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MCSE or a degree ?

By ericwi ·
HI all, I had recently achieved CCNA and MCSE NT 4.0. With the coming new year, I am in the dilemma whether to pursue MCSE 2000 or a degree in Computer Science. Curently, I am working as a network engineer with a small firm. Please advice.

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Degree for US job market

by TheChas In reply to MCSE or a degree ?

In the US job market, a degree is ALWAYS a plus.

At many firms, you need a degree just to get in the door for an interview.

Part of this has to do with the MBA mentality of many managers.

Another factor is supplier survey audits that firms do when they select new suppliers.
One of the standard questions compares the ratio of degreed to non-degreeded staff.
Thus, many firms are unwilling to hire non-degreed individuals if a degreed individual is available.

Add to this the earning potential differences between having and not having a degree.

Basically, if you have the time and funding, get the degree.


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Depends on your goals...

by txrod2k In reply to MCSE or a degree ?

I would recommend only getting a CS degree if you are wanting to get into programming. If you want to maintain a career in Support/Administration then, in my opinion, the CS degree is not necessary but would be to your benefit.

I would suggest getting the CS degree if that is really what you want to do because if you decide to remain in Support/Administration then pursuing a CS degree would probably make you frustrated and hostile towards IT. If you are in a good location and want to remain in Support/Administration then I would suggest only getting certifications to compliment your experience. The next question would be do you want to remain MS focused or perhaps Cisco... but that is another topic.

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I'm on the same ship as you

by jkaras In reply to MCSE or a degree ?

I to have pursued a degree in computer science. I'm almost finished with only three classes to go. Problem is this, they dont teach you troubleshooting well, everything is lecture and reading about the hows and whys, but they stray from the how to due to time constraints and class size. This makes me and everyone else paper smart not proficient. I can pass the certs through trick study methods and understand the principles but now I'm in the field and it's confusing due to in house issues ect... The degree is there for you to make more money and get the job, it's just a pedigree paper like you have for your dog. The certs only compliment your knowledge to the employer. Recently corporations are becoming savy to paper champions like me who can get all these papers but cant fix the problem. Employers want the self taught due to their proficency but have to take the degree person due to qualifications. Either way our field is stuck in the catch22 situation. Get the papers to make the money and the job is the only way, but dont take too much stock in it if your thinking that your going to learn and be proficient by having them. Good luck.

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Go for the degree

by generalist In reply to MCSE or a degree ?

I'd go for the degree as a long range project. A degree, unlike many certifications, doesn't have an expiration date.

At the same time, you probably could sneak in the MCSE 2000 as a part time project unless you feel that you need to take special classes. Given the number of books available and the fact that you have the MCSE NT 4.0, doing this on the side would be feasible.

Of course, do consider that the MCSE 2000 will be replaced by something else in the not too distant future and that will in turn be replaced. It is an interesting treadmill.

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There are Two Roads here

by MallardtooXX In reply to MCSE or a degree ?

I Got My degree in Broadcast Journalism, I thought I wanted to be in radio. I realized this was not at all what I wanted to do and went into sales. I hated that and decided to get into computers. I now have an MBA in Computer Science. I have peers who do not have a degree, I have peers with Associates, I have peers with BS and Phd's it is all in your perception. If you want to go for a degree then you will not be satisfied until you achieve it. However, if you want the certs then they will come in handy, **** I went for the certs while I was in school to increase my market value. I must say that the other ppl in the thread are right, it only matters in the course of money. However there is also the thought of advancement. YOu willadvance if you do not have a degree, but it will take longer. If you have the means then I would say go for the degree, any degree. I have never regretted that I went for the education, but I also think I could have made do without it. If you area strong IT Pro it will make little difference if you have a degree or not. Like I said it is all about perception. Good Luck, it is all about taking steps and risks. You gotta take a little risk to make it up the front steps.

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In order of importance

by maxwell edison In reply to MCSE or a degree ?

1. Both a degree and MCSE

2. Degree


(This is just my opinion, of course.)

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Support/Admin in computer degree?

by ericwi In reply to In order of importance

Thks for all the feedback. Most of the people think that having a degree is more advantagous than MCSE. I would think so too. Do u guys think there is such a degree in computer support/admin?
Programming is something I would wish I can do away with.

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Computer Science

by TheChas In reply to Support/Admin in computer ...

There used to be degrees in Computer Science.

If support is your career goal, then that is the degree area to look at.

If you wish to get into management, make sure to include a minor in business.

To get into upper management, it is good tohave an MBA degree.


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I agree with TheChas

by maxwell edison In reply to Computer Science

Technology in and of itself is really useless.

Applying technology towards an end, and in this context, presumably a business end, is the real deal.

Having the technology smarts, an MCSE with experience, for example, and a business degree would, in my opinion, open more doors and take you farther than any other option.

But I suppose it all boils down to your goals. Do you aspire to be the CIO (or CEO), or work for him/her?

Good luck.

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by TerryGrogan In reply to I agree with TheChas

I agree with both Chas and Maxwell (and many of the other posts). If your goal is to remain a technical person and not travel down the "management path", then industry certifications are sufficient.

However, if you wish to "scale the corporateladder", you need the traditional education that comes with an MBA or MSCIS. Both degrees offer more than technical training and give you some insight into human resource skills, budget/financial management, etc.

In my experience, either degree is better than none, though I find that some very large companies prefer the CIO have an MBA and the CTO a MSCIS.

As others have said... Good Luck!

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