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 Post subject: Is this a good idea, or just overkill?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:25 pm
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Location: Kennesaw, Georgia
Hey everyone, thanks for keeping such a great board!

My question is this: I'm currently a freshman in college, pursuing a bachelor's degree and eventually a masters in Computer Science. I plan on finishing at least the BS, and then the masters over time. However, I'm really interested in working to obtain a couple of certifications (A+ at first, then maybe two or three more advanced ones). Would it be a good idea to pursue these certs while I'm still in college, or should I wait till after? Or is getting the certs on top of a degree just overkill and I won't really need it? I really love working on computers , but I also would like do something in programming. I know that certs don't really help for programmers, but I'd like to leave my options open in case coding doesn't work out. Please let me know how yall feel about it! Thanks a lot ahead of time!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:10 am
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Well, you are correct in your assesment that cert's do not help programmers. Although people with MCAD's might disagree with my opinion. :)
A few questions:
1) Does your schooll offer a combined BSCS/MSCS that you can get in 5 yrs, vs the traditional 4yr BS followed by 2yr MS?

2) Why do you want to get your masters? The reason I ask, in my opinion as a manager and fomer recruiter, a MSCS has a tendency to make you over qualified for entry level positions and underqualified for most research positions (which typically require a PhD). During that those 2yrs pursuing a MS, you could be in the workforce earning $45k - $60k/yr, plus 2 yrs in to hitting that magical mark of 5yrs exp. Its just something to think about.

3) Unless you plan on working part time during college in tech support, I would concentrate on making better grades or even better, pursuing an internship/co-op.

My 2 cents worth


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:25 pm
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Location: Kennesaw, Georgia
Hey thanks for the quick reply... I wasn't even aware that you could be OVERqualified for a job! The masters is definitely an optional thing, that I would pursue once I got a steady job. I've been thinking about it tonight, and I believe that my ideal situation would be to get at least my A+ cert either now or soon and try to get a job at a computer shop or at best buy or somewhere like that. The thing is, I love programming, but I REALLY love working on computers (repair, installs, stuff like that). From what I've heard, there's not a whole lot of money to be made in technician work, so I chose programming. I'd like to have the certs just in case I go into something other than programming that might need em. Anyways, thanks again for the reply, keep the advice coming!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:11 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:25 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Kennesaw, Georgia
oh yeah, I didn't answer a couple of your questions...

1) I'm pretty sure my school doesn't offer that combo, but I'll have to check it out.

2) The masters was actually the original plan before I considered the certifications. If I got a couple of certs, I'd probably stick with the BS/certs combo, unless you think that's unwise...

3) That's the thing, I really want to go work at a computer shop or something similar doing tech work. I just really have no idea what I'd need to get started in that, or where to go to do it.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:07 am 
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Quite a few engineering schools offer the accelerated BS/MS program. Several of the graduate classes count towards the BS, hence shaving the 1yr off. If they dont offer it, talk to the graduate student co-ordinator and explain what you are looking for and the fact other schools offer it. Its a little known fact, but at 99% of the colleges out there, you can customize your degree. Officially, my degree is in Computer Engineer from Univ of Fl. But I didnt like all the classes, so I made the case for substituting classes from business and CS. I had to write a paper before I graduated, but I got to take the classes I wanted.

Yes you can definitely be over qualified. My last yr of recruitment was in 2001. The job market for programmers just wasnt that good and I would have lines of MSCS's applying for entry level positions at college career fairs. Managers wont hire them becaue they know the candidate is going to leave as soon as a better position opens up.

For getting work in a tech shop, A+ is a good start. I would also check with the career center at your school. Typically local businesses will inform them of part time jobs for technically minded students.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:21 pm 
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Since you like programming, and at least working on computers, you may want to consider a computer engineering degree, or a CS/electrical engineering degree. These two other options may be more hardware than you would like(designing hardware etc.), but it's just a thought.


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