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Old 12-16-2009, 08:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Career Choice Question.

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Originally Posted by Win2kpatcher View Post
I have a bit of differnt opinion on the degree, but most folks would indeed be better off getting there four year degree. I will give you a quick run down of my career in a nutshell just to share a real life I.T. experience if you will.

I am currently 27 years old and have been with the same company for 10 years now. I started building/repairing/diagnosing computer hardware/software in 7th grade..so had a decent background being built..then got into black hat hacking and learned an entire other world dealing with networks and such. I landed a job in the Information Technology department of a news paper where I live part time making $8.00/hr as a weekend AS400 Operator. AS400 is a type of main frame from IBM used for business type applications/data.

I started hanging out with the network folks quite a bit..learning lots about corporate based networks and all the programs that were in use in the building...I was also helping them in areas they were struggling in and in a matter of a year moved up to full time status as a "level one operator" making like $10.50/hr. About three years went by and my knowledge had grown by huge margins so was promoted to a "Systems Analyst". I had started applying for other jobs and was offered a NICE job as a Network Administrator with the city making money I thought I would never see unless I had a degree...I put my two weeks notice in only to be matched in pay and promised a raise in 6 months with my current company...needless to say I stayed loyal to my company.

Hands on experience vs schooling has worked GREAT for me...I have gained so much knowledge that I feel I would have never recieved in any degree/cert program. Like every other company there have been layoffs and our I.T. dept has been cut from 10 bodies to just three and I have managed to survive each round luckily. I cant report on how much I make so I will just say between $50,000-$70,000 to play it safe

I personally would try to get as much experience as possible and hopefully be able to work out school since you are half way there. I had six years of experience under my belt when I was offered the job by the city and the other few candidates I competed with all had info sys degrees..so that felt kind of nice.hah. I do plan to pickup a few certs though incase this economy gets worse...I say get a job when you can get it now days. My next goal is a Senior Systems Analyst. Good luck in your quest whichever path you decide to take and decide weather you want to be management or analyst..I will never ever want to be a manger so my path is set in analyst/admin work.

I see what you are saying, and I do agree when you said "Get a job when you can get it now days." This is a year or so away from happening , but its high time to start thinking about it. My only downfall to your advice is that I am 23 just starting out. At my age I do not really want to work at a low level for long, therefore, I would like to have the bachelor so I could move up quickly.

In perspective like in your case its all about where your cards fall. You made it without a degree, but I just do not feel like taking that risk right now.
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