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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Alternatives to the Canonical Computer Science Degree 1

connorblack writes: "I want to be a web developer, and everyday I ask myself the same question: why am I wasting my time getting a computer science degree? I feel like I'm trapped- most of the courses I spend all my time on are far removed from the skills I need to succeed as a web developer. But on the other hand, I can't imagine another degree that would allow me to stay in a programming mindset. The fact is that web development has taken huge bounds in the last few years, and sadly most universities haven't caught up. Computer science is a field that overlaps with web development, but getting a computer science degree to become a web developer is like getting a zoology degree to become a veterinarian. Close, but no cigar. So here's the deal: I'm in my second year of a computer science degree, and the thought of wasting two more years, getting left in the dust, and becoming irrelevant has me horrified. I want to start my web development career now. Or at least as soon as possible. I can drop out and devote 6 months to teaching myself, but I want something more structured. Something that has the benefits of a classroom and an authority figure, but which teaches me exactly what I need to know to do what I want to do. Any suggestions?"
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Ask Slashdot: Alternatives to the Canonical Computer Science Degree

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  • by Spazmania ( 174582 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:27PM (#42853897) Homepage

    Speaking as a technical manager who hires folks:

    1. The industry isn't moving very fast right now. That was 1995. You need not fear being left behind during the couple years it takes you to complete a degree.

    2. What school? A degree mill like DeVry or University of Phoenix is boring because you're probably not learning anything. Transfer to a real school; you won't regret it... either in class or in a job interview.

    3. A CS degree from a non-degree mill tells me that you've been exposed to all the classically wrong ways to do things... so that you know how to avoid them. You should be able to tell me the big-oh of any part of your program and should have learned an intuitive feel for whether you're dealing with linear, polynomial or exponential growth. You should know what an inode is and why it's important when you store data files on the disk. You should know a broad range of stuff that you'll be exposed to during the course of getting your degree.

    You don't need this to be a web hack for a small web site. But if you want to build real software that happens to have a web interface, it helps if you're a real programmer.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.