Thinking of doing a cs degree ? read this

Thinking of doing a cs degree ? read this


by on return investment , i meant how much you paid for the degree. The word investment should be clear as day to anyone. It is useful , but isit worth spending 30k if you can barely afford it just to be a web programmer if that is your career goal , that is the question here.


Generally speaking, in tech, a degree is becoming less and less of a requirement to landing a job. I know for sure Microsoft does not require it, Google and I believe Amazon just within the last month released info that they do not require it either.

Now I will say, not requiring it, and getting through HR are two different things…while its not necessary, HR doesnt know a thing about what we do, and the bigger the company, and the more applications they have to deal with, the more likely they will use whatever metric they can to weed people out. Which is why you need to network, if you have a personal referral you can bypass the arbitrary NOPE pile that HR will put you in.

That being said, while I know I can work without getting my degree, I want my degree. It’s not just a piece of paper to me, its an acknowledgement of what I have learned with someone other than myself backing me up. Also, while I know I can (and probably will anyway, cause thats just how I am) learn CS on my own, this entire journey of getting into tech has taught me the importance of being a part of something, having others on my path to bounce thoughts and ideas off of, teachers and mentors to help guide me, etc. For me, its not just about the info, its the full breadth of knowledge that includes those who know more than me and have the experience to teach me more than I can teach myself.

I think it comes down to intent. If someone wants to get a degree just because they think it will help them get a job, thats not a good reason…it really is not required. If someone doesnt want to get a degree because of the cost and they dont see the value in it, thats a good reason, makes no sense to do anything you’ll regret.


So is your statement that you can become a web programmer without a degree, so a CS degree does not give a good ROI for that one very specific type of programming job? You did not narrowly scope your original comments in that way.


my bad , i should have be more clear and specific regarding that point. Yes i actually meant all along in getting to a specific field software or web development. It was only halfway throughout my degree that i wanted to have a career in web previously i had no idea what i really wanted to do.

Its not a good ROI for a specific type of job if that is what someone wants to do throught their lifetime.

But then again freecodecamp forum is about WEB . people who come here wants to do web


And this is why we scope variables


Prospective students should certainly be wary of predatory for-profit schools (a.k.a. “degree mills”) whether they offer a diploma or call themselves “bootcamps”. A good computer science program is extremely valuable in terms of short term job opportunities and income potential, but also provide personal and intellectual enrichment as well foundation skills and knowledge for building your career. A good computer science program should require mathematics, writing, technical communication, critical thinking, and physical science coursework as well as teaching computer architecture, data structure and algorithm design and analysis, compiler design, and concepts in computing languages.

It is possible to go through the motions of the best academic program and still not be qualified to work in industry (or simply not have the soft skills required for a successful job hunt). A program should prepare you for the incredibly broad field of computer programming rather than a specific job in that field. One of the hallmarks of successful post-secondary education is that the student is responsible for taking ownership of their own education. The school provides resources and structure. It doesn’t do it for you. Classmates in the same CS degree might graduate to take jobs as firmware designers, web application developers, or test engineers depending on where they put their time and energy.

It is definitely possible to get a job as a programmer without a formal education. It is also definitely harder, especially for the first several years. There are many reasons why college may not be the best option for an individual, and that doesn’t have to kill their dreams of being a programmer. There are skills that teaching yourself forces you to build, and those are valuable.


As a person who spent a lot of his life and money in university only to end up in a field unrelated to his degree. I can see some of your points.

I will also point out that the value of a college is beyond just the education. The infrastructure in itself is a highly valuable and difficult to simulate on your own, and if you devote yourself just the same, I don’t think you can fairly say self-study is always more valuable. Not to mention an environment to explore and test your capabilities and limitations. A lot of people found their passion in college, rather than knowing what they want to do

I can’t speak to every university. The big public university I went to has access to online learning platforms like Lynda, fully decked out computer lab for those studying interactive media, VR, and internet of things. Weekly seminars on cutting edge research, and graduate student presentation. Writing lab and career services that help you with your resume and work with recruiters. There are capstone project and research showcases where industry and recruiters attend and gives you natural opportunity to do face to face networking. Frequent recruiting events that you get notified for, industry co op for credit with tech companies near by, and interdisciplinary project with business to present business plans. Alumni networks of various kind, club, fraternity, college, major…etc. Most importantly a group of diverse peers you connect and with whom you forge relationships. I was a biology major, so I applied for grants that allows me to attend conferences where I can network and learn the newest research, as well as present my own research, and I bet similar things applies to CS students. Free/student discount for professional software are also great. The wealth of resources available to you is difficult to match, all you have to do is utilize them. Your investment is more than just for the education.

The same people that can achieve success through self-study and his own rigorous work ethic and network probably can also achieve success through attending college, more likely than not will have an easier path because he or she will have to ambition and drives to utilize all the resources available to him or her. So I wouldn’t encourage someone to forego college, because the investment is more than just classes and a piece of paper. Substitute for some of these infrastructures do exist, and it is possible to get a job without a degree, but it’s not easy. Your investment may end up being just the same if not more