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Scipio3

Does education matter much?

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If you decide that you want to be a programmer, does education matter a great deal? I didn't graduate with a CS degree, but I've been teaching myself C++ and opengl. I've had math courses and I'm good at teaching myself. Can you get a good job if you can produce a demo or if you can teach yourself and prove you have the skills. Can you compete with people with a more CS oriented education if you have taught yourself instead of taking classes. More or less, I'm asking if your pay and hiring prospects are totally dependent on your coursework-- if it's the case that all that employers care about is coursework. Is it possible to do well being self-taught? What do employers look at? --Scipio3

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It's possible to make it without a degree but I strongly reccomend that you get a degree. If you were an employer who would you choose? The guy who's stuff looks good but he may not know everything or the guy who knows it all but may not have proven himself yet? Catch my drift...

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Original post by Scipio3
If you decide that you want to be a programmer, does education matter a great deal?


Absolutely.

Quote:
I didn't graduate with a CS degree, but I've been teaching myself C++ and opengl. I've had math courses and I'm good at teaching myself.


But no data structures, system theory or actual computer science?

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Can you get a good job if you can produce a demo or if you can teach yourself and prove you have the skills.


Sure, assuming you can actually talk with a hiring manager that can judge skills.

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Can you compete with people with a more CS oriented education if you have taught yourself instead of taking classes.


Sure, though you'll have to "win" by a larger margin.

Quote:

More or less, I'm asking if your pay and hiring prospects are totally dependent on your coursework-- if it's the case that all that employers care about is coursework.


No, they care about getting work done. Coursework is the best, easiest way to prove that you can get work done until you have a successful track record of product releases.

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Is it possible to do well being self-taught?


Sure, knowledge only goes so far.

Quote:

What do employers look at?


They look at coursework. As an entry-level programmer, or even if you have a few years under your belt, taking and completing a respected CS program is gold. HR people aren't programmers. They don't give a crap about buzzwords or even your product releases. Hiring managers aren't going to go through the work to track and judge programming tests or phone screens from every schmoe off the street.

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Original post by Scipio3
If you decide that you want to be a programmer, does education matter a great deal?


You can't really do much without education. I mean sure, we all guessed there was something more to girls then meets the eye, but it wasn't until we read a few physical education books that we finally clued in.

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