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Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: FutureStudiesGuy ()
Date: January 02, 2012 10:32PM

I am looking into making my resume more marketable.

I already have a bachelor's degree and am currently working.

I am looking at getting a Certificate from either GMU or NVCC. Will people look at NVCC on my resume and roll their eyes?

NVCC is like a fourth of the cost, but it may also be worthless... Any opinions?

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: Alpha Male ()
Date: January 02, 2012 10:35PM

Not saying an NVCC cert would be worthless, but probably not worth the time and expense of obtaining it.

Of course, I don't know your circumstances and profession either.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: ehhhh ()
Date: January 02, 2012 10:36PM

Think there are two things here. Actual graduate level certificates from four year institutions such as GMU and professional certificates from two year institutions such as NVCC.

Can't speak for NVCC, but I'm not sold on the value of graduate certificates. I was searching around one day for graduate certificate programs and the cost doesn't seem to be worth it. In some cases, you can tack on a few more classes and get an actual degree.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: PuffyMase ()
Date: January 02, 2012 10:42PM

Yeah they're worth close to dog shit.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: wnrsm ()
Date: January 02, 2012 10:54PM

The NVCC certificates for my field align closely with Cisco Systems' certifications.

If you're looking at certificates that are aligned with a vendor certification, I'd just go for the vendor certification.

NVCC certificates are the GED compared to a HS diploma of a GMU certificate.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: FutureStudiesGuy ()
Date: January 05, 2012 05:58PM

OK, so looks like NVCC graduate certificate is worthless

GMU graduate certificate may be worth a little more but not much more

The reason, I ask is because my bachelor's is unrelated to my profession.

I suppose a master's is more suitable for my purpose but ugh, the cost.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: most likely ()
Date: January 05, 2012 06:13PM

FutureStudiesGuy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OK, so looks like NVCC graduate certificate is
> worthless
>
> GMU graduate certificate may be worth a little
> more but not much more
>
> The reason, I ask is because my bachelor's is
> unrelated to my profession.
>
> I suppose a master's is more suitable for my
> purpose but ugh, the cost.


I would agree the NVCC ones arent worth much, but the value depends on the subject from the school.

GMU has many good graduate programs and often their certificates can be turned into a masters with some more work afterwards. The one advantage to doing the certificate first than the masters is it gives you something else to show on a resume and if you change your mind at some point you at least have the certificate

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: Client 9 ()
Date: January 05, 2012 06:14PM

Try getting your certificate from Georgetown or Johns Hopkins. It could be a certificate on just about anything, but people will be more impressed about the school you attended.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: disagree ()
Date: January 05, 2012 06:27PM

Its about having the degree, not where you get it. In these times its about marketing yourself. By getting more certifications you show drive and determination. That is whst companies are looking for. All college degrees are the same on paper. Today its about what else can you do for me.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: not true ()
Date: January 05, 2012 06:30PM

disagree Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Its about having the degree, not where you get it.
> In these times its about marketing yourself. By
> getting more certifications you show drive and
> determination. That is whst companies are looking
> for. All college degrees are the same on paper.
> Today its about what else can you do for me.


All college degrees are not the same on paper. Most places especially government work doesnt even consider University of Phoenix stuff.

Today its about what you have on paper and what else you can do. With so many people out of work companies have a large pool to draw from and can be very picky

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: Tom-Mason ()
Date: January 05, 2012 09:40PM

At my govt. agency, we hire a lot of IT specialists. A degree is required. We've discovered that certificates by themselves don't matter as much as experience. So, at least in the IT world, it doesn't really matter if you have a piece of paper from NOVA or GMU. It's all about what you can do with the knowledge you've acquired. I've dismissed programmers with master's degrees who can't innovate and promoted programmers who are largely self-taught because they can adapt quickly to what's required.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: FutureStudiesGuy ()
Date: January 07, 2012 11:46AM

Tom-Mason, how about in terms of the hiring process? Say these guys have simliar experiences.... One has a certificate from NOVA, one has a BS in IT. Do you go with the BS in IT?

What if it was a certificate from GMU?

I'd assume, you'd always go with the M.S. all other things equal.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Date: January 07, 2012 12:22PM

FutureStudiesGuy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tom-Mason, how about in terms of the hiring
> process? Say these guys have simliar
> experiences.... One has a certificate from NOVA,
> one has a BS in IT. Do you go with the BS in IT?
>
> What if it was a certificate from GMU?
>
> I'd assume, you'd always go with the M.S. all
> other things equal.

A four-year degree versus a cc certificate. You are kidding, right?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/13-11.htm

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: Certs ()
Date: January 07, 2012 01:36PM

WashingTone-Locian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> FutureStudiesGuy Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Tom-Mason, how about in terms of the hiring
> > process? Say these guys have simliar
> > experiences.... One has a certificate from
> NOVA,
> > one has a BS in IT. Do you go with the BS in
> IT?
> >
> > What if it was a certificate from GMU?
> >
> > I'd assume, you'd always go with the M.S. all
> > other things equal.
>
> A four-year degree versus a cc certificate. You
> are kidding, right?


One big issue is the four year degrees from these adult oriented colleges/online only schools that so many people are getting these days around here. Many area also getting "masters" degrees.

I've seen some of the classes and they seem like BS but the govt still accepts them.

I'd take a good CCIE over a BS in IT from one of these lame schools every time but in the end the interview in my opinion is the most important thing.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: Certs ()
Date: January 07, 2012 01:41PM

Tom-Mason Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> At my govt. agency, we hire a lot of IT
> specialists. A degree is required. We've
> discovered that certificates by themselves don't
> matter as much as experience. So, at least in the
> IT world, it doesn't really matter if you have a
> piece of paper from NOVA or GMU. It's all about
> what you can do with the knowledge you've
> acquired. I've dismissed programmers with master's
> degrees who can't innovate and promoted
> programmers who are largely self-taught because
> they can adapt quickly to what's required.


So why does the degree matter then? Does your agency accept degrees from places like Strayer and American Public University (online/adult oriented)

Experience and in the end for us the interview is just as important.

One other thing that also really bothers me is all these folks in government who claim to "support the troops" and really give a shit about those that serve. Yet like this guys agency a guy goes into the military and goes into IT and can gain really great skills and experience.

His agency will still look at his service as shit and hire the guy who skipped service, has no hands on experience, and has a BS in IT from American Public. Keep wearing your American flag lapel pins....that shows how you support the troops.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: depends ()
Date: January 07, 2012 03:04PM

It depends on what you are using it for. If you simply need your associatesor bachelor's to transfer or to earn experience then most places will only care that you took the classes regardless of whether or not you graduated from a community college or an ivy league school. When I enlisted in the Army, I immediately entered as an E4. At MEPS all they cared about was whether or not my university was accredited. Unfortunately there are some employers who will use it to their advantage. For example only hiring graduates from schools with the best sports teams, discriminating against rival schools, or believing that their education is somehow inferior because it wasn't achieved from their favorite university. It took me 2 years of working low skill labor and countless applications before finally taking that step into the military. I don't hold any grudges on anyone or look down on those actively seeking employment however don't assume automatically that because you have a degree you are better than everyone else. Furthermore don't assume that going to graduate school will make things any easier, it just places you into a different level of competition.

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Re: Value of Graduate Certificates from GMU or NVCC?
Posted by: WestfieldDad ()
Date: January 08, 2012 02:33PM

Different reason certificates exist is specialization -

Say you have an MS in Comp Sci, but are interested in some particular specialized area - e.g. GIS. Given the breadth requirements of the MS, you can't take a sufficient number of courses to cover GIS in depth, but adding a certificate will.

That said, back to the original question, in FutureStudiesGuy's shoes, I would do what MostLikely recommended, get a Masters degree. A Masters means a lot more than a Certificate. And, if you go the Certificate route, that means you should go to a university that grants graduate degrees so you can leverage the certificate courses towards a Masters later.

And, in response to Tom-Mason's statement about programmers and degrees, I'd say it depends. I pretty much agree on programmers for maintenance programming/small end user systems, but many activities required for design/development of large scale systems take depth & breadth (background in algorithms, data structures, discrete mathematics, systems engineering discipline, ...) that few self-taught developers have.

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