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Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

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Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby MattHanson1990 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:44 am

My family recommended me to get an associates degree in information technologies at UNM Los Alamos because Los Alamos National Laboratory is looking to fill IT positions, and they pay much better than bagging groceries at Smith's. However, there are a few problems to face:

- The program takes at least two years to complete, and I don't want to be in the US when Hillary is president; things will get even worse by 2017.
- My goal is to be an expat, not live the so-called American "dream".
- I am sick of being tied to one location because I love to travel.
- Los Alamos is one of the worst places in America for young heterosexual single men.
- If IT jobs at LANL require a bachelor's degree in that field, that would mean waste another four years in school.

Is it possible to obtain an IT certificate online within six months? I'd rather do that rather than stay on the sinking Titanic just to waste two years of my life getting in associates degree when things are clearly getting worse at home. Also, my dad is a mono-national naysayer which is why I ONLY turn to HAers when seeking help about life skills.
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Re: Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby S_Parc » Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:54 am

Eventually, even if you're working as an intern during the interim, you'll want a final bachelor's degree.

Take a look here, this is U of London's distance program in IT. It's a lot cheaper than most programs at home and while the Goldsmith program isn't as prestigious as let's say LSE or UCL, still, it's London.
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Re: Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby Traveler » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:28 am

You could attend one of those coding bootcamps. I hear they have a very high job placement rate. Some programs only take 9-12 weeks.
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Re: Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby onethousandknives » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:47 am

I'd say no. If you just want a "job" quickly, I think it'd be feasible to get Microsoft certified for instance, but then your jobs are pretty limited and boring and not really high paying ($10-12 per hour.) But getting M$ certified costs somewhere near $100, and you could find a study guide easily and take the test online from Microsoft. But again, you'd be doing tech support for the few people who've not outsourced it yet (generally internal support for companies...) I have two stories of friends/people I know well regarding "working in IT."

First one, he was 20something, and his parents wanted him to "do something with his life" or whatever the f**k. So he signed up for the basically fraudulent for profit school of "" and paid 20K to get Microsoft certified and his classes consisted of going to a school, doing homework, reviewing homework, and going and doing more homework for said Microsoft certification that costs $100 from Microsoft with a study guide that costs $20. Instead of sweet awesome IT job, he had two jobs, one doing tech support for Rite-Aid stores, which mostly consisted of telling people to plug in their power cords or other inane stuff, and then another job for Verizon. Now he's a janitor with 20K in student debt for a scam school.

Another, my sister's boyfriend, is more successful, but I wouldn't call it much of an "American Dream." He works as an actual programmer, and got an actual associates degree in programming from a community college. He worked the whole summer for free as an intern. Drives an hour to and from work as an intern. Is in a silly "open concept" office. Gets paid for 40 hours a week at $15 per hour, but works 9-5 5 days per week, but has no lunch breaks and has to eat at his desk, but also has to do overtime without extra pay as well, so he fairly often will work 1-2 hours later without pay. Getting this job took working 3-4 months for free as an intern, and having some rich relatives (possibly) pull strings to get him a job at the firm. He also does work for the US government, though the firm markets itself as a "game design" firm. Presumably he helps make drone software to blow up children and women overseas, or he's a paid internet troll or something. Dunno, but he can't talk about it with anyone and doesn't seem to like the job much.

Depends what you want. It could be a useful experience, but I'd say unless you have some natural interest in it and know something about it anyway or are at least a little OK with computers, maybe not bother? The good thing about the field is it is portable, whereas for me I'm a general contractor and that's not exactly portable overseas unless you want to make local wage. Have you ever breached the idea to your parents that you just want to teach English overseas and to have them pay for CELTA or TEFL certificate? I think really, just finding a simple "job" now, even working in a grocery store or restaurant or whatever is much more ideal if you wanna go overseas, rather than finding a "career" here. This was my issue when I got an auto mechanic job, they wanted me to buy many more tools, and some people had $10-20K worth of tools easily. I wanted to be abroad, so why would I spend money and time for a "career" I don't care about? Then I started my own business with that money and I could have ended up using that go to abroad, but hey, at least now I have potential to make 10x more than I'd have made at the shop with a "career" that in practice ends up making as much as people at McDonalds do for the first few years. So for advice or whatever, that's what I'd say to do. Find a "job" something with 20-30ish hours per week so you can still pursue some of your stuff you like (you make music, correct?) and that could make you money down the line, save that money up, and then use it to get yourself abroad wherever you wish to be.
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Re: Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby onethousandknives » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:50 am

Traveler wrote:You could attend one of those coding bootcamps. I hear they have a very high job placement rate. Some programs only take 9-12 weeks.

Wow, this looks like "" all over again.

EDIT: Well, most do look more legitimate than that, but my point remains, a lot of people are looking to cash in, the initial outlay in expense is a lot of money, and you need to be careful.

EDIT 2: Here's some articles.

Basically, it'd be best to have some actual inclination to coding, and the ability to make some applications and a portfolio for yourself and present that to companies instead.
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Re: Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby Ghost » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:25 am

If it will incur big debts, no.

If it will incur small debts, then maybe, IF you can get a related job soon after finishing.

IT can largely be outsourced, so my thinking is it's probably not worth it. Even if it doesn't cost you much, you're still losing time which could be spent doing other things.
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Re: Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby xiongmao » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:15 pm

IT was, is and always will be a great career. I've been doing it for 18 years now.

I never studied IT though, but I did go to Uni which opens doors.

A career in IT mostly requires hard work and wanting to spend time coding and not out talking to girls and stuff.
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Re: Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby WorldTraveler » Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:48 am

Anything you want to do, you have to have an interest in it. If you are not interested in IT do not go down that road, because you'll hate it. You will be paid based on your knowledge, not the degree. With a quick easy degree an you will probably learn little. If you just want to get overseas now, teach English in a the country you desire.

If you are good at IT, you will be able to work at times and take off at times. Look at xiongmao.
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Re: Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby GoingAwol » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:39 am

One of my former co-workers had an associates degree in IT and he recently got an IT job with a starting salary of 67,000 dollars a year. It took him about a year or so to find a job though. That's why he was working at this crappy job for awhile.
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Re: Is getting an associates degree in IT worth it?

Postby tom » Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:47 pm

Tyler Cowen: "Is Average Over in an Age of Great Stagnation?"


The simple answer is yes, IT is good and programming is good because it is mostly unregulated.
Industries that are dominated by women like education have been know for decades to be in need of reform. In fact many think our current education system is unreformable and change will only come from the outside.

This is something I have noticed the more any business is dominated by women the more it suffers from stagnation.
I first noted this in restaurants, ALL female run restaurants have been the worst I have experienced. Women seem to want to regulate in safety as they are afraid of everything. This is a big fallacy of Western political correctness, in moves women are portrayed as all-brave and fearless but in general women go to great lengths at disguising there common cowardliness in even the most mundane things. True there are a few excepts and I wish there were more.

What about nursing? Yes they do a very valuable service but it is a very stagnate industry too pulling more and more money while offering no difference in return. What about Florence Nightingale? Yes a long time ago and she would have been unknown without Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

You can see this in GammerGate, attempts by women to regulate gaming which is currently dominated by men. Currently IT is dominated by men and it is a profitable innovative industry with many new opportunities.
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