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Self Study vs Technical College?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by lostinthewoods, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. lostinthewoods

    lostinthewoods New Member

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    I am located in the US (California) and going into IT as a career change after getting laid off from the healthcare field. I've always enjoyed working with (or building, or fixing, or troubleshooting) computers and I figured now is a good time to look into doing something I truly enjoy as a career. I'm kind of torn on what route I should take as I'm pretty much starting from zero and have almost zero professional experience for a prospective employer to take me seriously.

    Self-Study:

    • I can get the materials on my own and study via book, online resources (like Professor Messer),
    • I am fairly confident I can do it on my own.
    • I have zero networks within the IT community/field. I am starting 100% from scratch and fearful that having certs and no professional experience or classroom time might count against me.

    Technical College*:

    • This is a [very] small technical school located close to where I live (Stanbridge College in Irvine, California).
    • Their 'Diploma' program costs about 9,100 pounds ($14,500) and covers training for A+, CCNA, MCTS, MCTS Win 7 Configuring, MCITP/SA.
    • The above listed cost covers the cost of taking certification tests.
    • The diploma program is 11 months.
    • Offers job placement just before sitting to take the A+ certification (or anytime after) so students can start getting professional experience.
    • Have a lab and a resource library open from 9am to 9pm during the week and 8am to 4pm during the weekends.
    • They are fully accredited but didn't provide any statistics for first time pass rates or job placement rates (which concerns me).
    • After finishing the diploma program you can continue with the Associate program which covers training for: Sharepoint 2010 Configuring, CCNA Security, Project+, CCNA Wireless, Security+, Linux+.

    I've looked into IT jobs around me (via CareerBuilder and Monster) and I'm having a hard time finding any companies near me that will take someone without having prior experience and/or a degree of some kind. On the surface the tech-college sounds like a no-brainer to me and the obvious choice, but I'm hoping someone will offer up their opinions and a perspective I haven't looked at yet?

    I would hate to spend that kind of money needlessly and, just as well, I'd hate to save of that same money and have nothing to show for my future certs (i.e- a job).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2012
  2. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    Unless you get someone that's US based on this forum you have trouble getting an "all-round" answer.

    I think from the answer of self-study not only is it cheaper, I think it shows a good sense of discipline and self-motivation - both are qualities that a good employer should get excited about.

    As for technical colleges etc. I think another forum that's worth a punt is TechExams Forum which is a lot more US focused and I know there are discussion on there quite often about schools, tech colleges, grad school etc.
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
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  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    It's been years since I've left the US, however I do have a couple of questions:

    1. What is the main purpose for considering this program? Is it to gain the diploma, professional certs, both?

    2. Is the technical college a recognised one? Eg not a degree/diploma mill where the "qualification" earned isn't worth the paper it's written on.

    3. Is the diploma program and the prospective associates program a recognised one? If I'm reading it right, the Associates program is the equivalent to a Foundation degree program in the UK.
     
    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
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  4. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator

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    Post restored :tune
     
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  5. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Thanks mate :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2015
    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
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  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Seems an awful lot of money for a diploma programme. I think tech colleges in the UK tend to be great, but I wouldn't pay those sums for something that isn't a degree from a recognised institution.

    Its nice to see colleges with cert programs, but I tend to be wary of most colleges that base their courses almost entirely around them. They tend to be paper mills...
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  7. kishmbee

    kishmbee Bit Poster

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    There are still a lot of IT jobs around us. But a very few companies take someone without prior experience or a degree. A few certificates like ccie security are not so costly, you can try getting one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2012

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