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The Importance of academic education in IT industry

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by rockstar6181, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. rockstar6181

    rockstar6181 Byte Poster

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    I was having a chat with some friends of mine of which all don’t have a degree; in fact we all just have basic GCSEs. We all have gone into IT from an early age and built up years experience and also certifications. Id say maybe 75% of IT jobs I have seen advertised don’t require a degree and also are more interested in experience and certifications. Currently I am in early stages of starting a degree via distance learning, this should take 6 years or so as I will be working and doing other certifications in mean time. My question is what are others experience with IT jobs and degrees. I have been told when you get towards top of ladder the degree can come into play more than. What are other people’s views on this?
     
    Certifications: A/N+ MCSA 2003
  2. UCHEEKYMONKEY
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Hmmmm:hhhmmm

    I was informed by several It managers that IT degree's don't hold much weight compared to hands on experience and part time certs such as A+, N+ or cisco.

    In fact one employer stated that most Universities don't keep up with the moving times of the IT!

    They would rather employ a candidate who has shown in their spare time they have undertaken Computer training, while in full time job than a graduate.

    Why? because it show's commitment, time management skills.

    I don't have a degree in IT but I do have a degree. It does seem to be the norm these days to have a degree. My next door neighbour has a degree in Perfume:rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    My uncle is a university lecturer and he says it has gone full circle.

    When he did a degree it seemed to mean something, probably because you had to be clever and earn your <A levels> albeit, more people left school and learned a trade.

    Now it would appear <everyone> goes to Uni for one reason or another. Most old school friend followed the <uni route> (i didn't) and can count on one hand the people have put it to use, although it does count for a good level of education.

    As for IT, i haven't been in it for very long, but in a work experience placement the network manager commented that real life experience would win hands down in his opinion over a BSC in Computing and if the candidate had an MCP/MSCE all the better.

    My 2p worth.

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  4. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    The problem is that there are loads of crap degrees about theses days. I don’t know why the Government insists in trying to increase the amount of people that go to uni. You should only go to uni if you have decent grades from school or have passed whatever the requirements are to get into the course, not to help Government figures. :x

    My degree has helped me get where I am just now but in saying that I know people who graduated (from the same course I was doing) and haven’t used their degree to get an IT job, ack well at least we had a laugh at uni! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  5. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Its a disgrace that the government insists on pushing as many people as possible into university education.

    As a committed socialist, I applaud the basic prinicple behind it, unfortunately, in reality it just doesn't work. The more people doing degrees, the less those degrees come to mean anything in the real world. It used to be that if you went to university and got your degree it set you apart from your peers. Now, with so many watered-down nonsense subjects studied to 'degree level' the words 'BA' or 'BSc' after your name don't mean much.

    That said, if I was hiring and fifteen candidates' CVs crossed my desk - with one of them having Maths, one Engineering and one IT I'd still take those over any other degree - so I think its still worth having - provided you tailor it to suit your career choice. When I used to interview for new staff I lost count of the amount of people who get degrees in Media Studies then try and get into IT because they can't get work in 'meeedja'.

    One frightening aspect of the desire to convince even stupid kids that they can get a degree is the incredible shortage of what used to be called 'skilled tradesmen' (plumbers, builders, electricians, carpenters). These professions are looked down on by teachers because they don't consider them worthy of suggesting to kids nowadays. That explains why any half decent tradesman can charge 70 quid an hour for fixing your guttering and spend two afternoons a week on the golf course :x

    My mate is a sparks - he left school with bugger all qualifications, pissed about at college for two years doing nothing, then went out and did an electrician's cert. He now earns more than me and is on the way to being financially solvent within about three years - from then on its all gravy.

    Back when i was contracting, I seriously considered changing careers and going on to being a sparks. It was only the fact that I love IT so much that kept me from doing it.
     
    Certifications: A few
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  6. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

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    Hi

    I am about 2/3 of the way through a Open University B Eng (Hons). Having spend 20 years in IT, ahhh the good old days, have worked my way up slowly to a point where I am a member of a very small team running a number of national systems. OK a degree would not get me there but it really would have helped. I see a degree as teaching you how to learn, OK at a very high level, and a huge amount of what we do day by day in IT is highly technical and fast moving so being able to learn at speed is a nessary skill. Shhh but I am planning to do a Masters when I finish.
     
  7. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    Im going to be doing a degree starting next month.. im 21 (ok not a typical under grad but i only have 1 years exp) and a couple of certs... i think my degree will hold some value when i finish because i feel employeers will looks at my degree and know i didnt braindump my way through it and that the class i get in my degree will reflect my attitude and seriousneous to my job. Everyone is just rolling out MCSE's now where as after my degree and i have been introduced to new technologies in a teaching enviroment i feel could lead me to other paths that are not so flooded...
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
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  8. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Well I start my OU degree this year...I'm going to be studying History! Seems that you can't go wrong with that subject and I'm well interested in it too - and that's what really matters!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
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  9. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    A degree, in any subject, is bound to help you along the way. It shows a desire to learn, and a commitment to it aswell.

    Whilst there are many who may say that a degree is of no use what so ever, it is less the content of the degree that matters, but the learning skills that you take from it.

    For me my degree is more for personal gain than employability, I have experience and certs to give me that.

    8)
     
  10. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

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    Good luck in your OU studies - it is a long hard road! Been there 4 years only 2 more to go! Shhh then I start my Masters!
     
  11. rockstar6181

    rockstar6181 Byte Poster

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    Excellent points guys! :D I think I might hold off on degree for time being and spend my time obtaining certs and getting the right expirence in the right jobs etc, will proberly look into a degree in a few years, hopefully by then there might be some better courses offered via distance learning.
     
    Certifications: A/N+ MCSA 2003
  12. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    My take is that certain fields require degrees (apparently - correct me if I'm wrong) such as graphic design and some programming positions.

    I've seen a fair share of support roles that state 'graduate' as a requirement.

    I don't have a degree and I haven't had problems because of not having one.

    I have done a module of the OU degree path and found it really interesting, I still intend to pick up and carry on some time down the line, but it's not very high on my to do list at this time.
     
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
    WIP: 70-669, Learning MSI packaging
  13. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    I like watching job sites to see what skills people are after an i visit cwjobs often... i ran a search for you with the keywords SUPPORT AND DEGREE

    Click here to see results

    Add the word Junior to the search and 87 jobs get found.... IMO degrees are wanted!
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  14. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    I think part of the problem with degrees is that some employers like to specify one as a requirement for a posistion that dosent really need it. Many times i've worked with people who have degrees doin the same job as them ( and im useless when it comes to academic stuff). I started out as a temp in a company doin wireman work, ended up as a full time test engineer due to impressing the production manager and knowing the job. The person with the degree started as a test engineer, partly due to having the qualification first, but took longer to get to know the job in the end.

    I have no doubt that for a design posistion or something requireing a higher brain function, is better suited to degrees, but that a hands on experienced person could probably manage a praticle role better.

    Personnaly i wouldnt study for a degree as i find it hard to memorise and learn in depth technical stuff if i havent had enough hands on practicle to back it all up. Im not much good at studying but am much better at picking a job up and running with it!
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, N+, MS 70-271, 70-272
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  15. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

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    You will find that the CompTIA exams are all about memorising stuff. :blink
     
  16. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    The thing about the comptia exams is that theres a lot of practicel you can do to back up all that memorising.... Its how i managed to get mine. However with degree courses theres a lot more in depth technical theory you need to remeber that can only be learnt by reading a book and on a white board... some of it is hard to back up with a 5min visual practicle guide.
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, N+, MS 70-271, 70-272
    WIP: Being a BILB,

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