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ICT Degree's are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by dales, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Hi all,

    As im on my 291 now im still thinking about what to do after I get my MCSA. I have thought briefly about doing a degree with the OU (i've asked for a prospectus). But Im worried that it wont actually add any value to my CV or my personal progression. I suppose the first thing I noticed that worried me slightly was the wishy washy titles of the degrees. Also seeing as I've already got a small number of exams under the belt plus an MBCS would I be wasting my time studying for one.

    I suppose its going to be another one of the personal things that only I can really answer but I just always seem to associate degree's with 18 year old college leavers and with no real world experience.

    Can anybody shed any light on what a degree is actually all about, (i only did a gnvq for 6th form and never got to college)!
     
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  2. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    hmmm, looking round the site abit more, it doesnt really seem like it would add any value to me personally, so perhaps I'll give it a miss. seems mostly rather basic theres a bit on javascript but not really interested in that, I'd rather do something with sql.
     
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  3. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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  4. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    I suppose the closest one to me would be reading university and the next one Oxford, but I cant really afford to to take time off to study or go to night classes, what with a 2nd sprog on the way soon the only option at the moment would be self study at home. That course looks alot more like what I would be interested in, and yes I like shiny letters after my name too, they are soooo pretty............(moth to flame syndrome).
     
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  5. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    I think that one you only have to be there for a couple of weeks, rest is home or distance learning.

    I did my last HND unit long distance lol, not sure if i was meant to or not
     
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  6. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    In all honesty matey I wouldn't bother using 3/4 years on a degree. If you have experience in the field just concentrate on getting certified with qualifications specific to your area of interest (networking - n+, ccna etc. desktop support - MCDST, A+ etc)

    It'll benefit you more in the long run. There is some credit to getting a degree (obviously) but a lot of degrees these days are seens as more 'wishy washy' and therefore hold no water.

    If you fancy doing a 'higher' level course then why not go for a HNC/HNC? They're far more accessible, you can do the work whilst being employed (I did!) and it shows employers you have more than just your GNVQ.

    Hope this helps. :)

    Qs
     
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  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    TBH, if there's a subject that's close to your heart and you really want to do it, I'd see what the OU can offer.

    Their Computing degrees do seem a bit milked and *here, there and everywhere* but that doesn't mean to say they're not interesting or useful. One of our programmers got her degree at the OU - and I think it was simply 'Computing' (there does seem to be a bias to programming on the element choices). She got a first, and her job at our place as a result.

    As you may be aware, I'm going to be doing an English Language and Literature degree. That's obviously not going to advance my immediate IT career any further - but with a degree tucked under my belt, I have to say, a lot of the taught MSc degrees offered by the OU do seem a lot meatier and more interesting. So in the four or five years it's going to take me to tackle my BA, I should have gained enough real world experience and certs to be able to tackle a Masters.

    Well, it's a plan. :rolleyes:
     
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  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Is a degree worth it? In my opinion, yes. Is it worth it at a sacrifice of 3-4 years of industry experience? No, I don't think it is. Thus, I typically recommend that people going to college for IT work in the industry while in school. It can be done; I worked a full-time job while going to school full time. Wasn't easy... but I had no other choice... a man's gotta eat. :)
     
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  9. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I would actually say "go and do your degree", but that's my personal opinion. While it doesn't seem very relevant in "normal" level IT jobs, I have been seeing alot of the higher level IT jobs stating that they require a degree.

    You could do the HNC part-time in the evenings, then top it up to the HND (both are level 5 quals), then top it up to the degree (BA/BSc). Like BM, I worked full time and studied for my degree at the same time - I had to eat also :)

    If you decide that the Degree route isn't for you, there are alternative qualifications out there that are degree level. You have the:

    1. NVQ's level 4* & 5 are degree level qualifications. *On the NVQ level 4 it does depend on which modules. These are work-based/vocational qualifications.

    2. City & Guilds Senior awards. LCGI which is equivalent to the NVQ 4, HNC/HND level/level 5. GCGI which is equivalent to a BSc/BA (Hons) degree level, mapping to level 6. And the MCGI which is equivalent to a Masters degree, mapping to level 7. These are work-based/vocational qualifications.

    3. Professional Graduate Diploma in IT offered by the BCS, which is equivalent to a BSc/BA (Hons) degree level, mapping to level 6.

    -Ken

    References: One, Two & Three
     
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  10. Maseybaby

    Maseybaby Bit Poster

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    Hey, just from all the research I have done I would say a degree is a relative must. Let me make it clear I'm not speaking from experience, but, after talking to many many highly successful people in the IT industry, they all seem to think it's a must to make yourself stand out of the crowd when going for higher end positions.
     
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  11. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    ...and here's the key: "when going for higher end positions." When you're starting out in IT, a degree isn't required. It may be helpful... but to be honest, most companies aren't looking for people with degrees to fill entry-level jobs. To be blunt, degreed people cost more, and they don't tend to stick around as long.

    Again, I'm not saying that a degree isn't worthwhile. I have one, and I recommend getting one. But they're more useful the farther you go in your IT career.
     
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  12. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Hmm, thanks for the info guys and girls, looking around at the options nothing really interests me or inspires me to study for one, as I say I cant really go to college (im 30 by jiminy!) what with children and misses to look after its simply not an option. I'll keep plodding on with my MCSA, and then hopefully carve out a nieche for myself in some other direction. Personally I dont really see any benefit in a degree as its all too wishy washy to be of any use in the real world. maybe if I ever get to management level things might change but until then I'll keep going with certs that are relevant to my job.


    the NVQ level 5 might actually be worth a go at some point, other half has just finished her level 3 in childcare so have seen the format etc for the nvq, hmm is the CITP by BCS worth any clout in certification circles, I've got the MBCS and only about 2 years to go until im eligible for CITP.

    thanks again for the info.
     
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  13. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    I wish I had one :(
     
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  14. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Then take a look at the OU website and see if anything snares your interest.

    If you don't think you have the time, then a Level 1 30 points course says you should study probably around six hours per week. If you don't think you have the money, you can set up 0% finance through them to pay the course in chunks. If you don't have the inclination... then you don't *really* wish you had a degree... right? My Level 1 course material came through two days ago, and I'm hopping round with excitement, despite how uninteresting the course title "How to write essays" may seem...
     
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  15. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Nice one, I hope that you get on ok with it. I never said that I wished I had a degree, I was just looking into it as an option, and whilst it may well be great for other people, looking at the information on the web it just all seems a bit 'meh' to me, thats not to say that its not worth doing but at the moment I want to devote my studying time to things that interest me and will provide an obvious career path in the not to distant future.

    I've ordered a prospectus anyway so that may change my mind when I have read it and I may well go back to doing a degree level certificate at some stage but perhaps I'll pass on it for now.
     
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  16. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Ah I didn't mean you wished you had one - I meant TimothC (the quote).

    I honestly think ICT degrees aren't focussed enough, especially when you've started 'drilling down' the specialism you want with certs and have a clear idea what you do and do not want to learn.

    The closest one that appealed to me with the OU was their Computing and Psychology degree - following by Computing and Mathematical Science. But English played its tune, and I was only too happy to follow :) but yeah, Computing degrees on their own seem a bit tough and tired, but combined with another subject may hold more interest?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
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  17. Evilwheato

    Evilwheato Kilobyte Poster

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    I've not got a IT degree, so I can really say much in terms of that, however, the degree I have isn't going to help me now unless I started on some Graduate Scheme.
    I would think work experience and industry accepted qualifications would beat them any day :)

    I went and got mine because I wanted to learn more, and wasn't sure of what I wanted to do (never a good idea).
     

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