Which Choice Will You Make: Traditional College or Technical Certification?

College can be both challenging and exciting. For college graduates transitioning into the corporate workplace, the challenges and excitement can turn into outright stress and anxiety. For those considering a career in the technology industry, this article will help with the daunting choice of whether to select a traditional degree program or one of the many certification options available.

Designing a successful career path is a challenge. No matter the industry, the degree to which people know their field directly reflects their abilities to succeed. Therefore, it is critical to understand exactly what fits with your skills, attributes, work and learning style. A traditional college degree program is an outstanding option for a well-rounded education. However, a certification program demonstrates a competency specifically in one’s chosen industry, so if your desire is to demonstrate a commitment to a specific focus (i.e., networks, desktop, security, etc), then certification programs may be the right fit for you.

Research shows that college does not adequately prepare students for an effective transition from student to professional. College prepares individuals for certain aspects of the corporate workplace, but there remains a tremendous amount of learning that is not being taught in our colleges today. So if you decide to go the traditional college educational route, there are still aspects of your education that will need to be supplemented.

In the IT industry, there are many options for higher education. Traditional college programs have expanded more to offer combined degree/certification programs that focus directly on your desired branch of IT. Microsoft offers a wide variety of certification programs for PC, desktop, and operating system careers (MCSE, MCSA, MCSD, etc). Cisco offers a variety of certification programs for careers in Wide and Local Area networking (CCNA, CCNE, CCNP, etc). There are also Microsoft certification programs for interest of desktop security careers (CEH, ECSA, CISSP, etc). If there is interest in the voice and telecommunications field of study, both Nortel and Cisco have outstanding certification programs.

There are other IT areas of interest which include storage management, application design, e- commerce, web design, and programming just to name a few. But whatever your area of interest, there is an educational program to suit your individual needs. Talk to your counselor, work with a technology career consultant, or conduct research on your own. The important point to keep in mind is that it is critical to select the right education plan for your specific needs.

  • Perspectives

    • We’re Having the Wrong Conversations About Safety

      Every time there’s a shooting at a school or a workplace, the arguments begin. We need more police officers stationed in the buildings. We need to arm teachers or encourage employees to carry handguns. We should invest in smokescreen systems or bulletproof partitions. Everyone should hide from the shooter. Everyone should run from the shooter. Everyone should confront the shooter. It’s healthy that we’re discussing safety, but unfortunately, we’re talking...



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Forbes Ranks Top Colleges; 3 Indiana Schools Make the Cut

      Forbes released its 12th annual ranking of America’s Top Colleges based on direct benefits a university or college provides its students. Several Indiana universities made the list in some “sub-categories”, like Grateful Graduates Index, but the University of Notre Dame was the only school in the state to break the top 20 overall rankings.

    • Butler Unveils New Building for Lacy School

      The president of Butler University says the new building for the Lacy School of Business will create better engagement for students and faculty. The university unveiled the building Wednesday on the Indianapolis campus. James Danko says the new facility adds five times the classroom space and square footage for the school, which previously didn't have enough space for half of its classes. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Danko called...

    • West Lafayette Center Breaks Ground

      West Lafayette city officials this week broke ground on the $31.5 million West Lafayette Wellness and Aquatic Center at Cumberland Park. Plans for the 72,000-square-foot project feature a natatorium, three gymnasiums, exercise machines, free weights and community rooms. 

    • Photo courtesy of Portillo's

      Portillo's to Open Fort Wayne Location

      Portillo's Restaurant has announced it will open a new 7,800-square-foot restaurant in Fort Wayne. The location will be near the Glenbrook Square Mall and is slated to open in late 2019. 

    • Opportunity Zones: Changing the Course of Real Estate Investment

      The economic divide in large cities continues to expand. Despite a financial resurgence following the 2007-2009 recession, the system wasn’t fixing itself. Enter Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ), a program included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 designed to boost development in economically distressed communities. In exchange for new investments in these communities, investors receive preferential tax treatment. As traditional as it sounds, the QOZ program is...