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What's the best degree for a career in IT?

By debuggist Staff ·
I know CS seems like the obvious choice, although I'm sure others have chosen other majors and done well in IT.

Do others major in Mathematics or both CS and Math (that's what I did)?

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Switch to what field?

by samson06 In reply to More important than degre ...

I totally agree with your post.

This is one of the few fields where 30 years of experience is a negative rather than a postitive. And these employers are sucking us dry.

However, if you have a degree and years of experience....what other field can you get into without taking a big pay cut and having to start over? You could spend years in school in another field but there's no guarantee that it will lead to a decent career.

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in deep hole

by bg6638 In reply to Switch to what field?

I'm one of those people with 30+ years in IT, but only have an Associate's Degree. The credits don't transfer since the degree is over 10 years old. I've been looking for two years, with even an interview being hard to get. Gal at the state jobs services made the suggestion that I retire! I'm only in my mid-fifties! How's that for encouragement? Another recruiter suggested McDonalds. IT was kind to me, but now has left me totally out in the cold. Where does one go to rebuild a career at this stage?

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Re-invent yourself

by rbkinsey In reply to in deep hole

Easy to say and hard to swallow, but re-invent yourself. Take some time to figure out what you really would enjoy doing and put together a plan on how to get there. If you have spent the last 30 plus years unhappy, now is the perfect time for you to start something that will make you happy.

If you really feel like you're in a deep hole, you need to get a hold of yourself and be determined to have and project a positive attitude. It will help you make the hole disappear and believe that it is possible for you to realize your dreams. Next work your plan and let nothing get in your way to success.

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the hole is deeper than you think!

by bg6638 In reply to Re-invent yourself

I was very happy with IT, until my employer went bankrupt, and I found that the IT job market has declined very sharply. The few positions that are available, either want project management skills, or CCIE level skills with mid to large networks. I have only worked in one person IT shops, where I wore all hats from programmer thru IT mgr. That effectively kills my resume for the aforementioned type jobs. Five servers, 50 workstations, and myself to supervise hardly impresses "HR" when their networks have 25-50+ servers and 500+ workstations in multiple locations.

Yes, I am targeting small area companies, but I have found that many are just outsourcing the work as needed. Some really could use an IT person, but with budgets tight, they cut corners. Freelancing has brought some work in, but the work is very light.

I have thought about working towards a bachelor's in MIS/Accting, but five years of college combined with 2 yrs of previous underemployment, plus late 50's when I've completed the coursework makes me very skeptical of that move......

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Regaining IT Footing

by Smilodon In reply to the hole is deeper than y ...

bd, why go back to college? What about a cert such as CCIE if that is an area you enjoyed in your previous job and that might help you get hired by one of those large employers. I bet you would have jobs coming out of yours ears, enough to last you 12 or 15 years to retirement. I realize you are in a tough spot, best of luck to you.

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Try consulting

by tread In reply to the hole is deeper than y ...

Get into the companies that outsource these positions, there are lots of companies that have on staff IT people and that is all they do. You would fit right into one of these positions

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consulting has been hardy lucrative

by bg6638 In reply to Try consulting

In my area, I've seen quite a few companies that have 1-5 servers with 5-50 workstations, using "ABC Computers" and the like, who employ $7.25/hr techs, for their IT support team! This has hurt my efforts as a single individual operation, since some have been burned due to the lack of technical expertise exhibited by these firms. But, you get what you pay for! I've spoken with several dozen HR people in targeted firms, and while they have indicated that I'm the type of person that they need, budget considerations have prevented them from hiring any experienced IT staff, even on a part-time basis!

The professional support companies on the other hand, want a BS in CS, 5-10+ yrs exp. working for a similar VAR, virtually every cert offered from Cisco, Citrix, Msoft, Novell, Redhat, and Sun, just to get in the door for an interview!

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Allot of drama going around

by paul.huber In reply to Switch to what field?

Perhaps it gets back to the basics, supply and demand, during the .com we increased H1 visa's to 70K yearly and today the market in flooded. I really believe some of this is because management is still angry we where billing at 325 an hour at that time and there still paying for it!

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no need for a choice

by gkrew In reply to What's the best degree fo ...

as a former CS major I used to be upset to meet people who majored in English or History then got an IT job. It used to appear to me that the degree did not matter. I say do what you want to do and what challenges you.

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IT Consultant

by paul.huber In reply to What's the best degree fo ...

I have the work experience of a Masters Degree in Computer Science, yes I believe higher education makes you more articulate and professional but consider this. The reality is in service delivery, deployment, and applications you need allot more than a degree to be successful. I remember being quite surprised from college where we learned Assembler and COBOL in Computer Science programs. This was a nice start, but I had to write CICS transactions with direct calls to databases. The point to get results, not manage an outsourced environment, you have to be able to drill down into the details from experience or you will fail and serve no purpose and everyone knows it.

The reality is without proprietary education from hardware vendors such as IBM and SAP education programs, combined with years of experience, the higher education is less important than the experience. Even the private education falls short of the actually work in service delivery, deployment, and applications you have to be able to absorb technical information quickly from literature available. The same debate would be had over certification verses experience, where the later prevailed in most circles, and reality at this point make some experts sound ?dumb and dumber? implying this is critical. I enjoy IBM Global Services perspective that it?s all about your experience, with 45 billion in services and outsourcing they seem to be at the top of there game.

Perhaps today, since IT doesn?t seem to build people anymore, and everyone starts as a subject matter expert the correct answer is a Masters Degree in Computer Science and English, followed by 3-5 years in a apprentice type program. I mention English because our programs today are so objective the communication and debating skills have become so critical in the art of persuasion.

A opinion.

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