Career Changer Certification schools – are they worth it

5 pts.
Tags:
A+
CCENT
CCNA
Certifications
MCP
MCSA
MCTS
Networking certifications
Security certifications
Security+
I am almost scared to ask this here but the folks here seem like the best source to answer this question. I am considering a career change into the IT field. I would like specifically to work in network security. I have a BS in communications already. I have checked out a place that offers certification courses that you can complete in 6-7 months. They offer MCTS, MCP, MCSA, A+, Security+, CCENT and CCNA. All with a test pass Guarantee. This is $25,000. Is it worth it to get into the field or shouild I got back to school at a regular 4 year college.
ASKED: April 9, 2008  3:10 AM
UPDATED: April 10, 2008  2:20 PM

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Classroom education is always a good thing. Experience is the better value. These education centers are known for creating “paper” certifications where graduates can pass exams but not understand or perform daily IT operations. I would suggest that you find some type of internship or even work at a non-profit organization as a volunteer to gain experience while attending this training. This will gain the valuable experience that employers look for. Only you can answer the question about if the $25,000 investment will gain you more income or get a job that will satisfy you.

I would recommend talking to the school and asking about their record for graduate placement (do they even assist with this?) I would talk to some of the students and ask them about their reasons for doing the courses and if they are satisfied. Talk to a couple of businesses in the area and ask them if they would hire staff who have gone through this training center.

If you have any friends in the IT field, I would talk to them about their impressions of this school and if they feel the certification programs are worthwhile. I have been through CNE, Security+, CEH and Cisco education programs and I know they have been valuable in my daily work. Knowledge is an enabler but usable skills and experience make you valuable.

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  • Donnellymp
    If you do decide to pursue CCNA certification, SearchSecurityChannel.com has an extensive CCNA exam study guide with quizzes to help you prepare.
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