Want to Code? A University Degree Might be a Huge Waste of Time

Eric Elliott
Apr 1, 2016 · 10 min read
Cloister Glasgow University — _Skynet (CC-NC-2.0)

A college degree will earn you a few thousand dollars more per year, but only for the first 3 years. After that, it doesn’t make any difference at all.

A Degree Won’t Open More Doors than Faster, Less Expensive Options

The best way to learn to code is to code. The best way to prove you can code is to code.

Degrees Give You A Good CS Foundation in Theory

Higher Ed and Sort Algorithms

The Real World

When it comes to real applications, nothing is really as cut and dry as the theory describes.

Don’t You Need to Know Lots of Data Structures and Algorithms?

University curriculum is optimized for a pre-Google era.

Paid University Programs Are a Terrible Value

Many US universities will happily rob you of hundreds of thousands of dollars that you will never earn back on the job.

The Value of Networking

What Should You Do Instead?

The Exceptions

Cutting Edge Research & Science Jobs Favor Degrees

We can’t all play in the NBA.

The Bottom Line



JavaScript Scene

JavaScript, software leadership, software development, and related technologies.

Eric Elliott

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JavaScript Scene

JavaScript, software leadership, software development, and related technologies.