Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
romeo55

Calling any IT Professionals

Recommended Posts

So I'm at a crossroads. My basic question is: If I've already got 5 years experience as a mid-level+ System Admin, is it really worth going back to school for 3-4 years for a Bachelors in IT? I'm aiming more for the management/business management of systems rather than programming or anything else.

 

I see that I qualify for more than a few jobs with just the experience and no degree. I realize that I'd get more money for the same job with a degree but I'm not exactly in IT for the money alone... but would it really that detrimental to not have a "real" 4 year degree? Working full time and going for a degree on the side at a community college for long term employment gains is looking rather attractive. I do not enjoy school as a full time gig in the least nor going back at the age of 24+ especially if I can make almost the same amount now.

 

If you're curious I have MCSA, Sec+, Net+ under my belt and soon to have CCNA. I also have a a wide skill base in VMWare ESX, NetApp FAS/SAN, Cisco IOS/Catalyst routers and switches, ACLs, network firewalls/proxies (ISA/TMG), Active Directory, GPOs, WSUS, SharePoint, basic Unix/Linux administration, several uncertified courses etc. With all that, I've got the references and the extraneous non-IT technical experience to back it up (good references/awards, customer service, fielding/emplacement, 200+ clients and what have you). I don't think I'm any slouch in the current job market..?

Edited by Sagittaria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess a lot depends on where you WANT to work. Some places will require a degree regardless of ones history. With that said, if they are impressed enough, sometimes you can get them to spend the coin on your degree...

 

Have you considered part-time student status? There are a few on the forums who take online courses, or physical classes and work full time. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that where you want to work makes a difference if you are wanting to get more into management roles. At larger companies any "management" level role usually a 4-year degree is a requirement. With that being said I think you are in a very good situation for "management" roles in smaller companies or non-management roles at larger companies with your current experience/certs. If you add a CCNA to your existing credentials you are really set. IMO a quality cert like CCNA and 5+ years experience is way more valuable and has much higher ROI than a 4-year degree or even a secondary degree at all.

 

IT is one industry where secondary education is darn near useless and almost a complete waist of money/time unless you are wanting to get into the management level of IT at a larger corporation. In fact if you want a management level position in any field regardless of whether it is IT or not a business degree carries much more weight than an IT degree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some feedback from someone that's in a similar situation. A little back-history, I have no college degree, but am a manager at AIG for QA/IT/Support, basically 1 paygrade below upper management. I've worked on my own as a consultant, at start-ups, small and medium-sized companies and notable ones like Raytheon/BBN Technologies, and large corporations like Microsoft and AT&T/Cingular Wireless.

 

Not having a college degree may limit a few things:

  • Some companies are strict in their job requirements, especially one that requires a college degree.
  • Not having a college degree may limit your potential salary.
  • Not having a college degree may limit your potential job level.

I was able to surpass all this due to the companies I've worked at. If you can get into companies that look really good on your resume, other companies will see that and overlook that requirement. Microsoft and Raytheon/BBN Technologies are big names in the tech industry, so it got me entry into AIG, which is another big name, although not necessarily in technology.

 

My experience level at start-ups and mid-level companies make it easier to have a higher starting job level then if I tried to climb the corporate ladder at just one company. Within a 2-year span, I went from a Jr. position to a Lead position, but at the expense of having a lower-than-average starting base salary.

 

However, getting into larger companies with that experience let me work at an architect/manager level, which greatly increases my base salary than at the smaller companies.

 

See where all that kind of fits in?

 

So, yeah, you can advance to where you want to go without a college degree, but you have to stand out from the crowd a lot more than others. My plan was:

  1. Get the necessary experience at notable companies in the industry.
  2. Get higher-level positions at start-up and smaller companies, along with higher-level experience at the expense of a lower-than-average salary.
  3. Find a larger company to switch to that matches your job level and experience, and get that average to above average base salary.

It took me 5 years, but at least I didn't have to pay back a college tuition. :)

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I don't have anything useful or constructive to add, who knows, maybe I'll go into IT instead of using my chemistry degree...

IT is one industry where secondary education is darn near useless and almost a complete waist of money/time unless you are wanting to get into the management level of IT at a larger corporation.

...but I had to post to say this is one of the most ironically funny sentences I've read in a while.

 

Good luck though OP, if I could share my degree with you for your certs and experience I would haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: hahahaha...I cannot believe I didn't catch that. That was such a fail I am not even going to change it so that everyone can enjoy my stupidity. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: hahahaha...I cannot believe I didn't catch that. That was such a fail I am not even going to change it so that everyone can enjoy my stupidity. :lol:

 

It immediately caught my attention and was looking for an image of a money belt, but alas, i couldn't find one appropriate enough :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: "Waist" of money haha

 

But that's a definitely a good point bluepanda, Nerm, and el_capitan! I've never factored in the "where." Definitely not looking for working for an upper level job at a big company in the short term.. or even mid-term I think. Honestly I don't think I'm even close to being ready for that. But you guys have been a huge help. Hard to get some good words of wisdom from people actual living that life outside of my social circle/area. It's scary transitioning between jobs and I've always had that nagging feeling I'd get stuck with tech support or something  :doh:

 

Definitely good to know not having a degree would be a career killer and some of the other paths of moving up. Think I'm going to try working for a small-medium company, gain some experience, and go for some upper level certs (CISSP perhaps) on my own, and work my way up from there. Thanks guys  :thumbsup:

Edited by Sagittaria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...