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  1. #51
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    It's important to remember that you don't need to do a degree in anything related to computers for it to be helpful for a career in computer related profession. Personally I've got a couple of chemistry degrees and am completing another one right now. What I've learned is not directly applicable to web development, but the critical thought processes you learn in such an environment are.

  2. #52
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE View Post
    You can blame the government for that. Now there are so many people in higher education that your degree is now worthless. Once you graduate, unless you have been building your skill set since you've started, you'll be joining the long line at the Job Centre and claiming your 50 a week job seekers allowance. If you graduate from a top 20 university you'll have a chance of landing a job, otherwise you'll be starting at the bottom of the ladder, along with those who didn't go to university in the first place.
    Actually you are wrong... I don't have a degree, I am an entirely self taught professional, I decided long ago I would be better off teaching myself at my own pace and the subjects I knew would be useful for my job, and thus I hopefully have enough skills to be considered a professional web designer

    Oh and Ryan is entirely correct, other subjects like languages, psychology / sociology, marketing, art / graphic design, business studies, etc are all useful alternative degree paths which have skills applicable to the web

  3. #53
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ro0bear View Post
    The better quality courses are accredited by Computer and Engineering organisations. I am not sure what bodys would endorse a degree course in the US but in the UK a good CS course is usually accredited by the British Computer Society and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
    This is the icing on the cake for me. Nearly every CS degree out there in the UK is accredited by the BCS and/or the IET, but you'll struggle dearly to find any of the new degrees that are.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhellyer View Post
    It's important to remember that you don't need to do a degree in anything related to computers for it to be helpful for a career in computer related profession. Personally I've got a couple of chemistry degrees and am completing another one right now. What I've learned is not directly applicable to web development, but the critical thought processes you learn in such an environment are.
    Absolutely. I've known fantastic programmers that have graduated from Archaeology, English and Physics. I like to think of a degree not as a learning exercise but how to handle pressure. After a few years of deadlines in your chosen subject you learn to appreciate the thought process and flow of work in any workplace a lot more.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Actually you are wrong... I don't have a degree, I am an entirely self taught professional, I decided long ago I would be better off teaching myself at my own pace and the subjects I knew would be useful for my job, and thus I hopefully have enough skills to be considered a professional web designer

    Oh and Ryan is entirely correct, other subjects like languages, psychology / sociology, marketing, art / graphic design, business studies, etc are all useful alternative degree paths which have skills applicable to the web
    You're right, but how long will this last? When the job market is at breaking point I can see the graduates getting the upper-hand simply to release pressure on the unemployed graduates.

    As I've said all along you will learn more about Web Design and Development outside of university, but these jobs aren't sustainable due to how often things change on the Internet.

    If you're taught yourself entirely and you've landed a job that you love then you're extremely lucky. I know a handful of people that'd love to find any Web Design gig that could accommodate their skills gained at university.

  4. #54
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    @K358;4330725

    It's hard to get a job in the field, and even when you go to university, you will probably have to work for a low paid salary for the first 2 years. Many people who started out alone did so because they struggled finding employment opportunities or were not happy with their job due to bad pay, overworked environment, under-appreciated, overtime without pay, etc.

    In regards to getting a university degree. In the most part a degree is just a label. I have a masters and a undergraduate degree from England, it hardly means anything though. I think you should get your hands dirty and get straight into it as this would prove useful in the long run, were as a degree is just a degree.

    Even if you have completed a module in Java, this does not make you a Java programmer. Try not to think along the lines of, "I have done these modules, so I know how to do them". Most people who complete module, do so in cramming information, and much of what they knew simply gets forgotten. Imagine you complete a web design degree, but your designs aren't attractive to the employer. Do you think the employer will here you based on your degree?

    Most people in the UK do a degree, end up with 10 - 30k debt, because their parents did not plan for it. The interest rate on the loan has an interest on 4.something. percent. So they finish university, no job, huge amount of debt which is increasing yearly, and the rest of the future to try and pay it off, and when you do try to get a job, you will probably be told you have no experience.

    Working at home really helps, and self-education is probably the best form of education, even with if you the money. However, the degree was not useful in what I learned, because as you probably guessed, most of those things changed. The degree in my opinion was useful in personal development, being able to express myself without offending others, and having the ability to teach myself anything new, and knowing how to do it, without shedding thousands of pounds. So if the industry changes, which is does, I can change with it.

  5. #55
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    Ok, so basically everyone thinks its going to be hard for me to find a job after i complete this class. I understand that might be true, but it is not true in all cases. For example:

    12 students graduated from this same program in May 2009. As of July 2009, 2 of them have jobs as web designers in the same city as the college, 1 of them has a programmer job slightly north of the college, 1 of them has started his own web design business and is doing fairly well, 1 of them received a job at IBM brand new factory about an hour away, 2 of them are going back to school for another degree in computers, 2 have jobs as Visual Basic programmers, and the other 3 have not reported back to the college. They may have jobs but since we don't know that for sure, assume they dont. That means out of the 12 graduates of that program in May 2009, (which was only 2 months ago) all but 3 of the students have full time jobs already, and possibly some of the remaining 3 students have a job as well.

    Those are not bad odds. Most of the students taking this program have little if any knowledge of programming prior to taking the program. Very few have had any prior programming expierence with computers.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ro0bear View Post
    He said that an Economics degree would make you more employable as a Banker or to work in the City than a degree in Banking and Finance.
    Yes, because what we need more of now are bankers.
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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by K358 View Post
    Ok, so basically everyone thinks its going to be hard for me to find a job after i complete this class. I understand that might be true, but it is not true in all cases.
    I think you are thinking wishfully. I hope you are right for your sake, but it certainly was not the case for me. I went to further education, not because I wanted to, but because I could not find a job. Expect between 5 - 12 months unemployment after your degree.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by K358 View Post
    Ok, so basically everyone thinks its going to be hard for me to find a job after i complete this class. I understand that might be true, but it is not true in all cases.
    No not at all, but Computer Science would be better than a IT Degree. Its more about the science of solving problems efficiently rather than just programming computers.

    There is a shortage of Computer Science graduates, so if you get a degree in Computer Science you are actually very likely to get a job. Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Yahoo etc all keep an eye on Computer Science students at Universitys to try and snap up the talent. If you are particularly skilled then you can bet that they will place bids for you in the form of competing salarys and benefits.

    This tells you a little about Computer Science:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMieCs-DMdo

    And here is one about some of the variety of careers you persue as a Computer Science graduate:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq_EcstLlfE


    Off Topic:



    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    Most people in the UK do a degree, end up with 10 - 30k debt, because their parents did not plan for it. The interest rate on the loan has an interest on 4.something. percent. So they finish university, no job, huge amount of debt which is increasing yearly, and the rest of the future to try and pay it off, and when you do try to get a job, you will probably be told you have no experience.
    Actually in the UK you get a 'Student Loan' to pay for your time at university. Its the best loan you can possibly get, the interest is only the same level as inflation so you pay back the same amount as you borrowed in real value. You only have to start paying it back when you are earning over 15,000 and then you only pay it back at 9% of your earnings over 15,000. e.g. if you are earning 20,000 a year then you pay pack 450 a year.
    On top of that, if you have not payed back your loan in 25 years, your loan is written off so you dont need to pay back any more.

    From what I have heard from my friends in the US, its far more expensive to study there. In the UK you can study at Oxford or Cambridge for the cost as studying at the University of Average.


  9. #59
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    if you have not payed back your loan in 25 years, your loan is written off so you dont need to pay back any more.
    You sure on that? So I don't need to pay it back at all. I thought the SSL was a private company, won't they go bust? I took 5,000, and they put an interest of approx. 120 pounds per year. I want to pay it off this year completely so it's gone.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post


    You sure on that? So I don't need to pay it back at all. I thought the SSL was a private company, won't they go bust? I took 5,000, and they put an interest of approx. 120 pounds per year. I want to pay it off this year completely so it's gone.
    100% sure, they are subsidised by the Government. Although it may be different now to when you took out your loan so you would have to check the terms and conditions.

    The loans today are given by the SLC (Student Loans Company), I don't know if it was called SSL once?

    5000/100 = 50 = 1% of 5000

    120/50 = 2.4%

    120 = 2.4% of 5000

    2.4% as an average every year is about the level of inflation. (although recently they have been crazy!)

    You would be better off putting the 5000 in a high interest savings account and paying the loan off gradually. That way you will make some money out of it. Although it could be nice to get it out of the way? Peece of mind

  11. #61
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    UML = Design

    How can you not consider Class Diagram not design? Unless you're coding 10 class or less, I do need to draw this out. Even sequence diagram is a must! After that, I have a meeting w/ several peers to review the design. Many times, UML diagrams gets refactored. Isn't this the norm? I've never been in a environment, code now! design later!

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    I think you are thinking wishfully. I hope you are right for your sake, but it certainly was not the case for me. I went to further education, not because I wanted to, but because I could not find a job. Expect between 5 - 12 months unemployment after your degree.
    Maybe I wont have a job right away after college, and maybe it is wishful thinking but my other option is what? Sit here an unemployment and/or work for McDonalds for the rest of my life. I guess I have to take a chance on something. The economy is bad, but it also depends on where you live before you can get a job. Someone that lives in a 3rd world country where there is not much need to computer technology may not find a job, someone that lives in Souther California may not be able to find a job because there are a million computer science majors, I may not be able to find a job, but in my area people have had good success.

    The nice thing about the Internet is that I can work anywhere in the world right from home, so it opens up my ability to find a job. I could get a job working for a company on the other side of the country.

    Maybe if I can't find a job right away I could start my own business and make a little bit of money, while working a part-time job some place else.

    I don't know how fast I will find a job, but does that mean I should just give up and go cry in a corner?

    It's not going to be easy to find a job any place right now, at least in the USA, but I have to do something. Maybe by the time I get done with college things will have figured themself out and people will be hiring more. Maybe because the economy is so bad the employeers would rather hire me instead of someone more expierenced because they can pay me less then someone with 20 years expierence.

  13. #63
    SitePoint Zealot zainabSULE's Avatar
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    do whatever ur mind tells u to. some don't have d money to go to IT school but de stil made it.

  14. #64
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    to be honest, i am working so hard to get onE
    AND I'll keep on doing that
    what i am learning could benefit me in the long run i believe

  15. #65
    I'm a college yuppie now! sbdi's Avatar
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    Getting a computer science degree will open more doors for you, especially beyond the field of developer (Web, app or system). A lot of decent comp sci courses will focus on maths based subjects as well (Discrete, which is usually the most straight forward kind of maths)

    I did comp sci degree and I've done the following

    investment management
    software developer
    R&D
    'web guy'

    Doing a PhD now.

    Getting a degree in web dev is going to limit you big time
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    Sorry, I have looked at all of the colleges in my state, and I cannot find one that has anything for a computer science degree, I guess they are not offered around here. Or I have no idea what the program would be called.

    Edit: I did a general search on google and found some computer science colleges, but there were all online, and they still all focused on a AREA, like programming, or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by K358 View Post
    Sorry, I have looked at all of the colleges in my state, and I cannot find one that has anything for a computer science degree, I guess they are not offered around here. Or I have no idea what the program would be called.

    Edit: I did a general search on google and found some computer science colleges, but there were all online, and they still all focused on a AREA, like programming, or something.
    Maybe this will help? http://www.imahal.com/education/usa/cs/list.htm

  18. #68
    I'm a college yuppie now! sbdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K358 View Post
    Sorry, I have looked at all of the colleges in my state, and I cannot find one that has anything for a computer science degree, I guess they are not offered around here. Or I have no idea what the program would be called.

    Edit: I did a general search on google and found some computer science colleges, but there were all online, and they still all focused on a AREA, like programming, or something.
    Which state are you in?
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by K358 View Post
    Maybe I wont have a job right away after college, and maybe it is wishful thinking but my other option is what?
    Your option is to decide what you want to do with your life. A degree may not get you a job, that's true. In Spain, my country, everyone has a degree (well, except myself, which I didn't finish University at the proper time and I am finishing it right now). As my mother very wisely said to me once: "an engineer can do the job of a cleaner anytime (McDonalds, in your case) but a cleaner will never be able to do the job of an engineer"

    University doesn't give you enough knowledge to be successful straight away. In this life, always and with any job, you'll need to keep your formation after you finished University. But it gives you a terrific basis to speed up the learning curve of anything you want to learn in the future. You learn the job of learning, so to say.

    It doesn't matter what you study, it will broaden your mind, and your options.

    The thing is that my feeling is that your approach comes from frustration and desperation, and the desire of a change of life... but not because you really want to learn something new. If that's the case, there is a good chance that it will be a complete failure and waste of money.

    So, I insist in what I said before... we all want to be able to pay the bills and go out from time to time... but there are many jobs that can get you that... which job will make you happy? Are you sure that it is the computers? Do you like them so much? Because my feeling is that you're not that fond of them and what you like is the thought that you can work from the comfort of your own home

  20. #70
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE View Post
    If you're taught yourself entirely and you've landed a job that you love then you're extremely lucky. I know a handful of people that'd love to find any Web Design gig that could accommodate their skills gained at university.
    This brings on a point for the origional poster, it depends exactly what you want to do once you get a job, if you (like me) want to be a freelancer and be able to have a flexible schedule and take on jobs solo then self taught is the best choice on the basis that you can be teaching yourself the skills you need to land the jobs and clients. If however you are intent on working for another company the degree would be preferred by the organisations just so they know you are aware of the basics (organisations are protective over who the employ as they have an image to maintain). Personally I found spending the time building my own knowledge and then turning freelance once my skills had matured is a better option (personally) as I found that I could simply upgrade my knowledge as and when I want to offer those services (making my skills flex to the needs of the clients).

  21. #71
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    What about the degree programs offered here-

    http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/bin/p12.dll?Q01B29

    and

    http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/bin/p12.dll?Q01B44

    Would they be considered worthwhile or not that useful in getting work at the other end?

    I am currently studying for the Certificate in Web Applications Development from the same place - http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/bin/p12.dll?Q01C39.
    www.etrangere.co.uk/MDMA.htm
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  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    This brings on a point for the origional poster, it depends exactly what you want to do once you get a job, if you (like me) want to be a freelancer and be able to have a flexible schedule and take on jobs solo then self taught is the best choice on the basis that you can be teaching yourself the skills you need to land the jobs and clients. If however you are intent on working for another company the degree would be preferred by the organisations just so they know you are aware of the basics (organisations are protective over who the employ as they have an image to maintain). Personally I found spending the time building my own knowledge and then turning freelance once my skills had matured is a better option (personally) as I found that I could simply upgrade my knowledge as and when I want to offer those services (making my skills flex to the needs of the clients).
    I can only agree with you partially. If I didn't have 2 years of engineering, some concepts would have take me much longer to grasp. University gives you a terrific basis. And yes, all that math and physics, even if you don't use it directly, pays off at the end. And that makes you more flexible.

    But yep, when you leave university, you will have to teach yourself everything else (although you can assist to certain courses when needed and if you have the cash to pay them )

    With this, I am not saying that your option is bad. Simply that the more prepared you are, the better. And when you have someone by your side (call him teacher) to explain those concepts in the book that you don't understand, the amount of things you can learn is much higher.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by abhaywow View Post
    ur real expertise is what counts not the degree
    Completely true. Yet, if you need to prove your knowledge, a diploma does help while having nothing may hurt your possibilities. You'll need to do a bigger effort to convince your interviewer why hire you instead someone that already has a degree. And that's just a fact of life.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    I can only agree with you partially. If I didn't have 2 years of engineering, some concepts would have take me much longer to grasp. University gives you a terrific basis. And yes, all that math and physics, even if you don't use it directly, pays off at the end. And that makes you more flexible.
    I can't agree entirely, I am entirely self taught in web design... but I did go to college in an unrealted subjected, and I personally feel I wouldn't have become as well equipped to deal with the ever changing industry if I had simply gone through an education program, found out half of the knowledge is out of date, and I need to reboot my education to get things as they should be... but that's just me

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I can't agree entirely, I am entirely self taught in web design... but I did go to college in an unrealted subjected, and I personally feel I wouldn't have become as well equipped to deal with the ever changing industry if I had simply gone through an education program, found out half of the knowledge is out of date, and I need to reboot my education to get things as they should be... but that's just me
    Higher Education teaches you theorys etc that can help you to produce good quality work faster, and communicate how your programs work in a generic way. The actual content may be out of date but the (mathematical) theorys generally remain the same. You could learn this by your self but its easier to know what to learn when you are guided by a tutor. University is very different to College.

    The other advantages are networking opportunities and the bit of paper you get at the end (the degree) which both open doors to you. Say you got fed up with making websites and wanted to do something different, you would have a lot of trouble getting a good job in a new career path without contacts and/or a degree. With a degree you can get onto graduate training programs etc.

    It's amazing how many jobs now won't even consider you unless you are a graduate. Many employers use it as a benchmark (rightly or wrongly).


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