Financing for the Future

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When it comes to financing an education, I’m a bit of a pro — as a lawyer’s wife, I will spend the next 20 years or so helping my husband pay off those three years he spent studying constitutional law, writing legal briefs and participating in beer pong tournaments.

In addition to my spouse’s hefty student loan debt, I have my own modest monthly payments to the U.S. Department of Education. And although I look forward to the day my loans are paid off, the debt is definitely worth it.

Although journalism and IT are quite different, choosing to major in either one can have the same effects on a career, namely, a degree in either field leads to a graduate who’s ready to work. Unlike our friends with general liberal arts degrees who spent the first few years out of college trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives, we were groomed for the workforce from the get-go.

A student with a computer science or IT degree spends four years not only learning technical skills, but also the soft skills needed in businesses today. Throw in a few pre-graduate certifications, and you’ve got one highly coveted IT pro.

In fact, Lockheed Martin UK announced in July that it expects to increase its hiring of IT graduates next year. This comes after a year during which it increased IT-graduate hiring by 36 percent.

In addition, according to CertMag’s 2006 Salary Survey, IT professionals with bachelor’s degrees earn nearly 20 percent more than those with just a high school degree. (On a related note, the 2007 Salary Survey closes Aug. 31, so if you haven’t had a chance yet, head on over to www.certmag.com/-salarysurvey to participate in this year’s survey. The results will be analyzed in our December issue.)

All this adds up to more than enough reasons to go after that IT degree or head back to school for continuing education. For more insight into financing IT training, turn to page 20 for associate editor Daniel Margolis’ look into financial considerations for your technical education.

If you’d like to contribute to our ongoing discussion on ongoing IT training — or if you’d like to offer up some beer pong techniques — drop me a note at sarah@certmag.com.

Sarah Stone Wunder
Managing Editor
sarah@certmag.com

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