To Degree or Not To Degree
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Thread: To Degree or Not To Degree

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Talking To Degree or Not To Degree

    Ok guys and gals, in the IT job market today do you think it is required to have a four year degree or higher to obtain employment? I hear different information all the time. Your input is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Depends on what area of IT you intend on pursuing. While it's not actually required to have a BA or higher to get an IT job, it puts you in higher standing with many employers. The odd part about it is that, most undergrad programs have a horrible M.I.S. program.

    To answer your question no, it's not required but it helps. It sets you apart from the other candidates. It can be great for when you are first starting out and have little experience.

  3. #3
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    As someone who is always keeping their options open... I see the "requirement" all the time. It is either a BS OR equivalent experience. Well, that is for all the jobs that are worth while. If you want to do support for a long time... then you're golden.

    I only have an associates in computer network eng. However, I have about 6 years of experience now. Put me up against someone who just has a BS and I'd probably win. Put me up against someone who has a BS and 3-4 yrs of experience... I'd probably loose.

    After you get your foot in the door, a lot of your future has to do with who you know.
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  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Is a degree a must? No. Is it a great plus? Yes. For example, I do not have a degree but I am doing very well in my career after about 6 yrs of working. I work for a security vendor making very good money and I am happy with what I do. However, I plan on getting my degree in the next few years. What it comes down to is when your resume is on someone's desk beside another resume it will come down to what makes one stand out over another. That degree may be the difference in getting an interview or not getting an interview. It may push you over the top when the decision to hire is between you and another similarly qualified person.

    Basically what it comes down to, is why not get a degree? Hell, I would have gotten one if i hadn't been so immature and later was too involved with my job. Best of luck with whatever you decide though. You can still succeed in the IT industry without a degree, but having one isn't a bad idea.
    \"Don\'t be quick to judge, you may not know the hardships people don\'t speak of...\"

  5. #5
    Senior Member kr5kernel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Its all about the experience. The degree is just padding. Though when you are dealing with HR departments, sometimes all they know is degrees and MCSE, CCNA, etc. When I was in college I went to a job fair. I stood in line to talk to an automotive company and they blew me off because my GPA was too low. I had 3-4 years experience on most of the people that were also applying for the job, but they assume college kids are not going to have any experience. Go figure.
    (kr5kernel at hotmail dot com)
    Linux: Making Penguins Cool Since 1994.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    The issue is (in Aus anyway) that often you need a degree before they will even consider you (other then for help desk or low level support jobs) or even give you an interview.
    I don't think a degree makes you more qualified but if you have it it will be alot easier to get passed the pesky HR department who are ticking the checkboxes

    Can string a written sentence together...... check
    Went to school once upon a time........ check
    Citizenship (for govt jobs)....... check
    Degree...... check
    Not a raving lunatic...... check

    And unfortunately they are assessed in that order, and I have seen plenty of examples of them getting the last one wrong!! :-)

  7. #7
    I think that the key thing to keep in mind is that everyone is different. For example, where I live, you definitely need a degree if you want to go anywhere beyond a help desk or basic support. This is a small town, however. If I were to look for a job in the city that I grew up in, they'd consider job experience and attempt to asses your skills before making a decision.

    The flip side is that a degree doesn't hurt. If you're going to a good school, you'll acquire knowledge that you previously would not have while making contacts. Furthermore, these contacts can be a source of jobs, etc. in the future. More importantly though, you might make some really good friends that share a common interest.

    I'm doing night school right now. It's not the most pleasurable experience, but it's still worth it. I've also been looking for a job for the past six months and I know, without going into an explanation, that not having a degree has put me in the classic position of getting beaten out by someone less experienced (twice, actually).

    Get the degree!

    PS. Oh yeah, the gent who posted something about HR is dead on. HR does things by the book and definitely not by the 'spirit' (if you will). You'd better make sure that your resume is impressive enough to get by the HR staff which is another reason that a degree is necessary. For the purposes of getting by HR, certs don't hurt either.
    Last edited by infernon; October 20th, 2006 at 12:13 PM.

  8. #8
    Member tin.roof.rabbit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Not having a degree can limit your growth potiental in alot of corporations. I am a prime example. Since starting with this company I have been promoted 4 times in 4 years. When I recieved the last bump I was told I could be making 25K more a year if I had my BS and I would not recieve upward movement without it.

    Thankfully I had already started working on completing my BS, but it was a nice wakeup call.

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