Does It Matter Where You Graduate From?
Hey, John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com. So I get a lot of questions about college
and universities and I don’t think I’ve really answered this question before, so I
thought I’d talk a little bit about whether or not it matters where you get your degree.
I’ve got this question from Tim and Tim says “Hi John, I really love your work and
everything you are doing with Simple Programmer but today I have a question for you: Does
it matter where you get your computer science degree? Meaning does the prestige of the university
matter at all? I’m currently in the process of getting a job as a developer and going
to school part time and then finishing the last 8 months of the degree on campus. Are
there any distance learning computer science programs that you would recommend? I would
really appreciate any kind of guidance. I really admire your work and value your advice
greatly. All the best, Tim.” I think a lot of people ask this question
and I think a lot of developers. A lot of people in general just get caught up in the
whole idea of universities and degrees and the prestige and really it doesn’t matter
that much. I’ve talked about this a little bit about before but essentially if you’re
not graduating from MIT or Harvard or Princeton or Yale, the ones that I can name off like
that it’s not going to matter where you get the degree.
Now, granted if you’ve graduated from MIT with a computer science degree that’s going
to be a little bit more—it’s going to matter a little bit more than it does from
a general university, but unless it’s one of those really, really top tier schools it’s
not going to make much of a difference. The thing is, even if you graduate from one of
those top tier schools you’re probably still not going to get the benefit from it, the
big benefit from it unless you got a scholarship there because you’re going to be paying
so much in student loan debt that even if you get a better job and make a little bit
more money it’s not going to make up for that. I really wouldn’t focus so much on
worrying about where you get your degree from. Most of the middle tier type of universities,
if they’re not one of those top schools no one knows the difference, no one really
evaluates, is this school better than this school. Maybe someone in the academic area
or someone who’s researching colleges would know and would rank those schools, but when
you think about it, you know, when I’ve ever had someone come in for an interview
and I’ve interviewed them or I’ve been in an interview, I don’t think anyone on
that side of the table doing the interview really looks at your school and figures out
what ranking is that school. They don’t care. If they see Princeton or Yale or MIT,
sure that jumps out at them, but if it’s just some other university, even if it might
be the top of the middle tier no one really cares.
The thing is with that in mind I would say that what you really want to do is focus on
trying to find a university that’s not going to cost you too much money because what you
don’t want to do, this is the worst possible scenario would be to pick a sort of not one
of those big name brand schools but a top school that not everyone knows and has a really
high price tag, right? Because that’s going to be—you’re not going to get any benefit
from the name and you’re going to pay a lot of money so it would be better to pick
a lower tier school that has a much lower price tag.
In fact, I did a video on this. You could check that video out here. I did a video on
what I recommend which is actually to go to a community college for a few years and then
transfer to university. That’s going to be the best bang for your buck because you’re
going to get the degree from the university so you’ll have a degree but you’ll pay
a lot less money. Anyway, that’s what I would recommend. Like
I said, I know some people disagree, but really there’s very few people that are going to
notice the difference between most schools. The other thing I’d say is with the online
programs I don’t really have one to recommend to you. I used to research this a lot, but
it seems now that most universities offer some kind of correspondent school. In the
past maybe 5 or 10 years ago it was rare. There were a few places you could get your
degree online or do correspondence but almost every single major university offers that
now. they have these satellite campuses or they have correspondence programs or things
that you can do online to get your degree and do it from home.
I would check into that for any major university and you’ll probably find that that’s fairly
easy to do. But yeah, so don’t get too caught up on this whole idea. If you do get the degree,
that’s great, but again, just make sure, you know, what I always say is don’t go
so far into debt because it’s never really going to pay off in the long run.
Thanks for the question Tim. Hopefully that helps you. If you have a question for me,
email me at [email protected] If you like this video, subscribe. Take care.