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Hi there, I think you should definitely get your Bachelors first. It will give you a leg up. I didn't finish mine out of circumstances and it definitely made my life a little harder. Then again, it is true that time and pressure will always get you where you want to be. Whether it is in IT, or anything else.
Would it make sense for you to study the CCENT, or better, the CCNA while taking courses at the same time? Depending on your major, some courses can be very demanding in terms of time, and studying for your cert may be harder. But I also think it depends on how organized you are and what your learning style is. Some people can pull it off. Just be realistic about yourself (not negative, realistic).
Don't skimp on internships also if you can afford to do that. Otherwise, hang out with people in your neighborhood, let them know you have computer and networking skills (and make sure you do), then start fixing their problems. They will happily recommend you once you're out of school looking for a job. With enough relationships and a good business sense, you could even start your own gig instead of looking for a job.
Getting a job without an experience is tough my friend But you can get practical experience of Cisco by working on Simulator . Below is the link of Simulator i used when i was learning Cisco Technology and it really helped. :
Also Network management is one of the most important technical responsibility in an IT infra, hence for getting there you should earn some experience and for getting that you can start in some company as an intern for System Admin Job and that's how you can earn the experience , learn the network from Physical layer to application layer and once you get that and also hands on experience on Cisco devices by using simulator , you can get in to network.
also I would suggest instead of attending classes in school , go for online classes , they are taught by industry leaders and you can practice on Simulator :
check CBTnuggets.com and it will help you further .
also go with your bachelors for sure , you need that either way for long run.
CCENT is a good accreditation to get you into an entry role in the IT space. Most often this would be in the NOC, or Network Operations Center, of a firm. Note, this is typically considered an entry level job, and almost always requires shift work.
The good news is that this is a great job to have while you are completing your bachelors degree. You'll get real world IT support experience and further your education at the same time.
It is hard to get a job based on only one networking certification, generally companies look for a proper degree program, unless they see anything exceptional in you.
Best part is you could keep trying to get the job and simultaneously work to get your bachelor degree, getting a degree will definitely open a lot of scope to enter in the good organisation based on your performance in the academics.
That is a very tough question to answer. With a certificate program, you will be elligible for jobs in that technology. Please be aware that there is an exam to complete for the certification that must also be pased. Most classes prepare you for this exam.
In my opinion, there are a number of doors that are opened for you when you get a 4 year degree that would not normally be there with a certificate. A lot also depends on where your interests lie. It is much more likely to be a higly paid technician that has a passion for his job than an underpaid manager that does not like the job he is doing but on average pays better than the technician.
My suggestion is to get the certificate and continue on for the 4 year degree as it may help you determine where your real calling lies. As someone who did her bachelors part time at night due to financial and family committments, I found that I paid more attention and tried to apply what I was learning in my current job. I have never regretted that decision.
Good luck and hope this helps!
A bachelor's degree will prepare you with fundamentals that can help you diversify into many areas of IT instead of specializing in a specific tool or technology.
A certificate program specializes you in a tool or technology and your career will be focused on that tool or technology quickly.
In the end, it is a question you can answer based on your current state in life. Both have their pros and cons.
Bachelor's degree is a longer commitment, but with better career prospects.
Certificate programs are shorter commitments, with a focused area of knowledge, but may narrow your career options in the end.