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PirateKing15

Importance of College

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Going to school is not a problem for me. I love school. I love learning new things. The only thing I really don't like is homework. I never seem to have time to do homework and that is really the only thing that ever seems to make my grades drop below A's. I am willing to be dedicated to going to college for years and learning how to do things the right way. And you make a good point about how having a degree is important. I like doing things the hard way. The way that, in the future, will benefit me more. As it always seems the hard way does. So, go to college, get a degree. And after college comes the real learning. College is just a means of being accepted in the world of business. You go to college and you are more likely to be successful because you look better on paper. Which is what matters nowadays. Thanks for all the help guys. If I have misunderstood anything you all have said, please let me know. :P

Edited by L33T_j0sH
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So, go to college, get a degree. And after college comes the real learning. College is just a means of being accepted in the world of business. You go to college and you are more likely to be successful because you look better on paper. Which is what matters nowadays. Thanks for all the help guys. If I have misunderstood anything you all have said, please let me know. :P

Well, no... you sort of missed.

As hard as it may be to fathom, people do actually learn things in college. :)

As the old saying goes, you get out of it what you put into it. There are people who do the bare minimum in order to just barely get through and get a degree, and then think, "Wow, that was such a waste of my time." Likewise, there are people who are open to learning what they can, who apply themselves, and who reap the benefits. There are some seriously smart people in the ivory tower who would like nothing better than to share what they've learned with someone who is excited about learning it. Don't just think of it as a hurdle or something to check off your list... go in expecting to learn things, look for opportunities (don't just wait around for something to find you), apply yourself, and you'll get much more out of it than you expect.

Oh, and homework will follow you around forever. No escape; it's just called other stuff when you're not in school anymore. An important part of what you will learn in college is time management; unbelievable as it may seem, there is enough time to do your coursework, homework, work a part time job, and still have a social life. (It's not until you get into grad school that you will have to start creatively juggling responsibilities.)

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Haha. Well, I realize that you learn things. I just meant besides the math I'm not really going to learn anything that I couldn't teach myself. Well, I could teach myself the math but that wouldn't be very fun.

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I just meant besides the math I'm not really going to learn anything that I couldn't teach myself.

I'd bet my paycheck that you're wrong about that.

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I would say get a computer science degree and then find like minded people in your area.

connections are just as important as having a degree in my experience

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I just meant besides the math I'm not really going to learn anything that I couldn't teach myself.

I'd bet my paycheck that you're wrong about that.

Blah. Just forget everything I said. haha Now I feel like an idiot. :P

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Well then you didn't really love programming, you loved tinkering or coding at best. A good programmer is a one that can devise a universal solution that can then be translated into any language the programmer chooses. Other people just think inside the limitations of the syntax provided by the language they know. Coding monkeys don't even think, they just apply well-known solutions to observed patterns and pray that they work. All of these people can code in a certain language, but the programmer is the one who, by understanding of the theory, can make meaningful practice, instead of blindly trying out known solutions.

Quite an astute observation and I couldn't agree with you more. I know quite a few people who are as you say Code Monkeys and some of them are studying things that would make coding efficiently a huge part of their career, fortunately I changed to something else. I still need to code but my life doesn't depend on it ;) Personally I just love making interesting things that work in interesting and clever ways so I suppose I would fall under the tinkering bit. I just can't sit down and discuss why a linked list is more efficient than some other data structure if a certain type of data was used etc. I can do it if I have to of course, just find it boring :o

Anyway I agree with mirrorshades. I was in the same mind set as Josh when I first got to University or College depending on where you live :P I thought there wasn't anything I could learn here that I couldn’t teach myself and boy was I wrong. That might just be because I'm slow though! Also it's really nice to be able to study under somebody who shares your interests or has experience in the fields you are interested in. You also have the opportunity to ask these people questions, which is something you can't easily do when you teach yourself. Also in lectures I've heard some very good questions asked by fellow students, things that I wouldn't have thought about at all. Talking with other people studying the same topics as me allowed me to see different points of views.

Job wise it helps to have a degree. I know people who don't and have often heard them go on about how somebody who, with the same position as them, earns more due to the fact they have a degree in something. I’m still very naive about how the job world works but thus far it seems to me that it doesn't matter (to an extent) what you know, all that matters is how well you can sell yourself and a degree helps a lot.

Edited by Poet
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I was supposed to go to a Vocational School this year for a Network Security class for half of the school day all year but my teacher retired at the beginning of the school year. I got stuck with Graphic Arts. Which was cool though. I learned how to work a printing press and a dark room and whatnot.

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College is nessecary because everyone 'thinks' that it is. Today its just a business that pumps the kids who can pay the bill. As more and more suburban students were born, more of them began to attend this schoolastic nightmare we call college where your typical accredited university banks on dorm fees and tuition payments and parking tickets. In return we get a multiple choice education where the answer may or may not be 'all of the above' depending on how one looks at it. This mainstream flow has caused a 'general' acceptence level of education and is now being standardized as highschool was 20 or 30 years ago. Eventually there will come a time when a highschool education or ged will not get you those high paying jobs at a young age only experience will. Current profesionals have told me that THEY have been told they'll never be managers at major companies/institutions without and MBA or equivalant.

If one were to skip college, which I wish was a more plaudable alternative; experience and certs play a role...the rest is who you know. You will literally have to climb the ladder from the bottom. A college education will put you a few rungs up regardless of experience and certifications. However; don't be fooled into thinking just a degree will get you ahead. I know more idiots with degrees in CS that couldn't do nearly what you'd expect them to be capable of. The problem with school is that it is very unapplicable. If you want to be a true "well-rounded student" then you'll need work experience related to your field of choice, not wegmans cashier or a toll both attendant. If you want to be a step ahead of the game, you'll have certifcations (low level obviously) that prove what you have learned about your field so far (aside from school learning). I'm graduating this summer and what i've heard from many IT professionals is that grades don't really mean shit. Get the degree on your paper and be done with it. In order to promote your knowledge of programming/computers that you've learned outside of school then you must get certifications, ever if you are super-leet programmer w/e with 30 years experience, your next employer doesn't know how good you are unless you've reached certain accepted milestones. The moral of all this nonsense is that if one wants to be as succesful as possible and is not some gifted golden child then they have to look at EVERY aspect of self actualization.

God, I really hope you're speaking only of the importance of college in IT.

You're looking at it the completely wrong way. The point of college is to become educated. Tekio got it completely right in his first post. You speak of idiots with degrees in CS that couldn't do what we'd expect them to be capable of, and you also speak of certifications. Do not get CS confused with IT. If you're going into CS, there's only one certification out there, and it's your college degree. Next to CS, IT is basically monkey work that I agree you don't need a college education for, but you don't need one to be a plumber either. You say school is inapplicable, but again, that does not apply to CS or other rigorous subjects, only to IT and other such things taught at votech school.

You've heard from IT professionals that grades don't mean shit, well I've heard from neurosurgeons that grades are important. This is why I'm saying college is important. A neurosurgeon can learn how to be an IT professional with a few books and a small LAN. Can an IT professional learn how to become a neurosurgeon by himself? Would you go to a neurosurgeon that learned in his garage with a few textbooks and some roadkill to practice on? Would that person even get hired?

The point I'm trying to make here is that college is necessary and applicable to many, many real world jobs. Specifically, respectable jobs that require advanced knowledge to be able to perform. This includes CS, which I cannot stress enough is not IT. This thread has sort of moved from the importance of college in IT to the importance of college in general. I just want to emphasize the disparity.

EDIT: So Josh, I'm now confused. Do you want to go into networking and IT or computer science?

Edited by intimidat0r
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College is nessecary because everyone 'thinks' that it is. Today its just a business that pumps the kids who can pay the bill. As more and more suburban students were born, more of them began to attend this schoolastic nightmare we call college where your typical accredited university banks on dorm fees and tuition payments and parking tickets. In return we get a multiple choice education where the answer may or may not be 'all of the above' depending on how one looks at it. This mainstream flow has caused a 'general' acceptence level of education and is now being standardized as highschool was 20 or 30 years ago. Eventually there will come a time when a highschool education or ged will not get you those high paying jobs at a young age only experience will. Current profesionals have told me that THEY have been told they'll never be managers at major companies/institutions without and MBA or equivalant.

If one were to skip college, which I wish was a more plaudable alternative; experience and certs play a role...the rest is who you know. You will literally have to climb the ladder from the bottom. A college education will put you a few rungs up regardless of experience and certifications. However; don't be fooled into thinking just a degree will get you ahead. I know more idiots with degrees in CS that couldn't do nearly what you'd expect them to be capable of. The problem with school is that it is very unapplicable. If you want to be a true "well-rounded student" then you'll need work experience related to your field of choice, not wegmans cashier or a toll both attendant. If you want to be a step ahead of the game, you'll have certifcations (low level obviously) that prove what you have learned about your field so far (aside from school learning). I'm graduating this summer and what i've heard from many IT professionals is that grades don't really mean shit. Get the degree on your paper and be done with it. In order to promote your knowledge of programming/computers that you've learned outside of school then you must get certifications, ever if you are super-leet programmer w/e with 30 years experience, your next employer doesn't know how good you are unless you've reached certain accepted milestones. The moral of all this nonsense is that if one wants to be as succesful as possible and is not some gifted golden child then they have to look at EVERY aspect of self actualization.

God, I really hope you're speaking only of the importance of college in IT.

You're looking at it the completely wrong way. The point of college is to become educated. Tekio got it completely right in his first post. You speak of idiots with degrees in CS that couldn't do what we'd expect them to be capable of, and you also speak of certifications. Do not get CS confused with IT. If you're going into CS, there's only one certification out there, and it's your college degree. Next to CS, IT is basically monkey work that I agree you don't need a college education for, but you don't need one to be a plumber either. You say school is inapplicable, but again, that does not apply to CS or other rigorous subjects, only to IT and other such things taught at votech school.

You've heard from IT professionals that grades don't mean shit, well I've heard from neurosurgeons that grades are important. This is why I'm saying college is important. A neurosurgeon can learn how to be an IT professional with a few books and a small LAN. Can an IT professional learn how to become a neurosurgeon by himself? Would you go to a neurosurgeon that learned in his garage with a few textbooks and some roadkill to practice on? Would that person even get hired?

The point I'm trying to make here is that college is necessary and applicable to many, many real world jobs. Specifically, respectable jobs that require advanced knowledge to be able to perform. This includes CS, which I cannot stress enough is not IT. This thread has sort of moved from the importance of college in IT to the importance of college in general. I just want to emphasize the disparity.

EDIT: So Josh, I'm now confused. Do you want to go into networking and IT or computer science?

I really am interested in both. Although I am only going to go to college for computer science I guess. I will learn the networking/IT bit myself. Just as something to do. Because I am interested in it as well.

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This includes CS, which I cannot stress enough is not IT. This thread has sort of moved from the importance of college in IT to the importance of college in general. I just want to emphasize the disparity.

Off Topic:

Yes, I was confounded between the term I.T. vs C.S. As stated I have no formal training and have met many people in the IT industry who have a CS background.

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College is nessecary because everyone 'thinks' that it is. Today its just a business that pumps the kids who can pay the bill. As more and more suburban students were born, more of them began to attend this schoolastic nightmare we call college where your typical accredited university banks on dorm fees and tuition payments and parking tickets. In return we get a multiple choice education where the answer may or may not be 'all of the above' depending on how one looks at it. This mainstream flow has caused a 'general' acceptence level of education and is now being standardized as highschool was 20 or 30 years ago. Eventually there will come a time when a highschool education or ged will not get you those high paying jobs at a young age only experience will. Current profesionals have told me that THEY have been told they'll never be managers at major companies/institutions without and MBA or equivalant.

If one were to skip college, which I wish was a more plaudable alternative; experience and certs play a role...the rest is who you know. You will literally have to climb the ladder from the bottom. A college education will put you a few rungs up regardless of experience and certifications. However; don't be fooled into thinking just a degree will get you ahead. I know more idiots with degrees in CS that couldn't do nearly what you'd expect them to be capable of. The problem with school is that it is very unapplicable. If you want to be a true "well-rounded student" then you'll need work experience related to your field of choice, not wegmans cashier or a toll both attendant. If you want to be a step ahead of the game, you'll have certifcations (low level obviously) that prove what you have learned about your field so far (aside from school learning). I'm graduating this summer and what i've heard from many IT professionals is that grades don't really mean shit. Get the degree on your paper and be done with it. In order to promote your knowledge of programming/computers that you've learned outside of school then you must get certifications, ever if you are super-leet programmer w/e with 30 years experience, your next employer doesn't know how good you are unless you've reached certain accepted milestones. The moral of all this nonsense is that if one wants to be as succesful as possible and is not some gifted golden child then they have to look at EVERY aspect of self actualization.

God, I really hope you're speaking only of the importance of college in IT.

You're looking at it the completely wrong way. The point of college is to become educated. Tekio got it completely right in his first post. You speak of idiots with degrees in CS that couldn't do what we'd expect them to be capable of, and you also speak of certifications. Do not get CS confused with IT. If you're going into CS, there's only one certification out there, and it's your college degree. Next to CS, IT is basically monkey work that I agree you don't need a college education for, but you don't need one to be a plumber either. You say school is inapplicable, but again, that does not apply to CS or other rigorous subjects, only to IT and other such things taught at votech school.

You've heard from IT professionals that grades don't mean shit, well I've heard from neurosurgeons that grades are important. This is why I'm saying college is important. A neurosurgeon can learn how to be an IT professional with a few books and a small LAN. Can an IT professional learn how to become a neurosurgeon by himself? Would you go to a neurosurgeon that learned in his garage with a few textbooks and some roadkill to practice on? Would that person even get hired?

The point I'm trying to make here is that college is necessary and applicable to many, many real world jobs. Specifically, respectable jobs that require advanced knowledge to be able to perform. This includes CS, which I cannot stress enough is not IT. This thread has sort of moved from the importance of college in IT to the importance of college in general. I just want to emphasize the disparity.

EDIT: So Josh, I'm now confused. Do you want to go into networking and IT or computer science?

Wow, couldnt have said it better myself. There is most definitely a difference between IT and CS (and it's such a waste when a CS graduate goes on to do web design, it's my worst nightmare and hope it doesnt happen to me). I do think that CS can be self taught tho, it's not like being a neurosurgeon because of the nature of technology. (Most) Everyone has access to a computer and that coupled with a keen mind is all you really need. Of course, formal training helps. IMO the real reason college or uni is so important is because it helps you decide on what you want to do. When i first started uni i had no real idea on what i wanted to become. An IT technican, code monkey, sys admin. Now i know what i want to do (kinda) and can work towards it.

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Somebody that tells you going to a University is a waste of time either never went themselves or never got a degree. I think in the older generations they would say high school is the best 4 years of your life. College was the best 5 of mine..

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College was the best 5 of mine..

I am in College right now and they are really good.

Of course I am dealing with business more then I was in High School and I love working for / owning a business.

Go to College, you will never regret it, all big corps want to see is you can do something you do not want to for 5 years anyway.

Go. But do not get into the College experience mind set, it will just set you back.

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A neurosurgeon can learn how to be an IT professional with a few books and a small LAN.

And this exact mindset is why there are so manny shitty IT "professionals" around.

I do think that CS can be self taught tho, it's not like being a neurosurgeon because of the nature of technology. (Most) Everyone has access to a computer and that coupled with a keen mind is all you really need.

Yet another completely wrong mindset. Computer science is not about computers. Not any more than surgery is about scalpels or astronomy is about telescopes. When most people say "computer science" they really mean computer engineering.

Edited by WhatChout
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College is defiantly important; and I would highly recommend going if you can. Realistically, you can do quite well without setting foot inside a classroom - think of the ‘opportunity costs going to college and weigh those with what you could be doing without a degree’. Having advanced knowledge of computer systems, taking the rigorous LSAT and using some of the most advance mainframe systems from HP to run special applications I would say I defiantly got my money's worth.

Remember the one rule -college is all about what you put into it! So participate in the forums, be active in your college/university, and join IEEE and other organizations.

Edited by Infinite51
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I do think that CS can be self taught tho, it's not like being a neurosurgeon because of the nature of technology. (Most) Everyone has access to a computer and that coupled with a keen mind is all you really need.

Yet another completely wrong mindset. Computer science is not about computers. Not any more than surgery is about scalpels or astronomy is about telescopes. When most people say "computer science" they really mean computer engineering.

Im actually studying computer science at Uni so i know exactly what it entails and still stand by what i said. To be a surgeon you have to practice cutting people open which i assume is difficult to do unless you attend a uni and have access to dead people. To be a computer scientist the practical side is much easier to practice and the theory is easier to self teach due to some great books and FOSS. Im not saying Uni/college isnt importaint im just saying that it's one of the few field that doesnt need higher learning (although it does help alot)

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Im actually studying computer science at Uni so i know exactly what it entails and still stand by what i said.

That's just fantastic, but I'm not talking about what it entails.

To be a surgeon you have to practice cutting people open which i assume is difficult to do unless you attend a uni and have access to dead people.

That's great, but that's not what surgery is about. Surgery is about healing people through operations. If suddenly everyone started operating on people with lasers, surgery wouldn't start being a science about lasers.

To be a computer scientist the practical side is much easier to practice and the theory is easier to self teach due to some great books and FOSS.

You still don't get it. Computer science is not about computers. It is about computing. Computing can be done with an abacus, manually or mentally, just like you can hammer a nail with something else than a hammer. You are not learning about the tool, you are learning about the theory behind the tool, that's what CS is about. To be a computer scientist you don't have to use any computers, so there is no "practical side" implied by the science itself. What you are talking about is computer engineering.

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To be a surgeon you have to practice cutting people open which i assume is difficult to do unless you attend a uni and have access to dead people.

That's great, but that's not what surgery is about. Surgery is about healing people through operations. If suddenly everyone started operating on people with lasers, surgery wouldn't start being a science about lasers.

Which you can only do effectively with practice and an understanding of human anatomy, correct? The tools dont matter.

To be a computer scientist the practical side is much easier to practice and the theory is easier to self teach due to some great books and FOSS.

You still don't get it. Computer science is not about computers. It is about computing. Computing can be done with an abacus, manually or mentally, just like you can hammer a nail with something else than a hammer. You are not learning about the tool, you are learning about the theory behind the tool, that's what CS is about. To be a computer scientist you don't have to use any computers, so there is no "practical side" implied by the science itself. What you are talking about is computer engineering.

Of course there is a practical side to computer science. For example if you're interested in AI you need to have experience with programming (using rocks if you want, it doesnt really matter) and implementing MLP, genetic algorithms etc. What about OS development? You need to gain experience (theoretical and practical) before you can do anything.

Im not sure where this is going. I just wanted to make the point that computer science is one of the few fields that doesn't *need* formal education. Stop bringing this topic off track. I actually agree with you that there is a difference between computer science and computer engineering/it/whatever.

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the topic has taken an interesting turn -

especially with the last posts/quotes -

I hope i can contribute a few things...

Well ( long ) before computers it was physics and with it philosophy and what was to become the philosophy of science - that is epistemology. Although i come from a totally different background i considered questioning about science itself a favorite topic in my (first ) youth. It is actually a way of staying ( enough) young and keeping your ideas fresh by not requiring prequisites. Of course there are times and people when it becomes futile. But i'm pretty convinced it was one of the basic ingredients of every master, in every field, in the past and now.

I could say more about that but i prefer to wait for more feedback...

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Of course there is a practical side to computer science.

I never said there isn't, I said that it's not implied by the science itself, read my posts carefully.

For example if you're interested in AI you need to have experience with programming (using rocks if you want, it doesnt really matter) and implementing MLP, genetic algorithms etc.

Not really. You can do that all on paper. Algorithms don't require any implementation to still be valid algorithms, and so, a part of computer science.

What about OS development? You need to gain experience (theoretical and practical) before you can do anything.

OS development is an engineering subject. System theory, OS algorithms, etc. are parts of computer science. Applying them, i.e. making an OS, is not a part of computer science, it's a part of computer programming and engineering.

Stop bringing this topic off track.

Then stop making errors. You keep on confusing the practical side of the subject of computers - computer and software engineering - with the purely theoretical one - computer science. The former needs computers, or other programmable counting machines, the latter only needs proper theory proofs.

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Of course there is a practical side to computer science.

I never said there isn't, I said that it's not implied by the science itself, read my posts carefully.

For example if you're interested in AI you need to have experience with programming (using rocks if you want, it doesnt really matter) and implementing MLP, genetic algorithms etc.

Not really. You can do that all on paper. Algorithms don't require any implementation to still be valid algorithms, and so, a part of computer science.

What about OS development? You need to gain experience (theoretical and practical) before you can do anything.

OS development is an engineering subject. System theory, OS algorithms, etc. are parts of computer science. Applying them, i.e. making an OS, is not a part of computer science, it's a part of computer programming and engineering.

Stop bringing this topic off track.

Then stop making errors. You keep on confusing the practical side of the subject of computers - computer and software engineering - with the purely theoretical one - computer science. The former needs computers, or other programmable counting machines, the latter only needs proper theory proofs.

In regards to OS development i was refering more to system theory and os algorithms. My mistake of wording. No, algorithms do not need to be implemented to be valid but they would be pretty useless. It sounds as if you are describing a subset of computer science as the whole field. Maybe it's just a difference of definition but i think computer science encompasses as much the theory as it does the implementation. If you disagree then fair enough.

Deickos, i had a little trouble understanding your post. Could you clarify a little?

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In other words...

Sometimes it is more important to question about the vehicle of knowledge itself - in vehicle you can put many things : institutions, dominant/ mainstream trends, the rules of any field etc. You question the foundations ( maybe that is one reason for a discovery - any discovery -linux eg ). You ( temporarily ) put aside what the world has to offer you in a given moment in order to see things from above / from a fresh point of view. That is a way to create innovation ( at least ) and at the same time remain vivid as a person.

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No, algorithms do not need to be implemented to be valid but they would be pretty useless.

Computer science, just like mathematics, is not about usefulness.

It sounds as if you are describing a subset of computer science as the whole field. Maybe it's just a difference of definition but i think computer science encompasses as much the theory as it does the implementation.

No, there's a reason why there's mathematics and applied mathematics. There's also a reason for why there's computer science and computer engineering. One deals with the purely hypothetical concept, the other uses those concepts to solve real life problem through application. One derives from the other but they still stand as independent domains.

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