Degrees … 6. Certificate: Time Commitment One of the biggest draws of a certificate program is the speed at which you can complete it. If you have a Bachelor's degree, then you'll also need 4,500 hours of project management experience (those without a degree will need 7,500 hours). I am curious about certification programs for the non-professional and where someone might start in this field. Associate degree programs require two years of full-time classroom attendance in order to complete a degree. Diplomas are specialized but more in depth than certifications. According to Peterson’s, the average tuition cost for a two-year master’s degree program is $60,000 to $80,000. Certificates are often obtained as an add-on to an associate degree. Certifications vs. degrees--what to do? Nearly all certifications come with a lifespan of two to three years, following which the certification must be renewed via continuing education, a renewal fee, or some other process. degree or to go for certifications. Going to graduate school isn’t cheap. IT certifications can verify your knowledge in different skillsets, boost your pay and set you apart from other entry-level candidates. Recently I was asked whether it's better to get a 4 year I.T. Degree vs. But knowing the applications without the theory makes you a permanent liability. Most sw development positions prefer a CS degree. At first glance, It seems that most of the certifications are designed for someone with a degree in a GIS related field, or at least for someone with a professional degree. Here are 10 entry-level certifications worth pursuing. People who are highly focused, driven and ambitious, and whose principal goal is to reach the top of any organization they join, should probably aim for a degree that's relevant to IT. Unlike a degree—which can take between two and four years to finish—certificates require as little as a few months to a few years to complete. The bottom line? Having a certificate vs. degree also may limit upward mobility in the career path you choose to pursue. Although not cheap at all, the certification accepted worldwide is at least five times (!) Certification is cheaper. less expensive than a degree accepted worldwide. Something to think about: Certificates do not carry a degree title, which means you won't qualify for jobs that include a minimum college degree requirement as an expectation for employee consideration. The Details on Degrees However, a degree doesn’t have to be renewed as the knowledge gained through a degree program is seen as having a much longer lifespan. 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