Computer World – Degree-free IT: Can college-skippers thrive in tech?

February 2015 | Riviera Partners

(Computer World) – Degree-free IT: Can college-skippers thrive in tech? With college costs sky high and the IT job market red hot, some techies are skipping the sheepskin and heading straight to work. Is that a smart move or short-sighted? Mike Samaras has worked steadily in...

(Computer World) – Degree-free IT: Can college-skippers thrive in tech?

With college costs sky high and the IT job market red hot, some techies are skipping the sheepskin and heading straight to work. Is that a smart move or short-sighted?

Mike Samaras has worked steadily in IT for a decade, starting when he was 17 and fresh out of high school.

He’s worked in contract jobs and staff positions, held titles like junior systems administrator, desktop administrator, network engineer and systems administrator, and picked up knowledge of Microsoft Server and Windows, Cisco routers and EMC storage.

Now 27 and a senior systems engineer for Denver-based Frontier Airlines, Samaras says he’s confident that his future prospects are as strong as ever — despite the fact that he doesn’t hold a college degree. “In IT, experience counts for more than a degree,” he says. “It’s about ‘show me your skill set and what you have to offer.’”

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