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HELP! University of Phoenix Degree.

By kmellentine ·
OK, I am busting it all out here and asking for your help. Are you a hiring manager? Would you hire a UOP graduate? The reason I ask is that due to the UOPs misleading tactics, I was enrolled there and graduated with a BSIT, I have since graduation been employed as a Secretary...because no one hiring believes that UOP is anything more than a degree mill. Please tell me if your company would hire a UOP graduate. I want to get a start on some hard data so I can fight this legally....I want to prove they "sold" me a bogus degree.

Also in your opinion what could someone in my shoes do to improve their chance of getting into the IT field??


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Acredited Program vs Acredited School

by timofog In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...


The short answer to your question of would my company hire you is probably no. We have a requirement that technical people have a degree from an acredited program. As near as I can tell UOP's IT programs are not acredited, at least in CO. The school is acredited but that is not the same. We tend to use ABET as our criteria mainly because all the schools in our region have ABET acredited programs in Engineering and IT. One caveat is not all programs at a particular school may be acredited as it is by program not institution. One school's mechanical engineering degree may be ABET acredited while it's electrical engineering program may not be.

On another subject, it looks like you have discovered one of the best kept secrets in education - the community college system. I, my wife and daughter are all graduates of the community college system. We all have diplomas that say University of Minnesota on them and have successful careers in the medical and technical fields. All of our lower division and quite a few upper division courses were taken at a community college. My wife, at age 43, decided to return to school after being in the workforce (secretarial type jobs) for 25 years. She was able to do three years of her undergrad work at the community college before transfering to the UofM to finish a degree in the medical field. It was a long road but she is much happier in her new career.

Good luck on your journey!

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comm college

by secretgeekygirl In reply to Acredited Program vs Acre ...

I was amazed at how much was really available at the community colleges these days! Ours is small, but also offers certification programs, in addition to continuing ed, associates degrees and transfer degree programs.

I just started back last month for the first time in over 20 yrs. I am taking courses that are actually interesting to me and useful to me now. What I would have had a degree in way back when - when I atteneded college the first time, would have very little in common with my interests now.

I've worked in the accounting field for almsot all of those 20 yrs, and I really don't like it! LOL! So, taking courses in graphic design and desktop publishing, where my heart lies....

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Experience Counts

by Alexander323 In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...

A college degree means only one thing; you can learn. There has been for the last half century hype around a degree mostly due to marketing. Most of the greatest minds in history were not formally trained or were drop outs. There are some areas that need formal training such as physics and design, but there are however some that do not like IT. The experience sets you apart. I went to a big 12 school and did not find what I was looking for after two years so I started working. Next thing you know here I am. I have several certifications; MCSA, Net+, CITRIX, A+, iSeries, etc. That has always got me in the door. I am going to UoP currently and will finish with my masters at UCCS just for the season tickets (lol). UoP is accredited and fast, whats the big deal. You get what you put in. I see a lot of people that just get by. The bottom line is that when you get a UoP degree you can read, write a coherent sentence and speak to a group. You may not be the best candidate but it is a start. You have to under stand that every degree is not an "I know it all" wall paper but an "I can be taught, please give me experience" wall paper. Take heart in knowing that you have accomplished something, easy or hard, it is an accomplishment. I have worked with several people who have a BS or MS from traditional schools and all of them ended up asking me to help with something. Can you pick up a book, retain the information in it, and then apply the information from it? That is what a degree says you can do; you have the paper to prove it. Anyone who would say they based a hire on where they went to school and not on what the person can offer the company is either from the ACC or narrow-minded and it is probably not a good idea to work for them any way. Any one who hires should look at your experience and what your accomplishments are. That should be the focus of your resume not your degree. Go get the experience as the others have said and you will be fine.

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From a newbie tech to you

by IslandITtechie In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...

Hi! I'm fairly new to IT (only been working IT for about 6 years now) and obtained my IT degree from UoP in 2004 while I was in the military. The degree itself did nothing to get me a job. What got me my first IT job is my past experience in the military and connections. As mentioned by a previous poster, I also agree that a BS/BA degree in the context of IT is simply an HR cutoff to slim down their list of candidates. Ultimately what gets you the job is the strength of your experience and the certifications you posess. I do want to add that there's one big thing that I've seen many IT folks overlook and that is communication. I was so paranoid about my interview because I'm not the best speaker in the world so I took speech and communications classes before I left the military. Those classes paid off as my first job interview went smoother than glass (and I got the job to boot) Being that it was a help desk position, I used that job to further improve my communication skills while I was studying and earning certifications. After a year, I was able to move on to a Systems Administrator position and I was fortunate enough to work with the guy who interviewed me for the position. I asked him not too long ago what made him choose me over the other candidates and he told me that there were three other guys that had pretty much the same level of experience and mix of certifications that I had and what made me stand out was that I was the easiest to speak and relate to during the interview. So to answer your first question, a degree from UoP shouldn't hurt your chances of getting a job more than it will help your chances as long as you don't forget to back the degree up with certifications and hopefully experience (even if it's just a simple help desk job; you'll be surprised how much you learn working helpdesk if you really try to do your best) And to answer your second question, I suggest tapping your local community college for speech and communications classes to improve your communicative skills. It's one thing to have the knowledge and another thing entirely to be able to communicate that knowledge to someone else.

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by kmellentine In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...

Well, I do have hope, it would appear that my biggest problem is that I lack experience. I have learned that UOP is a wonderful program for people who are employed in their fields or have experience and need degrees to meet HR requirements. That however was not me. My experience is limited to tech support in small companies. BUT you all have given me a great deal of hope...I have checked into certifications, and ordered some self study books. I plan to rewrite my resume to capitilize on the experience I do have...(I have helped two companies chose entirely new database systems, helped them transfer information from the old to the new and get up and running including troublshooting and testing the new systems) although my title and main job responsibilities do not reflect this.
So: the plan

1. Get certified. (A+)
2. Explain my experience better on my resume.
3. Highlight how awesome it is that I can do both business AND IT, and that I LIKE working with end users.
4. Look for help desk and entry level positions.

Thanks all for your honesty. And your ideas. I had almost given up and decided to just head into high level secretarial :-(
Even though it would seem the obvious thing to do, I had avoided certs because I thought people would look at that the same way they look at my degree....I understand the cert program better now, and I do think it will be helpful.

It was really nice to see so many helpful answers, and y'all totally helped me out of a bit of a personal slump.

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From one UoP Grad to Another...

by matt In reply to THANKS ALL!!

Even with 5+ years of experience as a Systems Administrator, I found it very, very difficult to get a callback for interviews.

When I got my BSIT from UoPhoenix, I was truly surprised at the amount of responses I got back. For me, getting a degree was one of the things that got me through the mechanical HR filter.

The other thing that helped was my MCSE. Some folks will tell you that certifications mean nothing. They mean exactly the same as a college degree: I can study, I can take tests, and I can at least spell "IT."

I believe that you're on the right track with chasing more certifications and looking for helpdesk positions (most of which *are* entry level). Almost every good Systems Engineer and Project Manager I've met has done time as a Helpdesk Technician or Support Analyst.

Just keep your head and make sure you're making decisions about education and job positions that make sense for your mid and long-term goals.

Good luck, it's a jungle out there.

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Been through the same useless track at DeVry

by julian.tang In reply to From one UoP Grad to Anot ...

I know exactly how you feel. I went through the same experience at DeVry. I had classes where I knew more than our instructors and they were literally developing courses as we went through them. To me it was an expensive $20K piece of paper. As much as I am disappointed with my education from them, I did achieve what I wanted from them which was a BS in telecommunication.

I started going there with 5 years in IT industry and already working as a sys admin at one of the worlds largest architecture firm. I saw more technology than many of the instructors had seen their whole entire career. My girlfriend on the other hand, was new to the entire field, besides using her computer at home, she had never seen a network before. While she knew at a bigger university like UCLA, etc, the education would be different, she learned a lot there because she didn't have any knowledege of the field in the first place. I would rate Devry's education as beginner to intermediate, but the technology you learn there is definately dated.

As for Certifications, I agree they are just a peice of paper, I have several of them. What are they good for you ask? A few things, one is getting your foot in the door, ie through HR filtering, and showing your possibly qualified for the job. Two, if you don't know that subject area it is a good way of learning about it and showing you understand the subject. And three, I think it helps when justifying your salary.

My certs, degree and experience help justify why I should get paid a certain amount and its balanced by responsibilities on the job.

At the end of the day, I find my greatest competition are people who can self-teach themselves and also have degrees and certifications.

That's just my 2 cents.

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skill level

by arthur.bonilla In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...

It is about the skill that they bring to the job, yes!! a previous response said it is what they get and what they put into the class, absolutely yes!. A new hire must have some willingness to be humble and learn the new job. Lots of people that come in the door have their chests all pumped up that they can do this and that, but fall flat. It is a tough job trying to discern the overall skill level that a candidate brings. As a manager you have to be ready to ask the kind of questions that require a lot of research to properly identify a good candidate who will fit the particular position and run with the ball

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Certificates, Experience and Performance Count.

by newby7718 In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...

As an IT Manager, I am more interested in accomplishments. Some college is essential, but certificates, experience and performance are the factors that make a difference in our shop.

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Certificates, Experience and Performance Count.

by newby7718 In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...

As an IT Manager, I am more interested in accomplishments. Some college is essential, but certificates, experience and performance are the factors that make a difference in our shop.

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