Building a career in Information Technology in today’s day and age has become increasingly more complex. With technology ever-changing, and new advancements being made every day, it’s hard to know what IT career path to take. When it comes to IT careers, there are two main paths candidates can take: earn a certificate or degree. Both options have their own set of pros and cons, which can make it difficult for IT professionals to decide what’s best for their careers.
In this article, we will break down the pros and cons of both IT certification and degrees so you can make an informed decision about your future in IT!
The Pros and Cons of Earning an IT Degree
A college degree is seen as the pinnacle of success in many parts of the world, and for a good reason. According to popular belief, a college education can help people advance in life. The truth is that degrees may be beneficial, but only to a certain extent. In IT, various routes offer students an adequate basic knowledge of the field. Information security, networking, computer science, computer engineering, and programming are just a few IT disciplines studied at institutions worldwide.
However, there are disadvantages to obtaining a degree. For one thing, the procedure of getting a degree is time-consuming and expensive. Degree programs generally last around four years. If you don’t have a professional niche picked out, this might give you some breathing room to look at other options.
Despite the fact that degrees may focus on a variety of IT disciplines, the learning acquired through this education is more generalized than a certification. A college education provides an excellent starting point in IT knowledge, but it is less specialized in one area. Certificates can also give more up-to-date information, although this isn’t always the case. It’s feasible to start with a degree and then verify your skills in specific IT fields later by earning certificates.
The Pros and Cons of Earning an IT Certificate
Certification may be pursued by a variety of individuals for a number of reasons. For example, IT certifications take less time to complete and cost far less money than degrees in information technology. Certifications can also help you confirm current expertise in a certain field of IT. If you know what you want to do, they can assist you in finding your ideal employment faster and more easily.
Of course, earning IT certificates rather than a degree comes with certain disadvantages. To achieve higher professional IT certifications, you generally must start out by obtaining the necessary credentials.
Typically, earning more than one certification implies you’ll have to work harder and study longer. However, continuing to build up-to-date knowledge with additional certificates as your career advances may help you keep your abilities sharp. Certificates can also be obtained in addition to a college degree to increase more qualifications throughout your career.
Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), MyComputerCareer offers training for several IT certifications from leading organizations such as Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco, EC-Council, and Linux. ACCET is continuously recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a reliable authority on educational quality since 1978. The school also offers specialized programs such as Cyber Security Specialist (CSS), the Information Technology Security and Administration (ITSA), Cyber Security Engineer (CSE), and the Associate of Applied Science in Network Administration and Cyber Security.
Which One Will Provide More Opportunities?
When applying for a position, certifications may provide an advantage over a lack of experience. IT certificates demonstrate proficiency in certain areas and can assist resume scanners in determining if you fulfill the demands of the position. Of course, IT credentials are meaningless unless they apply to the job.
What about education? In a CompTIA Employer Perception Study, around 49 percent of the 2.3 million IT job postings were found not to demand a four-year degree from potential employees. As a result, while degrees may be beneficial, they are not required. Job advertisements are designed to appeal to candidates that meet the requirements for the position. If you have an IT certification relevant to the responsibilities of the job, it can help you get there faster.
In general, recruiters seek people with the necessary skills and knowledge to begin working immediately. Candidates are judged on whether they will add value to the firm and be good long-term investments. A resume featuring an IT degree may appeal to recruiters searching for serious individuals to fill long-term positions. However, because of the sector’s ever-changing nature, a degree might always be enough.
Most CIOs want workers who are constantly learning and adaptable because IT is a rapidly changing area. In addition, most IT jobs need applicants to have a solid fundamental understanding of the tech sector as a whole. Furthermore, persons with problem-solving and business skills are more likely to be considered for IT employment.
- Candidates with IT degrees might use their education time and money to demonstrate basic knowledge of the sector and their overall commitment to the field.
- For an IT professional focused on a rapidly changing technical field, it may be useful to obtain certificates that verify the necessary skills and knowledge to remain competent in the position.
Certifications Or College Degree – Which One To Choose
The advantages of earning a degree or certification do not stop once you have been hired. The pay and professional development outcomes of these professions might vary considerably.
According to PayScale, the average base salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree in IT is $73,000 per year. While certificate holders may eventually earn more, degree holders are more likely to start out making more. Obviously, the amount will rise with additional education and work experience. However, certificate holders earn more than 24% of bachelor’s degrees holders. So, in the end, it is a question of what qualifications are required to succeed in your field.
The decision to pursue an IT degree or certification is largely dependent on your present situation and where you want to go in the future. Those who have a clear idea of their professional goals and a prospective field may be better off earning a specialized certification.
Certificates are also better for those who want up-to-date, relevant information on an IT subject. For those who wish to prove their basic IT talents and gain experience in various areas, the degree path may be ideal. People considering a career in IT may benefit from this since it will teach them about many different aspects of IT. However, this is only feasible if they have the finances and time to devote to their studies. Overall, however, the IT sector is based on talents. Even if you choose one path or another, as long as your skills are verified in the area where you wish to progress, you’ll be successful.
If you’re looking to enter the Information Technology sector or are looking to advance your career in the industry, MyComputerCareer offers numerous training and certification-preparation courses from leading organizations. MyComputerCareer also provides Financial Aid for those who qualify for it and ongoing Career Services for those looking to earn one or more IT certificates and get a great-paying job; in the meantime. Reach out to us if you are ready or have more questions!