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IT Career and Online Degree's Advice Needed

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September 7, 2006 8:23:10 PM

Sorry this is so long, but please bear with me...

I am currently working at a local fire department where it's me and the guy who's been here "forever". He will be retiring in about 3 years, so I'm trying to soak up all the knowledge that I can from him. (he's smart, but he's kind of an "old school" geek though... not really up on the newest stuff) Anyway, I'm pretty much going to be the IT department when he leaves. I'm sure they'll hire someone to take me place and then be my assistant when I move up, but who knows when that will happen. I will be the Network Admin, Systems Admin, Database Admin, Web-Master, ect. You name the IT job, that'll be me. So I really need to learn a wide assortment of skills. I'm pretty good with hardware and basic networking and troubleshooting your everyday kinda stuff. I've worked for Sony Tech Support (which was my first offical tech job) and I've worked in several Computer Shops over the last 5 years... (I've got my A+ and Networking+... whoop de doo) but I need to learn a lot more about networking, and database administration, and web developement, and bunch of other stuff. I want to get a degree to since they'll actually pay me a lot more if I get one and hopefully I'll pickup some useful knowledge along the way. I figure it would be easiest to just get one online since I work so much. Now... any suggestion on where to go, what degree's to go for, and what I might expect out of this? ANY HELP IS GREATLY APPRECIATED! :D 

I know this is long, BUT to give you a better idea of the environment I'll be working in: We have a 2003 Server which we just got and will be slowly migrating all other servers duties to; a mail & file server running Win 2K Pro; a database server running FileMaker 8 Pro on Win 2K Pro; a Training File Server on XPP that streams training video's; about 50 user PC's on XPP, 20 laptop's on XPP, about 10 HP network printers, and 2 digital projectors; the website which they want to be very "up to date and full of content"; Cisco 10Mb router's/ firewall's/ hub's/ switches which will obviously need upgrading to either 100 or Gb fairly soon; Linksys Wireless AP's at each of our 5 fire stations; plus two satellite offices, a maintenace shop, and finance office that all connect back to our admin building by fractional T1's; there's also a fiber optic connection between the two satellite stations and a 2003 NAS blade server there which is our "off-site" backup; we're getting ready to buy Toughbooks for all of our Chief's (x4), the Captain (x1), each FireEngine (x5), and proably a few more for some other people that will connect via a cellular broadband VPN into our CAD system for maps and dispatch information; and OMG... what am I getting myself into! LOL Needless to say, we are also growing very fast with a brand new 10 million dollar 3 story admin building being built and two more stations being built over the next 3 years. I'VE GOT A LOT TO LEARN! GUYS... WHERE DO I BEGIN??? I've been looking at the following link to try and get an idea of where to go and what to take...

http://www.earnmydegree.com/index.cfm?action=hom.degree...
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