Degree VS Certification

Discussion in 'Microsoft Certification' started by Robert Lie, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Robert Lie

    Robert Lie Guest

    Dear All,

    Which one is better, bachelor degree or certification?
    Is there any white paper that study about this matter?


    Robert Lie
    Robert Lie, Aug 2, 2005
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  2. Robert Lie

    T-Bone Guest

    Degree is better. No whitepaper needed, just check past postings in these
    groups and you'll see.
    T-Bone, Aug 2, 2005
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  3. Robert Lie

    Robert Lie Guest

    If degree is better, so why someone need to take some certification?
    so what the real benefit of the certification?

    Robert Lie, Aug 2, 2005
  4. I have worked in the field for a little over 5 years. Here is what I am
    seeing. People with certifications usually perform better and have more
    knowledge about the products they get certified on, they are more
    specialized. People with degrees still get jobs, often easier than others
    who have certs. I think due to the ignorance of hiring managers. I think it
    is better to get certified first, you will have a better understanding of
    technologies in the field. Get a degree second, after you are in the field.
    It will help you get the management positions later on.

    By the way, there is a guy here who is getting his Masters in MIS, almost
    completed. The other day he asked me how to hook up two computers together
    so he could move data from one to the other. Anyone with an A+ could tell
    you how to do that.
    Brandon Baker, Aug 2, 2005
  5. Robert Lie

    T-Bone Guest

    Certifications are supposed to show that you know about what product you are
    certified in. However, at the moment certs (at least the MS ones) are not
    really good for much except getting your resume past the HR filters.

    There are lots of good reasons to get a degree, both personal and
    professional reasons. Maybe somone out there who is a hiring manager could
    explain what values they add to a resume.
    T-Bone, Aug 2, 2005
  6. Robert Lie

    Wesley Long Guest

    OK, this is going to make a lot of people mad, but here is what I have come
    to believe - through years of experience:

    It depends on the person who's doing the hiring.

    If it's a technical-minded person who is looking for someone to do specific
    jobs, certifications will be what you want.

    If it's a management person with an MBA who's still paying his student loans
    10 years into his career - he'll be looking for someone else with a degree.
    After all, why should he be the only one who suffered through 2 semesters of
    Western European Art History in order to manage a warehouse and trucking

    A little jaded, but the truth.

    Do what I did - get both.

    On a slightly more dispassionate note: Degrees are better, but they're
    dated. Certifications have to be renewed as technology evolves. The person
    with a 20-year old computer science degree may be every bit as skilled and
    knowledgeable, but the certification means that they demonstrated
    proficiency very recently.

    Overall, though, a certification is just like a diploma: It's the most
    valuable thing in the world if you don't have it, and it's the most
    worthless thing in the world once you do.

    Getting a job is a skill in itself. You have to make the person who makes
    the hiring decision believe that you are the most skilled person applying
    that they can afford, and that you are able to work inside the roll that
    they need. Degrees and certs are only tools to be used in that sales job.
    Networking is huge. When you see a job posting, you need to get the story
    behind the posting, and that's where your friends and colleagues come in.
    Find out WHY the job is being posted, and you're 10 steps ahead of everyone
    else you're competing with. Is it a new product? Replacing someone? If
    so, why is that someone not there anymore? Is this job building the
    company's primary revenue source, or is it supporting another process. I.E.
    if you're going to apply to Maytag, they're much more interested in a drier
    that won't scorch a shirt than in a "phenomenally new approach to web

    Degrees and Certifications alone will NEVER guarantee getting an interview,
    let alone a job. They have to be a part (albeit an important part) of your
    overall marketing strategy. And make no mistake - marketing yourself is
    what you're doing, whether you're a W-2 programmer, contract developer, or
    IT consultant.
    Wesley Long, Aug 2, 2005
  7. It's kind of like Med school (on-topic because of the braindumping
    You finish Med school and then you learn your specialty (dermatology,
    surgery fellowship, etc).

    In all seriousness...certifications can expire and lose relevance. OH, YOU
    ARE AN MCSE!!! WOW! What is it in? NT4...OH, so you are an mcse in nt4...

    A degree, even if it is 20 years old, is still a degree. It can be hard to
    get into management without a degree. While people break into the
    management ranks without a degree quite often., more often than not they
    need a degree to break into upper management. Exceptions are when you own
    the business...or when you have been with a company long enough that they
    feel like you are ready for management and promote you. Note that some
    companies require you to get a degree (and pay for it) when you get to a
    certain level, such as director.

    Do it now while you are young and still know everything =^)
    Bob Christian, Aug 2, 2005
  8. Excellent post Wesley.
    Brandon Baker, Aug 3, 2005
  9. Robert Lie

    Jeffery Guest

    Robert, I have two Masters (MBA) & (MSM) and 15 years of Information
    Technology experience. I'm currently debating about going back to school to
    obtain a certificated (PMI) / (MCSE). So far my Masters has NOT helped me
    in my career. A lot of recruiter calls me, but their clients are looking
    for PMI or MCSE in other words some type of certification. So far what I'm
    experiencing, that a MASTER does not carry as much weight like it use too.
    But remember I live in Michigan were the unemployment rate is 7.5%, which is
    high compare to the national rate. There is no right of wrong answer,
    just go with your gut feeling.
    Jeffery, Aug 3, 2005
  10. Robert Lie

    Jeffery Guest

    One more comment: Networking is huge...
    Jeffery, Aug 3, 2005
  11. When my wife (then girlfriend) matriculated with her Masters in Business
    Administration, the coveted MBA, I looked at her and told her that she is
    not entitled to be a waitress instead of asking "would you like fries with
    Needless to say she gave me a dirty look.

    In her line of work many people want a CPA or some other professional
    certification that certifies she can count as well as the BBA or MBA. I am
    waiting for a CSP or CHIPAAP to come out, too.

    The downside is that the PMI has a Catch-22, too....
    you have to have experience in Project Management plus take the test plus
    have a degree (or ~4 years of PM experience)...
    ....and generally the jobs that will give you that experience require you to
    already have the PMI PMP cert.
    Bob Christian, Aug 3, 2005
  12. Robert Lie

    Guest Guest

    "Robert Lie" wrote:
    here is my 2 cents on this one...there is yet a unified track combined with
    univeristy studies and technical studies that can sastisify the technical
    requirements necessary in IT to succeed....MIS degrees dont have a one
    standard of courses and certifications...which means u dont know really what
    they know about anything when they graduate....what I see happening and what
    I am doing as well is combining both the degree studies with cerification
    studies...I think that the certifications should really evenutally become
    apart of a degree course....all colleges and universities are gonna have to
    create colleges of technology to meet employer needs and keep up with the
    contuieing upgrade of technological advances.....ok so maybe this is more
    like 15 cents worth..lmao
    Guest, Aug 4, 2005
  13. Robert Lie

    Wesley Long Guest

    Wow. I really thought I was going to start a fight with that one. Thanks,
    Brandon. :)
    Wesley Long, Aug 5, 2005
  14. Robert Lie

    Wesley Long Guest


    I would bet that the knowledge you gained from your degrees has, but you are
    facing 1 major obstacle: The other people with Masters Degrees who feel
    that those degrees somehow set them apart from everyone else.

    I just left a gig I had where 2 "college buddies" with Masters degrees came
    in and effectively took over a small company. One was an accountant, and
    became CFO and then COO. He was very skilled in accounting, but decided
    that only his college buddy could run the development group, and hired him
    almost immediately. Unfortunately, his buddy's master's degree was in
    Psychology. His skills in application architecture, design, and development
    were every bit as good as what you would expect someone who studied
    Psychology to have. Needless to say I went from being the architect to
    being a programmer without even being informed of the change, and when I
    continued doing the job I was originally contracted to do (Architecture,
    Application Design, and Development) by the CEO (My contract predated both
    of their hiring's), I got a lot of knife-in-the-back garbage from these two.

    Unfortunately, I didn't realize that it was the COO who was the real
    problem, and that the Psychology major was just the symptom, and wasted my
    "political capital" trying to deal with the Psych major, and not realizing
    that I was actually being "pushed down" by the two of them, together.

    In the end, the CEO did realize that there was a problem, and brought in a
    new guy over all of us. He dismissed the Psychology major after about 6
    weeks, but it was clear I was not going to have the role that I was hoping
    to regain, and that the COO was still wanting to avenge his buddy. We had
    an event come up that spurred a meeting, and the COO accidentally tipped his
    hand that he was after me, and I "called it" right there.

    This is why many of us roll our eyes (or gnash our teeth and rip our shirts)
    when we hear "Master's Degree."

    I'm not saying all people with graduate degrees are like this, but those who
    are like this never pass up an opportunity to let everyone else near them
    know they have a Master's. It's left a REALLY bad impression with those of
    us who stopped with lower degrees and learned on-the-job. The "Master's
    Club" is gaining the same notoriety as the "Good Ol' Boy Network" of days
    gone by.

    It's unfortunate, as you're probably a pretty decent guy (seeing as you're
    honestly considering certification as being just as valuable to you, if not
    more so). It's not fair that you have to push the Sisyphean boulder that
    guys like that have left for you. (My grandmother taught Literature, I
    didn't take Greek Mythology 331.)
    Wesley Long, Aug 5, 2005
  15. Robert Lie

    Wesley Long Guest

    Sorry, that was to Jefferey. Lost track of the headers in the thread. :)
    Wesley Long, Aug 5, 2005
  16. Robert Lie

    Jeffery Guest

    Wesley Long, what are your thoughts on Carly Fiorina's (HP EX -CEO)

    Carly Fiorina - bachelor's in Medieval History
    Jeffery, Aug 5, 2005
  17. Dear All,
    The short answer is both. The longer answer is... well, longer.

    A few year back, MS was going to "decertify" all the MSCE on the NT
    4.0 track. Then at the last minute, they changed their minds. It's
    their certification and they can do what they want with it. However,
    I've never heard of any college having the power to "degraduate" all
    of their students.

    I work with the US Government, and in our large organization, we can
    not hire someone without a college degree. Period. If that is right
    or wrong makes no difference, that's just the way it is.

    A degree means that you have typically completed a multi-year
    education process from a recognized institution. Most certifications
    means that you were able to pass a 30 question multiple choice test
    after buying a brain-dump. Recently a 9 year old Pakistani girl
    earned her MCP. What does that say about the certification?

    My computer science degree may be 20+ years old (punch cards, FORTRAN,
    JCL), but if you keep up in the field, keep progressing at the job,
    and earn the certifications, it will show that you are keeping up with
    technology, and not letting the degree collect dust.

    And as far as Carly, Bill, and the rest of the people who don't have
    degrees, or degrees in other fields - there will always be
    exceptions... that's just the way things work. But most of us are not
    Carly or Bill.

    And just as one guy with a degree couldn't network to machines
    together, I've seen a guy with Solaris Certification who didn't know
    what the middle button on the mouse was used for. There are a lot of
    idiots on both sides of the fence, and we can point at them all day

    My recommendation is to work on your degree, and between terms and
    during the summer, work on your certifications... when you graduate,
    you will have more than those who have just a degree, and those who
    have just certifications. And a smart hiring officer will recognize

    But as someone else mentioned, (human) networking plays a big part as
    well. The last several jobs I got were all based on recommendations
    of people who were impressed with my work.
    I learn english froma book!, Aug 6, 2005
  18. If two Master's Degree;s have not helped anyone's career, something else is
    going on. As for which is better Degree or Cert? I agree with the fact that
    it depends on who's hiring, but it also depends on the person who's looking
    for work.
    The Rev [MCT], Aug 7, 2005
  19. Robert Lie

    Wesley Long Guest

    I didn't follow her ouster as closely as I should have to make a judgement
    on her overall performance. However, when the people who founded the
    company try to lead a shareholder's revolt against your plans (Compaq
    buyout), you know something has to be wrong.
    Wesley Long, Aug 8, 2005
  20. Robert Lie

    Jeffery Guest

    MCT/MCNGP #44

    But remember I live in Michigan were the unemployment rate is 7.5%, which is
    high compared to the national rate.

    Delphi - Cutting IT staff
    GM - Cutting IT staff
    Ford - Cutting IT staff
    Chrsyler - Cutting IT staff

    Michigan is known for the automobile industry.
    Jeffery, Aug 8, 2005
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