Does a cs degree help with web development?

Does a cs degree help with web development? Is it a good investment?

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Welcome to the forums!

The question is kind of open-ended.

  • Degrees can vary wildly in costs

  • CS degrees cover a lot of different ground (a lot not related to web-dev). This can either be a good thing or not depending on what your goals are.

  • Online learning currently changes the paradigm a bit. One of the strengths of degrees is not just the paper and the training, but the network that comes with it. I wonder how that’s affected if this social-distancing is prolonged for more than a year.

  • Different CS departments work on different curriculum, you’d have to find one that is known for their web-dev if that’s a very specific angle you’re aiming for. I don’t see assembly language, C++, and calculus being necessarily relevant to common web-dev (but again, it depends on what you have in mind overall).

  • It’s not unheard of for people to get work without degrees, particularly in web-dev.


From my past experience, the tech dept. I worked in not everyone had a CS degree. I think only a few people had MS in CS. Others, who didn’t have a background in tech learned online in a bootcamp or in an in-person classes (or, on the job) and got promoted that way. One woman I worked with had a degree in English and was the head of her dept.

So…no, IMO a CS degree isn’t a requirement to work in web dev.


Good point. I think though even if you learn online you can create communities and networks from there as well.

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What do you think about what this source says that 77% of web developers have a degree?

You’d have to look at what people say of University of the People’s reputation (it’s not regionally accredited, for all that’s worth…). Reddit has some lively discussion on this.

They are trying to sell you something so of course they will give a stat that pushes that perspective.

@dev6112515278 for example programs like these are slightly more transparent:

As for sources, you really just have to ask people that are in the field to check veracity or if anything smells fishy.

Bootcamps are another can of worms for example. Can they help train you for a job? Sometimes. Are some of them predatory? Also, yes. Is this true for all of them? No.

Context is fluid and there’s no one-size-fits-all.

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What is a good source? Where can I find good sources on this topic?

|1.|CS-210|Programming Languages

|2.|CS-260|Data Structures and Algorithms|1 course needed
|3.|CS-250|Software Development Lifecycle|1 course needed
|4.|CS-230|Operating Platforms|1 course needed
|5.|CS-255|System Analysis and Design|1 course needed
|6.|CS-305|Software Security|1 course needed
|7.|CS-320|Software Test, Automation& QA|1 course needed
|8.|CS-330|Comp Graphic and Visualization|1 course needed
|9.|CS-340|Client/Server Development|1 course needed
|10.|CS-360|Mobile Architect & Programming|1 course needed
|11.|CS-370|Current/Emerging Trends in CS|1 course needed
|12.|CS-465|Full Stack Development I|1 course needed
|13.|CS-470|Full Stack Development II|

1. CS-319 UI/UX Design and Development 1 course needed
2. CS-350 Emerging Sys Arch & Tech 1 course needed
3. CS-405 Secure Coding 1 course needed
4. CS-410 Software Reverse Engineering 1 course needed

This is my course overview for my degree. And tuition is $35,000 for four years at SNHU. Which if any of these courses would be highly valuable for web development. Isnt back end to do with data and algorithms?

If college is not the best path then what is?

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You’re seeing the statement “X% of people doing [job] have a degree” and are inferring from it, not necessarily correctly, that “A degree is necessary to do [job]”.

Whilst I can’t speak for other countries, in the UK there is - and has been for many years now - a great push to drive young adults leaving compulsory education into pursuing undergraduate degree courses.

As more and more people go into HE, more and more people will graduate and so more and more of the working population will hold degrees. Does this mean that you need a degree to do those jobs? Not necessarily; all we can say for certain is that we have a lot of well educated people in the workforce. :slight_smile:

A CS degree would likely not harm your employability as a web developer, and would more than likely give you a a firm grounding in the skills and techniques that you need to succeed in that field. Whether it’s an absolute necessity, though, is a wholly different question - and I know plenty of excellent developers who aren’t graduates.

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No, a computer science degree is not a good lead in to web development.

Computer Science programs are largely still about Theory, Algorithms, Math, Hardware (as it was in the 80s), and a tiny bit of coding. Look at many undergrad CS programs and you’ll see that many are 20 years behind the curve.

The reality is that modern web development doesn’t revolve around much of that curriculum. Core skills today:

  • Kanban
  • Web Design
  • UX Design
  • Functional Porgramming Techniques
  • Asynchronous Programming
  • HTML + CSS + JavaScript
  • CSS FlexBox
  • Bootstrap
  • NoSQL databases (MongoDB, Redis, Neo4j)
  • Node.js
  • Express.js
  • React.js
  • Artificial Intelligence (Natural Language Processing, Convolutional Neural Networks, Genetic Algorithms, etc)

I have yet to see a CS program that goes in-depth enough about those topics, to really merit the time and expense. You are much more likely to find a trade/tech school (or community college) that teaches those things, than a 4-year undergrad CS program.