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  1. #76
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabbitdog
    The thing I appreciate the most is that here, it really does come down to what you know and what you can learn. I didn't have any experience with some of the technical aspects of the job, but my skills with artwork, web design, and programming have been invaluable. The rest was learned onsite. The rest I don't think I would have learned at college anyway.

    There is a guy who was brought in recently to work under me. He's 1 year younger than me, and has done the college thing with a degree in design & desktop publishing. Though he accels at some things, its amazing how much more I know than he, even in areas where he has studied. It makes me think.
    I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that some people who go to college think that that is the end of the learning road. They do not care enough to go out and learn more about a subject. So what they learned 4 yrs. ago in school may not be relative to what their job is now but they do not take the time to catch up on current issues, technologies, etc.

    This is where people who read have a huge advantage. Those who are always willing to learn more stuff or new things have a greater chance of succeeding in the long run because they will always be able to take the knowledge that they just gathered and applied.

  2. #77
    Xbox why have you forsaken me? moospot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabbitdog
    Its wild to see this thread still alive after so long; never thought it would keep going this long when I first posted it.

    But, seeing as I first started it, I thought I would revisit it to share my experiences over the past year. Its amazing how much can change in that time.

    Today, I'm the lead artist at a growing t-shirt shop, on the ground floor of a company that will only be growing. Its a full time position that I was offered, ironically, through a friend of a friend - a guy I had been doing freelance work for over the net. In a couple of days, I will have been working here for a year.

    The thing I appreciate the most is that here, it really does come down to what you know and what you can learn. I didn't have any experience with some of the technical aspects of the job, but my skills with artwork, web design, and programming have been invaluable. The rest was learned onsite. The rest I don't think I would have learned at college anyway.

    There is a guy who was brought in recently to work under me. He's 1 year younger than me, and has done the college thing with a degree in design & desktop publishing. Though he accels at some things, its amazing how much more I know than he, even in areas where he has studied. It makes me think.

    Anyway, I guess the bottom line is that I used to feel that college provided some sort of yard stick to measure the worth of someone, that because I hadn't gone, my skills were somehow "less than".

    But now I think its all about getting your foot in the door.

    I know that even without college, especially in this industry, it ultimately comes down to your experience and knowlege, where-ever that may come from.

    I know that next time I look for a job, employers will be looking at what I've done over what college I did or didn't attend.

    And I think that maybe that confidence is half the battle.
    You have learned well, young Skywalker

  3. #78
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    Majority of people will land good jobs because of the people they know and the experience they have. College is begining to mean less and less to employers

  4. #79
    l ļ 0 ļ l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    It's not like if I go to college I'm going to say, you know, screw learning this stuff on my own, just because I go to college means I'm scoring a job like no tomorrow. If you're interested in this stuff you'll be spending your time outside of class doing it. College is a bonus. It means you're diverse. You're flexible.
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  5. #80
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    Interesting stat from Business Review Week Magazine (Australia). Of the 100 fastest growing small to medium size businesses, 29% of the owners have only completed high school. 2% didn't even finish high school.

    I think college or university is good in that it:

    1.) Helps people build a personal network of relationships to draw upon in the future

    2.) It teaches people persistence, and self-motivation
    Matt Mickiewicz - Co-Founder
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  6. #81
    SitePoint Enthusiast Zapita's Avatar
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    what happens if you try to get an online bachelor's degree, you wouldn't have a problem with the tests and would get the "paper" to show off without the "waste" of time that would be attending college full time. I'm not saying that going to college is a waste of time, but what i mean is...
    if he has the experience and gets online the "official" paper to "show off" his degree to the companies, what looked like a simple paper would make him gain more money and get better jobs??

    (i'm talking about serious schools where he could get his degree faster, not about a fake degree.. I don't want to confuse you....)
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  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    As a Web developer, most companies will forego the college degree if you have a fair amount of relevant experience. The only time I haven't seen this is in overly "traditional" organizations that require college degrees for everyone higher than a mailroom clerk, or for specialized development positions (i.e. a required minor in Business for a Business Process Reengineering position, or if you're working on Accounting software in which a knowledge of accounting is essential).

    I have a small amount of hiring power at my job (in that I don't really hire anybody, but I interview and help approve anybody that is going to work with me) and I look first to make sure that the applicant knows what he's talking about, then I make sure he'll fit on the team. Education is one of the last things I look for if the experience and knowledge are good enough, but if it comes down to two otherwise equal applicants, I'd be more inclined to take the one who has been to college.
    I'm in the exact same boat. I am a senior web designer at my company, but I don't directly do the hiring. Our creative director will sometimes ask me to do an interview if he is busy, or check out an applicants work to see what I think.

    Where I work now - education means next to nothing. I was a senior in college when I got hired for my current job (I started the day after graduation). However, I was asked if I could just quit school and start immediately. I promptly said no, since I had just 2 months left, but just goes to show how much they really cared about my education. I also majored in completely unrelated field and had no official design training.

  8. #83
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    You don't goto college to get a job. You strengthen yourself with experience on top of book smart. Instead of thinking of going to college to get your resume through, go for a masters and imagine how much more you will be worth, or how much you will be capable of.

    And this goes for any study! It doesn't have to apply to your current job. Philosophy increases critical thinking/reading. History increases awareness. Communications can increase confidence and social value. This sounds like an RPG. Increase those attributes!

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mickiewicz
    Interesting stat from Business Review Week Magazine (Australia). Of the 100 fastest growing small to medium size businesses, 29% of the owners have only completed high school. 2% didn't even finish high school.
    29%.... that implies that 81% attended or completed college, I'd say that makes college the better choice, 4 out of 5 times. Of course if you don't feel credentials and easy networking is what you need then don't go, college isn't made for everyone and it is by no means required to become successful. To me, college represents a great way to poise you for a more successful life, thatís why I went, perhaps it isn't right for someone else but there is certainly no evidence indicating that it hurts your future income potential that I've ever seen.

    Regarding the issue of online degrees, donít kid yourself; part of the review process is well, reviewing. My father, who is at the executive level, told me a story about someone getting a higher level degree online in order to get a raise, it didnít fly. If a company cares about education theyíll look at the name of the school and check it out if need be. If they just want to see a degree and donít mind online degrees then odds are they donít care at all. Degrees past the bachelorís level have a whole different implication and may or may not be relevant depending on the degree and the job (i.e. a JD will help you with any business job while a PhD in Anthropology probably isnít getting you a raise working for Google Labs).

    It should also be noted, the web design field is a creative area and thus unique in its requirements. If your goal is to be in a more mainstream job then you may have a much different educational need then someone who wants to work doing design. And finally, donít only think about what benefits you in the short term, even if you want to go into a field that requires little education, industries change and not having a credentialed education might be a factor later in life, or maybe not.
    - Ted S

  10. #85
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted S
    29%.... that implies that 81% attended or completed college, I'd say that makes college the better choice, 4 out of 5 times. Of course if you don't feel credentials and easy networking is what you need then don't go, college isn't made for everyone and it is by no means required to become successful. To me, college represents a great way to poise you for a more successful life, thatís why I went, perhaps it isn't right for someone else but there is certainly no evidence indicating that it hurts your future income potential that I've ever seen.
    Actually 100% - 29% = 71% :-)

    Another 2% of those didn't graduate High School.

    So the total is 69% who have completed college, university or a certificate program.
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  11. #86
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mickiewicz
    Actually 100% - 29% = 71% :-)

    Another 2% of those didn't graduate High School.

    So the total is 69% who have completed college, university or a certificate program.
    It's a good thing I'm not a math major... or a math minor. I guess thatís an argument for replacing stats with arithmetic However, 69% is still a lot bigger than 29%.
    - Ted S

  12. #87
    SitePoint Enthusiast BeauCreative's Avatar
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    I am currently in my first year of college and already thinking about dropping out. The way I see it, I learn so little and at such a slow rate at college compared to what I can learn reading books and actually gaining experience on my own, that college seems like a waste.

    Sure college is good to fall back on, but what you will be falling back on is spending your whole life working for an employer, and what for? to be left with a depleating retirement fund and social security? to have the potential of being laid off or let go? I believe that if you dont have a degree, you are forced to push yourself to create wealth on your own.

    The only reason I am still in college is the fact that I dont have enough proof to show my family that I have enough financial security to support a family of my own. Even though I am currently making more yearly income than every one of my relatives (other than my step father), I would not be 100% confident in assuring them that it will last as long as needed (however confident in my abilities I may be).

    My current goal is to create my security not in a job that I may be laid off from, but in an even more diverse portfolio of assets (businesses, real estate, stocks, and eventually bank notes) that I currently have. Once I attain that security, I am confident that I will beable to say college means nothing if you use your brain to its full potential.
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  13. #88
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    I felt the same way my first year and I plan on going for a masters. It's more about the build than the amount you learn.

    Maybe I'm getting too preachy here. Referring to the original post, I interned at a recruiting firm (in the IT department) and they get TONS TONS TONS of resumes. Believe me when something petty as resume paper quality is used to weed out applicants. The word "college" on your resume does help.

  14. #89
    Hi iKwak's Avatar
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    The THREAD of the month (for me that is).

    Right after high school, I jumped in the bandwagon and applied to a state university because I was uneducated and I did not know which career to pursue (also my father would have kicked me out if I didn't attend). During the first and a half years, I screwed up BIG time. My grades were suffering and I was not motivated to do well in my studies. Yet, I continued pursuing the degree. Recently, I realized that I was only working hard to earn the paper and did not spent enough time socializing (networking if you want to call it that), experiencing new fields, or simply having fun.

    Thank you all for providing a new perspective to earning a college degree.

  15. #90
    SitePoint Evangelist adesignrsa's Avatar
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    Not to give away too much of my philosophy (gathered from others), but why tie yourself to a job, and even worse, why tie your income to your labour! I realise you have to start somewhere, but the whole comfyness factor of a job is far outweighed by the risk far better things going it alone / networking.

    I personally make use of the top agencies around, and most of them offer great VAR rates and on top of that, I can do what I feel like doing (design) and still offer the whole package to the client.

    Sorry if this was off topic, but just wanted to add my say.
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  16. #91
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    Richest Don't Have Degrees

    Bill Gates, Many Rockefellers, and Most billionaires have no degree or an honorary degree (Free Degree For Money).

    If your poor then you need a degree. Well unless you like flipping burgers for those that do.

    If your in the middle class then focus on networking with millionaires that know you can make them money. Then start making business proposals to them. Otherwise expect to stay in the middle class, or worse become a mathematician and build bombs because you can't get a job like the uni bomber.

    Simplified Options:

    If your poor then you must server your rich masters. Otherwise start a revolution and hope you don't get killed.

    If your rich then you don't have to do anything except keep what you have by pushing people around.

    Don't waste your time thinking that education is $. Start thinking for yourself, and do what it takes to get on top if that is what you want.

  17. #92
    SitePoint Evangelist jimday1982's Avatar
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    As someone involved in the hiring process, I can tell you that it greatly depends (on many factors). First, take a look at the position we're talking about - is it web development or a technical manager. College experience isn't going to matter quite as much for the web guy as it is for the manager because web dev is easily and most of the time, better learned outside of college.

    Then, I look at the resumes. If we're deciding between two web guys and one of them has no college experience but a really impressive portfolio and the other only has a degree to his name, the first guy is going to get my vote.

    Bottom line, it just depends on a bunch of different factors. Do some research on the job you'd like to have and go from there. The best advice I can give is to have both, the degree and the killer portfolio.
    Jimmy Day
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  18. #93
    SitePoint Addict will_'s Avatar
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    I majored in Psychology in college because it seemed like the most interesting thing, not because I wanted to pursue a career in it. They didn't offer an IT major of any sort, so that's what I went with.

    Having been through the experience, I can say that I am glad I did it, even though my degree has never been a direct factor in any of the IT jobs I have held. However, the experiences and self-awareness gained in college are invaluable. They tend to give a person more of a wordly, comprehensive view, and can only help boost your stock when being interviewd by potential employers - whether or not they require a degree for the job.

    College taught me to plan well, think critically and more abstractly, and it helped develop my writing skills. All of this helps in the job market no matter what area you work in.

    College gave me a sense of acomplishment, which helped bolster self esteem.

    The college experience teaches you a lot about life, people, and yourself. These things are more difficult to absorb once you hit the job market.

    If you have the opportunity to go to college, don't skip it. Many, many people don't have this opportunity, and you never know how it might effect you later in life.

    It's like the high school basketball player wondering if he should jump to the NBA. Sure, he might make bank the first couple of years, but if he gets hurt or his stock falls and he gets let go, then what? To his detriment, he was tantalized by the bling and went for it without a backup plan.

  19. #94
    Free your mind Toly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will_
    It's like the high school basketball player wondering if he should jump to the NBA. Sure, he might make bank the first couple of years, but if he gets hurt or his stock falls and he gets let go, then what? To his detriment, he was tantalized by the bling and went for it without a backup plan.
    This example is completely irrelevant to the current subject in my opinion. A basketball player jumping to the NBA from high school, could get more money in one year than what a person with degree could get in his/her entire life.
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  20. #95
    SitePoint Zealot Dano's Avatar
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    I think that the original post referred to simple things.
    (Cause a year has passed) we end talking about millonaires and revolutions. I agree with --almost-- every post, cause i think thats all true.
    This is a very great thread.

    Meanwhile most millonaires dont have a degree, the most of them send their kids to school, highschool, colleges and universities.
    Its also true that other millonaires have several degrees and post degrees.
    I know them both.

    I work for an -expensive- university in Argentina, and i see it all: some rich boys come to lose their time, some others come to study, others to do networking. And other people here make a big effort to pay the monthly rate, to do the same.

    The world is a complex of relations and i learned that there is no one only way to do things: there is never one only way.

    Also, life is different here, in the 3rd world. Its a rollercoaster.
    And we had have to learn to live like this. That s why we need to study. A degree is needed to survive, its a beggining.

    I will try one example: myself (sorry)
    -I have a college title on Marketing
    -I m a bachellor degree on Public Relations (with an average 8.55/10)
    -I speak 3 languages
    -I know (x)html and (more or less) css
    -I have 10 years of experience in marketing communications
    -i m member of 2 professional associations
    -Ive took more than 10 postgraduate courses
    -among others

    Maybe in another country i would be very required by different organizations.
    Here im at the beginning.
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  21. #96
    SitePoint Enthusiast kellogs's Avatar
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    Personally i would much rather hire an 18 year old out of high school who has the energy, health and desire to work long hard hours. I know I could pull much longer hours when I was younger and before I went to college. College seemed to do more to burn me out than anything.

  22. #97
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    Bill Gates et al are outliers by far. On the income scale they are in the same category as the janitor who hit the lottery.

    There are alot of very good reasons to go to college besides directly effecting your income potential. First and foremost is connections. Alot in this world revolves around who, not what, you know. And generally those people you meet in college will land in higher places than the persons who skipped out. Second is personal growth. There is something special about going through the first time away from home with a large number of other people in similar situations. Third, it is a blast. At least it was for me. You will never again live in a place with 2000 people to party with at any given hour of the day.

    As for professional reasons, a good solid degree will not necessarily teach you any given trade. It will teach you alot of intangiables which will help you alot in any given trade. Employers, or yourself, can tech specific technical techniques. But no employer is going to pay for someone to learn to think, write and analyize for four years. I can make anyone a decent codeer in a few months. But I cannot make anyone a decent coder who can see the big picture and understand the why, what who and how of the project.

  23. #98
    l ļ 0 ļ l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99
    Bill Gates et al are outliers by far. On the income scale they are in the same category as the janitor who hit the lottery.

    There are alot of very good reasons to go to college besides directly effecting your income potential. First and foremost is connections. Alot in this world revolves around who, not what, you know. And generally those people you meet in college will land in higher places than the persons who skipped out. Second is personal growth. There is something special about going through the first time away from home with a large number of other people in similar situations. Third, it is a blast. At least it was for me. You will never again live in a place with 2000 people to party with at any given hour of the day.

    As for professional reasons, a good solid degree will not necessarily teach you any given trade. It will teach you alot of intangiables which will help you alot in any given trade. Employers, or yourself, can tech specific technical techniques. But no employer is going to pay for someone to learn to think, write and analyize for four years. I can make anyone a decent codeer in a few months. But I cannot make anyone a decent coder who can see the big picture and understand the why, what who and how of the project.
    Completely agree. The other thing that you get at college is people skills and learning to work with others to accomplish a bigger goal. You can't really learn that from a book. Also... there are plenty of other reasons to go to school like wwb_99 mentioned (unless of course money is everything to you).
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  24. #99
    SitePoint Addict Pavel_Nedved's Avatar
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    As the president of my own company, I can tell you exactly what I look for when I'm hiring a new designer.

    1) Experience - The number of websites the person has created (more usually = faster).

    2) Quality - The quality of each website: usability is number 1, then design.

    3) Education - Not college grad, or high school... I care about how much the person knows. CSS is a biggie, HTML is a given, PHP is an asset, MySQL is good, JavaScript is another biggie (but not as big as CSS), and then other languages like ASP, CF, ASP.NET, C++, PERL, etc... that stuff's useful, but for a design position, not all that necessary.

    4) The Resume And/Or Cover Letter - Basically, through the cover letter I determine whether or not the person is worth a look at. I don't care about any of the above unless you can at least demonstrate that you can think from your target market's perspective... in this case the employer.

    If you write me a cover letter telling me all about yourself, what you can do, etc... no deal. If you write me a cover letter telling me how your skills can make me more money, then you've got yourself an interview my friend.

    5) The Interview: Show me your personality. Basically if I see none, there's no point in the interview. I hold interviews to see a) how business savvy you are, b) if your personality will fit with myself and the rest of the staff.

    My tip: Be yourself. Even if you miss out on a job or two, the one you will get will be much more enjoyable because you'll be working with people with similar values as yourself.


    So back to your question. Does a college degree matter? It all depends on what you learned at college. Generally I'm looking for someone who has the skills, but also the people skills and business savvy to be successful. If you go to college, don't be the person who sits in the corner and does their work. Do your work, but socialize. You'll go much further in life if you know how to talk to people.


    Hope that helps,

    Pavel

  25. #100
    Free your mind Toly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99
    Bill Gates et al are outliers by far. On the income scale they are in the same category as the janitor who hit the lottery.
    Sorry, but it takes much more than that.

    There seems to be a general misunderstanding when quoting people like Bill Gates that didn't go to college, but ended up being a very successful person. The fact is that you don't need a college degree to start your own business. You need an idea, dedication, motivation, sacrifice, determination, skipping some parties with 2000 people and all those little things that if combined, are a great weight to handle and that is why not everybody can. You don't need any of those things to hit the lottery, though.
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