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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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Hiring UoP BSIT Graduate

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

The best answer is that ?it depends? on many factors.

I am required to interview potential candidates and to participate in the hiring decisions for applicants targeting technology roles at our firm. A degree is not a first consideration, since the most valuable experience is actual and relevant work experience in the field. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, a ?best fit? is for the company is sought since a candidate will have many responsibilities. A ?best fit? is a combination of being personable(we provide consulting services), a hunger for learning and keeping up with technology advancements, communication ability (written and oral), and the proverbial ?can do? attitude.

What a degree confers to me is that the applicant accepted a huge responsibility and ran through it to completion whether the degree was from Harvard or the University of Phoenix Online. Other than that, I consider degrees to be more important for other types of professions such as medical or legal. Computer science information is relatively easy to obtain from the local bookstore, library, or the Internet, and most persons with sufficient initiative can become quality IT professionals through self-teaching activities.

I am a 2005 UoP Online BSIT graduate, and I would like to provide an objective answer. In my personal experience with the university, about two-thirds of my fellow classmates were dedicated to the projects and to the program. In every class there were slackers and these slackers were discovered early on. Unfortunately, it is the slackers who tend to dilute the market value of a UoP degree. Since the university is for profit, there is incentive to reduce the admission standards to keep the enrollments up and the stockholders happy, and this allows a small percentage of students to receive a degree without contributing the same effort as more conscientious students. Should any of the slackers be hired and not work out, the university is blamed and could become a red flag for future applicants. I do not believe it is fair, but I do not blame employers either.

The UoP Online degree is not a right fit for everyone. It was a perfect fit for me and I enjoyed going ?beyond? the course objectives, since I had roughly seven years of IT experience under my belt. Some of the real benefits are not even tangible from a high-level perspective. The BSIT degree is really a business oriented program in that it provides mostly theory on how to best utilize and align technology to meet business goals. The real emphasis in on group projects, team dynamics, understanding organizational behavior, communication, and various approaches to conflict resolution. The entire UoP process was extremely beneficial and had upped my professionalism quotient by leaps and bounds. The president of our company has commented many, many times on my growth and transformation. I owe it mainly to the constant writing of papers and applying critical thinking skills (strongly emphasized by UoP).

As for hiring a UoP graduate, the answer is ?Yes,? based on what I had to go through to obtain my degree. However, the hiring decision is only one facet. Applicants will still need to prove themselves to ensure a good long term fit for the company.

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"IT Field" is too broad--what do you want to do??

by anniemae46 In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...

First of all, anyone who does not value your efforts to actually getting an education, may not be the best prospective employer anyway. You need figure out, where to apply your BSIT; i.e., sector, trend, etc. That may require more research. "IT field" is too broad. You may have to start at an entry level, and then work yourself into other departments at a company. What else you have on your resume, can also make a difference, along with your own goals. I've been enrolled in their BSIT program for a few years now, hopefully finishing next year. I've been working the entire time, and my employer has supported me financially with an annual bonus/tuition. I don't expect that new employers will run in my door next year-- but hey, I have worked hard(!!) and gained tremendously in knowledge and resources, and this has also given me a lot of confidence. The instructors I've had at UOP were all very qualified, and it has not appeared to me that you can just collect a degree without making real efforts. I'd say the majority of instructors have an academic degree, many a Ph.D. or are with reputable organizations (e.g., one was an engineer from Microsoft).

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"IT Field" is too broad--what do you want to do??

by anniemae46 In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...

First of all, anyone who does not value your efforts to actually getting an education, may not be the best prospective employer anyway. You need figure out, where to apply your BSIT; i.e., sector, trend, etc. That may require more research. "IT field" is too broad. You may have to start at an entry level, and then work yourself into other departments at a company. What else you have on your resume, can also make a difference, along with your own goals. I've been enrolled in their BSIT program for a few years now, hopefully finishing next year. I've been working the entire time, and my employer has supported me financially with an annual bonus/tuition. I don't expect that new employers will run in my door next year-- but hey, I have worked hard(!!) and gained tremendously in knowledge and resources, and this has also given me a lot of confidence. The instructors I've had at UOP were all very qualified, and it has not appeared to me that you can just collect a degree without making real efforts. I'd say the majority of instructors have an academic degree, many a Ph.D. or are with reputable organizations (e.g., one was an engineer from Microsoft).

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UOP Degree

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

The degree itself is not worthless, however you may lack the hands-on experience that many hiring manager are looking for. You may need to get some certifications under your belt before they believe you know what you are doing. Additionally, try getting some experience by volunteering at your church or other non-profit organization. Good luck.

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Worthless degree? No!

by metilley In reply to UOP Degree

I don't think you have a worthless degree, but as others (here) have said, it is probably not up to par with others from better known universities, i.e. MIT, CalTech, Stanford, etc. Also as others have said, there is a LOT of competition. Are you willing to go outside the U.S., i.e. India or worse?

What kind of work do you want to do? IT covers a broad range. Do you want to program, manage, do networking type work, help desk?

I will assume you want to be a programmer. Have you ever heard of SAS? It is a data mining software that is widely used. You can get a decent amount of skills just by taking their software course (available from amazon.com for about $100). You can take other courses if you want to spend $2,000 per week or more.

I would suggest going to work in a help desk position. It may not pay a lot but it will teach you valuable skills. Ten years ago, I worked for IBM as a consultant. When that position was dissolved I didn't know what to do so I applied for a position with a 3rd party help desk company. This company supported Compaq and Hewlett-Packard PC's via telephone. It didn't pay much back then, but these companies pay a lot more now! I got valuable PC training that I still use today even though I am a programmer once again.

I wouldn't waste my time with certifications, although many companies require them or pay higher wages for them. I think they are a waste of time. I have worked with people that have a high school diploma (and nothing more) that could run circles around a Carnegie-Mellon grad with Java certifications. So it all depends on how much experience one has. Also, many companies are seeking mainframe experience. I don't know how you would gain this other than actual experience.

Good luck with whatever you do. As far as UOP being a "diploma mill", I can't answer that. I know I wrote to them several years ago asking for information and they hounded me for many months to make a decision to attend. I finally told them to leave me alone. That experience left a bad taste in my mouth. I would never attend a "school" like that! GOOD LUCK!

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Don't confuse the problem.

by The Admiral In reply to HELP! University of Phoen ...

If you had the BSIT degree as of last year as I have, then you know not to confuse the issues.

Critical Thinking process would lead you to a heavy demand of off shored people and on shored people, where the off shored people win.

The UOP degree has helped me immensly in that now I can control my course, not any one else.

I think the problem here is the lack of feedback when you are sending out the resumes out the door. When you send out a resume and they determine that you are not a prospect, send them a survey and ask them why they believe that you are not a prospect. They and only they can tell you what is wrong - experience, education, fears, whatever - they are the best source to tell you, supposition is the enemy that rules all fears.

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Survey

by apape In reply to Don't confuse the problem ...

I wish I had survey replies from every job I've been turned down for. Fact is, I have ZERO. Have YOU EVER had someone return a survey that asks why were you NOT hired? As a hiring manager, I don't think I could fill out such a survey without putting the company in some kind of legal danger. I think getting results of the reasons you were NOT hired is a very, very tough job.

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Weak arguement

by The Admiral In reply to Survey

I think that is a weak arguement since you are telling me that you are more than likely to respond to a Manpower survey rather than answer three questions about a potential candidate.

Since you are a hiring manager, and you have failed to provide that information, you are lacking in what your job duties are. It is your duty to let them know that you did not feel the skills/experience were a match.

Unless you are a form feed hiring manager, then that would explain that attitude. The company is looking for A and you have A and you did not hire A, so not you have to tell A why you chose B. Plain and simple.

It is OK. When I was doing the job search, unless it was a thick envelope, it went right into the trash.

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Lot of preconceived notions and assumptions out there.

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

I'm suprised to see a lot of folks spouting preconceived notions and posting unresearched assumptions as if they were gospel.

Instead of posting more of my opinon, I will leave you with this link and a disclaimer: I attend UoP, and I do not work for them. I hold a neutral opinion, but I have a less-biased opinion after reading this:

http://www.futuremagonline.com/archive/2006/Spring/1.html

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Sperling also featured in FastCompany Magazine 03/2003

by anniemae46 In reply to Lot of preconceived notio ...

Sperling was also featured in FastCompany Magazine in March of 2003 -- a magazine I regard highly (hope I remember the date correctly, but just look it up). The article also went behind the scene and explained the concept, such as the types of materials used, etc. UOP has been quite revolutionary with the idea of online teaching -- now most are doing it.

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