Isaac Way
Isaac Way
Sep 23, 2019 · 3 min read

You’re right in that you may not receive the skills you need to be an effective modern programmer in university as soon as you’re finished with it, BUT…

You sound like you miss the point entirely of getting a degree. the point of getting a degree isn’t so that you know everything you need to know after obtaining it.

The REASON to get a degree is so:

  1. You learn how to learn things. By overcoming tasks that require you to pick up new skills, you develop the skill of developing skills. It’s quite literally 4 years of teaching yourself what you need to know for the tasks at hand. Professors will guide you but everyone is “self-taught” at the end of the day.
  2. You’re around people who are brilliant in the field you want to go into. CS professors with years of experience are available to you and teach you concepts that they have a deep understanding of. Mentorship. You’re also around peers that may have a wealth of knowledge to offer (some of them will be very smart and you can learn from them).
  3. You have proof of work. The degree signifies having spent significant time sharpening your mind in subjects related to programming. After completing such a task, an employer would have good reason to believe you’d be able to complete other difficult task.

It has nothing to do with the knowledge you have at the time of graduation.

I’m sorry your professor wasted your time teaching you silverlight, I really am, but that says nothing about the value of a degree and says more about why you should avoid going to a program that is going to waste your time with such things. A good professor will not waste your time with silverlight (or any windows only technology)

It doesn’t mean we should go around saying “degrees make no sense” to thousands of people on the internet.

Degrees make a lot of sense, only if you realize what the value of a degree actually is.

I’m not sure if you realize this, but a degree gives you a real, significant advantage in the job market. It gives you credibility, and that credibility is based on the fact you’ve overcome at least a little bit of adversity in completing the degree. And that credibility makes sense…

A 22 year old with a 4 year CS degree has a big big big big advantage over the person that spent 4 years “teaching themselves”.

It’s not about the piece of paper or specific knowledge, the point of a degree is to use your mind and train it to overcome complex problems in whatever field you’re interested in.

You can train your mind to the same level without a degree, but a degree offers a guided straight forward path towards that training.

Btw, I completed a CS degree and for me personally I do think at least a portion of it was wasting time and if I had to do it back I’d probably not go to college, but that isn’t because “degrees don’t make sense”.

When I was in a classroom listening to my favorite professors talk it was infinitely more enlightening than any online course I could take (I took many while I was in university). you simply never get that experience without going to a university. Watching a YouTube video or taking a Udemy course is not comparable, although those things can be very valuable as well.

    Isaac Way

    Written by

    Isaac Way

    American Software Developer

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