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Seytonic : Is a Computer Science Degree Worth it in 2018?



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  1. I'm a cyber security/digital forensics analyst. Never went to school/college/uni. I spent countless hours studying at home. Reading a lot of books, setting up home labs etc. Taking certs like the SSCP/CEH/CCNA Cyber Op's/OSCP etc.

    I keep studying. I keep doing courses…be it Linux Admin, CCNA Routing and Switching, various SANS courses (again, self studying rather than taking the actual course).

    I'm doing fine. If you know what you want to achieve, make it happen. I've barely spent more than a couple thousand dollars to get where I am. Employers can see my skills and don't care about my lack of Uni qualifications.

    I'm surrounded by coders who have taken similar paths. We're passionate about what we do. It's what sets us aside from the rest.

    Don't let the system bog you down. Get out there, and do it. Musicians often have the same mentality. They don't spend hours in the classroom, they just pick up the guitar and rock out.

    Rock out children.

  2. School in the US isn't that expensive, especially when you take into account lower taxes and lower cost of living in most places. California has a huge cost of living but cheap school too, so it really depends on where in the US you go. My recommendation, go get a 2 year degree at a public collage first. Dip your toes in the water without worrying about much "if any" debt.

  3. Seytonic, Thank you so much for this video, really. I'm finishing my GCSE's next year and then going to college, but my parents are always telling me what college is good for what and which leads to uni and blah. This really helped because you have put me in the position to know where I need to go, Thanks.

  4. Hm I'm going into Games Engineering, but it's at a nice university (TUM) and I've got 1500 commits on GitHub in the last year, so that's something to show.

  5. ive been doing comp-sci a level, and weve been doing all this ground up stuff, plus ive been reading up on a load of really low-level stuff, including reversing etc. do i do a degree? ive been feeling like i should do an apprenticeship though, because i tend to learn better by doing, rather than reading/listening (british btw)

  6. I'm definitively one of those anomalies. I learned my skills through 10 years of self teaching, and actually landed my very first job doing web development straight out of high school. Today, I work at a university college doing pretty heavy backend development, and computer science is one of the courses we offer. I've looked through all the course materials, and there's very little I don't already know (For example, I don't know how to construct Red-Black Trees). However, I'm in discussions with my manager about letting me take the course and get myself that degree. Why, you ask, when I will get so little out of it? Simple: Just like Seytonic said in the video, I'll be more attractive to employers and can demand a higher salary with that piece of paper you get at the end. It will benefit me further down the line.
    So, my 2 cents: You can absolutely do it on your own and be successful if you're dedicated enough. I'm living proof. But having a degree, any degree, is still helpful in the market.

  7. I earned my computer science degree while working as a sys admin. Thankfully the company I worked for paid about 80% of my tuition, but I was working for them full-time and only a part-time student. That slowed down the process of earning my degree by a few years. I received my diploma in the wake of the dot com crash. Ended up staying at my job rather than taking a massive pay cut to try to get an entry level job in a saturated field.
    Things I've learned. I've never used my computer science degree in any job that listed it as a requirement for employment. Many people working in the IT field are self taught and either don't have a degree or have a degree in a completely unrelated field.
    Counterpoint to those anti-degree points. A lot of the non-CS-degreed colleagues I've had got in when there was a high demand for IT workers and a very small supply of CS graduates. The degree is more likely to get your application on the shortlist of people who will get interviewed. The methodology for solving problems that are taught in science and engineering degrees are life skills that are applicable to most problems you will come across.–having these skills will make you a more valuable employee. Anyone having to read your code after you have moved on will be grateful that you choose same variable names, comment your code, and don't make a spaghetti mess of things…assuming the professors drilled those skills into you.

  8. I guess I'm one of those rare cases of people who work better teaching myself how to program. Not only did i learn absolutely nothing at my 3 years of university, I hated it. Everything felt out of date and stale, while not challenging me at all. It was super demotivating. I ended up spending more time helping others with their homework to get through it without losing my mind. I guess everyone has a different experience in university.

  9. I don't have any Master or like that. I just focused on trying to do my best. Now I'm working for a very well known company. They never asked me a question about my school. They talked with me and gave me a chance because I show them that I care.

  10. I've just finished my Computer Science Degree. Before I entered the degree, I thought I knew C++ and Java pretty well. The problem was, sure, I knew how to make programs work but they would be one massive file full of spaghetti code. I not only learn good practices at uni, but I also learnt a lot of the basics like stack vs heap, coding practices like MVC. If I had a question, I always had someone to ask, even if it wasn't in the same subject. I met a lot of people doing the same thing, learning how to interact with them (most nerds are really hard to talk too). It also showed me how to use tools like trello, github, docker, vms, IDEs, unix and more. They also show us project management and so so much more. Also they force you to learn, so even if you get bored or sick of it, doesn't matter because you have to pass so you have to do it.

    I would 100% recommend it.

  11. I was looking forward to see this video, because I took my 1st year of CS and was wondering what your opinons are. I totally agree.
    I had programmed a lot before starting university, and found out that I was pretty much lacking in the basics, even though I had a feeling for how they work. Working with languages on a higher level and frameworks are the byproduct of knowing why things work and how they work fundamentally, they're kind of (one of) the best tool(s) fit for the job and promote good code practices.
    I got up to speed quite quickly with the programming. The other department I was lacking in was math which is heavily covered here. Now that the first year's passed I find my code to be a lot better and having a better insight as to why the so called "good practices" are actualy good.

  12. I started 30+ years ago on the old Commodore computers. I didn't do Computer Science, though I probably should have I've been both lucky and persistent. A degree won't replace having aptitude and passion, but it will help immensely when approaching new problems/systems and in just communicating in the industry. It's also almost required if you're new to the industry and want a job at any company that is large enough to have a HR department. Not having a degree being an easy reason for HR or an agency to reject an applicant :-/


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