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College or No College :: Future

kuphrynkuphryn Member Posts: 266
Hi.

I met C++ in September 2001. We immediately found a common interest in software design and implementation.

I am currently a senior at a college. I am way behind schedule though. My goal is to graduate within four years and no more. However, I ran behind a long the way because I have to take courses that are not related to programming and some courses have to be taken in a certain order. I will not graduate until after Fall 2003. Anyways, I really want to work on real software projects and not pay for an education I could get just via books from Amazon.com.

I am confident in my ability to learn any material related to computer science from hardware to software, and especially programming C/C++, Windows, and Winsock, 16-bit, 32-bit, 64-bit ASM. From my perspective, anything is possible. You just need to buy a book! Heck, college professors use the same books I could buy from Amazon. I have studied from books that they found difficult including MFC, Winsock, and Windows programming. My concern is really why do you have to pay so much money ($$$) for an "education" you could get via books from Amazon.com?

Please understand I am not boasting. I just feel that I am in a situation now where college is and will slow my progress as a programmer and it is and will continue to fade that passion and desire I have for software design and implementation. I want to work on real projects including real problems and real applications. The project we do are jokes. For example, the professor in an OOP C++ course I am required to take does not like me because I rush the class. The class does not teach me anything as far as software design and implemention. Everything comes from C++ How to Program by Deitel&Deitel which I read a year ago!

I would like to know the importance of a college degree specifically computer science. For example, let say two applicants apply for the same entry position. One applicant has a BS in CS, but has no experience working on real applications ourside of college (note employers do not know this). The second applicant has very good experience for an entry position and can get the job done if given an opportunity. What do you think will happen?

Many "successful" people are college-dropouts including Bill Gates and Michael Dell. I have no problem staying in college; however, I honestly feel it is slowing my progress as a programmer. I really do. How do *you* know when it is time to call it quit?

Thanks,
Kuphryn

Comments

  • pingpongpingpong Member Posts: 937
    What do Bill Gates and Michael Dell have in common?

    They both started their own company.

    From my own personal experience, unless you are not going to go the classic way (interview, then hired by a company) you need a college degree. They just wont hire you..

    Now there are a software companies that only do sub-contract programming, you know, company X has a database and a front-end written for them by company Y. X wants support for a couple more reports but Y is out of business, in steps Z.

    Usually, these companies dont pay you $XXX/year but per job. I've worked with a couple in the past and they didnt really care if you had a degree or not, you can even work from home. The other side of the coin is job security. It just doesnt exist when working for these companies.

    Having said that, I 100% agree with you that college is a waste of time, I have a 4-year degree in electronic engineering and I cannot tell a diode from a transistor, been working as a computer programmer for the past 10 years and like you, learned all I know on my own from books (and later the internet).

    So what do I think? I'd go with getting a degree first. Maybe if I was still in my 20's and single I'd be more adventurous...

    Good luck to you
  • jeffpostjeffpost Member Posts: 316
    :
    : I am currently a senior at a college. I am way behind schedule though. My goal is to graduate within four years and no more. However, I ran behind a long the way because I have to take courses that are not related to programming and some courses have to be taken in a certain order. I will not graduate until after Fall 2003. Anyways, I really want to work on real software projects and not pay for an education I could get just via books from Amazon.com.
    :
    "The best education these days is a good collection of books."
    --Thomas Carlyle

    :My concern is really why do you have to pay so much money ($$$) for an "education" you could get via books from Amazon.com?
    :
    The education you'll receive through motivated, disciplined self-study is usually much better that what you'll get from any university. What it lacks, however, is proof to a potential employer that you really do have that education.

    In better times, employers were willing to accept a track record of experience as sufficient proof. That no longer applies in the currently depressed industry. People with BS and graduate degrees are without jobs. Without a degree, you don't stand a chance competing against them. My two cents: Get your degree, get a job, then get your real education by continuing your studies on your own.

  • Chris BrownChris Brown USAMember Posts: 4,496 ✭✭

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