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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??

Thanks,

KarenM.
If you do not want your comments public, please email me at mintlatte@gmail.com

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Couldn't agree less

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

Having had experience as a hiring manager for over 8 years, I can say emphatically that the college from which you obtained your degree doesn't count for as much as some may indicate. I believe part of your issue may simply be that you need to sell it bit more in the resume.

Sure, a degree from some other universities seems better on the surface, but there are other considerations. For example, you probably didn't finish your degree on a free grant from mom and dad, but held down a full-time position while accomplishing that goal. Nothing to sneeze at.

Also, I have some experience with that degree program itself....it is a lot of work. I don't know about yourself, but I spent countless hours interacting with fellow students, leading small (and sometimes poorly motivated) teams to success (never received less than a 96% on an assignment in 20 classes), researching my *** off, and most importantly...proving that I know how to learn on my own....which is the way it is done in the field.

I've hired more than a few software engineers over the years, and while it may not be obvious, the best, brightest, hardest working engineers didn't even have degrees. Give me a guy or gal with heart and a mega-work ethic with a GED anytime over someone who skipped through a degree while that was all they had on their mind.

It comes back to selling yourself better in my humble opinion. Key in on team leadership / collaboration skills, ability to quickly absorb new technologies and concepts (remember, we didn't have 16 weeks to absorb the material....only 5, and having been through both kinds of courses, the material's depth was pretty much the same), proven ability to successfully interact with remote team members to accomplish critical tasks (a growing need in our international world), and your personal drive to complete your degree.

Trust me, if a potential employer can't see the pluses in that...you don't really want to work for them.

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1994 grad of UOP

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

Yes, I would hire you, Karen. That is if you were otherwise qualified. Your original post however makes it sound like you are just entering IT. That is what makes it hard. IT is just now recovering to the point where people can start job hopping again. So you're up against some experienced people.

I didn't do the online courses as I happened to work at Motorola in Phoenix at the time and went to classes on campus. I was 15 years deep into IT by the time I went looking for another job. Since then I have never had anyone say UOP was a negative, and after graduation I went on to work for Billion dollar companies (Wickes Lumber, USR/3Com, etc.) as well as tiny companies.

I will tell you though that breaking into IT can be tough in this market. Offer to intern or work for free for a month to prove your value.

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Accredited school

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

I'm currently pursuing an MIS degree at UOP and had the same concerns. According to the advisors I've spoken to, UOP is an accredited school that grades with the same grading criteria as Harvard. That means whatever grade you received at UOP should be the same grade you would have received at a corresponding class at Harvard. Whether that's true or not, who can know, but I know that for me to get out of this low-level tech grunt position, I need business skills.

UOP IS a brick-and-mortar school, and taking the online courses is part of their "distance learning" program. You're supposed to learn exactly the same things as you would sitting in a room with 300 other students. The bias is because it's an online course and that automatically constitutes the "slacker" idea in many people's minds.

You have the BS degree, but the IT field in general is so competitive that you need more just to get an entry level job. Get a few certifications (that seems to be the big ticket to get in the door, though everyone and their mothers now have MC-something or other), and keep pushing to up your education. The future of IT will require a Masters or MBA in addition to an IT related degree just for a basic entry level job, so just keep adding to your skill set. Not just the technical stuff, as every 12-year old now can program and troubleshoot, but the more intangible things, like project management skills, planning skills, etc. Trust me, you need a seriously well-rounded education in so many different areas to be able to progress.

I'd eye up the companies that won't hire you because you've attended UOP. That sounds like discrimination tactics to me, as you're supposed to have the same knowledge as any other college student. How can they discriminate someone who worked just as hard as someone who went to a "real school"?

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Online education studies

by gibison In reply to Accredited school

While some may see online learning as little more then a fad, there have been numerous studies conducted on the differences of a traditional education vs. online education. I encourage you to check out the links at the bottom of this post. Online learning is still in its infancy. Given the time to work out any kinks that may be present I believe most traditional schools will adopt online programs, if they haven't already. Take a look at the colleges in your area. I am willing to bet most offers a number of online classes. IT more then any other profession should be the one that welcomes this trend with open arms. We are on the forefront of the digital revolution. Isn't that why we got into this business in the first place?

A CNET article on online education vs traditional.
http://news.com.com/2100-1023-263035.html

A summary of multiple studies conducted on online education.
http://www.csbsju.edu/itservices/teaching/csic-summary.htm

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Nice articles

by SuziTech In reply to Online education studies

Great articles. I do have to admit the teaching process, while needed some getting used to, has been effective so far. I've JUST started pursuing my MIS degree and am 4 weeks into it, and the collaboration and working together with my "classmates" is definitely qualitatively better than what I had experienced as an undergrad. Everything is put in writing and the discussions range into so many different areas. I find that I retain information better BECAUSE we are having critical thinking sessions as a group. I certainly didn't have as high a quality of discussion sessions living at school.

It may not be traditional, but I think it works. Too a lesser degree and scope, but related in my opinion, a recent study showed small children learn better while watching tv shows that mimic conversation directly to the child (think: Mr. Rogers asking you questions and acting like he got a response). That back-and-forth reply and response system seems to work well in a learning environment for any age.

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I have a UoP degree

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

I have a UoP degree and am working as an IT Director. The UoP is accredited just like other schools. Having said that, though, I know that some schools have more prestige than others. So, it is assumed that graduates from those schools have a pedigree. However, like any education, it's what you put into it that counts. For example, I know someone who has an MIS degree from a 'reputable', traditional school. However, he could not turn on a computer if his life depended on it. On paper, a hiring manager would tkae them over me; but in an interview I would win out.

If questioned about the UoP's relevance I would use this argument:

*It is not a traditional school where kids out of high school attend.

*It is geared for working adults that are for the most part working in the field that they are studying.

*The teachers work in the field they teach.

*Typical UoP students don't need to learn the traditional theories that the typical 'college student' learns.

What the UoP attempts to do is get a degree to those people who did not have access to a traditional education when they were younger. Personally, I did not have ready access to a traditional university, so the UoP was my best option. But, it was not easy. I also did not want to attend one or two classes per week for 18 weeks. And no, I don't work for the UoP, and no I was not fully satisfied with the whole program; but, which one is perfect? But like I said, you get what YOU put into it.

What you can do to get into the IT field is make sure that you do have technical skills. The BSIT, like mot UoP classes, is focused on the business end. It is not really a Computer science degree. So make sure that you do have the technical skills for the job. No longer can you have broad knowledge of technology. You need to select a skill path: networking, development, security, etc. and work from there. I hope this helps, and good luck.

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Bravo

by Pancho_DBA In reply to I have a UoP degree

Well said. Computer science grads still have to do a lot of OJT because their programs tilt toward the theoretical. Real life applications still have to be learned at the business site and few academic departments teach those.

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getting to the interview

by jhogue In reply to I have a UoP degree

You may be right that with your UofP degree, you could win in an interivew situation but first you have to get past the HR director. Every HR person I have ever met, thinks they are overworked and too busy. They need to very quickly go thru 100 applications to pick a few to interview. On paper a traditional degree looks better than UofP to a lot of HR folks.

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traditional degree

by jasonkernan In reply to I have a UoP degree

I have many years in the traditional colleges that we speak of. I had a scholarship to play baseball at a division 1 school. And I went there for a time . The scholarship was an academic one first and then sports... So I excelled at the college level in academics, I did not graduate from the school at the time.. Then I went on to pursue my degree at U of P. I can tell you this, I learned far more from my experience at U of P than any college or university I had been to. The curriulum that I had was right on with the curriculum that I had at the other universities. It was far more a better learning experience... Period. That may be age related, or not. But the education I got at U of P was far better than I got at state sponsored schools. I learned far more from them than I even did before. That may be from growing older but I did learn more. And I credit them to this day for my promotion in my field. I would have not got their if it was not for U of P..... Excellent education... you learn from what you put in. If you are not willing to put in much, well you might be dissapointed.

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