Starting in IT, experience vs. education

By Tlogtenb ·
I have a very simple question. I am currently studying full time in Computer Science, having just switched careers. I have very little experience in Computer Science, and am only 1/3 into my degree. My problem is that I am not sure which is more important my degree or experience in the work force.

1) I could finish my degree, and begin working with no experience.
2) I could get my degree online as I work full time.

Which option do you think would be best and why? Thanks a ton. My reason for asking is that I need to advance as fast as possible because I just received a new family. Thank you very much.

EDIT: I am in this path because it has always interested me, and I love the matter. The big problem is that the degree I get here in Canada is pretty useless compared to American degees, which are more specific.

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My personal oppinion..........

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Starting in IT, experienc ...

Your personal finances will be the deciding factor.

With the economy being what it is right now, I would look at supporting your new family and get the degree as you go. You may even get a little experience along the way.

Of course, if finances aren't a worry, you can go to school now and keep your fingers crossed there will be some kind of entry level position available later. That's going to be what I would call a crap shoot!

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Mmm - begin working with 'No Experience' ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Starting in IT, experienc ...

Begin working in what ?

With zero experience you may well end up with less money than you've got now.

In the present economy, I would think there is less and less requirement for inexperienced workers, what with all the experienced ones looking for jobs.

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Finish the degree

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Starting in IT, experienc ...

and then use your non IT experience as leverage. There's no part of IT where domain knowledge is valueless, and if you target IT in areas where you used to work, it can have great value.
I started in a warehouse for instance, doing stocking, production recording and composing despatches.
Went in to IT at the same place. Take a wild guess at some of the first systems I worked on.

Knowing how the business you need to do IT for, works, is hard to beat.

You might get a break going straight in without the paper, but that will depend on whether you can use your past contacts to get an in, or a great deal of luck, could be a harsh constraint that.


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without the paper

by Snuffy09 In reply to Finish the degree

means less $, but once you graduate you should see $+.

As others have posted getting a job before you graduate may not even be an option simply because of Veteran IT guys out of jobs.

If all else fails put your own name out there... Advertise "PC\small network services (or whatever you major is)" or newspaper if you have to.

Then you will have the Independent experience until a full time IT job comes along.

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Didn't for me

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to without the paper

But I started more than twenty years ago, I wrote my first program in 1976, it's all I've ever wanted to do, two weeks after the first voluntary class, my vocation picked me.

My career path is not a good example for anyone.

Welfare to work office clerk to senior developer in a top company.

Not an easy row to hoe,starting tomorrow. Back then talent and drive, got you a job, now they help you keep it, once you've got the paper, secured an interview, and delivered several good **** jobs, I mean impressed the interviewer....

If he's going into IT just for the money, he's going to be crap at it, all the other ones who did, were and are.

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I know

by Snuffy09 In reply to Didn't for me

You have to be in it for the passion not the money.

****-~"Do What You Love, but Money Won't Necessarily Follow~-****

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by Snuffy09 In reply to I know

Wrong Quote

"Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow"

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Experience is a Teacher and Degrees a Door opener

by Lowlytech In reply to Starting in IT, experienc ...

I am no Zen master but have been in IT for over 37 years before it was a course taught in college. Get your degree to open doors and part time experience possibly at school to learn things the things books don't understand. The best skill anyone in this line of work can develop are solid troubleshooting skills and logical thought processes.

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I went experinace first

by StealthWiFi In reply to Experience is a Teacher a ...

I am self taught with no degree (one year of college and couldn't take the BS any more)

Found a nice company, gave them my services on a trial bases, they loved it and it gave me a chance to prove to them without the degree I knew what I was doing.

That worked well for me and gave me 4+ years (at the time) of Systems Administration experience and on the job learning for an interesting industry.

Since then Certs are a great idea (especially if the company will pay for them to show you off to clients!!!)

My problem with skool was the BS they try and tell you doesn't really work in a real office environment, some does but when managers are coming down on you and peoples job's depend on something you get it built and working as efficiently as possible, no by the book just get it done and done right (the book has been wrong in a few business cases)

I'm sure everyone can agree on at least one area where M$ wants you to do something one way (totally asinine) and a much better method for the same results exists.


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by Nimmo In reply to Starting in IT, experienc ...

I am not an employer and have only a few certifications, when I started working in IT I found that it's a mix of both that employers want.

Alot of employers say they want expirence with certian software/hardware (depending on the position you are applying for) but also like to see some sort of education (understand the theroy behind how it all comes together).

Personally I'd go looking at differet places, depending on the work you are looking at doing and ask if there is anything going also mention that you are currently studying.

Even offer free of charge volunteer work (shows your keen and you never know you may just get offered a position).

As mentioned above this is my personal expirence and I belevie it relates to my job role and also others.

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