Elevating Your IT Career: College Degrees vs. IT Certifications

As an industry, IT is among the few that do not require college degrees. Real-world experience and certifications can be just as valuable (if not more so!) as a college degree. Often, the “right” answer to the question depends on the unique circumstances of the person trying to decide between a college degree or IT certification. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have the financial resources to attend a community college, four-year college, or university? Am I willing to make the financial and personal investment for the college experience?
  • Where do I want my career to take me? Do the various roles along the path of my career require a college degree or IT certifications?
  • What are my salary expectations? Do I have the necessary degree/certifications to achieve my salary goals?
  • What kind of time am I willing to commit to my professional development? Can I commit to the years needed for a college degree? Can I commit to the time necessary for the ongoing cycle of certification and certification renewals?
  • Do I prefer to think in theoretical terms or practical, hands-on terms?

Take some time to talk with IT pros you know and admire to get their advice. There is great value in both a college degree and in IT certifications. Whichever path you choose, there will be a place for you in IT.

  • Mario Stoffiere

    What about a degree in Electrical Engineering with the computer option