career advice request
Age:52, worked in IT Network/Security field for the last 12+ years. have no #degree; completed Cisco Certification when I was new to this field.
do not have desire to work continue working as tech support. last few years, I have been debating with myself if I should finish my 3year degree(athabascau BGS) in which I have 1+ year accumulated credits or not. Part of me feels that finishing it will be self-satisfying. The other part of me says that I am towards the end of career path (financially fine to retire soon) and there are other things to learn and can be satisfied with instead of the hard work I need to put towards the degree while working fulltime.
Apart from my IT, I have been working on my Yoga teaching skills for my own benefit and to teach others… Although I do not plan to work full time for a long time, my heart tells me I wouldn’t mind working if I have the flexibility with hours and work from home options. I am trying to figure which part of my voice I should listen to. I am sure there are many people in the same situation.
Robert K.’s Answer
Although degree programs are sometimes needed, your 10+ years of experience will be a great addition to certificate programs in your new field. I would suggest researching your new field, find a mentor and go from there.
Never give up learning. Then it doesnt matter if you enroll in a program and create your own. If you are not really learning then School/College will do nothing for you. But if you are learning then you can learn anywhere and everywhere.
that depends on what you want to do that is non technical. Employers are realizing now that 4 year degrees are not always the best for IT folks. We do better with on the job training and technical courses and seminars. You may want to spend your efforts focusing on the new career studies and maybe be able to use previous college credit towards the new major. Best of luck!!!
Never give up learning.
The idea of being an undergraduate aka one who has a degree (or everyone can have a degree) is a recent idea in human history. In many families, no one has ever gone to college or finished an undergraduate degree.
In modern society, it is one of the parameters the society measures you by.
But in real sense, getting an undergraduate degree inspires other members and future generations in your family to pursue the "learning".
Honestly, it really depends on whether or not you are wanting to change fields. A degree is always worth the time and effort put in, but on the job experience is just as important. If you love the work you're doing, maybe consider getting certifications in the network/security area to showcase your expertise. If you are not necessarily looking for a career change but interested in getting your degree, a business related degree would be a nice compliment.
Thanks for all your advice.
I have decided to not pursue my degree but rather take courses/certifications in my current field....
It really depends on what sector you want to move to I think. Some careers won't even consider someone without a degree, some it's a way of trimming down candidates, some value experience more than an undergrad. If you want to go non-technical but stay in the networking arena, such as project management or network planning I'd say save the money. If you want a complete change of career then it may be worth seeing if the credits are still valid and finishing the degree. I've studied with Athabasca myself and their programs are excellent, however given that you have significant work experience I'd probably be trying to leverage that unless you want the personal satisfaction of completing the degree anyway.