I need some immediate school advice please.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jc0481, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. jc0481 macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2005
    I'm currently a 31 year old warehouse worker living in Utah. I graduated from high school in 1999. Since it has been so long since I've gone to school. I have forgot a lot of it. My wife and I are expecting our child due in March.

    My wife wants to stay home or work part time. She feels she will get really bored at home.

    I wish I went to school years ago but oh well I can't change anything about that now. I plan on starting school soon very soon. But I'm not sure which route to take.

    I either can go to my local community college or Davis Applied Technology College. Here is the school's website link:


    The DATC will provide me with a year certificate and prepare me to take the certification courses in I.T. This will provide me with a better paying job than a community college. But not sure about the whole getting a certificate vs a two year degree and how that would play out in a future job.

    Any advice you can give. I would appreciate it. I can take constructive criticism.
  2. cornchild macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2007
    Well, I may not be much help but I can share my experiences and observations. Maybe theirs a nugget of useful info in here!

    I'm only 25 but I left high school and went straight into the I.T. field with no college or certs. I'm a tech geek though! lol I had to prove myself which I discovered takes a bit more effort to do without a degree. The degree kind of gains you some instant brownie points and more choice of position. They pushed me to get certs. I didn't understand why till I seen the opportunities having those certs can give you. They really did me a favor by pushing me to get those! "I kicked and screamed the whole time" Having Comptia A+,Network+,Secuirty+, Linux+,LPIC-1,NCLA,ITIL V3 FDTN on my email footer helps get people to take me more seriously too. As will a degree! It makes you feel more confident too.

    A lot of people I work with went to a technical college for I.T. and then got certs. Some I seen come in with a technical degree and get certs at the job. Others the other way around! the two Employers I have worked for payed for their staff to take cert tests. Most people grab Comptia A+ and/or Network+ first.

    Real I.T. departments don't expect you to know everything about their infrastructure when you walk in the door. It's impossible to know as they are all different. I've been in two environments with very different setups.

    A bit of technical knowledge, a want to learn everything, and being easy to get along with are the key things I have seen.

    I think getting the degree is a fantastic plan though. It sounds like DATC offers more. You could get the degree then get into I.T. and and usually the employer will pay for you to take cert tests. Then your not paying for those tests out of pocket. They really like it when you get certs while working for them as it makes you and them look good!

    I say go for it! I.T. is sooo much fun! :D
  3. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    I'd say go with certification, so you can start making more money more quickly. Then you can decide if you want to pursue any further education at night or online.

    Do you get any transferable college credits going to DATC?

    If not, would it be possible to major in IT at the community college, get certified in the middle of it, and then complete the rest of the degree at night or online?
  4. leenak, Oct 17, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012

    leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Does the school have any previous students that you can talk to? I'd highly recommend that route before deciding to go to a technical school. Utah's job market is possibly different from other areas I've gone to but I can give you my experience.

    I've worked in IT for nearly 15 years. I started out of college (BS Comp Sci). I work for a large corporation which may be different than smaller businesses but most entry level jobs in my company, except help desk, require a BS. I've worked with a few people who came into the company with experience but no BS and many of them felt stuck in their career (within the company) because they didn't have a BS. The good thing is the company would pay for tuition reimbursement so those that stayed with the company eventually used the tuition reimbursement to get a BS.

    I'd highly recommend going to a community college that will at least get you an AA/AS in which you could later apply the credits to a BS. If you go to a technical college, chances are the courses you take won't apply to other schools and if you later decide to get a BS, then you'd have to start all over. Many community college have vocational programs and I know Cisco has the CCNA course (2 years?) through community colleges. That is good if you want to learn the basics of routing and Cisco certifications are generally a good thing. Those being vocational programs though aren't degrees and again, credits probably don't apply towards a future degree.

    I know I'm being wordy but my overall recommendation would be the community college UNLESS the vocational school (DATC) has a good reputation in the area and high rate of job placement. Again, try to talk to former students if possible to get their experiences.

    I've had a number of certs in my life but I don't care for them much but they do have their place in some instances. I think the CCNA was the first one I had but that was after about 2 years of living, breathing, configuring, etc Cisco routers in my work environment.
  5. jc0481 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2005
    Wow thank you for the advice. I did find some DATC students on Facebook. I sent them a private message. Hopefully I hear back from them soon.

    This is a question for cornchild: You said after high school you went straight into I.T. How did you do that? Did you walk into a small computer store and apply? Did you know somebody that had connections? I would love to know more details on that.

    I'm still unsure about the vocational school and the community college. Like I said I'm still leaning more towards the Vocational school because how quickly I am able to finish as opposed to a community college. If I was single I would go do the community college but I'm not. I just want to be the main provider for my family so my wife can stay home with our future child.

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