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Advice Needed on Education, Certification and Career Planning

Advice needed on education, certifications and career planning



3:51 am on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This post is here to see if there is a undeniably good education + certification backing experience consensus out there.

As a techie who has been continuously employed in the sometimes advanced and sometimes not, tech field for over 19 years. I had finally hit a point in life and have experimented with the idea of retiring from "work" for the last year.

Now, after a year or so of that going ok, the boredom has finally set in. Thus, I am now looking around at the world of the web and plotting a return in a 2-3 years.

So at this point I have to figure out how to make myself as marketable as possible upon completion of yet to be determined education or certifications for the new profession.

Just asking, if you were in your late 30's, had 3 years of paying the costs of training covered and essentially no bills. What certification or degree (or both) combined with 19 years progressive experience in IT would be a no brainer to you?

And yes, I know I should follow my "dream" etc this this is more a probing question considering that the career will be likely web related. Marketing, Software Dev, SEO, Consultant or Management are all things I like and would do again. I just want a undeniably good education + certification backing my experience and seek some different points of view other than my own observations.

My hodpodge of experience...
In past I have self taught or gotten internal training to learn but those certs are pretty useless when put into the real world.

Past employment in no order and overlap's do occur:
CIO - 7 years
Online Business Development - 7 years
Software QA Manager - Enterprise Hosting - 3 years
IT Manager - Manufacturing - 11 years
SMB Technology Consultant - 14 years
SEO / PPC / Analytics Consultant - 10 years
Artist, Photo Editing (think dyes not digital) - 2 years
Enterprise Tech Support - 4 years
Undersea Missile, Rocket Technician - 6 years
Electronics Sales - 1 year
Assistant Frozen Food Manager - 3 years
Jeweler - 1 year
Fry cook... 3 months - No cooking and I don't work.

School - 2 quarters from a AAS Direct Transfer Degree - to 4 year WA Colleges / Universities.

What say you?


12:30 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I say none of the above.

If it's web related, I think some of the jobs you described are a rat race. Software Dev is uber competitive, everyone wants you to work for $3 an hour. Management, well, as I'm sure you know, that's not a walk-in job. And do you really want a 9-5 again?

Pick up internet marketing and SEO. No course needed, but lots of trial and error, and time. No instant success, it'll take 6 months of work to see any results at all - maybe longer.

As an internet marketer, you remain self employed. You work from home. you work your own hours. you work on whatever site or sites you want. You pursue what's interesting.

Drawback is that of course the income isn't fixed.

But if you're looking at going back at it in a while, start testing the waters now. Put up a few sites, try and make some money from them. that'll be better than any edumication any day.


1:25 am on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for solid advice wheel!

The rat race isn't something I miss for sure. I've felt the drawbacks of domain speculation and small niche sites before thus the hesitation to consider that my primary source of income.

Maybe a bachelors degree in web design or info security to buy some buildup time... My focus on school is somewhat motivated by the fact I have a significant fund of which I can only spend on school or relate expenses. An odd thing I guess but it could be possible to mostly fund a large startup period that way.


2:52 am on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I think you'll get more value from a Marketing+Finance course than a web design one. You can outsource web design but marketing and finance will help you over a long time.


9:12 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

anallawalla - thank you for the tip, that made me think about the business areas that I am weaker than the tech side in - statistics, advanced accounting and could always use a project management refresher.

Now I am now pretty convinced from other posts here that the degree is not necessary, but having one is a plus and if its something that can be used to better my skills in marketing the better. Luckily the schools in WA state have some pretty good business instructors, maybe a major in Marketing and minor in MIS or CS would be the best mix for me.


12:18 pm on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Two areas that are useful in web marketing are stats and marketing.

I think some university in san francisco offers some type of web marketing degree. Haven't heard anything about it other than seen their booths at industry conferences.


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