I'm not in the IT industry but I'm interested in going to school to get into it. I'm especially interested in a career in networking but I don't know where to start. My local community college offers an associate degree in Network Technology with a number of different certifications available. Would it be better to get a four year degree or would an associate degree and certifications be an acceptable route to take?
Dear Sir or Madam:
While you can get a job with an associate's degree and certifications, the US Department of Labor and many other demographically oriented employment experts all agree that the kind of degree you earn has the biggest overall impact on lifetime earnings. If you can handle the time and expense involved in earning a bachelor's you should definitely go ahead and do so. If you can't you might want to follow your suggested course to begin with (AA plus certs) and then go after a bachelor's part-time after that.
In the long run, more degrees translates into more lifetime earnings and better employment opportunities.
HTH, and thanks for posting,
This was first published in July 2007