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Should I get a Degree?? (IT)

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posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:06 PM
Hello all, i'll start this by saying i have a past record of the criminal nature and I work at a hardware store and I want to continue my education thus setting me up for a career. I'm thinking IT.

Is this a good idea? Is it worth the money i'll invest over years time to get a college degree in IT? anybody know what working in IT is like??

help would be much appreciated, and thank you

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:12 PM
Go for it .. good field to be in these days alot of growth to it still ..
Anytime you can learn new skills / things do so learning is lifelong ..

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:19 PM
a reply to: FinalAccount2008

depending on your record details you will have barriers due to fed/state contracts. Alot of the high paying IT jobs require a clean record and ability to obtain a security clearance.

Alot of the best firms that hire IT also have issues with 'records'. As do anything in the finance side, or perhaps some retail corps.?

I am not trying to bum you, but have a cousin that wasted 3 years studying a job that he cant do because of his record, he has $34k in student debt, an assoc. degree and none of the companies in Knoxville (pretty big area) will hire him.

It all depends I guess, just do your research FIRST.

also, check into trades and apprenticeships.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:27 PM
a reply to: FinalAccount2008

Having a record will make getting a job in the IT industry very difficult.

You could go into computer science instead. There would be more independent developers that rely less on criminal history(app development etc.)

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:34 PM
Go for it! With a criminal record you more than likely won't be able to work in the finance industry, but there's still heaps of other companies that'd give you a shot.

If you want to be successful you're going to have to work hard. Depending on what sort of career you're thinking about the IT industry moves fast and can be pretty cut-throat (everyone wants to be at the top so lots of competition, companies seeing you as expendable and your skills/knowledge can easily get out of date in the space of 6-12months so you need to be constantly learning).

Try and find a service desk position if you don't have much existing experience. It's pretty much the starting point for anyone that works in IT and it'll give you a basic set of skills + a small taste of what working in the industry is like. Some service desks are high pressure environments but that's not reflective of the entire industry.

Also if you've got the gift of the gab I'd recommend looking at a IT sales/consulting. Generally the barrier to entry is alot lower because you just need good people skills. Any technical questions can be redirected to engineers, or you take one along with you as a tech expert.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:37 PM
a reply to: FinalAccount2008

my advice: make sure you have found your own answers to the above questions before enrolling.

Can you get a job in IT with a record? Its gonna be one hell of an uphill climb, but it can be done.

I have made a career for myself by being exceptional with Excel. In my area, no one knows Excel, so it is a skill I have marketed to its fullest. Seems kind of silly, to be honest.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:40 PM
a reply to: FinalAccount2008

I'm not going to tell you to get a degree or to not get a degree. I will say that if you dream of getting an IT degree and walking into some high paying job then you are going to be very shocked and disappointed. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but overall upon graduating you will end up with a help desk job that pays $12.00 and hour. Once you work your way up a little, after a year or so, you may be able to get in the $40-$45K range. A career in IT, especially in networking, is always evolving, and that means that you will never stop going to school, or studying for certifications. Also, if you have a criminal background, you'll probably have a hard time getting a security clearance, depending on what the nature of your crime was. Is the debt that you will take on from going to school worth it?

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:51 PM
Its great money, stay away from gov work and no problems with your background, its if you can code is what matters.

There are so many free ways to learn coding, getting cisco is free with a 100 buck test, youtube has millions of videos of every language and each one is designed to do certain things. IT is such a big world, you need to decide what you really want to do and then search free lessons online.

If you want a cert to put on a resume there are some out there that give college credits and by the end of them you will be writing in the language of your choice, now these do cost money but not the same as a 4 year degree anywhere. check oreilly school, there is a cost but fraction of university.

codeacademy is free is free
even look for the free classes at MIT, they are FREE yes that is Massachusetts Institute of Technology for free

I have a degree in Economics and although its heavy in math and stats I was able to learn on the job C++, python, perl, r, and a little java to be able to develop tools interfacing with the 2 largest telecommunications companies in the United States. Now, that is my job, not Econ -- its better money and I work from home, in multi countries with no worries as long as I produce, that is all that matters at this point. It is too easy to find a free or cheap way to pick this talent up with out shelling out a decade of payment for a school loan. Good luck.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 07:08 PM
a reply to: FinalAccount2008

Yes...if for the right reasons. But there are 100's of thousands of unemployed holders of dont put all your hopes and dreams into any degree securing your future. There are millions who are working low-paying jobs even WITH their degrees...and its not the fault of their efforts: it is the economy and its ever-changing status. Thats the negative side.

On the positive side, its the best way to go, will do you wonders going through life, and will pay for itself in time. So, you go for it! It will be an achievment to be proud of as you go through life. Only good things can come of obtaining one in the long run, just be realistic about it.

Just having one wont guarantee you a job in your chosen degree-field...but its the bset way to go. Even in a tech-field or specialty school. Good luck with this, and best wishes too!


posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 07:16 PM
If I had it all to do over again...

I wouldn't go to Univ. for a degree. I'd use that money to go into business for myself.

Working for others and watching them prosper on your hard work is a prescription for unhappyness.

It's best to have people working for YOU!!!
edit on 3-6-2014 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 07:17 PM
a reply to: FinalAccount2008

It's a field in high demand and the pay is good as long as you don't mind sitting behind a computer all day.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 07:22 PM

originally posted by: mysterioustranger
a reply to: FinalAccount2008

Yes...if for the right reasons. But there are 100's of thousands of unemployed holders of dont put all your hopes and dreams into any degree securing your future.

with a record, he will be handicapped when promotions come up.

And learning a trade is more fruitful of you become proficient in all aspects, plus after 4 years apprentice time will be making far beyond what entry level IT jobs make after 4 years college. And will be able to work anywhere worldwide with quicker and easier time getting hired. Plus they dont care much at all about a record.

It usually take 9-12 years for an IT person to make what a journeyman makes. so for 10 or so years after school the tradesman is making more money.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 08:08 PM
After being in I.T. for 15 years, I would say no. the reality is you will be able to get a helpdesk job for 12 bucks an hr, BUT you would be able to get that job anyway. that said, your criminal background is pretty much going to keep you under 35k a year. for you I would say its a waste of money. EVERYONE that hires for 40k or more requires a clean background check and a piss test. if you cant pass both of those, there not even going to ask you for a second interview. If I were you I would look into the trades, plumbing, welding, electrician. just my opinion.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:10 PM
a reply to: FinalAccount2008

Only get a degree if you feel that you need it.

For example, I sometimes feel like I wasted 65k for my piece of paper - Every job I applied for I never mentioned my associates in IT. Why? Because everything on my resume was stuff I taught myself, and learned to do back in highschool.

If you have the time to teach yourself, here's a couple technologies that have a lot of resources freely on the internet.
PC Based - Windows 8
1. WPF (C# variety). This is slowly starting to be integrated with Windows 8 Apps, XBox 360 games, and other similar Microsoft technologies. It's fairly easy to learn, as XML + C# is not a bad combination.

2. C# in general - I'd recommend C++, but ever since picking up C#, I've switched my programming language of choice. It's easy to learn, easy to develop with (on a Window's environment, that is), and sort of fun.

3. Java and/or Python. Both are free to download, have a minimalist IDE to do the programming, and are still actively used both in the making of scripts and on the web.

For PC-based, focus on:
1. Basic programming concepts (you will need these later on)
2. How to use threads, and when to use them (they will help to make your app run smoother).
3. Graphics, and making controls.
4. Learning about events.

Web Based
1. - Although I'm not a huge fan of it, is another technology that you can learn fairly easy (most of the entry level jobs I've seen require some experience working with it, either as a GUI developer or as a backend coder).

2. HTML5 - Start learning the newer versions of HTML and CSS; it's better to jump the bandwagon now, because then when it becomes commonplace, you will at least be able to claim you worked with it while it was still being developed.

3. PHP - I can't say much about this one, just that I know it's still used on a variety of sites & pages.

For the web, focus on:
1. Proper design across multiple browsers (no-one wants to use IE only to view your website).
2. How to make a site secure.
3. How the site integrates with it's server, the user's PC, and other items.

Database Based
1. MSSQL - I recommend learning this one first, as it's fairly common in the job market. Although you have to be a "Student" or part of the MSDN to get a free developer edition, the developer edition costs about $50 or so on Amazon (I bought myself a copy, so that I could work on experiments outside of a work environment).

2. Oracle or MySQL - both of these are also used quite a bit, and have several different syntaxes for how queries are written.

For the database stuff, focus on:
1. Creating objects (tables, functions, procs, views, and triggers)
2. Restoring a database.
3. Learn about the Profiler (this captures everything written to the database, when it's turned on of course).
4. How to write INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and SELECT statements without breaking the script.

Bonus section, **cough cough hints**
1. MS SQL Server Management Studio Add-ins. Right now, there are only a handful of people that know how to build them, because Microsoft technically has not released any documentation on how they are created). I'm in that handful. And, because the handful is so small, there's a good market for paid products out there, if you know what you are doing
(I cannot release any paid projects, for binding and commercial reasons).

2. Add-ins and extensions for Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, or Visual Studio. Again, there's a decent market here, where if you have the know-how, and mindset, you can make some money off of this area.

3. Become good with graphics - GUI development is very, very important regardless of what you are designing, because a user isn't going to want to see a command prompt window saying "Please log in" - they will want to see a window with their picture on it, and a log-in button, and a textbox to enter their information in, and well, you get the point.


posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:21 PM
Or you could write a script/screen play about how you came to be a felon and sell it to a production company, become famous, and hang out with movie people.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:46 PM

originally posted by: camain
If I were you I would look into the trades, plumbing, welding, electrician. just my opinion.

I have friends in trades. 2d yr ironworker apprentice making 24/hr, longshoreman making 65k/yr, journeyman welder makes between $45-70/hr, H.E. operator $100/hr (leases his own case 580D), crane operator $80/hr.

this people work with real guys all day. None of them have to worry about some little punks bossing them around. None of them attend 'sensitivity training'. None of them have trouble finding jobs all over the world through their unions. And if there is a slowdown, between jobs they get unemployment for a few months. (many enjoy this few months vacation and call it gas money for their toys; boats, toyhaulers, atv's, rock crawlers, etc). No office politics, no office popularity contests, no owner's sons prancing around barking orders, no affirmative action, etc.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 10:20 PM
a reply to: coolhanddan

So do you work for yourself or do you work for a company? And how does one get started in this field. I had a feeling college wasn't gonna be fruitful cause I work with college grads at ace, and remember working at 7-11 when they turned a guy away BECAUSE he had a PHD, and that was the only reason they didn't hire him.

Thanks to everyone for the replies so far.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 11:55 PM
i self study computers built a pc after the first year did laptop repair a few years later at a repair shop helped out the guys at goodwill with some issues worked by the job at a shop for a bit had a friend give me a work space at his non it business and freelance when ever i get a chance . i charge by the hr or by the job .all you need is a business license a few tools usb ect and you can get 20$hr on very basic jobs on your own .just get out there and help some folks

posted on Jun, 4 2014 @ 01:21 AM
My opinion... nope. Id not do it for some of the same reasons folks have stated in this thread. I dont see a truly upward movement for you in this field due to your record unfortunately.
Times are changing. Everyone and their brother has a degree and they can barely get a decent paying job ...without having a record. The industry is flooded with new IT geniuses... who will accept lower than low pay. These days.. just watching how things are trending... Id go for a real trade. A skill you can move upward with experience and adding to your skillset over time. The world is a different place these days.. watch things and youll get your answers.

Me? I have 2 degrees. One Ive never used .. Masters.. and a nursing degree which I did use. With the money I spent with these 2 degrees, I now wish Id have simply determined to learn a skill take time to hone it and add to it.. and opened my own business. I kick myself every time I recall deciding to go to college. Degrees and student loans... theyre incredibly expensive and the loans are like an albatross around your neck for years and years. Your additional expenses while getting that degree... well, your odds for getting a job that will balance out your total expense and be worth it.. sorry but it wont balance these days. Little degrees like associates and etc.. they arent worth the expense at all unless you want a very low entry job and work your ass off for years to get ahead while paying that greedy beast on your back.. your loan.

posted on Jun, 4 2014 @ 10:42 AM
a reply to: Advantage

seems to be the consensus. dang, I'll eek out a career somehow i just must.

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