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 Post subject: Cert vs. College...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:41 am 
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I'm a junior in highschool right now and I'm trying to decide what to do with my life. All I know is that I want to do computers. I love web programming and fixing PC's and I've also thought about being a writer for a PC magazine (any positions open, maxpc? lol), but I don't know what to do after highschool. How would I go about getting a job after highschool? Would college really be worth the money or do I just need certs? Also, what certs should I get? M$ doesn't certify PHP programmers :wink: lol. (Not that I don't know more than PHP, but all M$ offers for web programming is their crappy languages that only run on windows, and wtf uses windows for a web server?? lol [besides me at the moment!!!! lol])


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 Post subject: Re: Cert vs. College...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:26 pm 
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yurimxpxman wrote:
Would college really be worth the money or do I just need certs?


From what I've seen you need both a degree and certifications.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 7:17 pm 
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Flytrap7 wrote:
yurimxpxman wrote:
Would college really be worth the money or do I just need certs?


From what I've seen you need both a degree and certifications.
I was on the M$ website looking at their certs and it didn't look like they had anything that pertained specifically to what I do. Like I said above, M$ doesn't offer any certs for open source (for obvious reasons lol) programming languages. For people like me who do PHP and MySQL, where do I go for training and certs? And would it be helpful for me to learn M$' languages anyway? What about college? What degrees would be helpful for a web programmer? My buddy was taking CIS but dropped out because it wasn't helpful.

Truth be known, I don't want to go to college, but I'm no idiot. If there's a degree that would really be worth paying for (both time and $), I'll do what I've got to do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 11:17 am 
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Yuri,

While college is not for everyone and many people are very successful w/o a college degree I would still strongly suggest a 4yr university. That degree will open more doors for you then any certifications ever will. You will find that you will never get past the HR filter if you do not have an applicable degree.
So lets address a few things you mentioned:

1) You are not gung ho about college, but would go if it was worth the time/money. Like I said, the degree is going to continuously open job opportunities for you. However, if you are bored in college, chances are you will fail or quit. The little secrete at most universities is you can customize your degree. in a traditional CIS program you do not have much leeway. However, many schools are offering Interdisciplinary degrees. The student formulates a class schedule and the goals they want to obtain in 4yrs. The advising professor approves/disapproves it. Schools will give you quite a bit of latitude in this.
If I were you, I would hit up a few local community colleges and universities and ask to speak to an admissions officer. They love nothing better then an inquisitive student eager to further their education. You might find a program that is a perfect fit for you.

2) Certs from MS for programming. Completely worthless. The toilet paper my wife buys is worth more. If you can show me one job those certifications would help obtain, I will show you in excess 100 hiring managers that could care less or even have knowledge of those certifications.


3) Web design: You may be surprised at the graphics design degrees offered. Most can be specialized in web design. Again, hit up your local college.


4) Having Degree and certifications: I would disagree with getting both. As an entry level candidate, most managers will consider: co-op/intern experience, grades, enthusiasm/knowledge of the field they are entering into. If you do anything that detracts from your studies, which in turn detract from your GPA, you will fight an uphill battle in landing a job. After your first job, any other employers could care less about your GPA.

BTW: there are no certifications for PHP and mySQL.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 2:09 pm 
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There are no certifications for PHP and MySQL

No? First hit on a google search for php certification

mysql


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 5:57 pm 
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Sorry I should have more explicit:
there are no industry recognized certifications for PHP and mySQL.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 4:20 am 
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markmark69 wrote:
Sorry I should have been more explicit:
there are no industry recognized certifications for PHP and mySQL.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 12:45 pm 
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Thanks for all the enlightening info guys. If anyone has any other thoughts, I'd love to hear them. Sorry I haven't been commenting on this, but I haven't known what to say, but I've been watching this thread 8-) Thanks again!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 5:10 pm 
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after 15 years of real world experience (no certs) and nobody locally to hire me without certification I am finally taking the jump... starting with A+, next probably Net+ then MCSE or MCSA... also sometime looking to take a linux course to add to the list...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 8:14 am 
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Do you have any degrees?


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 Post subject: Re: Cert vs. College...
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 3:22 pm 
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yurimxpxman wrote:
I'm a junior in highschool right now and I'm trying to decide what to do with my life. All I know is that I want to do computers. I love web programming and fixing PC's and I've also thought about being a writer for a PC magazine (any positions open, maxpc? lol), but I don't know what to do after highschool. How would I go about getting a job after highschool? Would college really be worth the money or do I just need certs? Also, what certs should I get? M$ doesn't certify PHP programmers :wink: lol. (Not that I don't know more than PHP, but all M$ offers for web programming is their crappy languages that only run on windows, and wtf uses windows for a web server?? lol [besides me at the moment!!!! lol])


If you want to write, your best bet in my opinion would be college.......you will be hard pressed to find a job writing for any major magazines without at least a college degree. Every study I've ever read about college degrees concludes that those with college degrees have more earning power than those without. A college degree will at the very least open other doors should you decide you can't do it. My wife is almost done with her English degree and is already considering editing jobs. She is, however, completely clueless about electronics and computing in general("honey, both of my internets crashed. What's wrong? :roll:). So, the best recommendation I could make would be talking to more than one guidance counsellor at your high school and go from there. You'll hear all sorts of advice, from just getting any degree at all to getting a masters degree in addition to a double bachelors degree in English and CS.

Have you considered your own blog or website? Get some practice and decide if you really like it. I "really liked" fixing cars but let's face it, how many times a day can I hear, "you just fixed my brakes 5000 miles ago and now they squeak" or, "I hear a rattle from the back of my overpriced SUV going uphill at 80mph when hitting a pothole". With your own blog you can write about what you want to write about, wether it's your own reviews, your own experiments or your own opinions about where the technology world will lead to.

You'll hear time and again paper certs are worthless. They have "some" relevance in the business world, and some carry more weight than others.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Yes, I have my own blog website at http://joshblog.homedns.org and I host dxdiag.txt and hijackthis.log files for the Maximum PC forums at http://joshblog.homedns.org/maxpcforums/uploadspecs/ .

I haven't really thought about writing my own articles though. That's a good idea.

I'm working on a new website for the Maximum PC Free Clinic. It's going to have a database of FAQ's and, of course, the dxdiag and hijackthis hosting.

I do not have a guidance counselor because I am homeschooled, so I don't really have anyone to help me there. I don't know what degrees I'd have to get or what college would be good or anything.

Thanks for the tips ;-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:17 am 
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Some people do computer work without degrees or certificates... I sure didn't need one of those to know how to hack my school servers back in the day :twisted:

Nah, but seriously... companies want *minimally* certificates, and degrees are nice too. It's the fact you can do the work that will get you into the workforce, not nec. that square paper (hanging in a glass covered golden frame) on the wall.

Of course you could do what a lot of us do... get a bunch of books that the teachers *don't* teach you (because they thought that was "too complex" - even though you probably understand it to a T) and read, read, read, work! :D


Last edited by Nside on Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:20 am 
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What would you recommend, Nside?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:25 am 
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yurimxpxman wrote:
What would you recommend, Nside?


Asking me isn't the best thing (since I myself am in the same dilema... and don't exactly want to post my hacking experience on a resume on any given day - lol)... but I just wanted to get my Canadian penny in.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:37 am 
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yurimxpxman wrote:
Do you have any degrees?


nope


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:08 am 
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I'd get a degree in computer science or something business with computers. Then work an ok job and try and get the department you want.

Then while doing this go to say Redhats engineering program or something.

A cert is very narrow and short term where a degree is broad and long term.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 5:22 pm 
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Certs eventually expire or become obsolete...a college degree does not.

It also depends on what you want to do when you grow up ;-) ...I always tried to tailor my training/education around my long-term goals as opposed to short-term focused objectives.

Anyone know where my $3,500 Novell Netware 4.0 cert can be used? ;-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 5:55 pm 
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What training/certs/college have you had, HoOdy? I'm open to all suggestions. I haven't decided quite what I'd like to do after highschool. (And BTW, update: I'm now a senior ;-)) Lately I've been thinking of being a youth pastor instead. Wherever the Lord leads me is where I'll go, though I do love working with computers, as all will testify to :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:38 am 
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I went to a 4-year college right out of high school. My undergrad is in Bus Mgt but I have always been somewhat technical and decided to leverage both my business degree and my technical skills.

During my initial years out of college, my employer paid for lots of tech classes/training. This is where I got my Novel cert which proved useless a year after I got it as my career took an unexpected, and positive, turn.

I spent 96-00 working for a start-up in the Bay Area doing Network Engineering. At no point did I feel I was behind anyone else due to lack of certs. Anything I wanted to learn, I took it upon myself to learn. I became a Manager and hired 8 engineers, some had certs, some didn't.

To me certs are a single component of a very large picture of the person. Occasionally I would see resumes of people who would spend tons of money on certs but have zero industry experience (I never hired those people). I think certs are great to round out a person's professional and personal experience in making them better at something. But beware, it's usually a short-term objective. Certs don't last forever, technology changes at a dizzying pace.

3 years ago I went back and completed my MBA. As I move up in my career, I still leverage my technical skills and experience, but my formal schooling is much more paramount in landing me promotions/new positions than my technical skills.

Good luck in whatever you choose to do. I am sure you will be successful!


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