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Microsoft cert vs. business degree

By samson06 ·
I have an opportunity get an MCDBA or an A.S. in business (only 7 classes away) over the next 6 months, free of charge.

What qualification would be more valuable in the job market? I'm leaning toward the business degree because MCDBA seems to have a limited shelf life. I have a BS in CIS and 7 years of experience (jack of all trades).

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I believe in business degree...

by egerena04 In reply to Microsoft cert vs. busine ...

I think that you are right about the short shelf life of a certification like that. I would go for the business associate degree. You can get a cert any other time.
But if you ever take a class in which you have the opportunity of taking a cert test at the end of the class, make sure you do this within one week after class. If you wait any longer you will forget most of the just learned material...Just review it 2-3 times and go for it.

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business

by mess485 In reply to I believe in business de ...

I do not agree with your last sentence:
Just review it 2-3 times and go for it.
Niceo - http://www.boli-medicina.com/

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what's up with the website link in your post

by UncleRob In reply to business

is your website link related to this discussion in any way? Just curious.

What specifically don't you agree with the part about reviewing the material 2-3 times and then to go for it. Alot of people study like that although everyone's methods will differ it doesn't sound like bad advice.

just my 0.02 cents cdn....

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Business Degree

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Microsoft cert vs. busine ...

As far as HR and recruiters are concerned an out of date cert is useless, but an out of date degree an excellent indicator of their own intelligence. If you see what I mean.

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The Business Degree

by Jaqui In reply to Microsoft cert vs. busine ...

Certifications, when vendor specific, are effectively useless bits of wallpaper in most companies mixed environments.

a Business Degree is a foundation in business logic and practices that actually never goes out of date, and gives a better understanding of the needs of the company.

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Explain, please

by amcol In reply to Microsoft cert vs. busine ...

You don't say where you are and I've learned not to assume when it comes to educational abbreviations, especially in countries other than the US, so help me out here.

You say you have a BS, which presumably means a four year undergraduage bachelor's degree. You say you have the opportunity to get an AS...an Associate's degree? As in, a two year junior college certification?

If this is the case, then I'm afraid I don't get it. Why would you get an Associate's degree when you already have a Bachelor's? You and the other posters are correct that any professional cert has a fairly short shelf life. Getting a two year degree when you already have a four year degree is virtually a complete waste of time, never mind that there's no monetary cost to you.

Any reason why you're not pursuing an MBA, which would be the next logical educational step?

Your motivations are also rather askew. Collecting certifications to make yourself more attractive to a wider range of employers certainly makes sense, but once you get the job you have to do it. You might as well like what you're doing, don't you think? Be careful that you're not just in a quest to add a bunch of letters after your name and by so doing pigeon hole yourself into a career you'll end up hating.

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explanation

by samson06 In reply to Explain, please

AS = Associates

I have a BS in Computer Information Systems but the curriculum did not include any business classes. I just feel it would be a boost to my career to have some extra business knowledge. It would also come in handy if I decide to run my own business someday.

I'd consider the masters but the funding that I am getting does not include masters degrees. I cannot afford to pay for it myself at this point in time. Besides, I have a 2.8 GPA and may not even be able to qualify for a master's program. I figure that the 6 classes or so that I need for the AS degree will bump my GPA a bit if I do well in them to help me qualify for a masters program down the line.

I've also considered leaving the IT field altogether as there are few IT jobs in this area. There doesn't seem to be too many viable alternatives though. IT very unstable and trying to keep ones skills up to date is like playing Russian Roulette.

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Reconsider

by amcol In reply to explanation

Let's start with your last thought, that you're thinking about leaving IT due to lack of job opportunity. I urge you to reconsider.

Why did you get your undergraduate degree in CIS to begin with? Many people go to college with no idea what they want to do with their lives. They get liberal arts educations and use college as a time to grow, emotionally and intellectually, then choose the course of their lives and pursue advanced studies at the Master's level.

You decided early on what you wanted to do. Good for you. Do you love IT? Did anything in your undergraduate program, or anything you've done in your professional career since, dissuade you from this course? You're going to be in the workforce a long, long time. You'll spend more time at work every week than you will doing anything else, including being with your family or pursuing your own interests. It'll get pretty tedious pretty quickly if you're doing something you don't love.

You have one thing exactly right...you don't have a career in IT, you have a career in business and specialize in IT. That's why you want to get more business education. If you go to work for a pure play technology company, like Microsoft or Intel, then you have an IT career. But if you join any other organization you're a business person.

I understand you can get your business courses paid for through an Associate's program. OK, fine. Go for it. Just bear in mind, with no disrepect meant to junior colleges everywhere (I taught in one for a long time, so I know what I'm talking about), you're getting a superficial low level view of what you'll really need to know. You need the information you get in a Master's program, or the equivalent in years of experience in the business world, to truly get educated in this area.

Yes, keeping your skills up to date is tough. That's true in any field. Don't leave IT because it's a lot of work, or because you think some other field is less work. You're going to be disappointed.

Feeling entrepreneurial? Great. Open your own business. Just make sure you're ready. You need education, experience, capital, some way to differentiate yourself from your competition, and a boatload of work ethic. You'll work harder than you ever thought possible.

It's tough finding your way in the world. Don't lose focus, and don't think that anything comes easy. Don't feel entitled to anything, and don't be upset when you find out how true that is. Make sure you understand what personal responsibility really means.

Sorry to get so dogmatic. I'm going very far afield of what you asked, but something in your posts spoke to me and I felt the need to offer some free advice. Take it for what it's worth.

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reconsidering

by samson06 In reply to Reconsider

"Why did you get your undergraduate degree in CIS to begin with?"

It was a toss up between computers and hotel management....2 very different fields. The job outlook was the tiebreaker was tech jobs were one of the fastest growing occupations at the time. I'm glad I made the choice that I did.
But now it appears that IT is a sinking ship based on what I've read and by talking to people in the industry. It doesn't seem like knowing JUST IT is good enough anymore.


"You decided early on what you wanted to do. Good for you. Do you love IT?"

I enjoy working on projects and completing them. I'm not one of those guys who is obsessed with computers. Computers exist to serve a function in business (i.e. helping save the company time and/or money). I don't care to get caught up in minute technical details. I don't really care to read about computers outside of work. Computers are a means to an end as far as I'm concerned. There are other interests that I have, like exercising, and sociology, but there isn't much money to be made as a personal trainer. And sociology is pretty much a useless degree.


"Did anything in your undergraduate program, or anything you've done in your professional career since, dissuade you from this course? You're going to be in the workforce a long, long time. You'll spend more time at work every week than you will doing anything else, including being with your family or pursuing your own interests. It'll get pretty tedious pretty quickly if you're doing something you don't love."

The main reason I'm considering switching is the lack of job security/stability these days in this field, especially in the area that I'm in. I know many people and have read stories of many people from job boards like this one who have left the field. Also, I'm not sure that this career is good until retirement. I've heard MANY stories where guys in their 40s and 50s (or even late 30s) who are no longer marketable in this field. That's the main reason I'm considering switching. I'd rather be proactive and do something now rather than later.


"I understand you can get your business courses paid for through an Associate's program. OK, fine. Go for it. Just bear in mind, with no disrepect meant to junior colleges everywhere (I taught in one for a long time, so I know what I'm talking about), you're getting a superficial low level view of what you'll really need to know. You need the information you get in a Master's program, or the equivalent in years of experience in the business world, to truly get educated in this area."

Thanks for the heads up on the AS program. My GPA was slightly under 3 and that would exclude me from the majority of MBA programs. I am pretty sure that business is the direction that I want to go.


"Feeling entrepreneurial? Great. Open your own business. Just make sure you're ready. You need education, experience, capital, some way to differentiate yourself from your competition, and a boatload of work ethic. You'll work harder than you ever thought possible."

No matter what direction I go, I understand that there is a lot of hard work to do. Part of me says that it would make more sense to invest all the time/energy that I would on additional schooling/certs on a business instead. There are countless people who have spend thousands of hours on degree/certification programs which haven't paid off.


"Yes, keeping your skills up to date is tough. That's true in any field. Don't leave IT because it's a lot of work, or because you think some other field is less work. You're going to be disappointed."

I don't mind working hard and keeping skills up to date. I know what personal responsiblity means and wouldn't have it any other way. What I don't like about this field is that you almost have to GUESS what will be in demand. It's almost like playing Russian Roulette since most companies don't want to train you anymore. If you learn business knowledge or about the human body or about plumbing, that information doesn't change. Computer technology does change quite a bit after a few short years.

Thanks for your thought provoking reply.

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What is the priority?

by jdmercha In reply to explanation

No education is a waste of time, but there are better ways to use your time than getting an AS after you already have a BS.

I'm not a fan of certs, but in your case I do think that certs will be of more use to you than an AS. Certs will get you in the door quicker than the AS, but a few business classes will help you climb the ladder a little quicker.

Do you need to stay in your area? Your area may be slow, but there are a lot of jobs out there if you are willing to move. A BS by itself should be enough to get a decent job with a company that will pay for you to get an MBA.

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