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To Bachelor or Not To Bachelor


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#1
dinotech

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I'll be approaching 40 in November. Yeah, I'm sharing my age. It's not like you couldn't figure it out at some point.

I've been a computer tech for 15 years plus. I've only started to get into web development and networking.

I have not finished my degree, and I have a hefty student loan to show for what I have accomplished (mostly in programming).

I have registered at Western Governors University and I am looking to finish my degree in Info Security.

A friend of mine thinks I should not go into more debt to finish a degree; with my skills, experience, and a few certifications, I could be working in a shop at a decent salary.

I want to get G2G member opinion's on whether I should continue pursuit of a degree, or just stay the course on certifications and experience.

Note: I understand that it depends on what I want to do, but I want to hear opinions and experience from the membership.

Thanks

Dino
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#2
dsenette

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a lot of people throw the phrase "you shouldn't go into debt" around a lot.....when what they mean to say is "you shouldn't go into UNMANAGEABLE debt for no reason"

education is almost always a worthwhile expense....but you have to isolate the reason for the education....

if the sole purpose for going back and finishing your degree is to get a better job with more pay....then you better start shopping for that job now and see if it exists and if having the degree would help. a lot of people go to school for a chosen field with the sole purpose of getting that dream job, only to find out that A: that job doesn't exist (or isn't hiring) or B: they could have gotten the job just fine without going to school

if your main reason for going to school is to learn something and better yourself, then you'll almost definitely find something to do with the knowledge you gained by going to school. and if you're lucky...that "something" will help pay for school
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#3
lavega21

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I am actually on the same boat as you. I am looking into the other schools like ITT Tech and Devry but I've never heard of Western Governors University. I look into it a little and sounds good. I may have to take a closer look since I have not made my decision. I'm looking to Networking and Security as well.

I think that you can't put a price on education, if you have the desire and motivation to go back then go ahead, specially in the type of field that you are getting into. The one thing I love about technology is that it is always going to change so the learning never stops.

I'm sure you make pretty decent money currently, so it sounds that you are driven by the desire to learn which it is the perfect start the money will come.
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#4
dsenette

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I am actually on the same boat as you. I am looking into the other schools like ITT Tech and Devry but I've never heard of Western Governors University. I look into it a little and sounds good. I may have to take a closer look since I have not made my decision. I'm looking to Networking and Security as well.

i went to ITT for the 2 year associates in "Computer Networking Systems"....best $40k i've spent....i'll be paying it off for a while but they actually sent my resume to the company i'm currently working for (and have been for almost 5 years)...
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#5
lavega21

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i went to ITT for the 2 year associates in "Computer Networking Systems"....best $40k i've spent..


Glad to hear some good feedback about ITT Tech. We, as humans, whenever we failed at something it is never our fault, we are quick to blame the system or somebody else and you get lots of those feedback online.

Edited by lavega21, 30 October 2009 - 09:48 AM.

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#6
dsenette

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well...there are problems with ITT...i won't ever say there aren't...and each campus is different as their staff is made up of local professionals...so if you get someone who knows what they're doing you get a lot out of it...there are times where you get a teacher who knows the material but not how to teach...but this is true of any educational institution
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#7
dinotech

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I went to the Devry campus in Phoenix, AZ and there were issues. My first class had 147 students enrolled in the class (Devry was using class groups and somehow didn't create enough groups or didn't schedule the students appropriately).

All of the good courses were non-technical; the technical ones - outside of Cobol and JCL - were either very easy or I just knew the subject matter already.

I agree with dsenette's comments about teachers who can't teach but are very skilled in their subject matter. We had a few of those too.

Had I dealt with my ADD earlier, the experience would have been more rewarding. I felt lost at times and didn't know what I really wanted. I was also very "quiet" when there were issues, which I should have called them out on a few occasions.

It doesn't matter if it is ITT, Devry, or Western Governors; if you don't get involved in what you are doing, it is a waste of money.

Thanks for the input!

Dino
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#8
NomDeKeyz

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Something you could do before in enrolling in a class is to sit in on a class to see if the
teacher/subject/method appeals to you? I have done this many times. I don't have a college
degree, but I have sat in classes, and then taken a few (never for a degree, but for what
that specific class had to offer). I actually found that the community college often had a
teacher/method that appealed to me more. Find out if it is permissible to sit as a guest in
a class before enrolling/committing your money and time to the session.

I am not a fan of the prescribed learning curriculum for a degree IF that curriculum includes
classes/teachers that don't really add to your knowledge/experience in a worthwhile way.
I custom tailored my learning because it made sense to me. I am however finding that it is
difficult to be recognized for my knowledge and experience without that degree; especially
in a new city where my references and work are less known.

What is ironic is that the letters at the end of your name can mean a better job, but may not land
you the job that those letters were meant to. There is an Olive Garden where every employee either
has a college degree or is about to get one. No one studied food service in college, I would wager.
Their degree did however help to secure them a job over those who did not have college experience,
even if some of those applicants had more food service experience. The reasoning of one manager
is that someone who can earn a degree can learn and follow thru; experience does not always make
a good employee (especially if they are slow to learn a new way of doing a familiar task). At the
least, it might help or make the difference between your being considered or not for a job if the
market is abundant with overqualified seekers. Hopefully you won't be seeking food service jobs in
lieu of what you want to do and have invested time and money in learning to do.

My advice may or may not apply to you as my main feilds of study have been mostly in childcare and
health and dance... BUT I have sat in on some college science/tech classes, so perhaps you can too?

Edited by NomDeKeyz, 31 October 2009 - 05:32 AM.

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#9
dinotech

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The reasoning of one manager
is that someone who can earn a degree can learn and follow thru;


The quality of this statement alone is worth the effort to finish a degree. Most employers want to hire employees that can create and accomplish. You have that opportunity in college. Most students would "get by" in a specific class by just doing the assignments, but the main goal is to see how motivated you are to going above and beyond that.

A letter of recommendation from a professor has a lot of weight toward competing for a job. Of course, the school from which the professor teaches is important. The point here is: you have to put into your education (certification?) what you want out of it.

D
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#10
laxshman

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I am actually on the same boat as you. I am looking into the other schools like ITT Tech and Devry but I've never heard of Western Governors University. I look into it a little and sounds good. I may have to take a closer look since I have not made my decision. I'm looking to Networking and Security as well.

i went to ITT for the 2 year associates in "Computer Networking Systems"....best $40k i've spent....i'll be paying it off for a while but they actually sent my resume to the company i'm currently working for (and have been for almost 5 years)...

hehe. ITT
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