As anyone in IT knows , there is always a fight between Skill vs Experience no matter which stage you might be in. It is true for other industries as well , eg Master in Accounting or Accountant with more than 5 years experience , but it is more true in IT than any other industries.
The main culprit is the pace of change in technology. For example , someone with Master in IT vs a 2 years experience in Android. No matter which school the Master degree holder went to , by the time he is done with the Master , whatever he learnt about UI design or mobile application development would be out-dated. In fact , my current handphone Galaxy S2 , which was new last year , is already an ancient. I hardly see others using it at all.
Within one short year , S2 has been superseded by S3 and probably S4 by the time Christmas shopping period comes. So lets go back to the original question , Experience vs Skill . Should you even study for IT? Why go to school to get an IT degree or diploma when you can start taking Cisco certs? By the time your friends have a degree or diploma , you should at least have 2 to 3 years of networking experience and a CCNP cert.
That bring to the another point. While your friends , fresh diploma or degree grads , come out to start looking for jobs , you would be well ahead of them. IT industry is increasing by the year , seemingly rewarding experience , hands-on experience , instead of education. That is a worrying trend , not the least because I got a degree , but because what a good education brings. There is a reason why there are “Best Practices” and it is not to sell books. They are there to make sure that people don’t repeat the mistakes.
But if the industry is to ignore the value of education then I would not be the one sorry at all.