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#1 Kinaces  Icon User is offline

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I am extremely split..

Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:03 PM

This is gonna be part rant, part whining, and just a cry for advice.
Let's just start off with...

I love programming... I have been doing it for 3 1/2 years, and still feel like my passion for it hasn't slowed. My state has a great vocational school program. I took a computer programming class at one of the schools for 2 years while I was in high school. The school is even free for me until I am 24. I am currently enrolled for college this fall. (Which gives me less than a month.) Thanks to some recent changes in my financial/family situation, I am not sure I will be able to pay for college. Loans are not gonna be enough to cover the cost, and I don't think it's gonna happen. (I get to go talk to an adviser next week to make sure.) Even if I get the money together, I know I will barely be able to get through. This has been making me think lately about how important a degree actually is. (Don't we all reach that point somewhere in our lives?) This started my research to find the answer. Sadly..a degree can make all the difference. Many agree that a degree should not decide, but the individual experience/skill of the programmer. I was told that the main reason for wanting a degree is to make sure the employee is dedicated. If they are willing to do 4 more years of school, then they must be dedicated. Right? This is where my split comes in..

From my perspective I see two options. I can barely get through school financially, or I can go back to vocational school and focus on my career. I guess it all depends on how important that degree really is. I currently do have a resume filled with the multiple certificates from my vocational school, and the multiple programs I wrote while I was there. I have been at the same job for 2 1/2 years (Which involves work on phones and with people). If I go back to vocational school (assuming I could get a spot this year in the first place) I can get certifications from Oracle, Microsoft, and get a A+ certification all for free. Plus I have the chance of getting actual job experience. The question is.... Does this all equal a degree? Will I have the same opportunities to advance in my career? Will I even be able to get a job in programming?

I'm not sure which would be the best solution.. I can always go to a cheaper college, or I could go back to vocational school for free. I figured the best way find a solution is to ask the people with actual experience in the field, and have already been through all of this. I appreciate any help, and I'm going to try and stay hopeful.

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Replies To: I am extremely split..

#2 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am extremely split..

Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:16 PM

View PostKinaces, on 18 July 2013 - 06:03 PM, said:

I can get certifications from Oracle, Microsoft, and get a A+ certification all for free.

Please keep focus. These are not programming certifications. You might be wasting your time getting free, useless handouts.

Are they great to have? OH yeah! Will they help you get a job writing in C#? Most likely no.
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#3 Kinaces  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am extremely split..

Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:32 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 18 July 2013 - 03:16 PM, said:

View PostKinaces, on 18 July 2013 - 06:03 PM, said:

I can get certifications from Oracle, Microsoft, and get a A+ certification all for free.

Please keep focus. These are not programming certifications. You might be wasting your time getting free, useless handouts.

Are they great to have? OH yeah! Will they help you get a job writing in C#? Most likely no.


Then could you explain the benefit of having these certifications?
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am extremely split..

Posted 18 July 2013 - 06:46 PM

A+ is generally geared towards entry level hardware/software troubleshooting, & customer service skills. Support work. Microsoft certifications are going to be for system administrators, & Microsoft server administrators. & Cisoco certifications are going to be for individuals that are perusing network administration. Specifically using Cisco networking equipment.

If you are going to be a programmer, those certifications will only show that you can study material & pass the tests. They will hold zero relevance to the technologies you will deal with.
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#5 Kinaces  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am extremely split..

Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:42 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 18 July 2013 - 06:46 PM, said:

A+ is generally geared towards entry level hardware/software troubleshooting, & customer service skills. Support work. Microsoft certifications are going to be for system administrators, & Microsoft server administrators. & Cisoco certifications are going to be for individuals that are perusing network administration. Specifically using Cisco networking equipment.

If you are going to be a programmer, those certifications will only show that you can study material & pass the tests. They will hold zero relevance to the technologies you will deal with.


What about the certifications geared towards software development? Would these still only be good for administrative positions? (Sorry I threw in A+ to add to the nonsense. They just really encourage everyone in the class to spend one day a week to work towards learning the hardware as well.)
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: I am extremely split..

Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:08 PM

A cert might look better for an entry level position if you lack experience or projects. It's really though about proving to an employer that you can develop on large projects. Having a portfolio is the best thing you can do. This was asked about a lot in the Q&A With the Experts.
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