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I'm planning on starting off with an associates degree that specializes in network security, the program also offers a bunch of a certifications offered by Rasmussen College (http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology-design/network-security/).
Unfortunately, this program costs about 35,000 USD for tuition and its a ASSOCIATES. I'm not sure if there is an advantage to having a specialization degree in this field, also it being an associates degree alone makes things kind of doubtful. I need to know if this is going to make me attractive to employers. Or perhaps there may be another school, or local school that I'm not looking at? I'm open to any kind of form of suggestion. Thanks for reading!

These are the certifications I'll be getting from the program.

CCENT
CIW™ Javascript Fundamentals
CompTIA® A+ CompTIA® Network+
CompTIA® Security+
MCTS .NET Framework 2.0 Applications
MCTS Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 - Configuration
MCTS Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration
MCTS Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration
MCTS Configuring Windows 7

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Last Post by Duki
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Hi. Don't go to any school that brags about certifications you will receive from their programs. The credentials employers look for are (in this order):

1. Experience
2. Education
3. Certifications

Take your money, and apply it towards a B.S. in electrical engineering with a focus in networking. Use this site as a reference when choosing what school to go to. Though the certifications they mention are good to have, they don't mean anything if you don't fully understand the concepts behind them. I find it hard to believe they can teach you the fundamentals of 9 certifications in 2 years, without basically teaching you the test. I've unfortunately been to test-prep programs where they do in-fact teach you the questions on the test, and not the concepts behind them. Don't waste your money.

:)

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Hi. Don't go to any school that brags about certifications you will receive from their programs. The credentials employers look for are (in this order):

1. Experience
2. Education
3. Certifications

Take your money, and apply it towards a B.S. in electrical engineering with a focus in networking. Use this site as a reference when choosing what school to go to. Though the certifications they mention are good to have, they don't mean anything if you don't fully understand the concepts behind them. I find it hard to believe they can teach you the fundamentals of 9 certifications in 2 years, without basically teaching you the test. I've unfortunately been to test-prep programs where they do in-fact teach you the questions on the test, and not the concepts behind them. Don't waste your money.

:)

Hey there! Thanks for replying. I have a few questions for you though and hopefully you can answer them. The school doesn't brag about its certifications, if you pass a pretest of theirs they give you a voucher in order to take the actual exam. Basically the degree is in information systems management with a focus in network security. I can get that down in my town no problem. The difference was entirely, online vs campus. Why do you say electrical engineering with a focus in networking? I don't see how they're hand in hand. I also hear that it only requires an associates in EE for a entry level. I'm just looking for my foot in the door so I can climb my way up, you know so I don't come in with a big degree and they expect to pay big money and won't hire me.

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A B.S. is hardly considered a "big degree" nowadays - for many jobs, part of the application requirements are a minimum of a B.S. in computer science or a related field.

>> I don't see how they're hand in hand.

There are two major paths you can take with networking. You're right, I probably mispoke when suggesting the EE track - that's more for people who want to be involved in actually setting up new networks. For you, the program you're looking at seems to offer what you're looking for but is very expensive for just a 2-year degree. Really, forego the certifications and put that effort into a B.S. rather than an A.S. - that's what will open doors for you.

In my experience, the only thing a certification does for you is in situations where the employer is having a hard time deciding between you and an equally qualified candidate. However, if the decision is between Candidate A with no certifications and a 4-year degree, and Candidate B with multiple certifications but a 2-year degree ... more often than not, they'll probably hire Candidate A. This is just my opinion though - keep asking around.

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You wouldn't think that the certifications equal up to equivalent education? I've seen that attached to a few applications.

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