Nowadays, there are many courses on the Internet or schools of programming, which announce that you can become a programmer in a few months and find a well-paid job. How does higher education in computer science or other programming related fields compare to this? Is the importance of higher education starting to be diminished? In this article, I want to answer these questions and write my opinion. It will be based on my experience and acquired knowledge from books or other valuable publications.
Let’s start at the beginning
Suppose you are finishing high school and are wondering what to do next. This is not an easy choice, I realize that. I remember that millions of ideas crossed my mind, what I could do. It is hard to decide about your future at such a young age. You can think about the field of study or even the sense of studying at all. My advice at the beginning is that you should approach this topic calmly, ask people around you who are already studying or have finished studying and make this decision. I will focus further on programming-related fields, but this applies all.
I was in high school in a class with extended mathematics and physics. I chose this class and school because of the prospects. I will not lie that I was a fan of mathematical calculations or kinematics. The natural choice after such a class were engineering or mathematical fields of study, that was my plan too. I took into account several fields, but I finally decided on control engineering and robotics. Once again, this was not due to a passion for this topic, it was a choice of something prospective that could provide me with a good future, and this also seemed very interesting. I did not think about the worth and sense of studying at the university at all then. I am probably too ambitious to finish my education at the high school level.
It is really worth
Yes, studying fields related to programming is profitable and useful. I suspect you may disagree with me, but I will now try to justify it and write some of the most important arguments.
I know, I am writing about the prospects once again, but it is so! Someone may say that this is only paper. Yes, it is paper, but you never know when it will be useful to you. Maybe some job position you have always dreamed of will require higher education.
Finding your first job
It may look different in your country but in Poland, the employer prefers to hire a student for an internship rather than a person who is not studying. This is because such an employee is cheaper. As a student, you also have to do a professional practice. If you do your job well, your employer can offer you a contract and your career will start.
Community and connections
Studying is an ideal place to meet people with similar interests and expand your network of contacts. Of course, nothing happens by itself. You need to show some initiative. I recommend you to join some science club, you will have the opportunity to create a project with your colleagues and write it into your CV. If you have no professional experience, such projects will certainly make it easier for you to find your first job.
The ability to touch various technologies
In the age of the Internet, you can learn many things on your own, but often you may lack the time or just motivation. At the university, you will have different courses, where you will just have to learn different technologies, languages or methodologies. Sometimes you will be annoyed because you will have to write a program in Java, and you prefer to program in Python. But this is the perfect time to try different things and find something for yourself. This is what a university is for!
Developing soft skills
The stereotype that a programmer is an introvert who has his world at work and does not talk to anyone is not true. You must be able to talk to a business analyst and understand what needs to be done for the client or manage a team. The university is a very good place to acquire such soft skills. You will have to leave the comfort zone there, for example, give a presentation about your thesis. This will certainly be useful for your future job.
Just have fun
Previous things have highlighted the importance of the university in your career, but it is also time to have fun! I know that not everyone has the chance, but if your parents are able to provide you with the opportunity to study at the university, then use it! You can meet great people there and make friends for the rest of your life.
As I mentioned, I have a bachelor’s degree in control engineering and robotics. Now I do a master’s degree in computer science in medicine. When I chose my field of study, I did not want to go to computer science because I could not imagine myself as a programmer, but life writes surprising scenarios. I thought it was boring and not for me. However, when I studied control engineering and robotics I had a lot of programming courses and I really liked it. For this reason, I decided to work as a software engineer.
Studying is a very interesting time, which gives a lot of possibilities. If this time is before you, remember it and take full advantage of it. If you are after this period in your life, I am very curious to know what you think about it. Of course, every university is different, not all courses make sense, but studying computer science is definitely worth it!