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IT Degrees - Are they worth the cash?

This is a discussion on IT Degrees - Are they worth the cash? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Don't bother with that degree, say IT pros • The Register Coding, for me, is just a hobby and a ...

  1. #1
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    IT Degrees - Are they worth the cash?

    Don't bother with that degree, say IT pros • The Register

    Coding, for me, is just a hobby and a way to pull in some extra cash from time to time. My degree/career is in a completely different field, so what do you think? Is it worth the outlay for a degree these days?

  2. #2
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Despite never having finished my degree, I never had an issue getting a job and successfully competing for open positions against graduates. But that was in a time when programmers were scarcer, and thus abilities more easily discerned between candidates.

    What I seem to see nowadays is the exact opposite of what that article describes. Programmers are a dime a dozen and thus a degree has a lot more weight in someone chances when they are competing against other candidates with very similar abilities. Because we are more, individually we just don't chime in the industry as easily. So, every little bit helps. At least this is how I've reflected on this issue on the past as it started to become evident that listing a degree requirement wasn't just the fulfilling of a formality. Companies were actually starting to prefer graduates.

    On the other hand, for a large number of industries, software development has become so complex that I personally think a degree (or better yet, graduating with a good score) is becoming a necessity for the type of parallel education that goes around in universities that is just too difficult to grasp when self-taught.
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    The programmers wife tells him: Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    I suppose the reason I posted was that I read the article (brief as it was) and started to wonder why I didn't want an IT degree. I recently started studying my second degree, part time and instead of choosing an IT/programming degree I chose something else, which on the face of it was a rather strange decision as programming and computers have been my principle hobby for over a decade now. IT has not figured in any of the qualifications/exams I have studied since graduating my first degree (by the way I haven't really stopped studying for more than a couple of years since graduating well over a decade ago).

    I cant say that I wouldn't benefit from an IT qualification, but I just don't feel it would be a worthwhile effort for what I would recoup. I cant stand the idea of working in a language that was dictated to me against my better judgement and I've rather had enough of a lot of the principles of patterns and best practice where they tend to take over the process of actually achieving the goal you began with.

    Maybe I've reached that cantankerous stage where there's no path but my own. Well, at least with regard to programming anyway...

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Well, I suppose you are right. With an already established career, it really doesn't serve much of a purpose anymore. One could consider future employment and how it could benefit you. But again, a strong resume and good references trumps a degree every day, almost anywhere. I'm mostly considering the younger generation who have to start their career in a more competitive market than we did in our time. But that article is quite possibly dead on for anyone with an established career.

    I've been seriously considering going back to university. And like you I have no interest on an IT degree of any kind. I'm considering philosophy, history or letters. Essentially I'm eyeing University as a means for personal enrichment, not as a career path. But despite my apparent self-confidence in the job market I won't deny I'm quickly becoming obsolete, and without the type of background I would have gained, had I finished my IT education, I struggle very hard to keep up-to-date with today's requirements. My entirely hands-on background have crystallized some of my ability to adapt. Seems strange saying so, doesn't it? But this is how I feel it as I speed through the early 40s and into an age I'm very well aware I'll become professionally prosaic and unexciting to employers. So, I do miss the fact I didn't take my chance when I could. I feel today, more than ever in the past, a degree would have helped me extend my usefulness and contribute to my ability to stay current.

    Maybe I've reached that cantankerous stage where there's no path but my own. Well, at least with regard to programming anyway...
    I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I hope you reached that stage, if that makes you feel better about your career. I never hid the fact that for a few years now I've been trying hard to leave this career. I just didn't like it anymore. But as I started to thread my own way, I've regained some of the excitement of early years. True! I hope I will move on to the second term of my life taking programming has an addictive hobby. And not anymore something I have to identify at a professional level, where it is much easier to feel annoyed and miserable.
    The programmers wife tells him: Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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