Degrees never expire, whereas many (if not most) certifications must be regularly renewed to stay current. Thus, I think it's safe to say that a degree is something that you need to finish only once that makes you more valuable forever afterward. Certifications, on the other hand, must be renewed and continually pursued. Which one supports which? I don't really know. But I think both are good ingredients for job success; it's probably wise to get a degree first and certifications later, because certs must stay fresh to be useful.
This was first published in September 2002