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skinnydan

Graduate Degrees In It

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Well, you folks say it's an open discussion, so I get to ask whatever I want. So how much wood would a...?

 

Never mind - I'll have to work that one out myself later.

 

To my actual question - I'm considering going out for a Certificate or a Master's in some form of IT, preferably management. Ideally I want to skip MBA programs where I get 2 tech-related courses and 2 dozen on Accounting Practices for Llama Herders and the Global Economy They Serve. I'm also not enough of a true geek to go through lots of hardcore programming courses.

 

So how much difference does it make to:

  • Get such a degree in the first place?
  • Get it from a particular school or level of school?
  • Follow a particular course of study?
  • Get an actual Master's vs. a Certificate?

My vision for this was that as a now half-tech person (the other half is archivist), the best way to ensure continued employment and plan for the future is to get some learning done. Strategic planning for IT, leveraging the web for business, etc. Is such an idea a complete waste of time? Am I no more or less employable as a history geek with some on-the-job experience than I would be as a Mastered Geek?

 

I've actually found a program that looks like it hits the right notes for me (this one, for the curious), but I'm not committing to a program that won't help.

 

So, oh ye seasoned gurus of TCH, oh ye brilliant and full of obscure information, whaddaya think?

 

Dan

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Being in Britain I can't really help I just wanted to comment on the amount of IT courses there are out there that claim to be 'the one' employers want. A degree, certificate etc is all very well but what a lot of employers really want is experience. I've known so called IT experts (this one charges £400 a month and works for around 10 small companies) spend and hour reinstalling printer drivers and running diagnostics because the printer wasn't working. My partner phones meabout it so I asked if the cable was actually plugged in. Guess what :)

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So how much difference does it make to:

 

Get such a degree in the first place?

More money and a better job.

 

Get it from a particular school or level of school?

same as above

 

Get an actual Master's vs. a Certificate?

Masters takes years, Certs take months (if you can pass the tests).

 

A lot depends on your individual cituation. For "techs" certs are good to have in most cases, experience is usually better, degrees are great but not necessary if you have the other two. But for a management position degrees are almost a must.

 

You can start off with a couple certs and get a tech job to get some experience. While working you can go to school and get the degree. From there you can apply within for a management position or shop around.

 

Good luck

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My partner phones meabout it so I asked if the cable was actually plugged in. Guess what :)

 

I think I've already learned that critical first maxim of tech support - always ask and answer the stupid questions before you get too deep into problem-solving. ;)

 

And as for madman's comment, since the only reason to do this is to move into management, it looks like the degree program may be the way to go.

 

Thanks for the comments, all.

 

Dan

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Hey Dan,

I've always said that the degree gets your foot in the door, your experience and personality do the rest. Personally, I don't think certs hold much weight in most cases, but specifics may vary.

 

Also, I'm not sure about now, but when I was in college (mid 80's) the commonly accepted fact was that employers were looking for managers that can program rather than programmers that can manage. The thinking I was given was that when you burn out on programming you can be moved into management which is more valuable to an employer... code monkeys are a dime a dozen. (no offense to any code monkeys out there - I was one and would like to still be one if I could.)

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Code monkeys are a dime a dozen, but coders are alot more expensive. I think companies are starting to understand that there's more than one way to write an application.

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