IT/CS people: On-line degrees & certificications

How to phrase this. Hmm.

An example of what I’m trying to get opinions on: this degree… a ‘Bachelor of Professional Studies–Information Technology Concentration’.

My first response to such a degree is to laugh: Professional Studies? They got a degree in STUDYING? :stuck_out_tongue:

But seriously, what is the current opinion on degrees similar to this? (Personal opinions and/or professional opinions, and links to such degrees would be apprciated!) I realize that I’m not exactly getting a representative cross-section of the workplace on this message board, but at least it’s a starting place.

And while I’m at it, what’s the current opinion of the various cerfiticates out there (the many Microsoft ones, Oracle, etc.)? Which ones are ‘hot’, and which ones are the ones you really should have in order to keep up with the Jonses, but aren’t worth anything elsewise? I realize that what’s ‘hot’ will depend on the field, etc., etc., but I’m just looking to get a general sense of what’s currently happening.

Thanks all!

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My suggestion is to check whether the degree is accredited. I don’t know what this degree offers so I can’t comment, but most CS degrees require a lot of lab work besides the usual assignments.

As for the certs, most certs are pretty worthless, some are not. A+, MS certs don’t worth much. Oracle DBA, on the other hand, is golden.

Slight disagreement regarding MS certs: The MCSE, while not golden, is worthwhile. Although for it to be of real value, you need experience to back it up. The others are pretty useless.

On degrees - in the area of the industry I have been working, a degree related to CS doesn’t do much other than give HR drones something to put in the job description. It’s pretty rare the degree is actually needed per se for the job.

Overall, the certs & degrees mean squat if you do not have experience in the field to back them up.

This bears repeating, in bold.

reads, and nods
So far, that pretty much jives with the feelings I have about most of what’s out there: it’s good to see that my instincts are on track (for once!).

And yup, that one I linked to is accredited: although with the kinds of classes it requires, I don’t get the feeling that the courses are all that… how to put… challenging? I may be wrong, however.

Hmm. So the MSCE would be worthwhile to pickup, if you can get work to pay for it? :smiley: (As a side note: I deal with wanna-be and current CS students, and every so often I get someone asking if the MSCE would be worthwhile to them. Unfortunately, none of them have had squat for experience in that area, except for perhaps reading a book or two.)

Well, my MCSD has worked out well for me, though I think it’s primary value has been to get me past the HR folks and onto the fast track for a technical interview. It’s no substitute for experience, just a supplement.

      • It’s probably not worth much. At least going to a regular college shows that you put on clothes and got there on time every day. (Although one girl did often wear the clothes she slept in to class…-bedslippers and all…?)
  • I only know one guy who went to one of those “Bachelor’s degree in 13-months” programs. He’s smart enough, but I kinda doubt he was actually taught much in class, from our conversations. And he still works at the grocery store, because the only jobs they found were basically minimum-wage help-desk stuff, not jobs he could afford to take, or that anyone with a “real” bachelor’s degree would settle for. The bills arrive every month though, it cost $13,000. He went to classes several hours every Saturday, and several subjects were covered each class meeting and classes only lasted one-and-a-half or two months, so he didn’t really get nearly the time of instruction he would have if he’d gone to a “normal” college (even a community college), and somehow I bet that employers realize that…
  • I’m still in an intern position where I work, but even so: talking with others more experienced, the only certifications I’ve heard to be worth anything are the big tech names: MS, Oracle, Cisco, etc.

And there Carcosa has it in a nutshell. The cert at best will get you past the HR drones, who have no clue (ok, very broad generalization, but true for a large %) what any of this stuff means. You generally will end up interviewing with someone who DOES at which point it no longer matters if you can talk the talk. Knowing how things actually work in the field is what becomes important, and you would be amazed how many hiring managers can sniff out ‘paper only’ in a heartbeat. If they even set up an interview.

Now, having said all that, yes, certain certs, like the MCSE or MCSD can get you more bucks (not will, can), but they simply will not get you the job in the first place.

For what?

I think we have gone through this before. A degree says a bunch of things about the holder. Things like he can set goals, he has determination to follow through, he knows ways to solve problems, things like that.