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RE: [XP] College Degrees Demystified

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  • Ropa, Steve
    I think you boiled down the points well. I personally feel that a neutral approach is best. If I m hiring someone right out of school, I look for a degree as
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 30, 2001
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      I think you boiled down the points well. I personally feel that a neutral
      approach is best. If I'm hiring someone right out of school, I look for a
      degree as a foundation. If I am hiring someone with experience, I ignore
      the degree completely. I have been hiring for about 6 years and find that
      only by interviewing and really getting to know the person can I judge
      whether they are worth hiring. So far I have only regretted 2 hires. As
      far as number 3 goes, I have never seen or understood the correlation
      between going to college right after high school, basically continuing a
      habit you've had for the last 12 years. People who go back for a degree
      impress me.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Louis R. Marascio [mailto:marascio@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 8:33 PM
      To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [XP] College Degrees Demystified


      I've followed the thread with keen interest and I must say that each of the
      opinions I've read is correct.

      Let me summarize:

      1) Non-degreed professionals are typically paid less than degreed
      professionals. Companies that participate in this act do so simply because
      they /can/.

      2) Non-degreed professionals can learn the equivalent technical material
      taught by college programs through self investigation.

      3) Having a degree with your name on is a testament to your ability to start
      and complete a somewhat long task.

      Those three things are what I've noticed as the underlying points of the
      thread. I'd like to add my own two cents here.

      First of all, college programs of today are becoming entirely too
      cookie-cutter. Typically, they resemble vocational training rather than
      what they should be, higher education. Going to a university should teach
      the student how to think, debate, express themselves, and learn. It isn't
      about mastering the Java API (yes, I once had a test over Java AWT in an
      'honors' CS class). The hard part is this: how do you determine if the
      newly graduated student indeed received high-education or vocational
      training? My experience is that the vast majority of college students are
      there to be taught how to be a plumber.

      College is /supposed/ to be about teaching you some of the basics in life.
      Now a days it seems to be more focused on pumping out cookies to be baked
      later in some industry training program.

      Secondly, much of the same argument above is applicable to self-taught
      professionals, those without degrees. How do you guage whether this person
      has indeed mastered their field within their years of experience? Did they
      simply learn enough to get by? I've seen this type of person as well.
      Rather than attending college they entered the industry and used their basic
      programming skills that they taught themselves. Unfortunately, they've
      failed to expand and years later are basically as talented as they were
      before, no more.

      Personally, I'm still torn between the two paths. I've slowed my academic
      pace to a crawl while I try to determine whether I can put up with the
      bullshit long enough to simply get it done. It is something nice to point
      to, and whether I like it or not, certain filters are tuned to eliminate
      non-degree holders. On the other hand, why shouldn't I be able to expand
      personally and technically without a degree and not be penalized
      professionally? Its worked for me thus far, can it continue to work in the
      future? Its a somewhat scary thought, though, after hearing about some of
      the carnage taking place in the typical job seeker's life today.

      Anyhow, I've forgotten what exactly my point was, so I'll sign off :).

      Louis


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    • Brian C. Robinson
      ... Since I was very young I knew I wanted to program computers for a living. When I graduated high school I knew the basics of computer science, data
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 30, 2001
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        At 11:07 AM 8/30/01, you wrote:
        >I have never seen or understood the correlation
        >between going to college right after high school, basically continuing a
        >habit you've had for the last 12 years. People who go back for a degree
        >impress me.

        Since I was very young I knew I wanted to program computers for a
        living. When I graduated high school I knew the basics of computer
        science, data structures and algorithms but I didn't have any job
        experience. I could have tried to get a very lowly position as a developer
        or as a tester and try to muddle my way into a real development
        job. Instead I went to college, got a CS degree, and learned a lot of
        things it probably would have taken me much longer to learn had I not
        attended college. But from your statement it looks like I would have been
        more impressive to you if I fudged away a year of my life after high school
        before I went to college rather than going straight from high school.
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