Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Career in IT with only an associates degree at first?

  1. #1
    Member ObtainGnosis's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    129

    Career in IT with only an associates degree at first?

    I'm looking to get into IT. Nothing fancy, just want to be part of a university department maintaining the network for a small school (4000 Students). Anyone out there who works in the field: Is it possible to gain decent employment in IT with only an associate's level knowledge of programming and network admin? Something in the neighborhood of $35-50k + Benefits?
    "Remember me as you pass by.
    As you are now, so once was I.
    As I am now, so will you be.
    Prepare for Death & Follow Me."


    -- Common Epitaph of Victorian-Era Gravestones

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Type
    intp
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,432
    No associates degree or bachelor's degree will qualify you for network admin. Maybe a trade school, but all those programs basically have you overpay by thousands of dollars to get a handful of useless certification you could get on your own. You don't really need to know any programming languages either.

    I'd recommend studying for CCENT and then CCNA, which are the gold standard certs for network admin. However, not having any experience would be a challenge. I'm not sure how many network guys get hired as network guys with no experience.
    "Doesn't matter what a man has if he doesn't have purpose. You take that away from him, man usually goes with it." -Beau

  3. #3
    a fool on a journey pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,470
    I did an associates in computer networking, part of it was a year long CCNA sequence. It was at a community college, same price as all the other classes. I know that a couple people who graduated from that program actually got hired into admin-type jobs, more of them got helpdesk jobs though. I didn't finish the associates because I decided to transfer to a university for an engineering degree.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Type
    intp
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,432
    Yeah, I guess if you can do an associates degree that includes CCNA, that'd be a good deal. Having a degree does look better than no degree.
    "Doesn't matter what a man has if he doesn't have purpose. You take that away from him, man usually goes with it." -Beau

  5. #5
    Member ObtainGnosis's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    129
    Ah, yeah, looks like that's what the program I'm looking at is. Network Admin Associates with CCNA certification.
    "Remember me as you pass by.
    As you are now, so once was I.
    As I am now, so will you be.
    Prepare for Death & Follow Me."


    -- Common Epitaph of Victorian-Era Gravestones

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Type
    intp
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,432
    You're doing this all with the hopes of getting employed by 1 employer (the university)? Getting hired by the university that you got your degree in isn't uncommon, I don't think, but you'll most likely be starting out at help desk, not network admin. A school of 4000 students should have a decent amount of positions available, but still, I'd never advise targeting a single employer. Is there a specific reason you're doing that?

    My recommendation would be to get your certification (and, if you prefer, degree) and then take an entry level job where you'll get the chance to learn a lot of stuff, fast. That means you don't want to be in an organization that 1) is huge (giant organizations tend to have very specialized IT roles where you'll get pigeonholed) and 2) isn't too broke (you'll be working with technology that's constantly on the verge of being obsolete/is obsolete). Be willing to start out in help desk, most people do.

    Also, one tip, network admin/engineering is very similar to actual engineering, in that you need to be extremely careful, not miss a single detail, and follow highly formulaic steps. If you were the kind of guy that was always doing well in math, ahead of the class, and actually enjoyed calculus, networking is likely for you. If not, it'll probably be more of a challenge.
    "Doesn't matter what a man has if he doesn't have purpose. You take that away from him, man usually goes with it." -Beau

  7. #7
    Member ObtainGnosis's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    129
    Quote Originally Posted by Lud View Post
    You're doing this all with the hopes of getting employed by 1 employer (the university)? Getting hired by the university that you got your degree in isn't uncommon, I don't think, but you'll most likely be starting out at help desk, not network admin. A school of 4000 students should have a decent amount of positions available, but still, I'd never advise targeting a single employer. Is there a specific reason you're doing that?

    My recommendation would be to get your certification (and, if you prefer, degree) and then take an entry level job where you'll get the chance to learn a lot of stuff, fast. That means you don't want to be in an organization that 1) is huge (giant organizations tend to have very specialized IT roles where you'll get pigeonholed) and 2) isn't too broke (you'll be working with technology that's constantly on the verge of being obsolete/is obsolete). Be willing to start out in help desk, most people do.

    Also, one tip, network admin/engineering is very similar to actual engineering, in that you need to be extremely careful, not miss a single detail, and follow highly formulaic steps. If you were the kind of guy that was always doing well in math, ahead of the class, and actually enjoyed calculus, networking is likely for you. If not, it'll probably be more of a challenge.
    Thanks. This is great. I'm not necessarily only targeting this one. But it's what I would like, because I already work for the university in question and I want to continue to live where I live. I'd also like to keep my state leave, health, retirement and education benefits. Help desk is fine. Help desk will pay more than what I make now at said university, allowing me to pursue further education at the same time as I'm working at no cost. I do enjoy math, but I have no programming or tech support background at all. So I pretty much have to do the courses.
    "Remember me as you pass by.
    As you are now, so once was I.
    As I am now, so will you be.
    Prepare for Death & Follow Me."


    -- Common Epitaph of Victorian-Era Gravestones

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Type
    intp
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,432
    Quote Originally Posted by ObtainGnosis View Post
    Thanks. This is great. I'm not necessarily only targeting this one. But it's what I would like, because I already work for the university in question and I want to continue to live where I live. I'd also like to keep my state leave, health, retirement and education benefits. Help desk is fine. Help desk will pay more than what I make now at said university, allowing me to pursue further education at the same time as I'm working at no cost. I do enjoy math, but I have no programming or tech support background at all. So I pretty much have to do the courses.
    You already work there, and you enjoy math? Absolutely go for it. You'll do great.

    General word of advice, get familiar with the Spiceworks forum, https://community.spiceworks.com/. It's a great place for questions like this, far better than here. It's mostly free of the pretension you'll find on places like ArsTechnica or Reddit. And, the sooner you start, the better. Don't wait until you get accepted into a program, start immediately. Download some courses from CBTNuggets on CompTIA NET+ and study those, it'll help you get prepared.
    "Doesn't matter what a man has if he doesn't have purpose. You take that away from him, man usually goes with it." -Beau

Similar Threads

  1. What is the best career path for me?
    By Blorg in forum Academics & Careers
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 03-29-2017, 07:31 AM
  2. An INTP’s Career Journey & Reflection
    By Architect in forum Academics & Careers
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 10-16-2016, 10:03 PM
  3. Morality and career decisions
    By Lud in forum Academics & Careers
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 12-16-2015, 09:38 PM
  4. Shobia Career Quiz
    By jamesgold in forum Academics & Careers
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 08-26-2014, 01:25 AM
  5. Career dissatisfaction
    By Pan_Sonic_000 in forum Academics & Careers
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 01-07-2014, 01:18 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •