[AMA] should I get a software engineering degree from a college

ama-24-march-17

#1

Hello, after codecademy I made a career decision, and planning to have a degree of software engineering from college.
And I can say:
1 - I love coding
2 - I’m okay with math
3 - I’m not quite into hardware

So could you tell me am I on the right path? Should I go for software engineering or is there any other field fits me better.


{Need Advice} Will me degree help me?
Codecademy AMA: March 24 2017
#2

Software engineering, as far as I know, is generally more to do with software - programs and apps - than hardware - robots and physical things, so it’s not really a problem if you’re not into hardware too much.

Of course, you may learn to love hardware in the future, but for now I think you’re on the right track, since, as you said yourself, you love coding! :slight_smile:


#3

A lot of people think coding requires math! It’s not so much that you need to be a calculus whiz to be a good engineer, but rather you need to be able to solve problems and follow logical processes. If you feel a passion for engineering, chase it!


#4

To clarify, are you wondering what degree you should get, or if you should get a degree at all, or if getting into software engineering is a good decision for you?


#5

Yes actually some people say degree can be waste of time. But when it comes to job applications people are looking for degrees.


#6

It can be a challenge to find a developer job without a formal degree, but it’s definitely not impossible. For many job posts, there can be so many applicants that it’s just a useful way to quickly filter out a big chunk of the applicant pool. It can be a similar thing for colleges and standardized tests, where certain schools may not look long at applicants who do not have a minimum SAT score of the like. That’s not to say that it’s impossible, it just means that you need to be a little more creative about it - you need to be able to show someone what you can do. You need to figure out how to get your application seen, and that’s often best done with an introduction. To some extent, this is always the case with getting any job, but in some ways for development work it’s in a sense easier in that your work can prove what you can do, if you can just get someone to see it - that’s not as easy to do in certain other fields.


#7

Thank you for your time really appreciated. I will definitely think about this.


#8

As for questions like “am I on the right path” to a large extent that’s a question for you to answer and not anyone else. I’m reminded of these videos from John Green on college majors and what to do with your life. College degrees are not fate. If you love coding and you think you’re good at it (or could be good at it) then go for it - keep learning and building. Ask people who are experienced what they think of your work and if they think you may have what it takes then go for it even harder - keep learning and building even more.

This isn’t super scientific, but of all the developer colleagues I’ve had in my five-odd years working in startups in NYC, a majority of them did not study computer science or anything related to coding in college. They did math and science and philosophy (like me) and other things that were analytical, and yeah some of them did things that were very artistic and don’t “on paper” have as much to do with the skills involved in coding. It’s definitely possible to make a career in code without a degree in CS.


#9

You really know how to motivate a person! I mean it. Thank you very very much for inspiring me! There is loads of knowledge about computer science and most of them are even free just like codecademy. I will keep learning and expand my knowledge in this field. (<3) I’m really more excited than before, now. It was really nice to have advice from codecademy team!