Why I still think that degrees are no longer needed in IT
Just to let you know that I haven't forgotten my promise about an article about 5G, I'm working on it !
Today, I will present you my point of you about degrees in IT. I already talked about it in another post a long time ago, but after reading it again, I thought it was not that great and now that I'm in my second year in my college, I have more to talk with.
I will explain you why I think that they are no longer needed to find a job and that they are not always as relevant as they are supposed to be.
Firstly, I will introduce myself a little bit, this way you will have a better understanding of my point of view and then we will talk about the subject in itself.
I’m able to speak about this subject because since I was young I've been studying programming and IT in general by myself at home. Before the college, I have done my last 2 years in IT, more network oriented (Cisco configuration, ...) and now I am in second in a college in Brussels. I also had several times, despite my age (19), the chance to work in IT, in big and less bigger companies.
You can notice that I hate inactivity, I always try to avoid boredom. I think that the much I do now, when I'm young and that I have the energy and the time, the much time is saved in the future.
So I had the opportunity to deal with both ways of learning.
On the first hand, the traditional education (in which I am currently still studying). Next year, I may solicit your help to find an internship out of Belgium. I think it might be a very nice experience.
And on the other hand, learning using online content like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, YouTube, ... I'm currently studying for my CCNA with the great book of Wendell Odom.
Enough about me, let's start talking about why you're here ^^
I will begin with some facts...
Nowadays, we can learn and prove our skills from home instead of going to school
There is a lot of online content out there.
If you are really motivated about getting a job in IT, you should not worry about a degree. Like I said, there is several platforms, paid or free, like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning (I really appreciated the platform of LinkedIn personally) and much more that provides online courses, with at the end certifications, after having done some quizzes, that proves that you master the subject you were learning.
You can also learn from other websites like YouTube and then pass exams proposed by big tech companies like Cisco, Google, IBM, ...
Of course an certifications of Coursera or others is not equivalent to a certifications provided by Google, we agree.
Again, that's just my point of view, some poeple like to be motivated by a teacher and it's understandable, everyone has their own way of learning
Online platforms can be more suitable for some people
Sometimes, people can’t go to school for different reasons. It can be financial problems, distance, health problems, ...
For example, in USA, studies are very expensive, you have probably already heard about the student debt. People who would like to get started may be stuck by those points.
And this is just one of many examples.
One solution for them could be to follow an online training and take an exam of a big tech company. Online training are in general cheaper than a traditional study and you can, in some cases, learn from home.
At school you learn a bit of everything
We often hear that we should be specialized and not be the type of person that knows a bit of everything.
But that's exactly what school does. If we take the example of programming, I think that everyone should understand a minimum about how the system is working, a bit about memory management, ... But at school we learn things that does not apply to the present in depth.
For me, learning in 2019, to program in Assembly is just stupid. If you want your students to really understand how the processor and the memory are managed, it would be better to dedicate some theory sessions to it and then to propose C as the first language by prohibiting functions such as printf, ...
I think it would be more appropriate in today's world. Losing 6 months of classes for assembly, that in most cases you are not going to touch any more, is a real waste of time.
I did not convinced you yet !? Let me continue !
A degree does not give precise information about a person's knowledge
A degree does not provide any information about the person itself.
We know that the person succeeded but we do not know if he succeeded with 50% or 80%. The student may also have cheated. Everyone has already cheated once in his life, admit it!
While during an online quizz or in an exam center, the risk of cheating is drastically lower.
Usually, during those exams (CCNA, ...), the minimum score is much higher than 50%. This why you can be sure that the person is competent. In general, it goes around 70-80% for the minimum score. And you have theorical and practical questions.
For example to get my CCNA, I will have to get more or less 80%.
Companies prioritize people with experience
It is not uncommon to speak with unemployed person with 5 years of study behind them. Why ?
One reason is that companies put more effort into finding profiles with experience in the field. Having already worked in a company, as a team, or people who have already developed side projects, which allows the company to directly see the person's work and decide whether or not to hire them, are really more prioritized.
Having experience or certifications can be a more valuable asset than a degree for some companies. And the number of companies of this kind is rising. Hopefully!
So ? Should you get a degree ?
If this kind of training is more suitable for you and you like to be motivated by a teacher (it's not a bad thing at all), then go for it!
If you are like me, someone that like to be more free and independent, good chance ! You will have to manage your lazyness, your procrastination and so much words that are complicated to pronounce for me ! But if you are reading my post on DEV, I think you're on the right way :ok_hand:
Of course, I invite you to share your opinion and to destroy all my arguments, I'd be glad to debate with you !