Discussion What degree should I pursue?

Jeff7181

Lifer
Aug 21, 2002
18,368
10
81
I'm 38, I have an Associate's Degree from ITT Tech... so basically no degree. I've worked in IT for about 10 years now. I went from administrator, to engineer, to now architect, which is management-level, but on a technical path so I have no direct reports. When interviewing for my last two positions, the topic of my lack of Bachelor's degree has come up, although it hasn't held me back.

In my current position I'm eligible for some tuition reimbursement once I reach 1 year, which is a couple months away. Since I've always intended to go back to school and get a degree, I'm definitely taking advantage of the opportunity. However, I can't decide what degree to pursue nor what schools I should or shouldn't consider.

Due to my schedule, I'm thinking an online program with a flexible or customizable schedule/course load would be easiest, but I don't necessarily want to go with the easiest (you know... worthwhile things in life are worth working hard for). I've considered Business Administration, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, etc. I'm just not sure what would be most beneficial for the next steps in my career. I'm not sure what my next position will be... at some point I can see myself leading people and having direct reports... but probably not in the next 3 years.. that's more like 5-10 years off, probably.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
42,468
4,916
136
Jeff,

Look at the reviews (some quite funny). My wife invited a guy to "test" several of our recent HS grads. 1, very smart, going to Clemson for engineering, may be changing to the medical field. Most of them asked why this wasn't done in their 11th grade. Our kids are private schooled. No idea what public does.
 
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Sukhoi

Elite Member
Dec 5, 1999
15,243
51
91
I suspect something like cyber security or business administration (depending which direction you want to go) would be more useful to your career than a CS degree. Unless you want to be a code monkey. I'd lean toward cyber security as you seem to prefer the individual contributor track.
 
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Reactions: Jeff7181
Feb 25, 2011
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I suspect something like cyber security or business administration (depending which direction you want to go) would be more useful to your career than a CS degree. Unless you want to be a code monkey. I'd lean toward cyber security as you seem to prefer the individual contributor track.
Seconded.

I'd also be looking at IT MBAs or a PM cert afterwards too, if you want to go management-track. $$$.
 
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JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,924
3,274
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You could always go to massage school and get your PHD in Tantra massage...
 

deustroop

Golden Member
Dec 12, 2010
1,873
314
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You should follow your passions ; to hell with a "career" per se. Which area interests you the most ? Do you read in any particular area now ?
You will do better learning information that interests you than following a path designed for someone else. Be a student of the work you enjoy . That is the career path for you.
 

z1ggy

Diamond Member
May 17, 2008
9,970
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91
If you're already doing technical stuff, I don't see the point of a Comp Sci or Comp Eng degree. Project Management degree probably isn't worth it as you can probably just get a PMP cert later on.

I'd say something like MBA which will probably help you get into a more "managerial" role down the road.
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
6,328
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He won't be able to get an MBA until he completes a bachelor program, so he should focus on that first.

I'd lean towards IT security or similar, which depending on the school may be part of a computer science or computer technology degree.If you then want to pursue an MBA afterwards, you could probably complete the work in an additional couple of years.

Realize though, that if you're going part time, and all your associates degree work transfers (it might not) you'll still have probably 3-4 years of part time school work to complete.
 

GobBluth

Senior member
Sep 18, 2012
703
45
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I'd go with BS Info Tech Mgmt.

It covers both your engineering side, and the management side, should you choose to go that route.

Unsolicited advice from an IT manager: Do not go that route. Management in IT is the biggest fucking joke in business history, IMO. Oh, you're the Director of IT? That's nice, lets get a PM to make sure this goes smooth. Oh, you need manpower to support the new datacenter requirements? Hmmm.... lets look at next fiscal year's budget and see.... Oh, you need next generation firewalls to protect our assets? Gosh, they are just so expensive. Network went down because some dick head three buildings over rebooted an L3 switch in broad daylight for no reason what so ever? It's your ass.


If you're going to work IT, be an individual contributor for life. Stick to engineering, good money, great job, little dealings with people.

My $0.02
 

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