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Worth it to get Associates in IT after irrelevant Bachelors?

This is a discussion on Worth it to get Associates in IT after irrelevant Bachelors? within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello everyone. I am 25 years old and am considering going into IT as a career. I am wondering if

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Old 02-18-2016, 06:59 AM   #1
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Hello everyone. I am 25 years old and am considering going into IT as a career. I am wondering if an Associates in IT is worth doing. I received a BA in Anthropology. I was one of those people who went to college simply for the sake of going (and told to do so by parents) so I didnt really know what I was doing. (Im a first gen college graduate, so my parents couldn't really "guide" me.) Im now realizing I should have been smarter about my college opportunities.

Currently I am in South Korea teaching English, but am now looking at what I need to do when I get back home. I really want to get into IT/networking, but not sure how I should develop the actual skills. I am considering going back to school and get an A.S. in Information Technology.

Would this be a smart move? Is an AS in IT worth the effort and money? Are there better ways to get into the field, such as self-teaching etc? Please give me any advice, I am willing to take any. Thank you.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:04 AM   #2
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Hard to say if it will be worth it or not. Too many factors to consider.

It may help you get a job and the skills needed to do the job. If you already have those skills and can demonstrate them it may not be needed.

Many employers will look for a degree especially when there's no previous work experience. If you have the knowledge you can get a certification (A+, Network+, Microsoft, Apple, etc. ) to at least get you into an entry level position.

You won't be starting out as anything but entry level even with the degree since you would lack the actual work experience.

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Old 02-19-2016, 10:39 AM   #3
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I'd agree with JMPC fully, you won't go beyond an entry level job in any IT field no matter what qualifications or technical certifications you have without hands-on experience.

I'm not 100% sure what an AS is (i'm based in the UK) but I can categorically say that unless it teaches you how to configure a Cisco router, Check Point firewall, or F5 ADC etc, then it's not going to be worth it. That's my own opinion of course, but as a network engineer, I wouldn't be picking your CV out of all the job applications if you didn't hold at least 1 entry level certificate from one vendor. Unless we had an opening for someone willing to do the crappy jobs :)

You could go the self taught route (as i did) and study an entry level industry qualification or pay the money and go for an instructor lead course. The former will be a lot slower the latter a bit quicker, although I would say it depends on your aptitude for the subject matter.

I would highly recommend, if you want to be a network engineer, that you start with the Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching qualification:

CCNA Routing and Switching - Cisco

There are other entry level certificates that you can go for, but the Cisco material not only covers Cisco equipment (which 99.9% of all networks will use in some fashion), but also covers network fundamentals which apply to 100% of all networks. Once you have that, I guarantee itwill get you a job working somewhere as an entry/junior level engineer.

Once you have completed that, you can start studying for further qualifications in networking that are relevant to your job role and/or interests like a security engineer, voice engineer, data centre engineer etc. to further your earning potential and career options.

From my own experience, experience will only get you so far nowadays. A lot of companies (especially in the UK) use agencies for hiring, and they are only interested in the certificates on your CV, rather than your actual abilities so certificates do open a lot more doors for you in the way of jobs, and the more (and 'higher') certs you have the better.

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Old 02-29-2016, 10:29 AM   #4
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If you already have a bachelor's degree you should be able to just take the classes necessary for a BS in a computer field. You shouldn't have to take all the classes for an associates degree. I would talk to someone in admissions and find out what courses are needed to get a BS in the computer field you are interested in.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:34 AM   #5
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Once you've determined what area you're interested in you can then get a job as an intern in the field while you're in school.
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:50 PM   #6
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I wouldn't bother. I have a BS in Chemistry, and it hasn't hurt my IT career one bit.
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