Advanced Degree or Certifications

Unanswered Question
Apr 27th, 2008

I know that both would be ideal and that experience outweighs all, but which would be better for career advancement/salary increase?

If the answer is Advanced Degree then would it be better to go with an Information Systems/Information Technology Degree or a Masters in Business Administration (MBA)?

I have this problem too.
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davehartburn Sun, 04/27/2008 - 23:55

It depends on what career moves you are wanting to make. Have a trawl of the job sites and see what people are asking for, for the kind of jobs you want.

I did that a couple of years ago after considering signing up for a part time masters degree. Most people were asking for CCNA & CCNP, while very few asked for a masters. As a result, I'm on the Cisco path.

jrensink78 Mon, 04/28/2008 - 07:33

Advanced degrees are rarely a bad investment. They are universally appreciated my most every HR department.

Certifications are a crap shoot in terms of job advancement. I think they are less understood by HR.

But if you are debating between a masters degree and a CCIE, look at where you want to end up. If you want to stay on the techie side of things, the CCIE is great. If you want to get into a managerial track, advanced degrees are the way to go.

A good idea would be to look at positions that you want to ultimately get to. See what job postings are asking for. Try to talk to people in these positions and get their advice. Also, if your HR department hires for those types of positions, talk to them as well.

jim_berlow Mon, 04/28/2008 - 08:39

I agree with the other posters. I just need to point out that CCIE R&S salaries are dropping like a rock this year (which is doubly bad considering the rate of inflation). Here's a couple articles on CCIE R&S salaries:

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Certification=Cisco_Certified_Internetwork_Expert_(CCIE)/Salary

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=607

Note in that second article that CCVP's are making nearly what CCIE R&S folks are making.

I guess what I am getting at is that job salary's work to economic theory. There is much more supply of CCIE's today than there was 10 years ago and salaries have dropped accordingly (not even keeping pace with the inflation).

SO - if I was you and I had the opportunity to get an advanced degree I think it will hold long term value longer than a certification will.

Good Luck,

Jim

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