my first job in IT a few months later. 20 yrs later, after many ups & downs in my career, I went back for an MBA in Business Mgmt. Now I’m a part-time Adjunct Professor of Informantion Science & Technology at a major 4-yr University, as well as manager of Tech Support with over 30yrs professional experience.
        I have found that experience is the primary consideration – the employer wants to know, in a practical sense, what you have done and what you can do. Education is the bonus for the applicant – it makes the difference between the entry-level and the 2nd or 3rd level starting position. If a manager sees 2 resumes – one with only experience and one with experience plus a degree, the degree makes the difference in who get the better job. Many of my students (especially in the Masters degree program) work full time and take classes in the evening. They are either working on a 2nd degree in IST or toward an advanced degree to supplement a BS in Computer Science.
        My advice – find a company that pays tuition reimbursement (full or partial) and get the degree. Without a doubt the candidate with both experience and education has a definite edge in the marketplace.

    • #2702520

      Experience Vs Degrees

      by christinepa2001 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I am in the 40 plus age group, when no one but the rich when to University. I have over 20 years of working with computers, programming, Helpdesk Support and Technical Authoring and no Degree.

      Everything I know I have taught myself, I did go to college for a year, 4 years ago to take an Access to University Computer course and came top of the class, therefore allowing my progression to University. (which I did not take).

      Experience is the best way forward, learn the job from teh bottom up and don’t try to jump straight on top of the mountain.

      • #2702511

        I have experience with both

        by bichelmo ·

        In reply to Experience Vs Degrees

        and I have found that the experience outweighs the degree. To know the theory behind it is far from being able to nuts&bolts make it work. But a lot of that depends on the school and the professor. I do agree that the degreed individual is more well rounded but usually lacks in technical abilities.

    • #2702514

      Been there done that

      by toddah ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I was a Senior Controls Design Engineer for 15 years without a degree. In 1993 I switched to IT and have held a Network Administrator position since,I have two people working for me that hold Masters in computer science, and 3 that do not. I think the largest problem is some of the people who hold degrees are convinced they are a smarter just because of the degree. And it hurts the team, they discount the opinions of other team members based on holding or not holding a degree. Yes they can create content and present it but is the recipent really connecting with the speaker?
      It takes education AND people skills to do this job and many fail at one or the other and that the real problem. The degree tells me they are trainable and had the ability to stay the course for a number of years, but thats it.

    • #2702501

      You can actually get your dream job!

      by prohta ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I graduated in June w/a BS in Technology and in July was hired as a webmaster and marketing manager for an online residential land sales company. This has turned out to be my dream job. With my IT experience that I had before returning to school after working for 30 years and getting my undergrad degree I was able to get my dream job in a month. I know people who are still looking for work after 6 months because they did not have the degree. That is why I went back to school in the first place. Working in IT for 18 years and not having the undergrad degree kept me out of the workforce and out of the jobs I qualified for.

      I live on the west coast and work in Portland, Oregon.

    • #2702496

      My Input

      by phall659 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      The best advice I can offer is the same I am following. Continue your education! Work on certs, work on honing your skills, but finish the degree. You can attend many colleges online now. I attend Troy State full time and work full time. If I can do it anyone can!

      Good Luck!!!

    • #2702493

      Experience is more Important

      by spankyb ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I am one of three partners in an IT service/consulting business. I am also the person who has final say on hiring technical people. I will always hire someone who has experience before I hire someone who only has a pretty sheepskin with his or her name on it. I am responsible for generating income dollars for our concern, what value is a person with a degree and NO experience to me? None. Having said that, how do you get experience when you have none and nobody will hire you? I do hire people with no experience; in that case I look for a person with a good attitude that I can put in front of clients, who has an aptitude for what I want to train them to do. I?ve been in IT for 25 years now, I can honestly say that most people that come to me with recent IT degrees know very little about what really needs to be done these days. In almost all cases they need to be UN-trained most of what they?ve learned at the ?Alter of Higher Education?.

      So to answer the original question, hold your head up high and go show potential employers what you can do, and what value you bring to the table. That?s what?s important.

    • #2702492

      Experience Vs Education

      by michael.odicho ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I am a manager of a team of 10 and would prefer hiring someone who can do the job because of previous experience rather than someone who knows the theory and passed some exams, as I did in uni for my degree in Computer Science. I had to go through a process of relearning because 95% of what I learnt I have yet to use in the iT industry. Personally I have done a degree and have got the job but in hindsight would have got job hunting immediately.

    • #2702491

      Both is best but…

      by michael.brodock ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have worked for 15 years in IT without a degree. I broke in at the bottom with little more than some programming experience from school and had to prove myself ever since. I am currently working on my BS in CIS simply because the larger organizations will not even look at you without a degree regardless of certifications or experience, at least it seems that way to me. IT is a tough field in that you cannot rest on your laurels, you must continue to train yourself all the time and I have.

      So to answer your question, yes you can get hired but most likely at a small shop. From there you need to continue your training and work your way up. Get a degree, it will help in getting better jobs. Get certifications, it will help you in doing your job and competing against those who do not have certs. Get experience because there is no substitute, I don’t care how much training you have or how much you know, practical application in the trenches is where the rubber meets the road. And by all means, understand that unless you life is on the line, don’t stress otherwise you life is on the line. ;>

    • #2702486

      Experience Counts – But So Does a Degree

      by mikencove ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      In my personal experience and observation of a number of people entering the market, experience matters a lot more than the piece of paper. HOWEVER, lack of a degree (or even the right kind of degree) will limit the ability to get an interview where your experience and knowledge would come out. I prefer to hire experience, ot a degree. That works in a small company, but most big companies with big HR departments will short-stop someone without a degree.

    • #2702481

      Undergraduates & Experience

      by kingzanj ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      It is a known fact that undergraduates with experience stand a better chance of landing a job than those undergrads who don’t have practical work experience. In IT field hands on experience matters. I got my first hands on experience by volunteering at the college computer lab.

    • #2702475

      Get the Degree first, then the experience, then the cert

      by lkarnis ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Invest in yourself – get a degree. Prove to your (potential) employer that you have the drive, smarts and staying power to achieve something significant.

      Next, work in your chosen field. Even if you are underemployed. Find tasks that will challenge you and improve your skill. Solve problems. Get experience in a broad range of IT areas of practice.

      Finally, get certified. That way, HR and IT managers can see that vendors have verified your skill.

      If you can help it, do not go for certification first… Certification was originally intended to verify a high level of technical competency. Many training organizations have cheapened certification by teaching people how to pass an exam (but not deliver the underlying skills and experience). Consequently, if the best thing your resume says is that you are certified, you will probably be passed over when applying for a job.

      Just my humble opinion.


    • #2702470


      by theundertaker ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Yes. In fact, you have a better chance than most!
      I am more impressed by someone that can actually do something, rather than someone that can theoretically discuss it. Show me someone that learned something on their own, and I will be even more pleased. I need experience, someone who can do, not soneone that only says, “no, I never did that, but I am willing to learn”. Do not drop the aspirations for the degree. Get that by all means. But if you can add valuable, real world expeience to the degree (or while attaining the degree), you will do well.

    • #2702468

      Pros and Cons

      by stephen ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?


      I have been in the business since 1989 when I finished high school. It took me quit a while to work my way up with out a degree. I got my MCSE in 1996 and finely got a job as a Network administrator in 1998. It was a hard row to how but it can be done.


      I now am the Sir Network administrator for a small telecom company in Florida. Of the 10 or 12 people in our IT department 2 have degrees. One of the degrees is in art and that person works as a web designer and the other has a degree in Computers and works as an Application Developer. Or boss, the IT director, has no degree, me, the Network Administrator, has no degree; Our Oracle DBA has no degree. None of our other programmers have degrees. Even our Telecom manager does not have a degree.

      Our company functions very well. In the 3 years I have been here we have doubled in size and are preparing to double again. This is while we are ?in the worst economy since Herbert Hover? as some like to say. Where big telecom companies are closing there doors. We are expanding, hiring, and building new buildings.

    • #2702465

      degree is just a piece of paper..

      by mmcmanus ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Having worked with many people over the years, I must say that to me, a degree means nothing, especially when you consider that the people that are teaching in most schools are teaching it because they can’t do it…..and most schools can’t keep up with the changes in IT anyway….
      Give me an experienced person any day….

      • #2717446

        not really ..

        by halinator9000 ·

        In reply to degree is just a piece of paper..

        A degree shows that an individual has the capability to learn (assuming they didn’t cheat at least … =) ).

        I believe that this is the thought driving many of the replies in this thread … ABILITY TO LEARN! So, perhaps, a degree could be considered a watermark, so to speak, for learning ability (whether you are studying something relevant, like CS, or not) … although, the actual knowledge gained is of consequence, if someone can learn and understand all/most of the information in a degree (i.e. they don’t scrape a pass by the skin of their teeth), then surely that must count for something.. that and anyone truly serious in getting a job/career in a given field should be doing work over and above what’s in the formal degree course (i.e. getting (lots of) practical experience), thus making their chances of success, better.

        (apologies if similar comments have been made – i really don’t have time to dredge the whole lot and am going by title alone)

    • #2702464

      Catch 22

      by toddlemen9 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      A degree demonstrates commitment to a field, and the ability to carry through a chosen course of action. Generally admirable traits. Certificaitons demonstrate exposure to and training in very specific issues and software. May be considered to shorten a “learning curve”. But there’s a catch… Hiring managers want generally want some assurance that you know how to handle day-to-day operational issues, so they tend to prefer experience.
      Experience demonstrates “hands-on” familiarity with whatever you’ve been working with, and may also demonstrate that you know how to work with others. Most valuable traits. But there’s a catch – you may be viewed a limited by your experience, and therefore, hiring managers tend to want certifications (and degrees) to demonstrate “range”.
      If you are an undergrad, keep going! Don’t cut short the “I can see something through” aspect of actually finishing a degree. But by all means, find a way to get into the field. Internships, work/study programs in related work fields, part-time work in the field (if you can find it).
      In short, experience and degrees are NOT an “either/or” proposition; in today’s environment; “both/and” is the order of the day!
      Good luck!

    • #2702462

      experience and capability matter mosts

      by luis_a_delgado ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I would test them to see if they have the ability to tshoot. That matters more than any paper. Of course, a degree with experience would be the ultimate.

    • #2702448

      You can get a job, but you will be paid less

      by delbertpgh ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Getting a job depends on more than education and experience; luck and personality make a difference, too. But you can certainly get good jobs based on experience and some education.

      Without a degree, though, you will always be less valued than if you had one. There will always be a ceiling you cannot rise above, limiting your promotion and career possibilities. It will make a difference to your pay for the rest of your working career, at least 5%, often more.

    • #2702444

      Degree in another field

      by stuben1 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have a BS, MS and an Ed.S in Psychology and became the IT Director in a Mental Health/Health Dept. setting and have been here about 12 years now. Pretty much self taught in tech issues but I have kept up thru New Horizons/Quilogy trainings and a lot of reading. There was just a need where I work and I was positioned to fill it. I do wonder where I’d be in the job hunt if I ever needed a change though.

      • #2702798

        In all actuality…

        by rknrlkid ·

        In reply to Degree in another field

        the degrees you have make you more valuable in your environment.

        The biggest complaint I hear is that the “IT pros” know LOTS about computers, but NOTHING about the industry. Knowing HOW the application fits in your particular industry is VITAL. As far as the employer is concerned where the rubber meets the road, how does that application/system you are promoting help him/her complete his/her mission?

        This is where the horror stories come from about IT people without a clue. IT supports the industry, not the industry supports IT. The fundamental mistake of many in the computer field is that they consider themselves the front line, not the support. In order to support, you must know more than just your own technology, but the industry too. I have friends who specialize in systems administration for hospitals. They specialized themselves where they can meet the needs of the industry.

        For the person who is truly learning, NOTHING is wasted. IMO a degree OUTSIDE of computers is more valuable than one ABOUT computers, because you will have a broader base to work from.

    • #2702440

      Self Education

      by bobmarquardt ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      One of the most important capabilities the college graduate brings to his profession is the ability to enter an unfamiliar situation and locate and organize available resources to define a problem and solve it. The degree-less professional may have knowledge gained from experience, but the above factor gives the degreed candidate an even larger edge.

      • #2702435

        Seen it Before

        by quest4 ·

        In reply to Self Education

        Fore a long time I have seen these fresh-out-of-school degreed “professionals” come in make the promises and make changes only to have the un-degreed people have to come back in and fix the dang messes that the “professional” have made. Give me experience everytime, in almost every profession, new-bees only screw things up, reguardless of their degree and the higher the degree the worse it gets. Just what I have seen.

      • #2702397

        Self Education

        by ohsolost ·

        In reply to Self Education

        Experience, not a classroom, has taught me to locate/organize available resources to define and solve unfamiliar problems.

    • #2702432

      Experience helps get the job done right : Education is also key

      by benitowestside ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have been in the IT field for a few years… I am no guru; However I ahve had no formal education in connecting systems eg. wiring . All that I have learned has come from being in the field. I watch and learn . Then do exactly what I was told…During the course I have picked upand added to my background . Not too much….But trial and error have served me well. Field Tech. F. Padilla

    • #2702431

      Experience helps get the job done right : Education is also key

      by benitowestside ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have been in the IT field for a few years… I am no guru; However I ahve had no formal education in connecting systems eg. wiring . All that I have learned has come from being in the field. I watch and learn . Then do exactly what I was told…During the course I have picked upand added to my background . Not too much….But trial and error have served me well. Field Tech. F. Padilla

    • #2702425

      Degree of experience!

      by ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Original question has been mangled. Which is more important degree or experience? Depends on quality of degree, type of experience, etc. The two are not alternatives. Degrees are more important than experience. You can always get experience but get all the qualifications you can as quickly as you can. I waited until I was past 50 years before getting my Bachelors, two Masters and a Doctorate. That hampered my progress.

    • #2702414

      I prefer experience

      by kelley_moore ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      During my twenty plus years of experience, I have tended to hire the person with the experience no matter what their educational background is.

      If I am looking for an entry level person, I look at both their educational background and their past work experience. I based by decision on their work experience, educational background, and how they do in the interview with the questions asked. For example: will this person fit into the team and fit with the direction of the company.

    • #2702411

      Experience vs Degree

      by gsquared ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Personally, in 28 years in IT, I’ve found that people with a degree in computer science generally can find the On button, but not much more, till they have some experience.

      People with experience but no degree tend to either have very specialized skills that they are very good at and no skill at all in other areas, or have a wide degree of skills but no strengths.

      There are college degree programs (was in one myself for a while) that include, in a 4-year period, as few as 2 or 3 classes on actual computer use and system set-up.

      The drawback to the uneducated but highly experienced person is that many of them think they know a lot about subjects on which their data is all 3rd-hand rumors and “I have a friend who read an article about a guy who interviewed someone …”. They are experts on their field of strength, and they think the expertise covers related fields on which they really don’t have enough data to make sound judgements.

      But all things considered, I’d rather have an experienced IT person with no degree than a degreed IT person with no experience. I can give an experienced person jobs that take advantage of his expertise and avoid his areas of ignorance. The average college grad with a degree in computer science (or related degree), if it doesn’t involve simple tasks like sending an e-mail or browsing the web, usually requires complete training on everything. No strengths to give work to.

      Of course, the best is a person with both education and experience, who recognizes his own areas of inexperience and expertise and who is willing to take the time to teach himself new skills when they become necessary. Those, unfortunately, are almost as rare as honest lawyers.

    • #2702409

      Depends on long term career goals

      by liberteabelle ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      If you want to be a Network Admin, or other tech job, job experience counts for more. But, consider the following:

      1) Economic recession. When there are fewer jobs and more candidates, those with the degree AND experience have a higher chance of actually landing an interview. It won’t be an either/or. And you never know when that will happen in your career. It happened to me. I’d missed every single layoff in my career until post 9/11 when my company folded. And nobody would even talk to me without a degree. And yes, I have a great resume. I am now back in school at 46.

      2) Do you intend to become a technical manager? Any time you consider management as part of your long term goals, you really need to consider a degree. Before I lost my job, I was a Director in my company. I went much farther than most would without a degree, but would never have been considered for a VP position without it. If you want to be a manager, and want to be able to jump companies as a manager, many companies won’t even talk to you based on you resume. You can ONLY make that kind of move, typically, without knowing somebody there to get you that first interview. A degree gets your resume high enough in an organization, without sponsorship, to be seriously considered as a candidate.

      Bon chance!

      • #2702988

        This is very accurate…

        by mlayton ·

        In reply to Depends on long term career goals

        If you have a chance to get the degree now, get it now. In addition to economic recession, remember that your own life situation can also change and maybe at 46 you will not have the opportunity to return to school, for financial, health or familial reasons.

        The bottom line is that there are success stories in all camps, but few will deny that education opens more doors (gets your foot in the door to more places – gets the resume past more HR people – gets the extra money) than not having the degree. Sure, you can get through doors without a degree, but in the long run, if you have the opportunity to give yourself an edge, go ahead and take it.

    • #2702393

      Experience or Degree?

      by jdbooe ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have been in the industry for well over 10 years and have seen it go from Degree required to experience and back again under requisites, usually certs are seen as a plus, sometimes required. I personally think that someone who has the experience to get a network up or back up in the event of disaster is what? Experience! You will never learn all the network/workstation/server configurations by listening to a Professor or in a lab that has limited resources available to a student. In closing I think that the Executives and HR folks want to see a degree in order to justify paying a competitive salary, when the need arises they want someone who has the experience to get them back up as quickly as possible. No I don’t have a degree or cert, but I feel I have earned every cent that I charge when I’m on a location.

    • #2702390

      Experience leads to expertise

      by dean0 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      There was a study conducted which led to the Dreyfus Scale of Skills Acquisition. In essence it showed that the only thing that can take you from Novice, through Advanced Beginner, Competent, and Proficient to Expert, is experience.

      My own experiences dealing with developers and other IT professionals seem to confirm those findings. Based on that, unless I am looking for a novice I will look for the candidate with experience.

      BTW, there is a very good reason why medical doctors go through internships and residencies, and don’t jump right into practice after all that education.

    • #2702389

      another form of internet biased filtering

      by chasster ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      HR has an excellent opportunity to violate many moral and legal issues by using the internet as a form of obtaining (requiring) certain information to be provided.

      The webpage provides the ultimate filter, HR does not have to face the person, for any reason that they reject them nor provide any explanation or be held liable for biased operation.

      The only filter not being used is race, well I can?t say that for sure that the internet forms are clear of that bias.

      If you learn whom someone is you do so over time, not 7-seconds.

      Ever try to get several HR people to agree on what a resume should look like, try doing it with a resume that spans several decades, international experience and many levels of responsibility. The information will flip-flop back and forth between one HR person to the next and each will claim that they know what they are doing and that the other HR person his their own style.

      You?d think that if they were interested in anything other than collecting a fee that they would look beyond the 7-second time to understand what experience is available to pass on to a hiring manager.

      HR in its current state does well to pass along a non-experienced person that has worked at one or two jobs all their life, after that HR is pretty useless in ?matching? experience with a hiring manager whom can utilize talent.


    • #2702377

      Education VS Experience

      by acp2g ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Regarding experience versus education, a person should be hired based on their ability to perform the job needing filled, regardless of education or experience. Hence, all aspects of the job must be considered beforehand when posting the job.

      If you need a person with technical abilities who will need to interact with management, then those are the qualities you look for, regardless of education or experience. I believe you get what you look for, therefore, be careful what job qualifications you post for a position you want to fill.

      A thought to consider?.. Did you realize that the majority of replies to this discussion in favor of hiring persons with degrees over experience were unable to write their thoughts with directness and without misspelled words? Interesting.

    • #2702375

      Experience vs. Degree

      by leonard_aj ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have been working with computers and networks since early 1985. After retiring from the Navy mid 1997, I got a job with a marine electronics manufacturing company as a Senior Assembler/PC Support Specialist. The PC Support was secondary. I proved myself by examining thier current system setup and making some quick minor changes that instantly improved operations. I have no certifications or degrees. This is where my problems lie. Everyone requires some type of paper showing training and certification of some type. I still do side jobs but, had to make a fast career change in order to support my family; I’m now a truck driver. I love working with computers but the industry keeps me away. My perspective is simple; the paper provides theoretical background while the experience enables rapid solutions. The ideal IT team should have a balance of both certified and experienced support personnel. The degree/certifications will open the door for you but it will be a tough road to travel getting the experience to increase your “employability.”

    • #2702374

      Logic vs. H.R/Recruiters

      by -bw- ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      A perfect synopsis:

      You are going on an airplane trip and you have two choices for a pilot, one pilot has never flown an airplane but has passed every book-given test and scored high on all the achieving indicator marks. The other pilot has never taken a class or read a book but instead has been flying airplanes for 20 years and thousands of logged hours.
      Who would you select as your pilot?

      Thus the logical answer would be the pilot with the actual experience, however it has been my findings that United or AA would be more interested in the ?book smart? pilot, as well I have seen this in the IT industry over the last 5 years or so. I have actually worked side-by-side with MCSE?s who couldn?t change a hard disk drive in a computer and have CNE?s drop networks like a bad habit, but hey, they are getting the jobs because they can simply read, retain and test ? not because they can and have done the work!


      • #2702337

        RE: Logic Vs. HR Recruiters

        by robotech ·

        In reply to Logic vs. H.R/Recruiters

        Just had a recruiter call me who couldn’t tell the difference between a phrase on my r?sum? indicating my work experience, and the company that I last worked for.
        Pathetic, how do they evaluate people? In 2002, I saw a job posted on that said, “Six Years Experience on Windows 2000 Active Directory”, as well as degree etc.
        Unless one is a time traveler, that would certainly not have been possible.
        People get silly over degrees and certs, instead of considering someone’s real world experience. When new technologies are introduced, they are taught to telecom/data employees in 5-day courses.
        A university lecturer reads the white paper and then teaches it as if he invented it. I know, because in college I used to help some of my lecturers explain things that I already knew from real world experience.
        Nevertheless, many recruiters continue to call for interviews people who have degrees and certs but no real ?in the trenches? experience, then the companies say that certifications are useless. That’s not the problem; the problem is with the recruiters!
        I’ve realized that when companies do their own interviewing/hiring instead of outsourcing to a recruiting company, they tend to put more emphasis on how quickly a future employee can be of immediate benefit to the company. With that in mind, they tend to focus more on experience and certs, rather than a degree (which is usually obsolete in IT by the time you graduate).
        There are some people who say that the degree shows that one is disciplined enough to study, blaah, blah, blaah. But that only applies in the case of a kid who just left college.
        I will hire anyone over 30 years old who has tons of experience, rather than a 22 year old with a college degree. The 22 year old knows how to study and retain, while having his expenses covered by Mom and Dad; but the 30 year old knows how to juggle a full time job, certs, family, bills, new technologies etc.
        Who do you think will adapt more easily to a new job?

    • #2702373

      … maybe

      by tcube_0 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      One thing everybody realised: graduated or not certifyed or not you have to do the job and you have to do it fast, that’s the only thing they are now interested into, efficiency. If you’re efficient and profficient at what you’re doing you’ll allways get a job nomather what, even if you have been a babysitter if you have played arround with networks and are really passiond about that subject you *will* get a job even if it’s 2000, before or after. It is true you will face some stiff resistance from all HR departments but you will find your entry at those companyes who don’t have one and who really have to evaluate every single candidate. Problem with graduated developers is that they have learned a certain way of thinking and find it very hard to see the forest because of all those trees. It’s very easy to pick a graduated engeneer but it’s much harder to find someone to actually solve your problems.

    • #2702366

      What else can one say? … A little bit more of course!

      by k-jac ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      My $CDN 0.02,

      Bottom Line: It Really Depends On The Person

      My motivation comes from the challenges in presenting, selling and delivering on my knowledge and expertise in a degree-biased world. I have done so successfully for over 27 years. I love it even though the lure of a MBA in IT is strong at times.

      In the pursuit of bona fide paper credentials; I find there is a lot of effort and time expended to get one, to un-learn what you have learned in your experiences, to reapply what truths you have discovered and to remain fresh and relevant. For me, that prospect is not efficient. I rather focus my efforts on keeping fresh and relevant.

      I believe the intrinsic qualities and traits of a well rounded IT professional are also the basis of a free-thinking, entrepenuerial problem solver; one who lives constantly in the intractable and thrives.

      While I don’t need to validate my person through a total university experience (and subject it to the way somebody else thinks), I have participated in adjunct studies with a few good institutions to get the information I needed to do my job. I do hold a diploma from a technical college as well. That is also where I began to think on my feet and for myself.

      If you believe in yourself (how you were created and what you are to become) and you have a vision and a dream to follow, then a degree may be superfluous.

      Tempis Fugit — Time Is Money.

    • #2702364

      Better Experienced and Undergratuate

      by sjefwa ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I think experience is the key to everything, what people should look at is what one can do. some people are more experienced and they have not been to higher education levels. Lets look at being responsible at ready to work at any given time. Few people given an instance will push it to the juniors and the Bosses dont put their hands in scenarios.

    • #2702362

      How I recently hired

      by pajavaone ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      The value of a degree will vary from company to company, so it’s difficult to make generalizations here. But I can tell you about my recent hiring experience, and hopefully you will find this helpful.

      Back in the Spring, I received many resumes in response to an opening for a senior Java developer. In screening the many resumes, I only looked at skills (if listed separately) and the most recent job or two. I was looking for real experience with specific technologies and didn’t care about a degree.

      I then conducted phone interviews based on technical questions (“how” and “why” questions to show if the candidate knew how to apply technical knowledge). Those that did well were brought in for in person interviews with managers and senior developers where evaluations were based on both technical and personal skills/qualities.

      In all, we never cared about the degree that a candidate had. Those who did the best were generally those with the most real experience. This is not to say that a degree is not worthwhile; it just wasn’t really a factor when WE hired.

      The candidate we ended up hiring is a skilled developer who has been a good match for the position so far. And, in case you wondered, she has an undergraduate degree in mathematics.

    • #2702361

      sediking best reason…not

      by robert ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Like alot of working stiffs i agree with red and lot of the others, a degree is good but what you know is alot better. I started 16 years ago in this field for a reseller that did every kind of thing with micro computers you can think of, from soddering on diods and/or capscitors for a memory upgrade to multi platform/topology if you think because you went to school you will get the job you are only part right, it takes dedication and self perseverance to get any where in this field.

      ps. along with alot of hours after hours.

    • #2702353

      Education, Certs??? LOL

      by drkgfx ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      What I find is the people hiring want the wrong certs for the position. MCSE for help desk? “I’m having a problem with my word document. Well do you know the IP address of your word doc?” And seriously certification and education only mean that you ansured right to multiple choice questions. Right now everyone and their dog has MCSE (Except me), and I’m really not seriously looking for certs, I think with the market being as flooded as it is certs are usless. Yes they do help and yes education helps, but I think companies are looking for the wrong things. Honestly I think a University degree just makes a person a stuffy Suit.

    • #2702343

      Reply To: Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      by myron_s ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Here is my lived through view of the problem.

      I’m literally self-taught (pity about my grammar and spelling, but give me space, I just come home from a mentally hard time managing a network) and ended up working in the company I’m now at.

      Reason? A more educated person (roughtly the boss’s words) put up more barriers and problems that he ended up becoming a pain.

      Finally, I take over and give the entire network a major make-over. Now it’s working as sweat as it can ever be and is working with the staff, not against the staff.

      I’m at the point where I’m at home most of the time and not at the office. A good innovation is broadband. I’m at home, but still sat at my desk in the office. Actually, I can be sat at ANY desk with a computer on it, but I’m still at home.

      For the majority of graduates to make it, better treat the situation like learning to drive the car. First you learn the basics and then satisfy the examiner. Once you’ve passed, throw the heyway code book out of the window, becom inventive, be a people person, be inventive, so what others want when it may not necesserally be what you want to do.

      Most times going by the book slows you down enough to let a competitor beat you to the finishing post.

      How do I know this? Done this many times. I end up the being instrumental to getting the orders and the cash? The educated lot end up getting blown out of the water.

      It’s not just about technology and procedures . . . Many times these two are just such a major pain in the ass!

      There, my penny’s worth, inc. bad grammor and spolling to boot!

    • #2702340

      Education means your commited to your career

      by kwright ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I had a phone interview once.. I had lots of experience but no education. He told me that although your experience is impressive the truth of the matter is its not everything. The interviewer told me let me give you a bit of advise. Employers want to see you have an education in your field of labor and then back that up with certifications and then back up the certs with experience. This makes for a better well rounded employee that has learned his/hers trade certified themselves in it an then applied thier knowledge.

    • #2702328

      More Money

      by frobinsn ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I personally believe its the person not the accreditation. Experience and certifications are valuable and can’t be beat. However to get thru the door (HR) and get a higher pay bracket if your just starting out or have few years expereince then the degree will give you the edge unfortunately. I have met both good and bad from both sides and my opinion is if you can get a degree, take it. I have had people with MSc’c work with me who were complete jokers and guys who worked there way up who are absolutely brilliant. There are other things that you’ll learn as a result like proper techniques to do things and other disciplines that you may just be better at.

      My 2 cents….

    • #2702326

      Non degreed professional

      by thebooch ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      It seems that most organizations today require a degree to even get past the HR screening process. Unless you have built up a pretty substantial resume it will be difficult for someone new in the field in the current job market to A. Get hired and B. Make any upwards progress. I don?t have a degree but with 18 years IS/IT experience I have been able to secure senior level positions in both large and small companies – CTO at a dot-com, Technical Ops Director at a 60,000 employee pharmaceutical and currently Director of IT at a fairly large hospital. I pay little regard to degrees while evaluating candidates and look primary at attitude, aptitude and applicable experience and will lean towards experience every time. Educating IT staff on business functions, goals, and priorities and standing in front of the Board or Executive team is my job.

    • #2702324

      Undergraduates with Experience

      by bj_terrell ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have been in IT for over 20 years. I have a degree in Music and never had any computer classes in college. Since college I have obtained many IT certifications, and over 20 years have logged more hours in IT classes and seminars than the time I spent in college. I began using a computer shortly after I graduated in 1983. I have managed huge IT projects and at one time had over 27 IT staff reporting to me. Education is important but I will always hire a seasoned veterian, or what I call a field trained IT soldier who has been on the front lines, over a college graduate with little or no expierience. My suggestion is that a person who wants a degree in IT today, mix their time between the class room, and working or interning with a company where they can gain the technical skills needed to find an IT job. It has also been my expierience that colleges are normally 2-3 years behing current technology. In IT where everything is changing at a phenomial pace that is a long time.

      I hope this helps!

    • #2702322

      Technical Degree Not Necessary

      by artman11 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I’ve been in IT for more than 20 years, most recently with a heavy emphasis in technical management. Of the most talented programmers I know and have known, 75% have unrelated degrees.

      What I need in a programmer are reasoning, analytical and problem solving skils and the ability to relate to the real world. These are a lot harder to teach than programming languages.

      I must also admit my bias. I am a self-taught programmer with a degree in Philosophy.

    • #2702320

      Ability to learn is the key!

      by dwright ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      One’s ability to learn and think is more important than what one knows. Experience in one area or college doesn?t guarantee that trait. Seek people who are comfortable with change, have ambition and then find them the resources to excel. That requires work! Ask about overall life experiences such as how the individual dealt with failures or challenges. I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees (science and technology) and have been a consultant for almost 20 years. As the saying goes ‘give me someone who is poor, smart and hungry?’!

    • #2702974

      Knowledge comes with experience

      by brian ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Most course material focuses on setup and configuration. This is good for brand new installations, but not as useful in the real world of “battered” systems. I only employ people with good field experience, it’s not about what you know, but what you can do and have done.

    • #2702955

      Change of Mentality Needs

      by rknrlkid ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Unfortunately, like always, there is an “us versus them” mentality on these boards. I and others have written numerous times on this subject.

      It is never either/or. Any job seeker must face certain realities in the business world, and one of those is the value of degrees and certifications.

      I will comment this time on one thing that I partially agree with from the posts. A college degree is absolutely essential. However, a COMPUTER SCIENCE degree in my experience is a poor degree. These are the individuals who must be led by the hand. In almost every computer science department I have looked into the curriculum was so out of touch with reality that it was useless.

      I know that many will disagree, but the best bet to me is a) GET A DEGREE, PERIOD, and b) get the degree in Business Arts, Business Management, or, if you have already started working on a degree and are most of the way done, FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED, regardless of the major. ANYTHING but Computer Science. Ultimately, all anyone cares about is if you have a degree, not what its in. Finishing college shows that you can actually complete something important that you start. All corporate cultures irrationally worship the value of a college degree. Even if you hate going to school, get the degree to check the block if for no other reason. If you want to be a “well-rounded” person, the degree to get is one in the liberal sciences. Its interesting to note that when you do a job search on “Human Interface Developer” (i.e., graphic user interface designer) the degree requirment is Behavioral Science, not Computer Science. That is because a GUI has nothing to do wtih computers, but everything to do with how people sympbolically interact.

      Everyone without a degree wants to point out how Bill Gates is so spectactular and he dropped out of college. I think the biggest mistake Bill Gates ever made was not finishing college. (After all these years, you could have finished!) Be that as it may, Bell Gates is the EXCEPTION, not the RULE. None of you are Bill Gates. You are YOU. Be YOU. Read a few of the biographies of Bill Gates, and you will see that a) he had very advanced mathematics and engineering knowledge, even in high school, and b) he lived, ate and breathed computers. Most people who claim the Bill Gates story do not have his background. So it is an invalid comparison.

      As I said on a different thread, reality is that you need a degree PLUS certifications PLUS experience.

    • #2702922

      A biased view…

      by klinberg ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Greetings. I prepared an article on this subject a couple of years ago that might shed some light on the subject. See:

      I run the School of Technology at Capella University, so I’m biased with respect to education or experience. I think many people need both, but it’s so important to find a GOOD school.

    • #2702916

      Happy but not enough

      by rashid breedy ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I’m in my mid 28. I only have certifications that have helped me throughout my IT carrer, and I said IT carrer because what I do, is important for my employers and the company, and I do whatever it takes to meet that goals. Thanks God I have a great job, but is not enough, if you can hold a degree go for it! At the end, all that matters is in you, and how you do it! Remember, always positive…

    • #2702910

      It depnds on you!

      by csaunders ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      It all depends on how you sell yourself in the industry. I have taken most of the Microsoft Windows 2000 courses, some CISCO & a few of the new ones for Exchange and Windows 2003. However, I do not hold any certifications or degrees and did not attend any 2 or four year programs.

      I have had 10 years of good employment and expierience in the industry now. I have been hired each time becuase I am confident in what I do and learn very quickly. I also make sure to sell this in the interviews and when I ask why I was hired, the reponse that I get indicates I did a good job of selling myself.

      I found early on that I learn from the instruction environment but I am not a test taker and that a lot of the material (although useful for reference) really does not apply to the real live environment becuase of custom software, hardware and network topology.

      All I can say is….. make a good effort to sell yourself to potential employers!

    • #2702901

      A degree is neither the holy grail or panacea in hiring

      by sbracken ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Education is important but experience is far more valuable
      in the real world. Education proves you can learn but it is
      not a guarantee that you can think creatively. Many
      managers will only hire based on education or certification.
      If their hires fail to perform these managers will say, “it
      wasn’t my fault, the guy had all of the credentials”. All of
      my successful hiring was based on 4 ?A?s? Attitude, Ability,
      Aptitude & Adaptability.

    • #2702898

      Of course they do

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Perhaps certs will give SOME employers a way to choose staf, but not all employers need certs and studies.

      I was hired for an IT position with NO prior experience, No IT certs or anything.

      They just wanted my capabilities, not expriences.

      I have a good prove track record for fixing companies and have friends in important places. This gets me work over and above almost any applicant anytime.

      You track record is FAR mroe important than your education, however there are still companies out there who believe certification is a requirement for staff, not drive or ability.

    • #2702897

      Experiance vs degree

      by jhagen ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      To be honest with you I would prefer both. But that would be considered a perfect world. But choosing between the two is simple. Experience will win every time. While a degree is nice on paper experience rules the world. I know people out there that can run circles around a degree without batting an eye. Just because you have a degree doesn?t really mean you know what you are doing in a ?real world system?. No amount of schooling can prepare you for the problems that technologically challenged people are about to inundate you with. Experience all the way!

    • #2702880

      A Case Of The Sword Is Mightier Than The Pen

      by it-guy ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I am in the position of rating potential candidates for variou IT positions and I always give more credence to experience over acedemic creditials. Formal education is valuable but real-life experience shows what a person can do whether it is administration or programming or design or help-desk. I look for performance over “gee, I can do that if you give me a chance to learn”!

      • #2702709

        True, but remember no one knows all

        by tomsal ·

        In reply to A Case Of The Sword Is Mightier Than The Pen

        Largely I agree with you…I believe in one single means of knowing what you know though…

        I think formal training/education is very important, if someone things there is no creedance AT ALL to training/degrees/certs — then I think they are a bit of a whack job to be honest.

        That said, certs/training/degrees ALONE do not automatically mean you truly know your stuff — so experience kicks in at this point. Experience is highly valuable, especially true in more specialized fields.

        Keep in mind always though, and I think ALL hiring/HR/IT managers should be open to this tidbit…NO ONE, I don’t care who you are, don’t care how many certs,degrees hell in this case I don’t even care what your experience record is — NO ONE knows everything.

        Everyone one of us, admit it, has had to supplement our knowledge be it but referring to a book, researching the ‘net, attending a seminar, etc. at one point or another.

        I’m not ashamed — I’ll tell you I use several books very frequently in the course of my job.

        Of course I personally believe that TRUE intelligence isn’t knowing all the answers, but knowing how to get “all” the answers in as fast, efficient and accurate time-frame as possible.

        Also if you hire folks — make sure you also look for those willing to learn, those with a lot of ambition, drive…not someone who will just use what they know at that time and never advance him/herself any further.

        • #2705363

          I cannot agree with you at all

          by james.chau ·

          In reply to True, but remember no one knows all

          Training in general waste company and individual time and money, and yes, a lot of time and money had gone into total waste producing not an iota of benefit to neither the individual nor the company. Experience is a personal thing, most people do not possess experience of value, a lifetime of training cannot produce an Einstein, because Einstein did not succeed because of his training or experience, he succeeded because of his valuable experience, not seniority and credentials.

      • #2705361

        u take an unnecessary chance and may lose

        by james.chau ·

        In reply to A Case Of The Sword Is Mightier Than The Pen

        u really should not let these superficial elements such as perceived experience or academic credentials affect ur decision and perhaps ur own credibility. Unless u have the static knowledge and the dynamic synergetic intelligence to probe and evaluate a real pro, u r taking a big risk in taking in old crooks, and believe me, there r tons of them.

    • #2702858

      smell the coffee..

      by knd911 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      my experience with job search has taught me nothing but the age old cliche, its who you know and not what you know.

    • #2702846

      How good are my chances?

      by lnair78 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Dear All,

      I was going through all the posted replies and was wondering how good are my chances in IT under my current qualification. I’m pasting my resume along with this post. I would appreciate replies for all you gentlemen.


      MY RESUME:


      Latesh P Nair
      VishwaGram Info Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd.
      3rd Floor, St. Patrick?s Complex, Brigade Road.
      Bangalore ? 560 025
      Phone: +919886714503

      Experience (Total 4 years)

      Manager ? IT
      12/2002 – Present VishwaGram Info Marketing Services (P) Ltd., Bangalore

      Job Description:

      In charge for total IT infrastructure (Systems, network, telecomm, websites, mail servers, web designing, small application building for in-house use).

      Incharge of Entire Indian operation for promoting and implementation of Collect Calls and Credit Call Calling Service throughout India.

      Systems Administrator
      1/2001 ? 12/2002 NetERP India Pvt. Ltd. Bangalore

      Job Description:

      Support For Hardware: Installation and troubleshooting of hardware problem: Intel PI ? PIV, IBM AMD systems. Printers (Inkjet Jet, Laser, Dot-matrix), Scanners.

      Support for Software: Operation System:
      Installation and troubleshooting of software (Windows9x/Me/NT/2000/XP, UNIX. Linux, Solaris.

      Was actively involved in Software installation and troubleshooting of:
      Apache ? Tomcat, DBAnywhere, Javawebserver, and Oracle 8i on Linux Mandrake/Red hat.


      ? Designed and upgraded the Network from HUB network to unmanaged switches serving 70 clients at 100 Mbps from 10 Mbps. Interconnectivity between two office buildings.

      ? Designed and upgraded network from MS windows NT 4.0 Server Domain to Windows 2000 Server serving all the concerning clients to MS Windows 2000 Professional. Successfully configured Active Directory.

      ? Installed and configured cross platform between MS Windows 2000 Domain and Linux.

      ? Automated Backup configuration for all clients on the server. And from server to CDWR, Tape Drive and Zip Drive.

      ? Antivirus installation and automated antivirus updates for all clients in the same network through the Server.

      ? Implemented Security Policy Which included Intranet Security, Antivirus Policy, Internet Policy, Backup Policy, and Software Licensing.

      ? Installed and configured Windows 2000 Exchange Server/ Qmail for Intranet Mail Services.

      ? Installed and configured Winproxy (Internet Proxy Server) with Firewall.

      Hardware Engineer
      5/2000 ? 1/2001 Galaxy Software, Bangalore

      Job Description:
      Support For Network and PC?s, Servers, and software. Was also Incharge for IT- Security.

      Service Engineer
      1/1999 ? 4/2000 Turning Point Computers, Bangalore

      Job Description:
      Hardware, Network & Software installation and support on call services.

      PI Ship (6 Months)

      Job Description:

      Incharge for Machine Room, support for systems and support for students doing project works on C, C++ on UNIX Platform/ Windows NT.

      ? Sun Solaris Introductory Courses ? Certification
      ? GNIIT (2.5 Year Course)
      ? Language: C++, VB, VJ++, HTML, DHTML, MS FrontPage.
      ? RDBMS: Access, Oracle, Sybase MSSQL
      ? Application: MSOFFICE Full Suite.
      ? 10 + 2(C.B.S.E Board) – 1998


      Arvind Thimmaya ? Vice President, Galaxy Software

      Francis Lobo ? Director,Vishwagram Info Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd.

      Additional Information:

      Gender: Male
      Nationality: India
      Mother Tongue: Malayalam
      Date of Birth: 14/10/1978
      Personal Strength: Honestly, Positive Attitude, Sincere, Hardworking
      Personal Weakness: Emotional
      Known Languages: English, Hindi, Punjabi & Malayalam

      • #2702732

        You sound OK, but your cv needs help

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to How good are my chances?

        You’re not selling youself well with this cv in the european market. Given what you are saying I’d have two cvs, one technical and one management. The cv makes your strengths obvious any weaknesses, particularly the one you admit to should not appear on your cv, ever. I guarantee any european recruiter will consign it to the trash bin, on the basis that if you are admitting to being emotional, you must be understating and are therefore a lunatic with violent mood swings.

    • #2702844

      Experience plus education=dynamite

      by michael.gorman ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I think experience is going to be highly valued, but it has to be real relevant experience. The quality of the candidate rests not on what glorious tales they can relate about ‘I have worked here and done this’-but about their actual ability on the job. No one is a total guru on everything, but the quality of being open to learning, researching issues and a desire to get the job done is a powerful indicator of commitment. I have just started my Masters degree with 10 years on-the-job experience, it has to count for something? New grads have a tough job; but attitude is a really big aspect.

    • #2702842

      Finish the degree

      by kyuso ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      This question seems to indicate a need to get a full-time job without graduating. If you have experience, then getting a degree will be very beneficial.

      Getting into the job market without a degree is risky in the long run. You may get into the market easily when there are demands for your specific skills, but it is not easy when the time comes to move up the ladder, since the type of job that requires specific skills without a degree is quite limited for growth.

      Of course, it depends on other factors. When the market is very lucrative and that specific skill happens to be in demand for a long time, or you happen to be someone who is very self-motivated and learns fast and can survive for years, or you can make it rich on your own, then it’s a different story. But that is not a norm in IT.

    • #2702822

      Experience is better than just a Degree

      by nirmaldey ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I guess experience teaches you a lot more than your degree. In fact if you compare an experienced undergraduate with a newly graduate I would any time hire an individual with experience of at least 1 year. However, if you compare an undergraduate with experience and a graduate with same experience I would try and evaluate and hire the one who meets my requirement and has better capabilities. Once you are employed all that matters is how and what you have contributed to the organization and how and what you can achieve in future.

      Be in touch Dhiraj.

    • #2702800

      Hard working undergraduates Do have a chance

      by ammaina ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I am an undergraduate in a graduate infested organization, but I dont think anyone except the HRknow coz I work very hard and I beat my graduate colleges in sorting out IT problems.
      The only problem will be to get a new job, someone has to commend you.
      Hard work pays

    • #2702758

      Degree is key IMHO

      by prplshroud ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      If you want to make it in this world, having that degree is more key than ever. Plus it opens more doors than you would think.

      If I were going through a pile of resumes, first priority is to find folks that actually completed their degree programs.

      Dropping out of college in favor of getting a professional job tells me a few things about the candidate straight out. In most cases this means that the candidate gave up on a 2/4 year commitment to make money. Sure we all want/need/could always use more money in our pocket, but completing that degree shows that a candidate can make that commitment to something.

      I’ve worked the people that were “working on their BS” and they were a couple of classes away from finishing. These are people that went to school full time and stopped so they could earn the “big money” and finish while working. Well, in most of the cases of these people, the time was measured in years they were working and not finished with a BS program.

      Do yourself a favor, stay in school, get the degree. You might not realize it now, but it will get your foot in the door later in life because you made a commitment to something.

      I’m proud of my accomplishment of going to college and graduating. My diploma is proudly displayed on a wall in my house.

      I think if you stick with it, 10 years down the road, you’ll be happy you did because you’ll have a job and you got your foot in the door because of that section on your resume that says you’ve got a BS, a BS, or some other degree that starts with a B.

      Most of the umemployed I know today are those that gave up on the degree and went for pictures of dead presidents instead.

    • #2702752

      Experience outweighs any Degree

      by kpotts ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      After going through my Technical schooling, it was obvious that my already 10 years of experience (no schooling) was deffinitley a help to me. Others that did not have any experience but an interest were absolutley in left feild.

      Computers are one of the few things like people that without exsetnsive experience and practice are almost impossible to reason with. All the schooling is not going to help you if you have not come face to face with the problems that can happen with a computer that they don’t teach you in school.

      In my opinion, troubleshooting has to be your strong suit. Along with that – if you are a whiz at resourcing, you have it made.

      Don’t get me wrong, schooling is important as well. The basics are good, degrees etc… just look good.

    • #2702744

      Degreed People

      by louisrizzo ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      In large businesses the person with a degree has a much better chance than someone without one, even if their experience is in an area of need. For the most part personnel offices in these companies won’t even read the resume of a non-degreed person. For smaller companies where management is closer to the work that is being done someone with experience has the ear of management so that person stands a better chance.

    • #2702711

      They should be

      by yulnores ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      They should be hired. A knowledge test (hands on) between the experienced and the newly grad will determine that. By experience, experience is always better, new knowledge,concepts of course do help a lot.

    • #2702661

      Combat Networking,

      by cdgun ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      How about this, I am deployed to Iraq with the Army, I am a CCNA and am my companies Automations NCO “Computer support” but this is not my primary job. On the side I Set up and run a small Sattelite Internet network using Generator power and UPS in the middle of the desert in average temperature of 115 degrees thanks to AC. All while I keep the Helicopters flying. even with a degree some dont know the meaning of pressure.

    • #2705393


      by hardwireddgs_1 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I was recently employed with the US Navy, performing a complete update of their NMCI Intranet. During my employment, there were many people who had different types and levels of degrees and who seemed completely lost at first, yet I found myself, being self-taught personally as well as on the job training, teaching them such simple things as finding computers not identifying themselves on the network. At one point we had to halt production so that I could give a class on using the “PING” command!!!! I found that the most knowledgeable and easily trained personel were those that didn’t have college degrees, but who were computer lovers, those whose life revolved around their computers and their thirst to always know more. My best team members were 2 self-taught hackers\game developers who assembled, setup, configured, migrated and turned over 7-10 systems a day!

    • #2705348

      The difference

      by collins_rf ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      My experience is one of a non-degreed individual. There can be no doubt on the value of a degree. This is not necesarrily the same as the degreed. The sheepskin definitely gets the eyes of the purseholder therefore gets more opened doors. I have found that in order to get the same recognition I must put out 150%, 100% of the time. My work experience has educated me. However, if I finished my degree it would be easier to get to a place where the same effort would really accelerate my own career. There is degree envy but it is not like some have suggested. It is more an envy of those who do little or produce so much less or of such lacking quality but somehow receive kudos. My intention is to finish my education from the management perspective so that those that do as I described above, either degreed or non-degreed, do not just slink by.

    • #2705338


      by phantasm32 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      By experince, i could tell you that a person with a degree gets hire more than a person with experince. I know this for a fact, I have deal with computer since the early 70 when programs had to be type in and you had to know how to fix a computer where it was hardware of software you had to fix them.
      An example I worked for group and I was in charge of a military installation on maintaining the system running and maintaining them where it was software or hardware. I was military under civilian who were in charge. I would received call from the persons over me on how to fix a problem, and these guy had master degree and one thing that always got me is how someone with a degree would not know the simples thing as to fdisk a harddrive. And belive me it still happens I have apply for some TI and a person with a degree would get the job before I would
      Thank for letting me get some of my thoughs.

    • #2705316

      Fresh grads are Better

      by mansurk ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      The IT career is purely dependent on the Tools or technical expertise of any position. If you hire a fresh grad and if you see someone with potential, he/she should be given a chance to prove themselves.Although theres no substitute for experience. In short, a fresh IT grad is more promising then any experienced because you can hone thier skills towards your requirements like training and development.

    • #2705271

      Experience matters

      by poppi ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I live in South Carolina. Locally, experience of 2 to 3 years without a degree still out weighs just having a degree. When I entered the IT field I had several certs, including MSCE, and could not get hired without the experience. Fortunately one company took me on and it’s been great. Now I have the experience! Of course all this depends on many factors… availability and demand. IT in SC is a tough market.

    • #2705216

      Eval the person on his Practicle skills

      by likeminders ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Definitely a experienced person can proved a reliable n timely solution for a problem than
      a fresh graduate.

      So the Experienced Undergraduates must considered.
      At the end of the day the thing that counts in the company is whether the work is done or not.

      In my opinion the technical interviews must be 100% Practicle Oriented.

      So the person can be better accessed.

    • #2704605

      Yes they do…..

      by lukemarklincoln ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have no degree, but I do have a HNC in Business IT and a HNC in Civil engineering, the value if the two qualifications would possibly add up to more than a degree but not all employers recognise the fact that HNC students are usually working full time as well as studying a “degree level” qualification which is potentially more difficult than concentrating on study alone. I have 8 years experience in my field, I have just had a payrise of around 30% and my job title upgraded, there are graduates who work for me and are managed by me – so in all I would say yes, in many cases depending on the field of expertise that experience is more valuable than a degree. Realistically the two combined are better but how can you get experience while you(most students)are partying er… sorry studying.


      Luke Lincoln

    • #2704587

      It’s all about the individual, and the job at hand…

      by cjc9 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      There’s two issues here, the individual, and the job at hand…I would hire and undergrad with no degree in a minute to help build an application that he or she had relevant experience with in the past.

      Would I hire that same person to be the tech lead for such a project? Probably not.

      Undergrads with experience can help out immensely with the job of building an application, or set of applications…the drawback for the undergrads is that they would probably not be paid on an “even keel” with other “degreed” employees.

      Later on down the road, a degree doesn’t matter much. If someone has been building applications for 10 years, and demonstrated good working knowledge of what I was looking for…I could care less…

      Also, I’ve seen people with degrees in Art History working as programmers, does that matter? Well, if I have two candidates applying for a software engineering/architect role, one with a degree in Computer Science and one with a degree in Art History, I’m going to ask the one with the Art History degree many more “tough” questions!!

      I’ve always said a degree might get you your first job, but what you do on that first job is going to get you your subsequent jobs…the same way that most employers really don’t care what you scored on your SATs in high schoool…

      …just my 2 cents…

    • #2704573

      experience vrs degree

      by cab2 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      There are companies that demand a degree. Some of them are okay. Smart companies look for proof you have done/can do the job. Experience counts more there. Most of those companies are okay. I personally never held a degree against anyone IF they could prove they could do the job.

    • #2704571

      experience vrs degree

      by cab2 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      There are companies that demand a degree. Some of them are okay. Smart companies look for proof you have done/can do the job. Experience counts more there. Most of those companies are okay. I personally never held a degree against anyone IF they could prove they could do the job.

    • #2704534

      25 years in TELCO

      by rx3241 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Monday, August 16, 2004
      The piece of paper will open doors. SBC has its? Leadership Development Program. Graduate from a ?Name? school and HR will check you out. You?ll do three years in the program, each year in a different department, and than you?ll make second level manager ($80 – $100k).
      I finished my BS degree in Management in 2002. I was hired as a Manager for special services (HI CAP, T1, OC 12-48?). The paper got me in the door, but I still had to perform. Telco is a de-reg. business now. Look at ATT., now that Dorman can?t rip folks off, He wants out of the Local business.
      You could spend money on Career counselors (clones) or you could keep it simple.

      Your great at chess (dynamic strategies), you win most of the time. You have no written proof that your great. You spend a lot of money for written proof (your no better, just ?got paper? now). The difference is now you have a chance to show your stuff. You can still fail. If you go for what you enjoy, that will be the most sustainable gratification when your doing your thing. Solving problems is what any job is about. The problem today may change to a different problem tomorrow (dynamic strategies). The difference between chess and Business is this: In chess you can see the whole board, in business you have external environments undermining your goals, your blind to attack unless you delegate team members to know what your foe is doing.
      Asses your self honestly, think outside those boxes, never stop learning?that?s like being half dead.
      This is mostly ?secular stuff?. Faith in yourself and the big guy can?t hurt.

    • #2704401


      by starat300 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Area of spealialisation in ICT, the competence of the individual, the exposure of the individual to the require IT infrastructures, that will be needed on the job.

      In my part of the world, craze for paper qualification is utmost, so if the person does know, he must be able to speak to many grammar and wear beautiful suits to make up.

      The point remains, hand-on experience is better, the side effect is that such ones may not get pay rise on time.

      These are my submissions.


    • #2704313

      experience vs degree

      by laredoflash9 ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      It really doesn’t matter… If you have experience, the employer will whine about not having a degree. I you have a degree, they will whine that you don’t have experience. If you have both, then they whine that you are over qualified and are looking for an entry level person. I say to hell with them! These are the anal retentive control freaks that presently dominate the IT arena. We of the open systems group who prefer to supervise, enligten, and train have had a hard time with these controllers. They tend to be insecure and paranoid. They are afraid to hire anybody who is knowledgeable or better educated than them. We keep pluggin though. Eventually these people will die off…..

    • #2704241

      Way to vague

      by krogelr ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      The IT industry can employee any number of people at all levels. I have worked for several companies over the years in IT at these various levels.

      The biggest obstacle I see people facing is ability. I have hired people with little experience that have great potential and turned down people with a lot of degree and certification but no real troubleshooting skill.

      Prove your ability to solve problems and get the job done in the technical area you will be working. To me that is the most important thing. And be prepared to move for better pay if your area is depressed.

    • #2704962

      Reality Sets In

      by mlanphea ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      I have seen those with experience and/or a degree who weren’t worth the powder to blow them back out the door. A degree may get you an interview, may get you a job; but knowledge and ability will keep it and get you promoted. That usually comes from experience, of one kind or another. Sometimes, your stuck with your Personnel rules and have to follow the rules on who you can hire, and who you can’t. Sometimes life ain’t fair. We all need to try harder to make it that way, if we can though. So – Education OR Experience? Both are good. Knowledge and ability trump them, if you can play it that way.

    • #2709863

      Personality Clash

      by gsosis ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Don’t get confused about this issue. Both are necessary. You need to be tutored in a career in order to understand the language and symbols in that line of career. Experience is what you acquire when you start applying the knowledge of the career. Experience do count a lot. A saying in my place: you don’t face challenges, you say you are wise, who taught you?
      – CRO, GSO Sistemms.

    • #2711153

      high school diploma can suffice

      by unomas ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Degrees are good, however what got me into the computer field in 1981 was meeting up with a high school grad who was running the mainframe computer department at our company. PhD’s in economics (the field I was studying) were earning 35K a year then. The high school grad was making 55K doing the computer thing. I switched fields in a hurry and learned that a degree was not everything in the field of computers. Even today in 2004, I know people high up in the industry who do not have a degree to support them. Love of work and persistance in learing the basics is what really pays off to be financially succesful in this field. Sure, many hope that a degree will result in both a good job offer and status, but that is usually reserved for grads of top Ivy league institutions. To really impress someone you should show a keen interest in the type of work you are applying for and have an excellent understanding of the fundamentals of how systems and networks function and most importantly you should be able to communicate how hiring you will bring added value to the organization where you want to work.

    • #2711118

      It is the person who can best do the job-degree or no degree

      by chaigram ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      In this highly competative and focused IT market, the organizations are looking for candidates who have the closest experience and the personality to the perform the job at hand.

    • #2717461

      your chances are lesser

      by lantonio ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      By HR standard, applicants with degrees have better chances of getting hired than undergraduates but it depends on the organization. Some hire those with experience and later send them back to school at company’s expense so they get a degree but it means additional investment on the company’s side.

    • #2717416

      I can’t say from experience but I tried

      by carterdn ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Geez! How did I stumble on this? Ten years of social abstinence in lieu of studies; the certificates, the AAS, and then being told it’s not enough. I would say it’s OK if you’ve got a position w/o the time in labor, it’s OK if you want to offshore to save your budget, it’s OK if you like to download every crack piece of spyware so you don’t have to remember your password, and its OK that you’ve found the best P2P portal on the web to listen to at lunch. But in the meantime, it’s going to cost you $100.00 an hour to show you how to uuencode your grandma’s email pictures, mask out Uncle Jake’s open barn door, and tarball that w/o the results going to LoPht for some additional detail work, before you get it back, and even more to get your business up to par with Sorbanes-Oxley and make your PC stop rebooting in the middle of creating that important document. No hard feelings, heh? Yes Elizabeth, there is a Santa Claus.

    • #2717393

      Degree,Cert, Experience or Other?

      by barrywoodward ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      Degree: 1. A Uni I attended in 1996 was using IT Software that was 10 years out-of-date and never in the popular mainstream. 2.The Lecturer showed all his students how to cheat the exams. 3.I had to teach the Lecturer how to make IT Templates for the Uni software package. 4.In 2003 I applied to learn Oracle at another Uni. First I was expected to learn Marketing (40 hours), Systems Analysis (18 hours), Normalisation (22 Hours), HR (40 hours), Java programming (40 Hours), Harvard Report Writing (20 Hours), and Radio Broadcasting (20 Hours). A broad education? Or a waste of valuable time for a 60 year old with 20 years IT experience? or a way for the Uni business to make easy money? 5 of the 6 Uni lecturers were IT illiterates unable to use the Uni computers to discover how many students were in their classes, and how many seats would be needed in a classroom. The Java Lecturer was Asian with a (foreign)degree in Maths. He had no previous teacher training and had never heard of the term “Debug”. He was firmly convinced that A Maths degree was essential for any Computer Studies student.
      I conclude that the Uni’s primary purpose is not to educate but to extract money from Government Funds and immature student victims.
      Grammar and Spelling. Some of your contributors are of foreign origin. I hope you do not think they are dumb just because they are not English language experts? Spelling is inexcuseable laziness with today’s Spell Checkers. However, the best spell checked prose can be changed by the publishing process.
      Corporate Presentations: As a former Air Traffic Controller I had to twice daily brief aircrew on Weather, Missions, Aviation Hazards, Etc. I had sickening stage fright for the first 10 years. My Point? Experience in any form can help solve problems. My advice to IT Hirers? Play chess with your candidates. You will discover who can think and resolve problems “on the fly”.

    • #2717265

      Nothing like real world experience

      by clindell ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      There is NOTHING like real world experience! NOTHING. NO classroom will teach you what to do in a real emergency. Don’t get me wrong I respect any degree holder for taking the time to get one but there are to many classes needed that have NOTHING to do with what you are studying for! That is a problem with our education system.

      I would first hire an experienced person with a degree then the experienced and lastly someone with a degree.

      There is NO substitute for EXPERIENCE, NONE

    • #3327634

      They sure do

      by aldanatech ·

      In reply to Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

      If you don’t have a Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems or Computer Science, you still have chance if your a Bachelor’s — or even an Associates; but experience does play a crucial role in making up for lacking what a Master’s has to offer. It will of course be a lot easier if you compliment that experience with some certifications. As a matter of fact, extensive experience with some good certifications on your belt can rival a Master’s degree in the IT industry.

      • #3235951

        Professional Drop-Out

        by gjanes ·

        In reply to They sure do

        Dropped out of high-school (1974). Dropped out of Tech-School (1981). Long-haired, grey-haired (whats left), 370/390 DOS/VSE, CICS Command… It doesn’t make sense but that’s where I started.
        Today, I’m .NET, C#, Biztalk 2004, ASC X12, ADABAS/Natural, and historical (remember when????). Certification is when I offer a co-worker a breath mint.

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