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Nine years experience in networking but no degree

I do not have a college degree but have nine years experience in networking along with a MCP certificate. Should I pursue a college degree or more certification?
This is a good question, because it comes up all the time. The best way to decide is to examine the kinds of jobs you're most interested in, and to analyze their requirements. If more than half of them require a college degree, then you should probably start working your way in that direction while staying employed and building your experience base. If not, go after the MCSA and MCSE and see if that gets you further in your current locale (I'm guessing NYC or its environs, based on your e-mail address). Beyond that, you might want to consider working your way into an in-demand IT specialization such as information security, database administration, Web development, protocol analysis, or some such area. You can use recent job market surveys and trend analyses to try to help you pick a direction, but make sure you LIKE what you're doing, since it will probably occupy some years of your life.
Good luck,
This was last published in February 2003

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