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Newcomer III

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?

The comment stating those that rise above without degrees is minimal at best is accurate. That’s the mentality I am trying to change. That came from other professions that didn’t have strong alternative education options. We aren’t those people and we need to fight for our strengths and prevent the stigma associated with only having OJT and experience as limiting upward mobility.
Community Champion

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?

> Ravenshroud (Newcomer III) posted a new reply in Career on 07-24-2018 02:59 PM

> … Rslade, you're just old.

True ...

(I was born old ...)

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Contributor II

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?

Oh well @cindelicato .. yes, I do. Dial, listen for the other side to answer, wait for the pilot tone, then push down the phone's hook in the rubber holders. Fast like hell: 75 / 300 bps. Yes, I do.
--
Heinrich W. Klöpping, MSc CISSP CCSP CIPP/E SCI
Advocate I

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?

Michael,

 


@Ravenshroud wrote:
I accept that us Americans were newbies and I didn’t have much use for the Internet before AOL. Circa 1982-3 for me. Honestly before gaming and pxxn the Internet was just a net.

Actually I think your current perception and desired weight of formal education matched mine early out of high school.  

 

I fooled around with computers mainly because they were there.  My grandparents (whom I grew up with) were on the Internet before I was.  My grandfather was an electronics engineer for Bell Labs working on long range signaling systems and had a lot of equipment at home.  So, learning the systems, dialing into network ramps, and seeing where I could get to was my early version of a text based dungeon adventure.  That is until my grandparents figured out why their phone bill was so high, and got me hooked on "BBC" and "Baseball," "Hunt the Wumpus," "Zork," and the interactive "Hitchhiker's Guide."  That was until I found "MUDs" and the phone bills went up again.

 

I personally viewed high school (other than the social experience) as a complete waste of my time.  I wanted to drop out, earn my GED, and move on as quickly as I could.  I viewed higher Undergrad and Graduate education much the same way.  I already had the capacity to look at a problem, do some research on how to solve it, and then apply those lessons - so why was the 'system' holding me back?

 

I also didn't have an interest in doing "tech" for work.  In fact my first few jobs were retail associate and as a furniture installer.  Meanwhile in the 1990's under pressure from my tech-heavy family, I dropped out of college twice in a row because I couldn't stand programming or "Computer Science."  And I SERIOUSLY couldn't stand waiting for everyone to catch up.  I was done with most of my semester's programming assignments in the first two weeks.  So there I was attending 3-hour mind numbing lectures about how slow everyone else was at this stuff.  Why did I need a degree?

 

It turns out that I didn't.  When I asked a friend for help moving over to tech, it took another 4 years and I was the the acting IT Operations Director for a multinational conglomerate based out of NYC reporting directly to the CTO.  But, that was the beginning of the end.  Making it to that level without a full appreciation for the needs of big enterprise and the language of business meant that I had reached a place where I couldn't grow any further at the same pace, and even began to be a little toxic.  I was managing IT for the sake of building an IT empire, rather than doing things for the business "good enough" to keep our operating income as positive as possible.

 

Now I had three options at this point.  (1) Go do something else.  (2) Take a step back down the ladder and spend probably 15-20 years learning on the job what I needed to be successful in senior positions.  (3) Go to school and take it by fire hose in a handful of years.  Do you know which path I chose?

 

I left.  It was getting on 2001/2002, and I joined the military.  The military paid for my bachelors degree, my masters degree, and my post masters grad cert. in Criminal Justice and Digital Forensics.   It was practically free, so I figured why not?  Unfortunately, I had to pay out of pocket for my Accounting courses. But it was during the process of attaining my degree, including struggling through elective and general subjects I wasn't particularly interested in; along with the social skills I developed with students in those courses who were passionate about that subject, that I began learning the value of the experience.  The value in building relationships, being interested in other people's passion even if you're not interested in the topic, and persevering with a smile through boring monotonous crap that wasn't my passion for a higher common goal (the degree).

 

There are people that can work in the foxhole of their job for a long time and never develop those skills.  You practically can't survive the college experience without them.  So using a degree as a screener makes sense.  If you don't have a degree, you might be able to prove you developed those skills through experience in your cover letter...  Might.  I've seen it happen though.

 

Sincerely,

 

Eric B.

Community Champion

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?

And one thing to consider too, It is HR's game. If they say you need a football, don't bring a baseball and say you want to play the game. You can complain that it is unfair and you should be given a chance to play because you are a fine baseball player and your skills are just as good as a football player because you both throw a ball, you both run, you both have to play defense, etc.. They (Human Resources) say you have to have a football to play THEIR game. Does that make it right? No, it doesn't. Does it screen out some fine candidates? Yes, it does. Can it be viewed as a dumb way to screen out candidates, sure it can. If you were the HR person and you had 200 resumes to pare down to fill one position, wouldn't you want a faster way to do that? Yes you would.

 

As others have said, it is but one way to pare down candidates and it gives HR a somewhat level indicator of a baseline they can start from. I obtained my bachelor's degree in an area that was geared to getting me a somewhat relevant degree (Business  Management) versus one that would have helped my career more (Computer Science/IT) just due to the speed at which I could complete it and the work-school-life balance. I was tired of being passed over because I could not fulfill HR's arbitrary checkbox. Does this method suck for those of us who are qualified but not degreed? Yes. Did I trade in my baseball for a football? Yes, I did.

Newcomer III

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?

Obtaining a four-year degree can only enhance your opportunities to remain technically hands-on into security or going into a IT management role.  Most technical projects and core job requirements will want a leader or team member that can adapt, understand core objectives, and is able to dive into details quickly.  A solid four-year program will help with developing those key characteristics.  A quicker program may be certification packed (vendor specific).  I agree that a four-year degree is the right path to choose.

Newcomer III

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?


@canLG0501 wrote:

Obtaining a four-year degree can only enhance your opportunities to remain technically hands-on into security or going into a IT management role.  Most technical projects and core job requirements will want a leader or team member that can adapt, understand core objectives, and is able to dive into details quickly.  A solid four-year program will help with developing those key characteristics.  A quicker program may be certification packed (vendor specific).  I agree that a four-year degree is the right path to choose.


The issue isn't whether or not a 4 year degree has more value than not having one.  Each characteristic you named has little to do directly with attending a degree program.  They have to do with character, maturity, and capability.  Those traits are likely outcomes of maturity and experience regardless of education.

 

I don't want to pay $40k+ for that development. I spent $5k on the first two years and that was enough.  Charge me $5k for the second two years and I am all in.

 

I have been doing this 23 years and I am a CISO.  Should I go back to college?  Will I develop like a 20 year old develops from having that opportunity?  No.  

I agree 20 year-olds get a huge benefit to cost ratio.  I don't think I would as a 50 year old that has been doing this work for 2 decades and yet I will not have the chance to interview for some jobs because I didn't check the box 20 years ago.

Newcomer III

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?


@CISOScott wrote:

And one thing to consider too, It is HR's game. If they say you need a football, don't bring a baseball and say you want to play the game. You can complain that it is unfair and you should be given a chance to play because you are a fine baseball player and your skills are just as good as a football player because you both throw a ball, you both run, you both have to play defense, etc.. They (Human Resources) say you have to have a football to play THEIR game. Does that make it right? No, it doesn't. Does it screen out some fine candidates? Yes, it does. Can it be viewed as a dumb way to screen out candidates, sure it can. If you were the HR person and you had 200 resumes to pare down to fill one position, wouldn't you want a faster way to do that? Yes you would.

 

As others have said, it is but one way to pare down candidates and it gives HR a somewhat level indicator of a baseline they can start from. I obtained my bachelor's degree in an area that was geared to getting me a somewhat relevant degree (Business  Management) versus one that would have helped my career more (Computer Science/IT) just due to the speed at which I could complete it and the work-school-life balance. I was tired of being passed over because I could not fulfill HR's arbitrary checkbox. Does this method suck for those of us who are qualified but not degreed? Yes. Did I trade in my baseball for a football? Yes, I did.


What baseline does it give them?

 

1) You could afford a degree

2) You spent 4 years completing it.

 

That's it.  Just possessing the degree doesn't demonstrate anything other than your ability to pay and your ability to stay.  Everything else is the actual value.  

 

 

Advocate I

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?


@Ravenshroud wrote:
I agree 20 year-olds get a huge benefit to cost ratio.  I don't think I would as a 50 year old that has been doing this work for 2 decades and yet I will not have the chance to interview for some jobs because I didn't check the box 20 years ago.

It seems like you're suffering from confirmation bias.

 

A significant number of Undergrad degree programs will still take some of your credits even if you didn't earn an Associate's.  Several brick-and-mortar schools have online programs that are in the $200-300 per credit range, and will let you test out of courses for a small admin fee of like $75~150.  So, yeah, we're not talking about you going to Yale here, but an accredited degree is an accredited degree.

 

I earned my ENTIRE bachelor's degree for about $5000ish.  All four years with this method, within about a year and a half.

 

You can too.

 

Sincerely,

 

Eric B.

 

Advocate I

Re: Is a 4 year degreee still a requirement?


@Ravenshroud wrote:

 

1) You could afford a degree

2) You spent 4 years completing it.

 

That's it.  Just possessing the degree doesn't demonstrate anything other than your ability to pay and your ability to stay.  Everything else is the actual value.  

 

Michael,

 

Your perception of what the pathway is, is off.

 

As I stated in my other post, I paid a total of about $5000 in tuition and admin fees for my Bachelor of Science degree. 

 

I completed 95% of the requirements in less than a year, and then due to work/life conflicts took another 6 months to complete 4x term papers (my own fault).  That is functionally completing a 4-year course of study in less than a year or so.  Some of my colleagues did it faster, closer to 6 months but they had credits to transfer in that I did not (Community College of the Air Force, and so on).

 

This appears to meet all the criteria you specified in your earlier post as to cost and time line.  So, if you're still opposed to it, it appears as though you're just making excuses to be inflexible or avoid finding an alternative solution.

 

Sincerely,

 

Eric B.