Are degrees still relevant in IT, in 2021

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by JK2447, Nov 9, 2021.

  1. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Hi All

    I know many of us have a BSc on here, coupled with vendor certifications, so I wondered, what are your thoughts on this subject?

    I gained my degree with the OU, BSc IT and Computing over five years part time. I really enjoyed it and how the OU fits around your life as I was working full time. That said, it took a crazy number of hours from me in my late 20s, so is a big commitment there. Fortunately for me, I completed it not long after baby 1 of 3 came along. I'm not sure how I'd cope if we had the kids at that point.

    Only after my degree did I get into vendor certs from CompTIA, Microsoft and VMware. These were like a breath of fresh air as I only had to study for one exam at a time, and if I'm being honest, much quicker to get, yet carried a lot of weight in the industry, so for me, certs definitely had a bigger impact on my career and how handy I was in my role at the time. I say that because while my degree was great, I learned things like SmallTalk, a defunct object orientated language that helps you to understand the principles, but is of no use to me or anyone else for that matter today.

    While some jobs require a degree, so there is no doubt, doctor, lawyer, vet etc etc IT I find is more of a grey area where it may or may not benefit your career. I think we all know someone who is massively talented and has neither certifications or a degree just to complicate matters further.

    I hope you are keeping well
    Jim
     
    Certifications: VCP4, 5, 6, 6.5, 6.7, VCAP DCV Design, VMConAWS Skill, BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: VCP7
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    Google has publically stated it values skills over degrees, lot other companies now think the same.

    Bits of paper are just that.

    I learnt lot old stuff on my degree too including, 16 bit 80x86 assembler, FORTRAN, COBOL, ADA, PROLOG, Smalltalk, C/C++, PHIGS/GKS, VMS, UNIX, SQL, MS-DOS.

    Importance is learning stuff and applying it, stuff like Delphi and Java borrow from Smalltalk in some aspects.
     
  3. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    It depends! The number of people going to university and carrying on with further education and the number of people re-entering further education has been increasing for several years and I expect it will continue. This is for several reasons less jobs out their for young people so they carrying on with education, older people having career changes and gaining a degree and also with the raise of online learning it opens on the opportunity for more people to study then previously where it was all at a university.

    For these reasons as more people in general are gaining them it will make it more necessary for you to have one if you want to compete and the job market will only become more competitive in years to come. You can definitely have a successful career without one have a good career will never be based on one factor only.

    I think as IT matures and is looked at in the same view as other professions that will lead to more people gaining degrees in it, if they are needed to do the job is one thing but are they needed to be hired is different and I think will be a factor even if companies never come out and say it like that.
     
    Certifications: A few.
  4. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Thanks both, interesting points. I know employers often look for a way to whittle down the number of applicants for a role, so can rightly or more likely wrongly use something like a degree or a certification, to turn 100 applications into a smaller more manageable number. I think if Google are saying their certs are best, and you wanted to work for Google, we have our answer for that one example.

    Its hard to say if my degree got me to a further stage or not. I totally agree with the comments on people staying in education as jobs are getting harder to find. I worry people get false hope with degrees, and still struggle to find work. I know several people who did Physics or chemistry degrees and work in IT, which makes me think, what a waste of time that was, to learn totally unrelated subjects you'll never use and now have 40k+ student debt.

    I think software/development/programming definitely suits a degree more than say infrastructure work. I think IT certs are probably the king when it comes to infrastructure. Not saying I'm right just thinking out loud
     
    Certifications: VCP4, 5, 6, 6.5, 6.7, VCAP DCV Design, VMConAWS Skill, BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: VCP7
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    I think the smart thing is life long learning, partial credits, modular degrees, mature students, etc.

    Everyone should have more access to higher education/tertiary education but in a flexible manner not just 18-21 year olds or people enrolled on degree programs.

    Summer schools, online modular degrees, CBT, MOOC, Meet-ups/User groups, forums, employers all have a part to play. Certification to a lesser degree, pardon the pun.

    Commoditisation of degrees ultimately tends to hurt everyone, you end up with low end jobs but high debt and opportunity cost of losing 3-4 years. The quality suffers and the employers generally dont get what they want either. There is a short term win for the education institution but this is probably unsustainable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2021
    JK2447 likes this.
  6. Kitkatninja
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    Kitkatninja aka me, myself & I Moderator

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    Personally I believe that degrees are still relevant in IT; but not all areas of IT sees, requires or needs degrees to be relevant.

    There is no one single right way to enter IT, just like there is no one single way to progress/climb the IT ladder. It's all down to individual countries, areas (with countries), sectors, organisations, and even departments.
     
    Certifications: PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, MBCS CITP, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCE, A+, N+, S+, Server+
    WIP: Master degree
    JK2447 likes this.

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