Is College Worth it?
Updated: Feb 3
That’s the biggest question for a high school senior wanting to get into IT, isn’t it? They love computers and may know a lot about them or is just the family nerd who knows how to google stuff. In my case, I was the nerd who knew how to google and always liked computers.
I could have used my time and resources learning more about computers and IT in general, but I was playing video games. With my basic knowledge in computers and being told the best path was to get a degree, I went on to get an associate’s in Business Administration and then my bachelor’s in IT. (Don’t worry about the associate’s for now. Let’s just say my college didn’t let me go for my bachelor’s straight away.)
When I started my bachelor’s, I was excited to learn more and did my work with enthusiasm (except for essays). It really opened my eyes in what the field of IT contained with networks, programming, etc. It was like a whole world waiting to be explored. After my first semester, I decided to have concentrations in network and security and went on to graduate with honors. Did that piece of paper really prepare me for the workforce though? In some ways it did and other ways it didn’t.
My college experience taught me a lot of the theoretical knowledge I didn’t know, but I didn’t get as much hands on that you would get in a technical college. My teachers tried to make various parts of it more practical, but you can only do so much with limited resources.
By the time I was about to graduate, I felt like the only thing I really had any experience in was programming. Not the thing I wanted to dive into, but you gotta start somewhere.
None of the jobs I applied for went anywhere though. I went on to graduate and it took me several months to get an IT job working at a Help Desk. Not the start I wanted, but it’s enabling me to get hands on experience that I didn’t get in college.
The only thing that slightly frustrated me was that I had to be taught things that were easy to do or I probably should have already known such as installing a network printer through Control Panel or mapping a share drive. I knew the concepts of a network printer. Heck, I have one at home, but I usually always installed it using the software. Before doing my internship during college (which was networking), I had never heard of a share drive or used one. Once I got to working Help Desk, it helped to open my eyes even further and showed me how much I had left to learn.
I’ve been working Help Desk for over a year now, and I can say it’s helped me want to further my knowledge even more while helping me bridge the gap between my theoretical and practical knowledge.
Concepts I learned in class make more sense to me now, and I’ve also learned how to troubleshoot various things while gaining a sense of what could be wrong with a program or computer.
You’re probably thinking college may not be worth it now to try and get into the field of IT, but I can only say it depends. My education was paid for me through scholarships and funding from the government. I can’t provide a clear-cut answer, but I can give you some tips whether you’re in college or not for IT. One of the biggest things I admire about Zach and other youtubers is that they want to help people expand their knowledge and improve their quality of life by giving them encouragement and teaching concepts through YouTube. Use these resources to further your knowledge and career.
Google is also your best friend.
There are many free resources out there to learn more about programming, building a computer, and much more. There are even free resources to use, so you can download programs to experiment with such as an AD lab or virtual network. Try and challenge yourself. I wish I had tried more to seek this out during my college years. I might could have been further ahead than I am now.
Article Submitted by: Taylor Brantley