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Pros and Cons of "Formal education for learning tech"?!?!?

Go to solution Solved by LinusOnLine,

A degree or formal education is what gives you the job. All it actually show an employer is that you can study hard and fast. They will educate you anyway. Certifications is sort of a middle ground. It was great until everyone started reading brain dumps and lost its meaning a bit after that. Former experience is the best to have.

I am no where near the calibers of you guys on these forums here, but I think this is an important issue you guys can address very effectively, and will help me to shape my ideologies around it as I am on the verge of 'that phase'.

here are some of my queries and the general counterpoints I have observed/slapped on my face repeatedly. 

 

With various online platforms available out there on the web: is it really worth it investing the time and resources in formal education systems-which are still rocking outdated syllabus?

 

Considering ROI the time,effort,money and percentange of isolation from our "Free-mind exploration" is the system really broken?

there are techies who are holding doctorates and there are the ones who are dropouts.It clearly implies that ultimately it boils down to the individual and his/her luck(situations)

 

'Source of income' becomes the ultimate trophy in pursuing the formal college's letter of authenticity(degree), but for someone who just simply likes tech in general not a specified component of it,doesn't the system limit that individuals caliber?

But social reach and work is also important to earn daily bread,which is something a college education can and cannot guarantee.

 

Does the exponential rate of growing 'tech literacy' and thus ample availability of knowledgeable individuals jeopardize the enthusiastic individuals who either cannot afford or fit in the traditional education systems?

Tech giants like; IBM,APPLE,Google etc.have started hiring individuals without formal certifications, why are they considering to do it?, when they could easily appoint graduates.

 

those of who are graduates- What is something that you really appreciate about the system that you could've not obtained flying SOLO?

 

I am really confused in this sorts and I think in general every component of society is, Would appreciate any inputs and experiences shared from the highly knowledgeable,passionate and enthusiastic individuals on this forum. 

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They care about skills, knowledge, and talents, not a piece of paper. But if you can demonstrate you have the all of the above without an education from industry experts and PhDs but self taught, kudos to you. My advice would be however would be stay in school. 

Sudo make me a sandwich 

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Stay in school and get an education. Back that up with interest and selfcoursing and online plattforms like skillshare and you will have the benefit of a formal education and benefits of your own work. 

 

You dont neccesarly need to do one or the other

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A degree or formal education is what gives you the job. All it actually show an employer is that you can study hard and fast. They will educate you anyway. Certifications is sort of a middle ground. It was great until everyone started reading brain dumps and lost its meaning a bit after that. Former experience is the best to have.

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I went the certification track many years ago and worked as a combination of IT consultant networking job and education. About 50% of both. Took a ton of certifications and in the end I taught Networks on universities and classes I was not even allowed to apply to because of my lack of formal education. 

 

If I had to do it all over again I would have started with a formal degree though. Things are so much easier that way.

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Thank you very much,developing nations like mine a degree is a must for survival. however it has become more about "branding and Marks". Really saturated scenario, everyone is working hard to stand out and deck up their credentials and I am absolutely have no-choice but to be one of them.

 

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11 minutes ago, LinusOnLine said:

I went the certification track many years ago and worked as a combination of IT consultant networking job and education. About 50% of both. Took a ton of certifications and in the end I taught Networks on universities and classes I was not even allowed to apply to because of my lack of formal education. 

 

If I had to do it all over again I would have started with a formal degree though. Things are so much easier that way.

Thank you very much sir!! for sharing your input.

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One of my main issues is that I suck at math, so any kind of computer science - or engineering degree is completely out of ther question for me. 

 

As a consequence, almost all of my work in the IT field is self-taught. Basically, I started off doing odd IT related jobs for local businesses and then I got more work through word of mouth. 

Later on I moved into freelance programming and more advanced networking jobs. 

My only formal education in the IT field is a couple of certs from Microsoft and Cisco (all of which are likely expired by now).

 

As for degrees, I need a degree to work in my desired field so I had to complete a master's course (which is hopefully passed on January 30th).

 

Nova doctrina terribilis sit perdere

Audio format guides: Vinyl records | Cassette tapes

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2 hours ago, LinusOnLine said:

A degree or formal education is what gives you the job. All it actually show an employer is that you can study hard and fast. They will educate you anyway. Certifications is sort of a middle ground. It was great until everyone started reading brain dumps and lost its meaning a bit after that. Former experience is the best to have.

Not always. You can get a job with a CCNA if you want to go that route. You can also have a very good career with certs only. You can also weed out the people who use brain dumps to study for the exam during the interview. I'm a firm believer in certifications (presuming you actually study for them). A lot of the higher level ones like CCNP and CCIE you want obtain from just studying brain dumps. You need to study and do labs among other things.

 

Formal education is still good, BUT for IT you can't just get a degree and leave it there. Certifications shows employers you are up to date presuming you keep your certs always up to date and not expired. IT changes quickly and relying solely on a degree isn't the best option for moving up. It's not too difficult to get a Network Admin job with just a CCNA and then move up to a network engineer after you get the years of experience. 

 

(In reality any career you have you should always be looking to learn more than what the degree you have gave you at the time you earned it.)

 

Don't knock certs too much, it is still a great way to improve your education and earn a career. Studying for things like your CCNA still take time and investment. (This of course does presume you studied and did labs and not a brain dumps, which of course people who got the CCNA from a brain dumps can be weeded out.) It is definitely more than a middle ground option, it's a very viable option and from personal experience and experience I've seen from others who went that route I've seen it benefit people greatly.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Psybadek said:

Not always. You can get a job with a CCNA if you want to go that route. You can also have a very good career with certs only. You can also weed out the people who use brain dumps to study for the exam during the interview. I'm a firm believer in certifications (presuming you actually study for them). A lot of the higher level ones like CCNP and CCIE you want obtain from just studying brain dumps. You need to study and do labs among other things.

 

Formal education is still good, BUT for IT you can't just get a degree and leave it there. Certifications shows employers you are up to date presuming you keep your certs always up to date and not expired. IT changes quickly and relying solely on a degree isn't the best option for moving up. It's not too difficult to get a Network Admin job with just a CCNA and then move up to a network engineer after you get the years of experience. 

 

(In reality any career you have you should always be looking to learn more than what the degree you have gave you at the time you earned it.)

 

Don't knock certs too much, it is still a great way to improve your education and earn a career. Studying for things like your CCNA still take time and investment. (This of course does presume you studied and did labs and not a brain dumps, which of course people who got the CCNA from a brain dumps can be weeded out.) It is definitely more than a middle ground option, it's a very viable option and from personal experience and experience I've seen from others who went that route I've seen it benefit people greatly.

 

 

I am not saying that certifications do not work. I took a ton of them. I am saying that the business value them less these days because of brain dumps. The exceptions are the certifications that are not only depending on a test with pure text questions but instead have simulations or lab tests like the CCIE. Sure they can be weeded out. The problem is that if you compare a CCNA from before brain dumps with one today a CCNA before gave you an automatic job today it might not even land you an interview.

I remember when there was a check point on a green card application for MasterCNE. An MCSE gave you a collage degree and so on.

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6 hours ago, LinusOnLine said:

I am not saying that certifications do not work. I took a ton of them. I am saying that the business value them less these days because of brain dumps. The exceptions are the certifications that are not only depending on a test with pure text questions but instead have simulations or lab tests like the CCIE. Sure they can be weeded out. The problem is that if you compare a CCNA from before brain dumps with one today a CCNA before gave you an automatic job today it might not even land you an interview.

I remember when there was a check point on a green card application for MasterCNE. An MCSE gave you a collage degree and so on.

I guess it depends on certain things. I do see your point but I still disagree somewhat. From what I've seen on the job market there are thousands of jobs that are looking for people with a CCNA. While I will say if you have zero experience in I.T. getting a CCNA will not automatically get you a job (to be honest, neither will a degree) but if you start out with something like a A+ and get an entry level job in I.T. like a help desk job it will do wonders for your career as you obtain these higher end certifications. (it will also help with a degree getting your foot in the door with an entry level job) 

 

I definitely do not want to discourage people from getting a degree. I do think college is a great way to go, but you can still have a successful career in I.T. without one.

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5 hours ago, Psybadek said:

I guess it depends on certain things. I do see your point but I still disagree somewhat. From what I've seen on the job market there are thousands of jobs that are looking for people with a CCNA. While I will say if you have zero experience in I.T. getting a CCNA will not automatically get you a job (to be honest, neither will a degree) but if you start out with something like a A+ and get an entry level job in I.T. like a help desk job it will do wonders for your career as you obtain these higher end certifications. (it will also help with a degree getting your foot in the door with an entry level job) 

 

I definitely do not want to discourage people from getting a degree. I do think college is a great way to go, but you can still have a successful career in I.T. without one.

What about managerial job positions? do they consider you fit with your experience or an MBA cherry on top of your 4 year labor?.

My dad is a GM, and he often comes across these so called'MBA' grads who lack in leadership attributes as well as awareness of work processes.Not only that but individuals bearing A+ in their formal education also lack some primary practical skill-sets. 4 -year education or 4-year real life work/practical learning paired with self educating what would be more beneficial to grow an individual? I mean, after all we see these huge tech giants or smaller ones like LTT are founded,run and grown with and because of individuals who went out in the world and took real experiences whilst learning from them and self educating as well; most of 'us'either end up working for them or for some companies founded by businessmen who also,emphasized on their visions and its implementation in society, by analyzing market trends and jumping in. Without any credibility hassle these individuals end-up hiring doctorates,engineers and MBA's to work with/for them.

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50 minutes ago, Zorba2.17 said:

4 -year education or 4-year real life work/practical learning paired with self educating what would be more beneficial to grow an individual? 

Can you self educate yourself to be a surgeon or lawyers?  Can you learn how to do a heart transplant by self teaching online? Many of these industries are heavily regulated. Don't expect to watch some YouTube videos and self teach yourself something like civil engineering from coursera and expect the government/employers to hand you a contract with billions of dollars and actual human lives at risk. 

Sudo make me a sandwich 

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10 hours ago, Psybadek said:

I definitely do not want to discourage people from getting a degree. I do think college is a great way to go, but you can still have a successful career in I.T. without one.

Oh, most definitely! I do not have a degree but tons of certifications and I was never without a job. Certifications can give the company a lot of benefits as well as Microsoft Gold partners and so on. They are definitely not bad at all. I really enjoyed the benefits as an MCT with free course material and a dedicated support line to MS for example. I am retired now though.

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5 hours ago, wasab said:

Can you self educate yourself to be a surgeon or lawyers?  Can you learn how to do a heart transplant by self teaching online? Many of these industries are heavily regulated. Don't expect to watch some YouTube videos and self teach yourself something like civil engineering from coursera and expect the government/employers to hand you a contract with billions of dollars and actual human lives at risk. 

That is why I narrowed it to IT, although in these other fields you have mentioned, there are individuals who are credibly qualified; but are miserably incompetent to work in respective fields-similarly individuals who are really passionate and knowledgeable in these fields but non-credibility of qualification holds them down from application.Ultimately it boils down to individual and what they want to do, no matter circumstances,opportunities and acceptance. If I cannot afford medical school but want to learn about heart surgery I can study the crap out of it by myself and seeking someone's help, will i be able to do it? depends, but of course i will not be allowed to do it that is the necessary social construct. Linus is qualification wise non fit candidate, but still these huge companies sponsor LTT and work with them, because he is ethical,credible and dedicated towards his work. 

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A big thank you all of you gentlemen for sharing your opinions and experiences, it really helped me to kinda position myself. I am currently in 12 th grade so yeah long way to go,Pardon me! if i might have typed something naive and wrong. I really hope to learn and get guidance from you guys. I will be touch with you on these forums if you want to guide me/correct me/share some experiences with me let me know. I am always fluid in terms of my ideals and always happy to change and learn from experienced individuals like yourselves. 

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19 hours ago, Zorba2.17 said:

What about managerial job positions? do they consider you fit with your experience or an MBA cherry on top of your 4 year labor?.

My dad is a GM, and he often comes across these so called'MBA' grads who lack in leadership attributes as well as awareness of work processes.Not only that but individuals bearing A+ in their formal education also lack some primary practical skill-sets. 4 -year education or 4-year real life work/practical learning paired with self educating what would be more beneficial to grow an individual? I mean, after all we see these huge tech giants or smaller ones like LTT are founded,run and grown with and because of individuals who went out in the world and took real experiences whilst learning from them and self educating as well; most of 'us'either end up working for them or for some companies founded by businessmen who also,emphasized on their visions and its implementation in society, by analyzing market trends and jumping in. Without any credibility hassle these individuals end-up hiring doctorates,engineers and MBA's to work with/for them.

Managerial positions will depend on the field as well. You can get into management in I.T. without a degree and with only experience and certifications. Plenty have done it and it will continue to happen. A computer science degree doesn't necessarily mean you have the ability to manage, just like certs won't either. For something like that real life experience will always be the deciding factor. The company I work for now I could get into management without a cert or a degree. If I have the experience it could be done. 

 

I also won't say it's a BAD idea to get a degree either, just for certain I.T. fields it isn't required. I would say you need to way the options of the job market in your area. See what open positions are out there for the field you want to get into and see what the common minimum requirements for the job are.

 

Do you have in mind which focus you would like to go with in I.T.?

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Computer engineering (not the course,its contents) and networking currently seem the most in tune with my interests as my primary interest is Hardware literacy and sufficient software literacy to company my skill set with electronic components. India is a developing nation and currently we are going through a 'Networking revolution" would really like to  contribute in the process of- advancement of people. 

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29 minutes ago, Zorba2.17 said:

Computer engineering (not the course,its contents) and networking currently seem the most in tune with my interests as my primary interest is Hardware literacy and sufficient software literacy to company my skill set with electronic components. India is a developing nation and currently we are going through a 'Networking revolution" would really like to  contribute in the process of- advancement of people. 

Hope you love physics, calculus, differential equations, ect. You are going to need a lot of them if you are going to work with eletrical circuits and hence computer hardwares. A lot of people enter into the various majors with compelely no idea what is involve and often encounter something which is utteraly different than what they imagine.

 

Do you enjoy or at least tolerate calculating voltage, current, and amps in your high school physics class using something like Ohm's Law? If you do, then computer engineering might be right for you. Don't expect materials you study in computer engineering classes to be something similar in techquickie videos however 

Sudo make me a sandwich 

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1 hour ago, wasab said:

Hope you love physics, calculus, differential equations, ect. You are going to need a lot of them if you are going to work with eletrical circuits and hence computer hardwares. A lot of people enter into the various majors with compelely no idea what is involve and often encounter something which is utteraly different than what they imagine.

 

Do you enjoy or at least tolerate calculating voltage, current, and amps in your high school physics class using something like Ohm's Law? If you do, then computer engineering might be right for you. Don't expect materials you study in computer engineering classes to be something similar in techquickie videos however 

Actually that is the only portion of quantum physics that I am really into, and yup diffrentiantion,integration and multivariable calculus are my strong points. Actually, the central board education system has covered up pretty much the pre-college literacy of these subs, electromagnetism,electrostatics,current electricity,capacitance and ray and wave optics are also the basic compulsion and yes I am very neutral and dedicated not exited nor discouraged about these topics.Since it is a compulsion I do study them and have an A+ so far. However I am more intrigued about learning about something which is involved in application manner- like if pn junction is used in a circuit I would then dig into what is the overview of the exact phenomenon used to build it and how it is beneficial to that particular circuit function,that's it. 

otherwise i am not that inclined into digging deep at complex phenomena, conceptually i want to understand and apply.  Point made short, i like theoretical aspects which help me understand enough to go workout some hardware issue, setup any computational system and rectify some poor code and its bugs to get the work done- not the blurred line syllabus which intersects with basic sciences and get down to somewhat near to the level of manufacturing these hardware components, because I believe that is an un-ending pitfall.

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