Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you a
Computer / IT professional?
Join Tek-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Tek-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Degree vs MCSD certification?

Degree vs MCSD certification?

Degree vs MCSD certification?

A friend from Australia wants come to the States for a few years to gain experience.  Here is his background:
- he is 9 credit hours short of finish his CS degree
- he has been employed for the last 15 months (working with Access and Visual Basic)

To increase his marketability, would it be better to:
a) finish his degree
b) get MCSD certification

If he goes with MCSD certification, any guesses on how long it would take?  He would be working full time and doing the certification on his own time.  I know a lot depends on how focused he is on completing it, but even a vague idea would be helpful.


RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

Hmmm, I'm just guessing here, I think your friend would benefit by finishing his degree and obtaining MCSD certification at the same time or, possibly later.

Tomarrow is a long time from now. Tell your friend that it is a very bad move to rush into the future without a map. Draw the map first, then decide your course.

another temporary Vorpalcom home page
Send me suggestions or comments on my current software project.

RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

Definitely finish the CS degree. Apart from the fact that MCSD from scratch is 4 months hard graft, you are wasting a lot of time and effort.

RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

Bear in mind, too, that an MCSD expires - or rather, you have to maintain your certification by taking more exams as they come out (hence the reason why I didn't get my 4.0 track MCSE, it's gone as of the end of this year!).

A degree is permanent.  Not only that, but as I understand it (I've only been in the US for a couple of years now), you can use your existing degree to get OTHER degrees.  Definitely a better bet, even though it'll cost you more in both money and time.

The Degree.  Hands down.


Darryl Hadfield

RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

According to the MCSE site, the NT 4 MCSE is not retired until Dec 31 2001.

RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

Okay, the MCSE 4.0 track is retired as of December 31, 2001, given.  However, the exams for 2000 are still forthcoming, and you can't take 4.0 exams after 12/31/00.

While the MCP is a fantastic program and ensures certification holders have a solid grasp on the technology, hwoever, it's still a constant upgrade process that requires a cash infusion every time you buy more study books and take more exams.

A degree is permanent, though, which is why I agreed with Zel.'s comments about the degree instead of the MCP.

Darryl Hadfield

RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

This is my simple two line point of view

degree - put more work into it, although the material is obselete by the time you graduate. Degree isnt good if you already have all the general knowledge

certification - better if you are looking to be up with the newest technologies, and is more likely to be a headhunder target


Experienced in , or have messed with : VC++, Borland C++ Builder, VJ++6(starting),VB-Dos, VB1 thru VB6, Delphi 3 pro, Borland C++ 3(DOS), Borland C++ 4.5, HTML, ASP(somewhat), QBasic(least i didnt start with COBOL)

RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

Every area is different. Ask a few employment recruiters in your local area which make him more employable.

RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

depends what certifications you are going towards, and ultimitly what are your goals, if you need to get the basics of computer technology I would go with a degree , you'd get more out of it if you chose your courses right, some tools advance so quickly or can have much additional knowledge, that its best to pay 100$ or so to take the exam, providing that you study on your own (check book reviews to avoid paying for a book which "says" its intended for the exam, I've come accross numerous Microsoft Press books for the exams which helped very little or wernt helpful at all)

And I dont feel you should waste the money on courses intended for certification if you plan to just pay for the exam.


Experienced in , or have messed with : VC++, Borland C++ Builder, VJ++6(starting),VB-Dos, VB1 thru VB6, Delphi 3 pro, Borland C++ 3(DOS), Borland C++ 4.5, HTML, ASP(somewhat), QBasic(least i didnt start with COBOL)

RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

My vote has to be for the degree. I have to repeat what was said in an earlier post - the degree is permanent and never expires.  It also proves that you can finish what you started.

If your friend drops out of the degree program there will be a lot more than 9 credit hours required to finish it anywhere else. No degree program transfers 100% to another school.  

RE: Degree vs MCSD certification?

I have found a number of schools are willing to transfer all the credit hours of another accredited institution, but often they will not allow you to use more than 50% transfer credits towards a degree, the rest are counted as electives. The better way is to check with the original school if you could take the 9 credits at some other school and transfer the 9 credits towards a degree at the original school.

Another wrinkle is that many schools change their requirements over time. Some will ot accept credits over 5 years old at another school, 10 years old at the same school, etc. Also major requirements can change and a course taken to fulfill a major requirement can become too old and only be worth elective credits. If your friend intends ever to get a degree, now's probably the best time. What's the big rush to start working, you're friend will be doing that for 45 to 50 years once s/he starts! On the other hand, I dropped out of college for 3 years. I started as a.Spanish major, then Studio Art. I returned and finished as a Business major. A change for the better as far as practicality but it turns out I should have been a Computer Science major!

If your friend doesn't mind going to school while working, s/he may want to get the cert, get employed, and get the employer to pay for finishing the degree.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Tek-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Tek-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Tek-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Tek-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login

Close Box

Join Tek-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical computer professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Tek-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close