March 13th, 2009, 02:34 PM #1
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- Mar 2009
Advice about going to school for network security...
I don't know if this is the right discussion forum for my question, but anybody's advice would be great.
I already have a B.A. in International Studies and Arabic. The problem is, I live in a podunk state that the job situation here is horrendous. I'm hoping to relocate, but I am also fretting about finding new skills that could make me a well-rounded individual a job would want. I am not tech-oriented at all, but I've always been interested in learning more about it, especially this field and actually I want to see how well I can stand up to the challenge.
I've been wracking my brain about what school to pick in order to study network security. The best one I've found is. ECPI College of Technology. They offer an A.A.S. for networking and security management. It's an accelerated program where you take 2 classes at most in 5 week increments (3 if you maintain a high GPA and prove you can handle the workload) and you can finish in a little over a year. Since I already have a degree, many credits would already transfer, so I could finish within a year. It looks really enticing also b/c of the time it takes and it's geared towards people already working. I don't have enough money and time to take off of work to go back to a 4 year college to study it as much as I'd like to (I am still trying to pay off the loans from my B.A. degree so I am reluctant at the idea of taking out more loans). Also, I am hoping to relocate by the end of the year, and I found out the area I want to relocate to has an ECPI campus also, so if I am not finished by that time, I can hopefully transfer my credits and transcripts there to finish up.
The adviser I met said that with my B.A. degree, foreign language ability, and having this A.A.S. degree added on my resume, the government and certain other private sectors would eagerly hire me. She also was going on and on about how "women are like gold" in this field b/c so few work in that sector.
I'm not looking into doing this b/c I want to make it my sole focused career. I'm seeing it as an opportunity to expand my job skills, and also, if need be, using it as a side job or free lance job to fall back on if my job situation becomes more precarious (which it looks like it's going to be ). A friend is studying at a 4 year college for this same thing and he was encouraging me to do it regardless b/c once I actually gain experience in the work sector with it, I will learn far more than I ever will in a classroom. The schooling would be a foundation for me and then I go from there so he says.
There is a local community college I checked into that offers a certificate in network security. And I was told that when I finish, I would take an exam to get certified. But it's for people already experienced in the IT field etc., (It's much cheaper than ECPI, BUT it's not accelerated, so it would take like 2 years just to get a certificate!)
Any constructive thoughts, suggestions, ideas, brainstorming would be great. Like I said, I don't see this as a focused career, but I've been wanting to learn more about this field for a long time and feel like it would help me.
March 13th, 2009, 02:51 PM #2
hola chica! Welcome to techimo!
I have no idea but I'm sure there are many here that do"Sometimes life is just what we make it."
March 13th, 2009, 04:22 PM #3
OK, here's what I know about private colleges --
Try to avoid them if you can and if not thoroughly check them out first.
And don't listen to their admission advisers; private college admission advisers are the same as commissioned sales people.
ECPI College of Technology looks a lot like ITT Tech, which is a BS school that takes your money, and their classes do not transfer.
I also went to a marginally OK private college but I would never do it again, (I don't think).
I would really look into the ECPI College of Technology accreditation and maybe even call some other colleges to see how well their credits transfer. Not that you would want to, but that says a lot about a school and the quality of their education.
BTW, what do they charge per credit hour?
And where are you relocating? That could have a lot to do with whether or not you need to supplement your current degree. Ever thought of teaching?
Last edited by surreal; March 13th, 2009 at 04:25 PM."Sometimes life is just what we make it."
March 13th, 2009, 06:10 PM #4
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Thread moved to a more appropriate forum Certification and Education - Tech Support Forums - TechIMO.com
March 13th, 2009, 08:24 PM #5
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- Mar 2009
I was checking the accreditation of the school. It's regionally accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (Commission on Colleges)...but it's not nationally accredited as far as I know. I looked up the database at the U.S. Dept. of Education website and it had ECPI listed as accredited colleges, BUT the specific campus I am planning to attend wasn't on the list.....two in VA and one in Greenville, SC were listed. A brochure for it touted it was nationally ranked for #1 in Number of Associate Degree Graduates for Computer and Info Sciences and Support Services, the source was in Community College Week from 2005.
I am planning to relocate near the D.C. area by the end of the year. There is another ECPI campus near there also. Hence why I was interested in this program b/c I could transfer my classes to there once I move if I haven't finished the program yet.
They said that it cost about $6,250 per semester, but that I could finish within a year (so they say)......
Like I said, it's something to fall back on and have a valuable skill...at the same time I don't want to pay the tuition and go to classes and learn NOTHING I can use in the real world with an employer or as a free lancer
March 13th, 2009, 10:02 PM #6
Get them to tell you how much per credit and how many credits per class. 6K is very high! I'd bet it is about 900. per credit hour, and that is crazy for an AA degree.
Check out Baker College online while you are looking, I think they have several computer degree options and they are much less with classes costing about 380. per credit or unit. Their courses are online and 6 weeks. It's intense I've done some of them (I went to their on-ground campus and took online classes).
Sorry, but the more I think about it, I think that's way too much money. What about a school that is in DC that also has online? You could start where you are and then go on ground when you get there...It's an option.
Also check out the time frames, I'm not buying their accelerated claim...
Last edited by surreal; March 13th, 2009 at 11:05 PM."Sometimes life is just what we make it."
March 14th, 2009, 10:35 AM #7
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- Mar 2009
I will definitely check out Baker college! The ECPI program I thought was really expensive too. They are still checking out my transcripts to see how many of my credits from my B.A. can transfer and give an exact time line of how long it'd take me. Asking about the cost of each credit hour is on my list of more questions now too. They kept saying they offer financial aid.
P.S. Someone said that no mattter what place I go to I should check out if they offer MSCS and CISCO certifications b/c they can prepare you to take the exams and maybe even have a fee waiver for them and the CISCO certification will make my resume in the networking field very pretty. A friend studied them on his own and took the exams himself. Would this be recommended?
I'm so glad I found this site too. It can help me in the learning process since I am so IT illiterate
Have a great day or night in whatever part of the world you're in!!!
March 14th, 2009, 10:54 AM #8
They offer financial aid? I would stay away from that! Very few schools do that, and it is suspicious to me. The more I hear the more I'm concerned about them.P.S. Someone said that no mattter what place I go to I should check out if they offer MSCS and CISCO certifications b/c they can prepare you to take the exams and maybe even have a fee waiver for them and the CISCO certification will make my resume in the networking field very pretty. A friend studied them on his own and took the exams himself. Would this be recommended?
As far as the exams and the fees you need to just check into that, and see how much you save and what their program is...
I guess mostly what I can tell you is that there are a lot of people on the net (businesses) that are going to give you the best deal on some sort of education and certification-- fast! (I've been looking into programs for teaching certification in TX)
and there are a lot of scams that give you very little for a lot of money, but they have great sales pitches.
If it sounds really, really good, it is probably not much more than a great sales pitch and you may end up screwed..."Sometimes life is just what we make it."
March 16th, 2009, 12:01 PM #9
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- Mar 2009
ECPI is Excellent
Stick with ECPI if you want a challenging program. I live in Virginia Beach where I think their main campus is, and they have been here a very long time. I know of a handful of people that went there and got really good jobs and then promotions. They say the program was difficult, and learned a whole lot of practical info.
Anyways, they have a great reputation in this area. Based on what you said the cost is per semester, that would be about $300-400 a credit hour, which seems close to or less than other private colleges.
I can tell you don't go to a community college if you want a challenge and be in class with other stimulating students. It is a real chore to sit through their classes if you can even get the classes you want.
March 17th, 2009, 01:21 PM #10
Daisy, i think you might want to take another math class no?
Frankly, with the way that ITT and other specialty schools pimp themselves, i find it very hard to believe that they can even compare to a nationally accredited school. Notre Dame De Namur (ndnu.edu) has an accelerated degree program for adults, a program exactly like what you want, and its not an "AAS" but a full four year degree program and they charge 600 per unit. This is also in class with labs and not online. I would stay away from any program that expensive that only offers an AS degree and not a full bachelors.
As for community college, I went to community college and got a degree in Creative Writing and am three classes away from an English degree as well. That got me the foot in the door for my current IT job because i know how to effectively communicate with my peers in both written and spoken form. My personal background and general knowledge with my ability to learn quickly allowed me to keep this job for two years AND get a raise in these trying economic times. I am perfect proof that a community college education is totally acceptable.
That aside, i would recommend trying to research more schools. Look at Community Colleges in your area, foothill.edu is my school and they offer over 200 online classes every quarter. You can easily get your feet wet with some of the classes offered and see if you want to make the job into something more serious and costly later.
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