For the past three years, I've been working as a Web Applications Developer (LAMP stack). Although having dropped our after attending one year of Computer Science in 2009 I was able to attain this position without a degree.
I'm not fully satisfied by the rate at which I'm currently learning and I feel I could be doing a lot more for my career/personal development. I now have the opportunity to attend an online Level 8 Certificate in Software Development in university based on my industry experience (cert equates to half an BSc Hons here in Ireland ). The cert is a year long with the option to stay on for a second year to obtain a BSc Honors. The entire course is very cheap as it's part of an upskilling initiative so money is not an issue here.
I've thought long and hard about this opportunity but the same question keeps arising -- Do I really need it? I'd love to progress my career, particularly into AppSec. A degree will give me validation and recognition in what I currently do and I have no doubt I'd learn something by completing a full degree; however, could this time be better spent within the industry in a more challenging role?
There is another certificate offered at the same institution which is broader but I'd find it a lot more interesting , and though it would mean a lot more time/difficulty in attaining the BSc Hons, I feel it would offer a lot more experience that I could use in a professional capacity.
I'd be grateful if anyone could share any similar experiences or any advice that may help me progress.