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General Chat Thread, Degree VS Industry qualifications your views in General; Hello fellow geeks, A degree is a broad area covering many aspects in the course and involves team working in ...
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    Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    Hello fellow geeks,

    A degree is a broad area covering many aspects in the course and involves team working in a project. Skills which you cannot get from Microsoft or cisco. People skills is very important coupled with 3 years determination shows you are a true learner with commitment.

    Dilemma :twisted:

    A young man who has just finished college who wants to embark on a networking career. Does he go to uni and end up with a huge student debt and not being very specialised in networking because the course was too broad. He may not get a job straight away when he graduates and pay off his debts. Would this young man be better off if he had started in an MCSA and Cisco and completed that within 2 years of his time and starting off in a junior poisition and being a senior in another 2 years.

    What are your thoughts? Would your thoughts be different if this person was not a young man but middle aged? I hope to hear some interesting feedback. If that person was you what would you've done back then?

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    Having done the uni route, albeit not in IT, I'd say to go for the job and train within that job if it's allowed.

    Whether you're 18, 38 or 58, it doesn't matter - as long as you show willing and a genuine interest, I still believe that the learning curve is better and less intensive (and allows application of your knowledge to your job) in a job than it is in uni/courses.

    Of course, had I have known now what I knew back then, yadda yadda, I wouldn't have gone to uni and would've stayed and trained. But then you could argue that had I not gone to uni, I wouldn't have got my graduate role at Huge Sized Banking Corporation in IT, and wouldn't have progressed from there...

    [really, that's not much help, is it?!]

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    Mix the two look at foundation degrees Theres not much point doing vendor certificates if your not experienced. Maybe do the first one to make you an MCP just to pass some HR filters then look to do the rest when you are working in the job.

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    I've done the uni route (degree in computer science) and I've gained a swag of industry qualifications. Getting an M$ and/or Cisco qual (or IBM and Linux quals which I have) are all well and good until you find yourself working on different hardware, which can happen. I come from a bit iron background and my big iron quals are next to useless in getting a job on Intel boxes or Sun boxes or whatever. It's always been the BSc after my name that has gotten me the job, not the IBM letters.

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    Hmmm. Intersting this one. We work in an ever changing field where current quals are made irrelevant almost overnight in some cases. I sit on a lot of job panels interviewing potential technicians, network managers and vendors. I have to treat quals with a pinch of salt. Often many of the qualified people when interviewed display a knowlege which has vast holes in which their qualifications say they should not have (mainly M$ ones) and defgrees in IT which have no relevance to the jobs in question.
    I like many other would rather someone with the relevent experience rather than a raft full of certificates with no practical knowlege. At the end of the day if you cannot answer the interview questions then you don't get the job, regardless of what paperwork you have.
    This is not just my view either. I know many IT managers in the corporate world who take the same line. I think this started when masses of Microsoft paper-passed qualified people flooded the market and (I hate to say it) 'cheapend' the Microsoft qualifications.

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    I should add that if you do the foundation degree you can then do the last year of a computer Science BSc if you wish. So for the most part its all modular and can fit round your current job.

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    I did the degree route, and I think that at this level it has set me apart from most of the candidates that have been applying for jobs alongside me. Having a degree is not the be all and the end all though, your experience counts for a lot.

    Also, do not forget that a Computer Science degree is very broad as it is meant to be an education - it is not directly designed to enable you to seek employment through it's content. For this reason we were expected to do an "academic" final year projects and not one with a business/commercial bias.

    Pete

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    If it helps with the dilemma, I will share my recent experiences in trying to get into the educational ICT field full-time.

    For the last three years, I have been doing a BA(Hons) in Primary Education and ICT. My course finishes tomorrow and I'm now at the stage of looking for jobs - my aim is to work in ICT support in education.

    Last week, I was interviewed for two positions.

    1. A relatively low paid (c.11k) term-time vanilla ICT technician in a large comprehensive school with sixth form, bottom of the ladder among 3 other technicians.

    2. A better paid (c.17k) Senior/Graduate ICT Technician at a smaller girl's high school, second in command to the Network Manager and above one ICT Technician.

    I have no formal IT qualifications, but a lot of knowledge. I have three Science A-levels, two years studied on a (very) serious Science-related degree and will have my BA(Hons) soon. I have little experience except for about a year of working part-time as a Tech in a local Primary school.

    Here's my point: I didn't get either job. And these were the reasons I was given:

    Job 1. They felt with my profile, I would be better suited to a supervisory position, and that I was overqualified for the post.

    Job 2. They felt I didn't have the experience. I lost out to a candidate with previous Secondary ICT experience.

    So, I have come to the conclusion that with my background, having a degree is going to be more of a hinderance than a help. I can't get a 'bottom rung' job as a starting point to gain experience because I appear overqualified, but I can't get a job further up the ladder more suited to my profile because I don't have the base level experience.

    I would say for someone who is adamant that they want to follow the ICT Technical Support-type role, doing a degree is probably not the best way to go, unless there is opportunity to gain significant experience alongside it.

    This is just my opinion from where I'm at now, and although YMMV, I feel that doing the degree has (employment-wise) been a waste of three years and almost £20k.

    Hope this helps.

    Chris

    P.S. If anyone knows of any good school ICT support jobs going in the Chichester/Portsmouth area, please let me know!

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box
    think this started when masses of Microsoft paper-passed qualified people flooded the market and (I hate to say it) 'cheapend' the Microsoft qualifications.
    Many moons ago I was helping out in an IT department up in London during holidays (got the gig after work experience being arranged by big sis) and they were in the middle of an over haul so had got some temps in from an agency with full on MS qulaifications. I decided that even being the holiday spod I had better inform the person in the know that the first one I worked with knew naff all after I had to walk them through a boot disk install for an NT machine, how to get into the BIOS to change boot order and where to plug the nework cable in. Speaking to the person I found out they had done boot camps and were really chuffed with the results they got as they didn't think they were going to pass. That put me off MS quals slightly.
    Next time i was back there they had a new agency person MS qualied up to the eyeballs and they asked me to keep an eye on him as so far he had done nothing but surf the web for holidays and new jobs and were building up reasons to give him the heave ho. That put me off going by qualifications on CV's.
    But saying all that the same holiday the newbie and I unpacked about 80 Dells in 45 mins which suprised the boss as he and one of the others had taken 3 hours to do 50 a couple of weeks before. That clued me in to management.
    The placement really was an eye opener into the IT work place

    @CRC - A friend of a friend got deeply into depression after coming out of a 3y uni course with very good qualifications so applied for every job going and then went around every place he could think of for a job and got told everywhere they wanted experience over a degree. He even offered his services for what ever cut price they wanted to get experience but they weren't having it. Took him a year and ahlaf I think to get a job which I think was a very basic position for someone with a degree but he was happy to get something and had a foot in the door. The whole system does seem stuffed up. I'm just glad I got where I am and could do the training stuff after.

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    Sounds familiar with the overqualified or not enough experience scenario. I went through quiete a few job interviews before I got this one. My boss feels I am over qualified/experienced for this job but they are just very happy to have me

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    A degree qualification shows that your willing and able to learn. Industry qualifications are very specific on how the specific company wants you to do things - and to ensure that you buy their wares, which isn't always the best solution!

    IMO All the computer scientists that I have met have a much better general understanding than your average msce. Personally, my BSc/Ph.D was in chemistry and I took some extra compsci courses while at uni. I learned a lot from a CCNA course that I took but mostly things come from books/internet - that the great thing about computing -all the information is free

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    hi,

    Ever felt person interviewing you doesnt know what your qualifications mean. I lost out on network manager position in a school 25K because interview pannel preferred RM certified technician over me (done MCSE) and some others who were network managers managing Vanilla windows 2000 networks

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    hi,

    Ever felt person interviewing you doesnt know what your qualifications mean. I lost out on network manager position in a school 25K because interview pannel preferred RM certified technician over me (done MCSE) and some others who were network managers managing Vanilla windows 2000 networks
    Oh dear that is unfortunate.

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    Erm ... was it an RM network.

    It could just be the experience thing again.

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    Re: Degree VS Industry qualifications your views

    When interviewing I tend to look at previous *relevant* experience.

    Certain qualifications demonstrate an aptitude to learning and adapting ... a must as a techie in a school, others just mean that you can know how to answer questions in a prescribed way.

    If someone has M$ / Cisco / Sun quals I tend to ask then where they did their boot camp. If they say it was self study then they get a slightly bigger thumbs up (especially for Sun quals).

    If they say it wasn't a boout camp but over a period of time then they get a slightly smaller thumbs up.

    But I rate the ability to work within the team one of the most important things.

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