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  • What all of this worth, without a degree?

    Hello everyone.
    So finally I got the time to study, I'm 19.5 years old, and I thought about taking MCSA/E course in a near-by college.
    I wonder, if holding certifications in my hand without having a first degree (to say the least), is worth anything at all? will I be able to find a job? obviously experience is needed but just trying to see what the 'job market' is like these days, in Israel in particular for those who don't have any degrees especially.

    Thanks,

    Shay.
    hayadata.com

  • #2
    Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

    I have always viewed the MCSE and other like qualifications as a "license to learn". I think they are a stepping block and give you a running start on beginning to learn how to use the software. Are they essential for a career in IT, no. Are they desirable, in my opinion, yes. Combine them with a degree and you are steps ahead of your competition for the same job.
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

      Thanks for your reply biggles.

      I wonder now if those certifications (MCSA/E) are 'useful' as before? (Still not out-dated?), or should I be looking after something else? (Longhorn is the 'future' replacement for WS2003?).

      I hope that I am being clear enough and excuse me if I'm not, thing is that I really don't want to take a course (That takes around 1-1.5 years to complete and to achive the certification itself) that is and/or going to be out-dated in just a few....

      Shay.
      hayadata.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

        A degree proves you can learn. REALLY learn. It proves you have an academic mind which is well organised and can handle difficult problems. It proves that you are an individual of some quality.

        An MCSE proves that you have a certain level of experience managing, supporting, monitoring and building Windows Server 2003. It proves you have knowledge that you have used in a commercial situation and that you can apply that knowledge to any situation presented to you.

        However; if you go and get an MCSE now, before you have HAD any commercial experience; before you have had TIME to gain that knowledge... it proves you can read.

        I would get the degree; I would get into an IT job which is a good starting point for a Graduate (senior desktop support, junior server support), and I would start your serious learning THEN. Start studying towards MCSA/MCDST/MCSE. When you have a year's exerience, start taking exams. Once you have two years experience, aim to be at least MCSA & MCDST (if you're in a desktop support role) and possibly even MCSE; if you don't have the MCSE at the end of year 2, aim to get it early in year 3. Then your certifications will REALLY MEAN something. You will be able to back up those certs with knowledge at interview; you will be able to PROVE who you are.

        With an MCSE from books you will not.

        Obviously throughout this post if M$ change the certification path and MCSE no longer exists, I mean its equivalent.


        Tom
        For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

        Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

          Hello,
          Sure no one would prefer to be an paper based MCSE. MCSE is nothing but a proof that you have the skills. After being experienced for at least one year with the product that time you start seeking the exams and the certification.

          As mentioned before in a small interview the paper based MCSE will be discovered easily.

          The best way for knowledge is trial and experience. I personally prefer if someone is going to seek the MCSA/MCSE track to start with A+, he will work as support for some time, and after that will move to be an Administrator/ Engineer.

          I used the following path in my certifications and I find it really interesting and fruitfuil.
          A+, this is the first certification I got, MCSA 2000, MCSE 2000, then I made an upgrade to MCSA 2003, MCSE 2003, then MCSA/MCSE 2003 + Security. Recently last September I got my CCNA. Now I am seeking Linux, this is my second certification, and after that will be going into MCDBA.

          I hope I can finish them both by the end of this year.
          Best regards,
          Mostafa Itani

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

            If I didn't do my 4yr degree course then I would not have had the opportunity to get into this field as the course I took at uni involved me taking a year out on placement.

            Michael
            Michael Armstrong
            www.m80arm.co.uk
            MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

              Yeah,

              I also have a BS Computer Science, and I started my certifications after 2 years of my graduation and my experience.

              I could not achieve any certification if I am not experienced.

              Now I am trying to achieve a master degree. I am trying to squeeze some time for that.
              Last edited by sanvour; 2nd April 2007, 08:49.
              Best regards,
              Mostafa Itani

              ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

                Originally posted by Stonelaughter View Post
                A degree proves you can learn. REALLY learn. It proves you have an academic mind which is well organised and can handle difficult problems. It proves that you are an individual of some quality.
                I'm gonna kinda disagree with you.... I'd say that it doesn't prove anything. I know lots of people that have a 4 yr. degree and they are dumber than a doorknob. All it proves is that they believe, just like the employers, that you need to go to college to be educated, well rounded, and teachable.

                Don't get me wrong, college can be very useful and even necessary, especially for the sciences, but there's a large amount of people that don't learn anything useful for their career or what they did learn could have been learned more efficiently and more thoroughly (and less expensive) outside of college.

                But it's true that what you say is what most employers believe.

                An MCSE proves that you have a certain level of experience managing, supporting, monitoring and building Windows Server 2003. It proves you have knowledge that you have used in a commercial situation and that you can apply that knowledge to any situation presented to you.

                However; if you go and get an MCSE now, before you have HAD any commercial experience; before you have had TIME to gain that knowledge... it proves you can read.

                I would get the degree; I would get into an IT job which is a good starting point for a Graduate (senior desktop support, junior server support), and I would start your serious learning THEN. Start studying towards MCSA/MCDST/MCSE. When you have a year's exerience, start taking exams. Once you have two years experience, aim to be at least MCSA & MCDST (if you're in a desktop support role) and possibly even MCSE; if you don't have the MCSE at the end of year 2, aim to get it early in year 3. Then your certifications will REALLY MEAN something. You will be able to back up those certs with knowledge at interview; you will be able to PROVE who you are.

                With an MCSE from books you will not.

                Obviously throughout this post if M$ change the certification path and MCSE no longer exists, I mean its equivalent.
                Yes, agree except that, again, I wouldn't say "prove".
                Regards,
                Jeremy

                Network Consultant/Engineer
                Baltimore - Washington area and beyond
                www.gma-cpa.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

                  Well I agree with you. IN my university I did not get introduced to any of the operating systems, or databases. What I was subjected with was some coding and old computer languages. I agree that the university teaches how things work ,and give you a logical way of thinking, so you can solve problems, or at least have a troubleshooting skill.

                  What I got from my university was systamatical way of thinking, and solving problems.
                  Best regards,
                  Mostafa Itani

                  ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

                    Like I said, "what they did learn could have been learned more efficiently and more thoroughly (and less expensive) outside of college."
                    Regards,
                    Jeremy

                    Network Consultant/Engineer
                    Baltimore - Washington area and beyond
                    www.gma-cpa.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

                      Well... in most UK Universities, the learning standards remain extremely high - so I would stand by my comments in the UK. I don't really know anything about the learning standards at Universities in other regions so I couldn't comment on that. University graduates here are looked up to - and with good cause. A graduate from Oxford or Cambridge with a First is something pretty special.


                      Tom
                      For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

                      Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

                        Good point. I can only speak about the US universities and the mentality over here.
                        Regards,
                        Jeremy

                        Network Consultant/Engineer
                        Baltimore - Washington area and beyond
                        www.gma-cpa.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

                          Is not the same true of a Harvard or UCLA graduate then?


                          Tom
                          For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

                          Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

                            Coming from the teaching profession and with considerable academic background, AFAIK there are big differences between UK and US undergraduate degrees.

                            In the US a "Bachelors" degree is seen as a stepping stone and offers a fairly low level qualification that most people who move into "professional" careers will supplement with a Masters or a Doctorate.

                            In the UK a BSc or BA goes to a considerably higher level, roughly the equivalent of a Masters in the US, and very few go on to a Masters or PhD. For example, in the UK, the training involved in becoming a medical doctor is all at the undergraduate level (the degree is MBChB (Bachelor of medicine and surgery)) whereas in the USA I believe most of the medical course is at the postgraduate level.

                            As a result, there are very different perceptions of what a particular level of degree involves and considerable confusion across the Atlantic.

                            Getting back to the original topic, I would agree that a (British) BSc/BA is a "license to learn" and a good honours degree (1st or 2:1) is a demonstration of the ability to learn independently and I would value it above professional certifications which, IMHO, should be used only to validate experience.

                            Tom
                            Tom Jones
                            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                            IT Trainer / Consultant
                            Ossian Ltd
                            Scotland

                            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What all of this worth, without a degree?

                              Well I am sure Shay Elmualem is now totally confused.

                              And one of my favourite jokes.

                              Zero
                              MA
                              BA
                              PhD
                              1 1 was a racehorse.
                              2 2 was 1 2.
                              1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                              2 2 1 1 2

                              Comment

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