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An un-rant on Universities. (UC Irvine)

A lot of my friends and I are about to graduate πŸ‘¨‍πŸŽ“ from UCI, with Computer Science degrees.

Most of them are complaining that they don't know any current frameworks, and all that we learned is outdated.
And that pretty much any bootcamper knows more tools that any of us do.

I totally disagree. I don't think it's the university's job to teach you tools (node, tencerflow, ...), rather, I think they made us into programming Swiss Army knifes. I can pick up any framework (I wanna be a web dev) real easy, and when shit breaks down, I can easily figure out the issue.

I think that's the major difference between Computer Scientists and Bootcampers/Programmers. We know "why", while they know "how".

What do you think? Is the current price of a CS degree worth it?

Comments
  • 9
    For what you new grads pay in tuition today vs what I had to pay over two decades ago, universities should not only also give you tools knowledge, but also pay for intern lackeys to do your dry cleaning.
  • 2
    I want to give you a million ++s... That said, I don't think I have drawn on much of what I learned at Uni throughout my career.
  • 3
    I'm still a student but I totally agree.

    I learned enough python to build rest api with flask for an app in under a week.

    But I dont believe id be able to learn all those things i learned in uni so far that easy on myself. I wouldn't even know what to look for.

    It's easy to look for resources for 'X framework' but who thinks of studying the theoretical 'behind the curtains' concepts and mechanisms.
  • 1
  • 2
    @juzles I totally agree with you. Guided learning, if properly teached, means that you do not have to spend time - a lot of time - in building materials and collecting information for what you need to study, because you pay someone else (a lot) to do it for you.
  • 5
    Good luck with the job search though. Employers tend to emphasize the "how", so theoretical skills alone won't get you any money
  • 5
    dont fully agree, there are several devs who worked and some still do, who didnt go to school but are extremely good at what they do and have a pretty solid understanding of whats, hows and whys. Its all depending on the individuals passion to learn or do something. School may throw in some structure into some who prefer to learn that way.
  • 3
    *Tensorflow
  • 2
    No, they have the what, we college grads have the why and the how.
  • 3
    You definitely don't need a CS degree to be a web dev. In fact, you hardly need to finish high school for that. In fact, I'd say that if a 6th grader really took this stuff seriously and practiced for a few years, and then a few years more, learned, and practiced, he would've been one of the best web devs.

    CS courses teach much more than that. CS is for changing the world around you. Not just how it looks, but how it works, and what it actually is. CS is probably the most powerful science there is today, with which you can change the world faster than with anything else. Literally anything else. I mean sure you can make a GMO retrovirus that cures obesity and save millions of lives. But you could easier create some platforms that evolving markets can use to better plan their resources, and actually eliminate stuff like famine.Or you can influence decisions through data, and push governments to accept that same GMO retrovirus, and actually SAVE those lives instead of sitting on a shelf
  • 2
    Can you please expand? @apisarenco
  • 2
    Totally worth it. College only introduces you to the basics or more understanding of specific concepts. You're on your own to see what you can do with that knowledge.
  • 1
    @SamsungMao I think I already did :)

    The idea is CS focuses a lot on the analytical side, rather than coding. Coding is like a tool. If you learn to use it then you're a worker, a specialist. You don't need special education for that.

    The power of computers however is their sheer speed to do what humans can't. And we don't know what we can't do because we've never even tried, because we can't. Computer Science, together with data science, UI/UX concepts, offer a unique way of approaching human-centered problems. By using data, you can shape how people use technology, and that's where the real beauty of it all is.

    To find out more I suggest you either follow through with lessons, or if it's too much of a commitment, read a book like "Everybody Lies"
  • 6
    I learnt quite a bit at university, and going into my first not knowing any objective-c or Android knowledge, I was still able to pick up the languages quite fast. However in terms of using third party libraries, I was never taught about the legal issues of using libraries and making sure the licensing was shown, only through my own research because I thought it was important. Would have been nice to cover the various licences in say one week and I would have been happy. Also we were never told about making portfolios through the course except in the last few weeks before graduation lol
  • 0
    @apisarenco I like your point of view. And I agree with it. But don't get me wrong when I say web dev, I'm not building WP sites.
    I stared a platform that uses a ton of Machine Learning and image recognition behind a web platform. I want to disrupt the real estate industry... so, a bit more than just web dev.
    But it wasn't the point of the rant, so I didn't see the need in including this.
  • 2
    Back in my senior undergrad year (1991-1992), my college required that all CS majors work on a 2 semester real-life project. Yes, it was still a course, but we also had to develop something as in the real world. I feel that gave me an advantage over people from other colleges entering the job market at the same time that I did.

    It didn't matter what the project was creating. It didn't matter if it worked at the end of the course or not. What mattered was the team experience in creating the software.

    I understand the rant here, and can agree with it. But I also think that senior year should also prepare you for what it will be like once you land your first professional job. While the tools and programming languages have changed over the years, the basic work environment has not. Students should also be prepared for that first job.
  • 0
    @WildCard9 that's actually a good final project. We have a similar requirement at UCI.
  • 1
    As a fellow Computer Science student, I hope you're right. I haven't gotten to any of the programming courses at all yet, so I'm pretty much self taught at this point. But I do want to see what those courses can teach me. Shout out to Lumerit Education if you want to cut most of your college costs, I haven't taken any loans so far!
  • 3
    I mean studying CS in Germany is free, so I guess it is definitely worth it πŸ˜‚
  • 1
    @arturgrigio then it's not "web dev". It's data science.
  • 1
    @malte12g if its free then I wouldnt complain not having to be responsible another 4 years but here in states nothing is free and the costs almost seem like a rip off against term of returns
  • 2
    @bondman Bachelors are only 3 years in Germany too πŸ˜‹
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