How important is it to have a degree?

What would you say is more important… to have a degree or a good portfolio?

I would ideally like to work for a web design agency (don’t fancy freelancing all that much).
I am currently in the position of being able to extend a diploma to a degree (a BSC in Web Development). The degree focuses entirely on theory behind web development, usability, communication, finance law, cultural aspects etc. No new technical skills are taught. It is also pretty expensive.
From how my college has taught these topics already, I am not confident I will gain a lot from the degree. However, I wonder if it would be very beneficial in finding employment. It could also open opportunities of doing a Masters.

I’m really not sure how employers would view this sort of degree. I also wonder if graduate jobs in web development are actually for computer science graduates.

A degree kind of shows you are committed, and for certain jobs yes you would need a degree.

In our office of 8 we have 4 people with degrees. I am the only one with a Computer related degree (BSc in Computer Science), there’s only one with a design based degree (MA in Interior Design), the other two have engineering degrees.

I would recommend for web development is learning a language, something like PHP. One thing that you learn on CS courses is the theory to programme, logic etc, which can be applied pretty easily to any language.

Unless of course you already have those skills!

I cannot tell you what to do, just our office is 50/50 split on formal education & freelancers who wanted full time work :slight_smile:

Hi leonk,
If you’re already making progress towards a degree–FINISH IT!

BUT, if you are halfway there, and have real-world experience already working for an agency or as a free-lancer, then you may want to consider not getting the degree.

More and more companies are realizing that a degree in the web development field is worthless. I, myself, have never ever hired someone based on a degree alone. As a matter of fact, I will go so far to say that if someone has a degree, chances are they will not be as good as the guy with the real-world experience/portfolio. There’s a reason the big hitters like FACEBOOK, HULU, etc are going to China for talent–there’s none here in the US! Sorry for getting off on a tangent here, but there’s such a huge divide in talent between the average joe fresh out of college with the Web design degree compared to the guy who quit college to work in the real world.

Even recruiters/companies are starting to realize this. I was thinking of going back to school to finish my degree (I’m 29). However, I printed out several potential job ads for the positions I want to work in, and 9 out of 10 of them were willing to employ you if you had a “combination of experience and education”. This means if you have some coursework in college, and, or an associate’s degree + real world experience, this is good enough for the employer. When I saw 9 out of 10 employers willing to accept that requirement, then I decided then and there that I was no longer going to pursue the 4 year degree.

Now, there are benefits of the traditional 4 year degree: You can probably more easily switch careers later in life (from computer programmer to, say, financial planner). However, still, at the end of the day, it’s REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE that counts. Age is also a bias. See FRONTLINE on PBS about the recent age bias documentary. If you’re over 50, it gets much much harder to get employed despite your real world experience. Find a good job NOW and stick with it. Save heavily for retirement when you can, employ some hobby sites as secondary income, etc. The younger you are, the more time you have to think it all through.

The degree basically a entry way to any field. I always recommend that skill will sounds loud in work and the way you project yourself to the situation and the job. I know many people not even having a degree, but shining in their work like anything.

A degree never hurts anyone. If you have the option to get one, do it. It can only help you later in life if you find a position you want that really requires it.

A degree would help you find a better job plus a higher salary

Hi dear:) friend you have to asked. to have a degree or a good portfolio?so i will suggest degree is important
because if you have some experience like any field.and you have diploma and you want to go big industry for higher position
definitely you will need a degree. degree is way for higher position.without degree we can’t growth in our career. so degree is must important.

A degree is almost a prerequisite nowadays. However something I learned recently is that jobs that say “4-year degree required” will usually allow you to supplement that four years with experience.

I don’t agree, that you need a degree. Although the road is harder and longer without a degree, you have to teach yourself and teach yourself well. Even if you are not the best you still have to know what you are doing. Some positions are very biased in that, if you don’t have a degree they won’t even give you an opportunity. Rather they need to look at it differently in that, this person has tried and is eager to land this position, and do what it takes, to be good.

If your self-taught with no degree the position or the place you work for can mold you much easier then when you’ve had formal education because you have specific notions and rules in mind, whereas someone who doesn’t can be molded to exactly the way the position operates or they can even extend that persons skills because they can be molded. There are many who have had formal education, and never landed there position, just the same as someone who is teaching them self and hasn’t landed the their position either.

Some positions are in my opinion you must have formal education, for example, anything related to medical where your dealing with lives which is very crucial. As for many other fields, the schools are just businesses, that want your money, hand you over a paper and wave you good bye. I’ve read countless school advertisements, where they claim with a 85% success rate that they land you a Job. The question is, even if it’s a Job in the field What type of work is it ? I’ve heard of many who have not landed there position, rather something else and have a major debt on there hands, at this point any position that pays well is good, because of debts. If you come from a well-off family and your school etc has been paid for, you can’t picture a situation like this, but many do live this reality.

While I agree with you SiberianHuskey I think it’s worth pointing out that it depends what kind of work you want to do to whether a degree would be useful. If you intend on becoming a freelancer you won’t need a degree as your portfolio will ultimately be your reasons for being employed, however if you want to work for someone else they might prefer a degree on the basis that it shows you will have the core skills to ensure they are employing a “good choice” candidate (of course many businesses will happily hire someone with plenty of experience and a portfolio with no degree). :slight_smile:

To distinguish yourself from the other candidates in the industry, it is important to have a well-balanced approach. The days of graduating and walking into a job with a hefty pay and benefits package are over.

If you are already in education I would stick it out and get your degree and masters if possible. Its a few years extra study but well worth the time you can also build up a good portfolio throughout your study years particularly if you get some college/real industry projects under your belt whilst studying.

…however if you want to work for someone else they might prefer a degree on the basis that it shows you will have the core skills to ensure they are employing a “good choice” candidate (of course many businesses will happily hire someone with plenty of experience and a portfolio with no degree)

Alex, there are many who think they are making “good choices” for whom they hire, only to realize down the road they made a awful choice, all because they went by the basis of the person having an education (or rather a piece of paper with there name on it).

To distinguish yourself from the other candidates in the industry, it is important to have a well-balanced approach. The days of graduating and walking into a job with a hefty pay and benefits package are over.

This is true, but many still believe that when they walk out of school, they will get the hefty pay and benefits package, because of what there peers or there parents tell them. It’s all just status quo in my opinion, it’s what makes the gears of society turn and keep turning. I like the quote I’ve read in magazines School Factories, priceless :slight_smile:

If you are already in education I would stick it out and get your degree and masters if possible. Its a few years extra study but well worth the time you can also build up a good portfolio throughout your study years particularly if you get some college/real industry projects under your belt whilst studying.

You could spend your whole life in school, I’ve meet a few acquaintances that spent years and years in school getting Master, MBA, etc only to land a job that paid fairly well, but didn’t need years of formal education, that goes for a lot of positions advertised.

Darla,

You’ve already done a link drop in this thread to your site.

A degree is essential… you can do web design n other computer related courses aftr univ time or in weekends…

Darla,

You’ve already done a link drop in this thread to your site.

Was he advertising a school ?

A degree is essential… you can do web design n other computer related courses aftr univ time or in weekends…

Many have landed positions without school.

Students are always going to be against self-taught learning because they are or currently paying for school, or they went though school and had to pay and they don’t want others to do it on there own, for less money they then had to pay.

Depends on what you want in life. If you want to work freelance or in a big company, then a degree will enhance the portfolio. If you want a career change, and start a business (online or offline), a degree may not be a requisite.

Depends on what you want in life. If you want to work freelance or in a big company, then a degree will enhance the portfolio

That falls into what is being talked about within this thread.

a degree is your defination it wil tell the people what u are and what u can do

a degree is your defination it wil tell the people what u are and what u can do

Without a degree you are considered a nobody ? I highly disagree.