Career advice: Whats more important - a degree or certifications?

By DCO57
Feb 27, 2006
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  1. Fellow Geeks,
    I need some career advice and I'd greatly appreciate some help. I'll format this in outline form to make it visually easier.

    1). Here’s my background: A+ certified, 1 year experience as PC tech (field tech performing Dell warranty work), 5 years experience doing freelance PC repairs (yellow page ad, bulletin board ads and flyers), 18 Dell certifications (various desktops, notebook, printers, and servers)

    2) Here’s my goal: Full time work as hardware tech or network maintenance (not network administrator) for large company

    3) My question: I'm 45 and just started a 4-year bachelors degree course for Information Technology (classes at night). Is a degree really going to help me, or should I focus on specific certifications, like MSCE or CompTIA?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    A degree is definitely more important - because it gives you plenty of other options and many positions even require one. You can work on the certifications anytime and some in very short amounts of time. I studied for the CompTIA Network+ cert for 1 day and passed it easily. A few weeks on the MSCE stuff (but that's what I do everyday) and it was no problem either. In fact, depending on how much time you have you may be able to do both at the same time - but I'd make the degree my priority if I were you.
  3. lithiumdeuterid

    lithiumdeuterid TS Rookie Posts: 88

    Even more important than a degree or certification is how 1337 you look while one the job. Black clothing and dark sunglasses help in this area. Anyone will hire such a cool-looking tech, just to make their company look good. All you have to do is look the way most people envision super-hackers looking, and you'll be assured a job.

    Note: This may be sarcasm.
  4. DCO57

    DCO57 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Both points well taken

    Thanks, guys. I'll continue with my degree and shop for some sharp threads. But one more question please. What certifications would do me best for network maintenence:...Cisco, Windows 2000, Network Essentials?
    Thanks for your time,

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