IT Employment

Poll: Does not having a CS degree limit your job options?

With a glut of talent in the market, it is possible that a Computer Science degree may be a major differentiator, particularly for developers. What do you think?

This is a guest post by Justin James, the host of TechRepublic's Programming and Development blog.

Many of the developers I know (including myself) either have no college degree, or they majored in something other than Computer Science (CS). During the rah-rah years, this did not seem to be any issue. Lately, with the economy being tight, some out-of-work developers I know believe that their lack of a CS degree has been a contributing factor to them having a hard time getting work.

I feel that a CS degree only matters with certain jobs (such as AI or graphics development) where theory is pretty handy. But with a glut of talent in the market, it is quite possible that a CS degree may indeed be a major differentiator now. What are your thoughts?

J.Ja

About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

45 comments
JSwick
JSwick

More times than not, the people that I have worked with that have the degrees cannot get the job done, they lack experience and don't retain their education once the class is complete. The most talented people I know lack degrees (including myself). However a lot of companies won't even interview you unless you have one. Which is why I am now taking classes that I should be teaching, just to get that paper.

bklau2006
bklau2006

I think its more of a HR hiring policy. These days all knowledge are on the web. Even MIT CS curriculum... With computer-related knowledge exploding and moving fast, the traditional CS degree is not as valuable as it used to be. The reason is the effect of "knowledge baselining". Simply put, you can't get to point C till you have mastered point A and B A-->B-->C---........->R->S... Let me give you an example. Quantum mechanics has been around since 1925!. But in order to master modern physics, physics students have to master that base knowledge created 75 years ago!!. Since then, more knowledge has been added. How is a students supposed to catch up?. To CS students, how are you supposed to learn more languages and frameworks required by a job postings? Think about that. Coming back to my original thoughts on physics, to be really good, you have to become a physics "universalist". Except for a few genius, most population specializes in a particular field to get some work done. The same happened in CS field. You can't learn everything. You learn a few basics and then specialized in certain field or programming languages to get work done or get a job!. Essentially, if you are just using a framework, open source library or IDE to produce some decent work, you don't need a CS degree. Unless, you are designing some complicated algorithm or machine architecture. Typically, that needs a PhD but that's another story.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

Got laid off back in May and have been on the prowl. Several times I wasn't even called in for an interview and the only thing I could figure was sticker shock on my CV and resume. Ya don't get called on to do formal proofs in most IT gigs... Oddly enough having an EnviSci/Biology minor helped me land the job I'm at now, which is part IT and part Bio Assessment field operative.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

Depending upon precisely who you're trying to go to work for, and the precise nature of the job you are expected to do. Way back when, in my youth, I picked up an AAS degree in Computer Technology (Hardware). For those living outside the U.S., that's an Associate (2 year) of Applied Science degree. Heavy on the applied (practical), light on the background principles and liberal arts. But then I went on and got into a field that was mostly mechanical-electrical in nature. Many years later picking up a degree in Marine Power Engineering. (I spent 23 years in the US Navy) So I had a kinda-sorta CS degree. Old, and limited in scope and nature. When I got out of the Navy (retired from active duty), I went job hunting. Maybe my kinda-sorta CS degree (old and tired and out of date) helped, I don't know. Wouldn't know how many HR people looked at my resume and decided to pass me on up for an interview or flat rejected me out of hand due to that. I sent out hundreds and hundreds of resumes. I don't fool around about such things. I blanket the market and search out every possibility no matter how remote, odd, etc. One just never knows until you check it out. What I do know, learned not from HR people as they're generally clueless, but rather learned from the actual people who'd do the hiring and for whom I might work was ... They were far more interested in provable experience and accomplishments in the areas that were directly applicable to the job in question for which they were considering me. That was #1. Provable FORMAL education in those applicable areas, or in closely related areas was #2. With proven real world experience and documented successful accomplishments, they weren't just all that concerned about the nature of the formal education. i.e. Whether the formal education was a civilian technical/vocational course, military tech school, certification, AS or AAS, BS or BA, etc. I would imagine that there are in fact certain jobs where a CS degree might have a prime position of importance. Be of more importance than other qualifications, such as real world experience and a proven past track record. I've just never worked in such areas. Nor worked with a CS major, where that was his/her ONLY qualification, who was capable of handling more than menial and trivial assignments. With a LOT left to learn. Generally, OTJ, I have been far more impressed with the knowledge and actual performance in the real world of the self taught types, or those who have a major in something else but then got interested in one of the various IT fields and learned it OTJ, took additional courses concerning that area, or whatever. It has always seemed to me that the CS degree ONLY types I've run into seem to have a major disconnect between what they know and the real world successful application of said knowledge.

Jessie
Jessie

I have an associates degree in electronics but many places say MUST have bachelors degree. I told my kids, I don't care WHAT they study when they go to college, but they WILL get a Bachelors degree in SOMETHING.

nnmck
nnmck

As someone who has been and "uneducated" geek for 25 years and has an associate of science in another field which is totally unrelated, I am going back to school. My first career went through the same growing pains that IT is now, I learned on the job training and experience is wonderful but hard to quantify without the "BS letters" to go with it. A rapidly changing industry requires minimum standards. There are many acronyms for many applications of information technology and just as many specialties. From hardware to coding, there has to be a "non-geek" minimum standard of education. The people who are consumers demand it. Few remember that before the personal computer was a commodore 64 it was an IBM, Texas Instruments, and Atari. The only way to use a personal computer was to be able to write commands in Basic DOS. I may be dating myself, but we have come a long way and our educational standards must keep pace. Even though the bottom line is still 1s and 0s, we have gone from bits, to bytes, to terabytes, to exabytes. Now holographic storage is on the horizon. This is an exciting time in the information generation and management field. We are rapidly diversifying and growing. The bar of standards is rising. We must continue to grow in education standards as well. However, I must qualify my post by recognizing those whose shoulders we stand on with respect. The men and women who learned the hard way, on their own time by trial and error, to finally reach success. I have great respect for those who excelled with on the job training. Not everyone can speak geek.

coolguyindia2010
coolguyindia2010

Nope.Because a degree is nothing.but you have knowledge.

psutsos
psutsos

Any good college's ciriculum for Computer Science is split either 2 ways: software engineering or computer engineering. Software Engineering is what helps change the novice hacker/coder further than a developer, into a software engineer. Design, requirements analysis, testing, ethics... the whole process is what you learn in college, not just C++'s syntax. The world has enough hacker/coders out there that develop crap. Computer Science (Software Engineering) hopes to change that and make developers held to higher standards such as architechs, structural engineers, etc.

AV .
AV .

HR tries to screen you out at some companies if you don't have a CS degree, but most hiring managers are more interested in your experience, degree or not. AV

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Math graduate but all my jobs have been computer based. Most just want a science degree [although a friend of mine has a degree in chemistry, he's been at IBM for around 20 years in a technical position!].

cbader
cbader

I wanted to apply for a Government contractor but they would accept my resume because I dont have a BS degree. I have a Government clearance, 5+ years experience, and have several certifications but that degree was apparently really important to them. Thats the only time thats happened to me, although I have seen job ads that have said a candidate must have a degree to apply.

docmac100
docmac100

I'm sure some people don't care, but not having a degree and only having technical certifications makes you a technician. So when you talk to upper management, they only care about your technical opinion. A degree gives you a legitimate stake at the "C" table.

JTime02
JTime02

In today's economy and recession, you need a degree just to get an interview. Whether that degree is in CS or something else is up for debate. Typically a person who has a degree in CS and is applying for a programming position should know what they are doing, but people from other disciplines like liberal arts could posses a more creative approach to programming and also might have better customer service skills, project management skills, or analysis. I find that being in IT is more customer service oriented, ROI, and leveraging IT in a way that increases productivity. I find that IT really isn?t about just technology, but rather how to leverage technology to increase Business. Look at the new fields in IT that are being developed just for Social Networking. Do you think a CS graduate would be the best candidate for this type of position? The usual pecking order to get hired is: 1. Who you know in the company 2. Job experience and how it relates to the job you are wanting to be hired for 3. Education, this shows you are trainable and that you committed to accomplishing something that took 2-5 years. 4. IT Certifications - shows mastery knowledge of a specific product. Justin BS/MA/MCSA Arizona

mla_ca520
mla_ca520

At my company and at many enterprise sized companies, qualified candidates can't get an interview without a CS or IT degree on their application. Our HR Dept. revised rules a couple of years ago barring me from even holding the position I currently have. I retained my position under grandfather clause, however, I will be unable to promote again until I complete a bachelor's degree in CS or in IT.

Datacommguy
Datacommguy

Back 40+ years ago when I began working in what would come to be called IT, there was, of course, no such thing as a CS degree and I was able to get the necessary experience in the military working on room sized computers filled with vacuum tubes. Over the years, I've seen a shift to a CS degree as a posted requirement but often with a "or equivilent experience" in fine print. Even now, if you can get past the 'kids' in HR who seem to think that someone just out of school is a better candidate than someone with real world experience, and get to an IT manager who is technically competent and not just a corporate bean counter, experience still tends to be a better recommendation than a degree. In the company I last worked for, after an initial lack of candidates were passed on to us, we insisted on reviewing all responses to a posted job opening instead of letting HR winnow out the 'unqualified' candidates.

Questor1
Questor1

In the Cincinnati area where I live, over 1 in 4 residents has a college degree. Local employers here seem to try to minimize their perceived costs by hiring the the youngest person with skills that exactly match the position and the least amount of education needed to effectively perform the job. These hiring decisions are made to get the job done at the supposed lowest cost, yet often result in age discrimination. Education and degree attainment may be used to initially screen job applicants for basic measureable skills, but does not decide who gets hired. Sometimes, an applicant having too much education or degrees can unfairly be considered a hiring problem in the mind of an employer. For example,I have 3 college degrees and have been told that I am "over-qualified" for a job, even though I could do the job effectively and I am willing to do the job at the wage they are advertising. Other employers have said they were concerned that by having more degrees, I would be more more willing to switch to another company at a higher pay rate. Yet other strange employers have hinted that having a IT Tech degree, a Business Marketing degree, and a Liberal Arts degree like I do supposedly shows a lack of focus or direction by pursuing multiple degrees in different fields. I was not permitted to explain how my background or education would benefit the company. The result is that many employers look for more reasons to reject rather than reasons to accept a qualified person for a job interview. Employers tend to hire a person at the lowest level of education to get the job done under the false and misleading premise that more education automatically requires more wage dollars without even asking the applicant.

j.baig
j.baig

From what I have seen experience rules the world of Information Technology. If you have 10 years of experience in software development, only an ignorant recruiter would pay too much attention to the education section of your resume. The highlight should be the work history and accomplishments. Once you have that much experience, it is irrelevant what degree you have and where you went to school. However, during my own job hunt after graduation I felt a certain preference for a CS degree for software development jobs and for a while I did think that I made a mistake to go for an MIS degree. There is an assumption out there that CS degree holders are better programmers; which I don't agree with. Being a good programmer has nothing to do with what degree you have, it has to do with your inclination and desire to learn. It depends on how much time you spend with your nose inside programming books and tutorials to enhance your skill set. It has to do with your desire to write not just functional but good code that follows best practices. My first programming job required knowledge of C# and the programming language was never covered in my curriculum but I was able to answer the questions in the interview because I had the inclination to learn it on my own.

jcroson
jcroson

I've only been in my current career path (IT) for about 10 years. I'm 49, and have been a Fire Direction Specialist in the Army, a fork truck driver, a production line monkey, and a salesman. Just landed my first corporate position as a Business Systems Analyst, after having a history as an in-house IT jack-of-all-trades (twice) and an IT consultant. The geek is geeked.

kpthottam
kpthottam

I have never had a problem picking up jobs just because I lacked a CS degree. My formal education was in Electrochemical engineering but that has never been a limiting factor for programmer , developer or architect postings. Frankly vendor certifications are far more useful than a computer science degree. For instance I have Microsoft SQL server, Sun Java , CISSP & TOGAF certifications and these have proven to impress interviewers.

doug.cronshaw@baesystems
doug.cronshaw@baesystems

We used to see a substantial number of graduates with Computer Science degrees who were generally of lower quality than graduates with other science degrees. Their lower quality counted against them being hired for systems and software engineering roles which required a degree-level education, i.e. most posts of that type. The general opinion amongst those doing the recruiting was that CS graduates had studied Computer Science because they hadn't been good enough to do a "real" science degree. (In the mid-1980s to mid-1990s there was an excess of places available for CS in many universities because it was a new and expanding subject. When the poorer quality school leavers were casting around for a science degree course, CS was frequently the last subject with spare places available to them.) Although matters have improved in the last fifteen years, with more attention to their studies being paid by all university students than was the case in the 1970s, CS students are still perceived as having lower skill levels. [There is also the problem that a good number of the skills that are formally taught in CS degree courses are never of any use to the holders of such degrees once they have been hired. Although such knowledge can help its holders with solving unrelated IT problems, a lot of solutions have to be improvised from sources not taken from the classroom theory learned in college. This is the reason why mathematicians and other scientist degree holders may have better solutions for IT problems than CS degree holders, because their formal university education gave them a lot of theory that wasn't directly related to CS.]

Gooseman
Gooseman

My Dad's favorite story was he knew first hand of a place that hired a young lady for some low-level development work that had to be shown how to turn a computer on/off. This was indicative of her level of knowledge. We always marvelled at how she managed to receive a CS degree. At this same place there was a fellow who did outstanding programming work. His degree was in... music! If a degree is a requirement, shouldn't it at least be related to the job one is applying for?

bkindle
bkindle

About 3 years ago I interviewed for a position that seemed to fit my skill level nicely at the time and it was for more money than the job I was at. Just a little background on my education: 2 years Vocational IT Training (high school courses) 2 years to get a *expensive* Associate's Degree in Computer Network Systems (obtained an A+ cert while looking for work) 1 year as a bench tech (obtained Network+ cert) 4 years as a network tech/IT specialist (obtained Security+ cert, working on a MCITP now) 6 years part time freelancer I get to the job interview, and immediately the HR person starts asking me all kinds of questions about what (pick your acronyms now) I had and if I could program COBOL, JAVA, SQL, etc. The position was for a network technician responsible for network configuration, repair and deployment. It specifically said that in the job posting. As this HR rep was going on and on with the acronyms, they finally stopped and asked a question which I answered correctly. They then asked if I had any questions. I promptly asked if the person even knew what any of that was and how it pertained to the job I applied for. They had not a clue, and apparently the hiring manager didn't either. I have had many interviews where all the person is looking for are acronyms, not accomplishments and proven track records/recommendations. It's sad, and I have a degree so I can only imagine how much more frustrating it is without one.

emarques
emarques

Where I work at we don't make such a distinction, nonetheless I've seen it throughout job posts as a requirement, but for me it's the same as with MCSE/MCSA/CCNA/Etc... If they [the companies] aren't willing to look at your resum? just because you don't have CS or whatever million certifications they want to post on the job ad, is that company really worth working for? To me it seems more like they don't know what they're doing, or they want slave work. ..oh and they're loosing a big universe of IT pros, just because of that requirements.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

to make it a requirement.... I've learnt a lot of the theory, it's interesting and enjoyable, opportunities to apply it though, rare, very very rare.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

Even when I was first starting out -- and now I have a reputation that drives business. When people find out my degree was in Biblical Literature, they find it a curiosity but not an offense.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

Although I have known and know of a great many places which state that candidates MUST have a bachelors but will in fact consider someone with less than that if there are other factors to be considered. Such as a lot of past, successful experience. Added certifications. Added completion of trade schools, manufacturer training, individual college courses, etc. Where I work, for instance, and with pretty much all of our competitors (I know all of them in this state) while we say up front that ONLY candidates with a bachelors will be considered in our postings for certain positions. That's not literally true. It's pretty much a tactic used to weed out the shear number of applicants. In particular those applicants with no or minimal experience. The reality is that postings for such job openings are also circulated in-house among our current employees, but with a modifier stating that "or equivalent combination of education and experience" will be considered. Add that in our line of business and specialties, all of us pretty much know all the other players in this state. Or at least a great many of them. So its common that while our PUBLIC posting may insist a bachelors is mandatory, certain known and key folks who might be working for one of our competitors will get it whispered in his or her ear, by one means or another, that he or she will definitely be considered even without the bachelors. Likewise, graduates of certain trade/technical schools in our area, favored ones with good, long standing reputations, do definitely get considered for appropriate jobs where we might otherwise specify a college degree to be needed. Some of those schools and some of their graduates are very, very good. In comparison to someone with an ordinary degree from an ordinary college. The tech school grads from the institutions I'm thinking about might lack as concerns general education, but their actual technical skills and knowledge often are far better than the equivalent college grad. In my case my own children are long grown. My youngest is 30. But back when they were still young I told them that if not college, at least attend a tech school after High School. And they all did. My oldest, a son, didn't like it. Hated school in general. But did it, in part because I told him he was out the door if he didn't and not getting back in nor getting ANY help from Dear Old Dad even if he was starving to death. Or homeless and out in the cold, and it does get cold here in Minnesota. He knows I make no idle threats and don't say anything I don't mean quite utterly and literally. So he went and finished. Nowadays he admits I was right. And has told HIS oldest son the same thing. (A HS student, starting this year) So I'm not sure a bachelors is an absolute requirement to obtain and hold a good job. In fact in a number of the trades, completion of an appropriate trade school and any required apprenticeship period can earn one as good a paycheck as, or even better, as bachelors degree. Depending on the trade, etc, etc. But having some sort of post High School formal education is quickly becoming, or may already have become, a necessity in order to assure one of a decent middle class standard of living. Where I work, and with many of our associates/competitors, while we don't necessarily insist upon a bachelors ... we don't even consider anyone who hasn't at least graduated a trade/tech school. For any position. Heck, even our secretaries, receptionists, and file clerks have some sort of post HS formal education.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

have CS degrees. A software engineering basic for instance is encapsulation, basically black box design. Yet time after time, we get fresh CS students, who make everything public, use global variables, methods with side effects.... No experienced 'coder/hacker' would do this, because they know the code will change and they know, either they'll have to clean up their own mess or someone elses. In fact, the fundamental reason why CS generally fails in the world is because it ignores the fundamental of software engineering. Change is a given. Until academia gets it's head round that, your argument will fail when delivered to anyone who knows what they are talking about.

mbrown
mbrown

At our company we test every applicant, from forklift drivers to engineers (not managers?unfortunately!), and it is amazing how much more productive we are than our competitors. Our tests involve things like spatial acuity, every day logic problems and basic math skills. We do test differently for some technical jobs like IT and Engineering, but they also still take the primary tests that everyone must pass. I like working with people who are basically smart, regardless of degree, and a lot of people here have degrees, it just is not required. Now I am just waiting for a few of the old, original people who did not go through the process to retire (some of whom could never pass these tests?based on their lack of PC knowledge after so many years using them) to make my job a lot easier.

rclark
rclark

I dont switch jobs much. But given that, you should keep your head down until the economy booms again, then go somewhere they appreciate you. Unless of course you are overpaid and underskilled. In that case, just keep your head down and hope it lasts until retirement. If you do eventually leave, make sure your exit interview reflects that your leaving was caused by HR setting policy for technical specifications they are not qualified to judge.

mbrown
mbrown

I am in complete agreement, HR is unqualified to screen IT applications and my boss has completely bypassed them in the screening process, he even places his own ad when needed. It is interesting to hear how many of us got our start in the military, even though that is not what most people would expect, at one time they were a great source of people with computer experience and we were already used to following orders.

RoninV
RoninV

I have a friend with 8 years of IT Technician experience (A+, Network+) throughout the legal community here in southwest Ohio. He has been looking for work for eleven months. Has been on plenty of 'final' interviews, but just cannot seem to get in the door. Of course, he never gets any feedback from those employers who decided to go with other candidates. It is amazing how acronyms can trump experience.

ScarF
ScarF

Although my major was in Dynamic Optimization of Chemical Engineering Processes (heavily computerized field), and I have more than 20 years of experience in IT. Plus, I have MCSE, Sun Java and CCNP. But, I guess this is one of the differences between the USA and Canada - the latest being more entrenched in a bureaucratic way of doing things. For most of the companies, at the HR level, my resume stands no chance mentioning my actual degree.

gorman.mi
gorman.mi

Of potential, or aptitude. The emphasis on qualifications is a part of the 'credentialist' obssession inherent in HR as a whole; this lack of flexibility is to the detriment of companies. What is important is intrinsic aptitude, common sense, intelligence and enthusiasm for the work. The sam applies to certifications-these course driven assembly lines are only ever a beginning point-practical experience is the the Gold Standard, giving someone a chance who has the drive and gumption to apply for an IT job pays dividends.

don.gulledge
don.gulledge

Being at the end of a career, I've seen it all from PHDs in Philosophy to BAs to EEs working as coders. Notice I didn't say doing coding because the one constant I have noticed throughout my time is that not every person working in IT can really function. The Peter Principle is alive and well in IT. However, the one thing that separates the industry from others is that it doens't take long to notice if a person has it or not regardless of their education. The people that don't have it gravitate to the lower rungs of the industry and usually revert to political games and ass kissing to get by while the ones that do have it do the work. The one thing I've learned about IT is that there's no real barriers to working in IT no matter what your education level. But, I've also noticed that people with a degree, especially a technical degree including a CS are usually, more probably the better coder and not those relagated to the lower rungs of IT. There's always exceptions true. I've always noticed that poeple that don't have a degree, technical or not are usually the first to discount having a degree. The CS degree or other technical degree says one thing. My resume is not fiction, but reality as most are so embelished that they're almost science fiction. Of course in the USA, you'll most likely find that most people don't have CS degrees or Engineering Degrees but just the titles. Americans don't like the hard sciences, they like Business Admin degrees.

wzrobin
wzrobin

If you have no experience... which puts you behind the people with experience no matter what their degree is in. Anyone hiring based on degree over what you've done in the real world get's what they deserve in my opinion.

gbrownsword
gbrownsword

It's all about the credentials to most employers/hiring managers. It took both my Boss' each 4 years of college to become as stupid as they are. Even the eldest retired owner says that about his son and grandson running things now. The best knowledge is gained by experience and repetition. Complementing that knowledge with education/college is more productive for the company.

bwexler
bwexler

I have a CS but have not had a job in almost 40 years. My son is my barometer on this topic. He got his first IT job in high school at 13. Every job since he was invited in by someone who knew him and what he had done. The hiring manager has been known to define the job requirements to fit his resume, then send him to HR after the agreement to hire him. He has worked for start ups and major companies. He dropped out of high school, but did complete a CS degree.

rclark
rclark

I have often regretted not continuing and getting a formal degree of any kind. I have loads of college credit and more that I could take. I started college as a quantitative analyst which is a BS degree in accounting. But funds were short and the college was expensive, even after all grants and scholarships. So I went into the service to get the education. Took 6 years of my life, but they are great starts and they do know how to teach. After that decision point, I came out of the service with usable skills in several areas. IT was one and was the one I chose to support myself with. Those first years were lean though. No degree meant low entry wage at the College I went to work for. Over the years, I have upgraded my skill sets to keep pace with the changes in IT, but mostly through continuing education, guided learning centers, vendor courses, and of course on the job training. Once you have a job, then your skill sets matter. Once you prove you have the chops you are safe. But getting and holding the job through the honeymoon period, that is where the degree matters. I've only ever held three real jobs. Six years on the first, 7.5 on the second, and 20 on my current. I have been able to do this because of what I can do, and how valuable I am to my employers. Due to the nature of what I do and the wages I command, there are limited job prospects. To advance any further, I would have to consult or relocate. Neither is attractive to me. So I plod along and wonder about the path not taken and know that if the degree was there, if the fire was there, I might be in a very different place, but still, doing the same things I do here. So I regret not making the time to get a degree. I would not have made much if any difference in who I am, what I can do, or where I work, but it would open doors that are closed to me because I do not wish to give up my lifestyle. Everything is a tradeoff. You pay your nickel and hope that you made the right choices. For me, the answer is yes, but it is not right for most, and certainly not right for most of the job market. So if you have a choice, get a science degree of some type, then get a job and start building a resume. It wont make you a better developer, but it will let you get your foot into more doors, where you can show the people who control your future who and what you are. HR managers are gatekeepers, the game is on the field.

j.baig
j.baig

1) There are two type of tech majors out there in Universities. One who actually enjoy IT and like the challenge of constantly advancing their skill set. Then there are those who are in IT because someone told them that is where the money is... these type of programmers usually suck regardless of where they went to school and what was their major. 2) It is a known fact that doesn't matter where you go to school and what you do; you don't really learn too much programming in school. Main reason being 90% of the Professors who teach the course have no real world experience. In my opinion OOP is still an enigma in the world of Academics; at least that is what I experienced firsthand. During my Analysis and Software Design course where we were suppose to learn the OOP paradigm and UML, the Professor actually started arguing against OOP and from his arguments I realize he doesn't know squat about OOP. After that lecture I stopped going to his course and studied for the material on my own. 3) Another issue is they don't usually use good books in Universities. Instead of using a $30 Murach book in JAVA, they would use an $80 text book that is written by some tenured Research Professor who knows nothing about real world programming. Most of these books display Professor's prowess with English than JAVA.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

An inexperienced programmer with a CS degree may know that encapsulation is something they "should" do, but presuming they can remember what that means they still have no scars to teach them why they should do it. So when push comes to shove, the theory gets left in the textbooks so they can just "get it done" without realizing just how much pain they're adding to their lives and everyone else's by not doing it properly.

kpthottam
kpthottam

I haven't had a problem in the Greater Toronto Area market, but 2 out of 4 of my employeers were US based. Do check out the OPS work experience counts a lot here.

mbrown
mbrown

That's the problem, getting that first job, at that point any degree or certification gives you a leg up, but once you have a few years under your belt it is mostly experience that gets you hired...assuming it's not working for an education facility, they have a vested interest in requiring a degree :-)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

CS degree a requirements simply to thin out the number of applicants, then pick out the cheapest with the best hair do coming as a bonus... I got stuck with the Vienna Development Method. Using a mathemtical desription in predicate calculus to prove a program matches a requirement, so your customer could feel confident it was being met... Not used it in the real world yet for some reason...

danielszabo1981
danielszabo1981

I just started going back to school and I've experienced the same thing. Instructor's lack of real-world experience manifests itself when you observe them coding live: sloppy mistakes and generally bad form overall. You also touched on something else that pisses me off to no end: poor textbook selection. Often of the Deitel & Deitel flavor, these 1500-page-encyclopedias are ridiculous selections for 12-16 week courses, and encourage more reading than doing. 60 pages of theory for iterating through jagged arrays is precisely why our schools produce "programmers" that can admire problems better than they can solve them.

bboyd
bboyd

Military training. Tell someone why, they will figure out how. Next tell them when, and it gets done now. Tell them how and it always takes longer. Of course some level of aptitude and confidence is needed as a base. That where simple constraints need to be vocalized and formal. Set the ground rules.