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Im Stuck! UNI OR CCNP/CCIE? Any Advice

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by mentman, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. mentman

    mentman Bit Poster

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    Hello all

    Im having troble deciding what to do next in my educational steps! Please any help or personal opinions will be helpfull!

    I left school at 16 with not great gcse (but ok ishh).
    After leaving school i worked with a network support team (and still do) and did a few basic computer courses and found out about the cisco certs.
    I then went and passed the 640-822 cisco exam giving me CCENT certifaction.

    I have just turned 18, im currenty studying towards the second part of the ccna and should be there soon,
    but alot of my freinds are going off to uni soon and it has got me thinking what to do!

    Should i find a course at uni in computer science ect and come back to cisco in a few years, and go and exprience uni life, or stick to my cisco certs.

    The way I see it is I could either go to uni and get a degree and live "the student life", or i think in that time(3-4 years) i could have compleated CCNP and on the way to CCIE.

    Im very interested in cisco/networks so thats were my passion is, but i dont want to miss out on how uni is meant to be the "best years of your life".

    Sorry if its sounds like a cry for help! But im a bit stuck!

    Thanks alot
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCENT, ITE, 642-812 BCMSN
    WIP: 642-901 BCSI
  2. loneferret

    loneferret Byte Poster

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    That's a tough one...
    I know what I would do, but everyone is different and "university life" can be demanding.

    Depends, if you go to Uni, would you need to keep working?
     
    Certifications: MCDST/N+/L+/i-Net+/CIW/OSCP/OSCE
    WIP: MCTS 70-662
  3. mentman

    mentman Bit Poster

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    I would be at uni full time (student loan), so possiblity of a part time role but i would probably lose my techie position.
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCENT, ITE, 642-812 BCMSN
    WIP: 642-901 BCSI
  4. Evilwheato

    Evilwheato Kilobyte Poster

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    As much as "uni life" is great, the work is very demanding (especially in your final year). If you're happy where you are and your getting experience/studying your cert's- keep with it.
    You can always go to university later if that is something you really want to do.
     
  5. loneferret

    loneferret Byte Poster

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    If I was in your shoes, I'd go to University and talk with your current employer. See if you can have a reasonable part-time work schedual. Never know...
    Uni life is fun, you got to be careful. Parties, social groups, student associations can all be fun but one must remember the reason they are there... studying!
     
    Certifications: MCDST/N+/L+/i-Net+/CIW/OSCP/OSCE
    WIP: MCTS 70-662
  6. NoCompanyIT

    NoCompanyIT Nibble Poster

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    Best years of your life as in partying etc? maybe it is for some, but you'd end up with a worthless degree. If you studied hard and got a good degree, even then you'd have a £9,000 debt and not great job prospects with a degree alone.

    If you want to go into networking, you will not find a degree dedicated to networking solely, you'll learn lots that has nothing to do with it.
     
    Certifications: Bsc (1st)
  7. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    Get your degree. Choose a university which allows you to go and do a placement year tho.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  8. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Sorry to sound like a stuck record. I would not consider any of the Cisco Certs until you have at 12 months experience using Cisco equipment.

    I would go for the A+ then N+, in the meantime find an entry level job.

    I would only go the Uni route if you feel it is right for you, not just because your mates are going off to uni.
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  9. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    Yeh I agree. If you choose the uni route, move away :)
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  10. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I would say do your degree part-time & keep working part-time :)

    By the time you have the experience, you could have already completed your degree.

    Remember:

    Degree is for life...

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  11. Taita

    Taita Nibble Poster

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    Don't go back to 'school' stick with your certs and experience.

    Students have no idea about the real world, and you will soon get bored of them putting the world to rights when pissed, when they haven't ever been in it.
     
    Certifications: A+ N+ MCP
    WIP: MCSE
  12. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    Couldn't agree more, we have just hired a Graduate .net developer and she has admitted everything she has learned over the past 7 years in education, both college and university, are of no use now she is in the job, she has really got to step up to the plate now, and uni hasn't taught her how to cope with it, even she admits that. By the time I am her age, I will have been in IT for nearly 5 years, 5 years experience in IT versus a degree? cmon.

    If you want the partying and a piece of paper telling you that in theory you can do the job, go to uni, if you want to DO the job, carry on working. The majority of students I know and I know a LOT as my year started uni last September, have no idea why they are going or where they are going afterwards, they are going because "they want to".
     
    Certifications: MCITP:VA, MCITP:EA, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP:EST7, MCITP:SA, PRINCE2, ITILv3
  13. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Continue to work while pursuing your degree. You shouldn't pursue ANY Cisco certifications until you've got experience working with Cisco gear.

    For the record, I've been in IT for 11 years, and I don't even think I'm ready for the CCIE yet...
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  14. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    However 5 years with a degree... :)

    You've stated that you just turned 18, this got me thinking, why not go for the NVQ 4? The NVQ program is mapped to the old NQF levels, so a level 4 in turn covers the new NQF levels 4, 5 & 6 which in turn is equivalent to a BSc/BA. The NVQ programs are recognised in the UK as well as the EU, however if you plan to migrate outside the EU (Oz & the US for example), they may or may not be accepted/recognised. Added to that if you get on an Apprenticeship a few professional certs may be incorporated into the program :)

    I agree 100% :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  15. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    See here, page 1.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  16. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

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    HND seems to be a good option
     
    Certifications: MOS Master, A+, MCP 271
    WIP: HND, Programming, Another Job
  17. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Fair point, but a few go on to Masters and Phd's and went on to invent 80%+ of whats around you right now...

    Everyones experience will be different, I agree a high proportion of grads probably should not have gone and got little out of it, you shouldn't need a degree for the average IT job. Ironically the way things are going you may well do soon...

    Why not do a HNC/Foundation degree part time while you work ?

    If you are into the academic side of things and want to take on a fulltime degree, then why not talk to your boss and try flexitime or arrange work between terms ?

    Both of these approaches mean you will get the benefit of tuition AND experience.

    Sure I've met grads who couldn't write a batch file, the point is go with a goal, don't just enrol on any course.

    I left knowing assembler, C, C++, ADA, OO, Fortran, COBOL, Algorithms, Architecture, Design, Analysis, Real time systems, Some Math, Data-structures, Prolog, Smalltalk, SQL, RDBMS, some OpenGL, basic comms, compiler design/parsing. Some techniques / languages were antiquated even then, but it still left me with an excellent foundation to be a programmer which is what I wanted.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  18. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    Some people are knocking degrees/uni here. Now half of your arguments make sense. Alot of students do have no experiance, some are idiots, some are not.

    However are you guys jealous because you wre not academically capable of getting one?

    Some people haven't decided what they wana do after school or w/e. Also graduate schemes offer very decent jobs all over the country.

    Alot of unis also offer sandwhich courses (year out working). Mine did this. Also in the final year I worked part time as an I.T. Technician @ two schools - which was hard work whilst doing a full time degree.

    I can probably say not everyone is capable of gaining a decent degree? It shows plenty of skill and ability, I can ensure you.

    Graduates and students have no idea about the real world? They are living in it. Most are away from 'home', paying wages, working part time jobs.

    You might find also that many courses require hundreds of hours of studying - including many of these - pure networking. You also might find these graduates have a hell of alot of theory knowledge! A good understanding of how everything works - where your standard 2-3 year practical experiance kiddy might not know the fundamentals of the OSI Model and TCP/IP etc.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  19. Taita

    Taita Nibble Poster

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    I had offers from Manchester and Leeds amongst others for a degree.

    Respectfully, a part time bar job is a long way from a full time IT position, juggling wages, bills and studying at the same time.
     
    Certifications: A+ N+ MCP
    WIP: MCSE
  20. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    With respect I've held down various fulltime jobs in IT over the last 14 years, lots of juggling also involved.

    A degree was absolutely key to this, I would probably not have landed half the jobs without it, certainly at least in the first 5 years.

    "I had offers from Manchester and Leeds amongst others for a degree."

    Being offered a place and performing to the required standard for 3 years are not the same thing.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH

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