How important is it to have a degree?

A degree tells people that you are able to get a degree, that’s all.

It doesn’t tell people what you are or what you can do any more than picking an English user name makes you English.

Really good advice here. I am currently looking for a school but was not sure if an education would outweigh experience. But for me, I am just starting so I do not even have the experience yet.

Thanks for all the advice.

Quite a mixed reaction, I’m thinking I’ll go for the degree. Simply because the risk outweighs the rewards.

I risk building some good experience and a portfolio, and also a fair bit of money - both of which can be got back, so really I’m just risking time.

And when you compare the time I risk with my entire future career for the rest of my life, there is very little risk. If a degree at some point helps me get a significantly better job it would have been worth it. If not I really have not lost that much.

And when you compare the time I risk with my entire future career for the rest of my life, there is very little risk. If a degree at some point helps me get a significantly better job it would have been worth it. If not I really have not lost that much.

Degree is a risk as well. Not from my own experience but hearing from many others who will or have had a degree, I’ve been told a few in the toilet stories and struggles despite they can wave a degree around, but in the end what does it guarantee ? And where will it head each person that walks out of a school is something on a individual basis we will never know case-by-case unless we hear of the route that it has taken them, and for some the degree route took them no further then someone without a degree.

Surely the only thing you risk is time and money. I can’t really see how you would come out worse, perhaps if it became incredibly frustrating and zapped your enthusiasm, but it then comes down to more of a test of character (a good lesson to learn anyway!).

I didn’t say a degree came with a guarantee, just that there is a chance it could make a difference in your career. And seeing as a career is one of the most important things in a persons life, I would say it makes good sense to take the gamble.

You maybe right and it doesn’t really make any difference and it’s simply all hype. But I don’t think anyone can really know, it’s a highly subjective matter, you can’t compare two different people with and without a degree, and you can’t compare yourself to having/not having a degree.

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I would say both, having a degree and a good portfolio for it

is your asset when you are looking for job post. And a little bit of luck

I supposed :slight_smile:

If you show that you know your stuff, regardless a degree or not I believe you can still do it.

yes but if they’ll review your background, if your in the point of being promoted having a degree or a good educational background is a plus.

I’m not too sure, about that.

The word Promoted gets thrown around for everything, you really have to analyze what the Promotion is about.

Some positions the promotion may be superb while others it’s nothing more grand then what they’ve done previously, just maybe a 2% reduction in work and a few dimes and nickels onto there pay.

Hello, the reason I’ve said that is based on my brother’s situation he’s been on their Gov. Org. for how many years and they can’t promote him to a higher position for he don’t have a degree, that’s what they told him instead they’ve given him another position to be a statistician. I say its a case to case bases I think for we lived in Asia.

Well, having a degree really does matter to go up your career you have chosen. I have been an interior designer and choosing this type of career that I have great interest with it makes me happy with what I do and since I do have a degree that certifies my expertise as an interior designer is a plus factor.

If you have your foot in the door without a degree, and they mention that it would be wise, depending on the field your in, that you get a degree that is completely different. I’ve meet a few in this situation but they had already there foot in the door without a degree which is wonderful and while they were working they got there degree in specifically what they needed. Although not all positions is going to require this, especially as you get older, maturity sets in and some positions will forgo a degree completely and promote you regardless again, on a case by case basis.

You can’t lump that a degree is essential because in reality and based on maturity it’s not. I’ve read of many who were blue collar workers and landed a position in there field and they never had to get a degree for one of many reasons, some were constantly upgrading there skills own there own with the help of reading etc which got them higher positions, yet there are many who have degrees and make sure to tell everyone, and truth be told they really shouldn’t be in the position they are in.

It’s especially relevant that you don’t need a degree in the computing industry (when it comes to the Internet this is even more of a case). Having a degree shows that you have attained a certain level of progression through education but it’s not a guarantee that you will be any good in the workplace. Most jobs state they want a mix of education and experience and if you are fresh from university you are pretty much just on the opposite side of the coin from someone with loads of experience in the industry. And the thing is that experience is a lot more important than education because it’s what you will be using to make decisions which will make you either an effective worker or just someone with a degree who doesn’t have a clue what their doing. Education can only lay down the groundwork, it’s not a pre-requisite for skill or ability. You can make a career for yourself without getting that degree if your willing to put the work in. :slight_smile:

True, I just recently had a employer tell me that I don’t have a certain level of experience, this falls into the Catch22, how can I get that experience if I don’t get the chance ? It’s also like a double edged sword.

Employers can really be like a clown, (as I don’t know any other way to put it) on one hand they want degree, if you don’t have that they want experience, if you don’t have that, how can you get experience, if your not given a chance ? Then again as you mention Alex you can have a degree and no experience and it ends up bring you back around to what I had just mentioned, Argh.

It’s better to work for yourself, as you don’t face these hurdles the only hurdle you face is building a foundation of clients.

I still get a good guffaw every time someone writes something like this.

Do you honestly think that it`s not easier to get a job with a degree than without?

Recruiters show up at colleges/universities to recruit graduates (granted not as often as in previous years). Companies want people with degrees.

Take 1000 people with degrees who want jobs in the industry and 1000 people without degrees who want jobs in the industry and come back in 5 years. You’ll see an awful lot more people who got jobs and in the industry from the pool with degrees than the ones who didn’t.

Is a degree essential? No
Is it a step up? Yes
Are steps up critical when you’re competing with $12/hr indian programmers? Yes

I never said having a degree made things harder, nor did I say the lack of one made things easier, you are putting words into my mouth. What I was saying with that statement is that unlike many other professions, the computing industry (more specifically web related careers) are less likely to be dominantly seeking individuals with a degree in preference to accepting someone with a lot of experience and a solid portfolio. While having a degree will boost your background and give them an extra reason to employ you, the very fact that the majority of people in the web sector have degrees of some sort only dilutes the value of them, and if you have 100 candidates for a job and they all have a degree, experience becomes the qualifier. Degrees can be useful depending on what type of job you are going for but I was making a point that they are not essential or a requirement by any step of the imagination and you can get work without one if your willing to put the work in. :slight_smile:

What about those people who so desperately want to land there foot in the door in most industries, especially computer they have the knowledge but not the degree ?

If you compare there knowledge to a degree person in most fields, the results come out equal but due to circumstances they were unable to get a degree. You can’t ignore these people, I say give them the opportunity, open the door for them if they are that willing and eager, most times they will shine.

You stated that “you don’t need a degree in the computing industry” in a thread about whether it is important to have a degree. How did I put words in your mouth?

What I was saying with that statement is that unlike many other professions, the computing industry (more specifically web related careers) are less likely to be dominantly seeking individuals with a degree in preference to accepting someone with a lot of experience and a solid portfolio.

And exactly how does one get all this experience and a solid portfolio? By getting work in the field.

And the easiest way to get work in the field (if you don’t already have the experience and a solid portfolio) is to have a degree.

While having a degree will boost your background and give them an extra reason to employ you, the very fact that the majority of people in the web sector have degrees of some sort only dilutes the value of them, and if you have 100 candidates for a job and they all have a degree, experience becomes the qualifier.

Great, so what happens to all the people who don’t have degrees? They don’t even get in the door for an interview because it becomes an easy screening tool for HR to use.

Degrees can be useful depending on what type of job you are going for but I was making a point that they are not essential or a requirement by any step of the imagination and you can get work without one if your willing to put the work in. :slight_smile:

Some will be able to get work, assuming that they are willing to work for lower wages and less job security. Again, those with degrees will be more likely to get work than those who don’t.

You are making statements about how much easier it is to find employment if you have a degree, I have not been saying anything to contradict it. What I have been saying is that while a degree will make things easier, it’s certainly not the only route into getting work in the computing industry and it’s not a requirement. I currently work in the computing industry (web design as a freelancer and previously as a software developer) and I don’t have a degree… the very fact your contradicting my statement about not needing a degree is rather silly because if that was indeed the case, myself and anyone else who works in the various sectors of the computing field who don’t have a degree should not technically be working (according to your viewpoint). I am not saying by any means that a degree is pointless, what I am saying is that it’s not an essential pre-requisite to being able to find meaningful employment. I know plenty of people who started off without a degree as freelancers and either established good businesses for themselves or went on to work for other agencies using the portfolio they produced as a freelancer to pave the way in the experience category. I’ve always worked for myself since leaving school and I have no problem busting the myth that a degree is some kind of silver bullet for getting a job. It all depends on what career path you want to take and how much work you intend on putting into making your career a successful one, I could get a degree in the future if I wanted but for the moment I am happy where I am and where life and work has taken me. So sure not everyone without a degree will be able to jump into a job, some with a degree won’t either (considering the number of people who have them), I just prefer not to be consumed by a piece of paper. :slight_smile: