Are votechs worth it?
March 24, 2010 6:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of heading back to school in network management/IT, but I'm thinking of going back to a vocational school. So would something like Keller/DeVry be worth it?

I already have a couple of master's degrees, one in lit and one in library science, experience with databases, working in management, building websites, etc., and have been out of work for the last few months. I'm wondering if adding some vocational network/IT experience would look good to employers (because simply telling them I can do it with a library science degree doesn't cut it lately).

I'm looking specifically at Keller at the moment because it offers a Graduate Certificate that could give me a general base in the field. I've also looked at Associate's Degrees, but I'm not sure if they're better. Since I have real experience, it seems that the certificate is a better move as a job seeker (please correct me if I'm wrong).

So, I'm wondering if Keller or some other tech school is worth it? I don't need theory or another degree, I need vocational experience. Would this be a good career choice and enable me to get a job in a different field in the Pacific NW or would it be just a waste of time/money?
posted by sleepy pete to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know anything about the schools in question, but yes, a vocational certificate or graduate certificate would be more appropriate to your needs now than an Associate's degree. A certificate would enable to you get the vocational experience without the higher cost (in some cases) of a degree or general education credits and such. If you do decide that an Associate's is what you'd prefer, look for an AOS (Associate of Occupational Studies) program. AOS degrees have few or no general education credits and focus primarily or solely on the occupational subject area.
posted by dayintoday at 7:16 PM on March 24, 2010

I'm not sure where you are located but in California both the community colleges and the adult education program of the local school district offer IT certification classes and they are much less expensive than the private schools. Also, there is a history of vocational schools being very, very good at helping their students to get loans to pay tuition, not so good at helping them get work to pay back the loans.
posted by metahawk at 7:25 PM on March 24, 2010

I suggest a community college or state college. For profit vocational schools are very expensive and not any better than public colleges.
posted by fifilaru at 10:04 PM on March 24, 2010

Yup, check out the community college or continuing ed at a state university.
posted by Good Brain at 12:00 AM on March 25, 2010

Nthing the community college / nearby state. The vo-tech schools can be more expensive with lower job placement rates (although with your other degrees you'd likely have a better chance.)

I'm not sure if this is unusual, but here's one example continuing ed program that gives you credit for your first bachelor's, and streamlines the second in IT.
posted by lillygog at 5:15 AM on March 25, 2010

Hey Pete, try your local community college and see if about getting into the CCNA certification program. Here's what Cisco says you can expect from their networking courses. Best of luck to you!
posted by Lynsey at 9:25 PM on March 25, 2010

Thanks to all of you for the great answers. It's helped a lot.
posted by sleepy pete at 9:50 PM on March 25, 2010

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