No Degree Needed

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item No Degree Needed

  • Due to circumstances or any other reasons if a person could not obtain a degree its a separate matter. But a degree should always be encouraged. Its not just a piece of paper or a certificate, it teaches a lot more than that. Gettings Jobs with or without degree is a separate matter all together which depends on many factors.

  • When I got my start the main way you could get formal IT training was by going to a major universisty, like a Big 10 school, that was large enough to have major scientific focus.  My 2000-student 4-year college reportedly had a tiny computer hidden away in the basement of the Admin Offices building and only one classmate I knew had access.   It was four years after graduating that I actually saw a computer for the first time in my life.  My degree was in Sociology, but I got an opportunity and dived in.  There was no such thing as home computers, small business computers, etc to learn on at first.  ( our two mainframe systems were 'networked' by moving hard disks from one closet-sized device to another). A good friend thought I had promise and hired me to come and learn by taking manuals home at night (remember briefcases?).  There were two IBM 360-era mainframes side by side, a keypunch department, and file cabinets to hold the card decks containing our program code, because terminals did not yet exist.  Each mainframe had a 'console' which was like a modified IBM Selectric typewriter.  We used coding sheets that were converted to punch cards and read into the compilers by the operators between production jobs.   Execution of our code was controlled by "IF A = B THEN GO TO X" instructions until the major innovation of the ability to "PERFORM X THROUGH Y".

    This was a major international corporate manufacturing plant and I don't think any of our group of nine developers had IT degrees.

    "You've come a long way, Baby!".

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  skeleton567.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  skeleton567.

    Rick
    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

  • As someone who has a degree, I agree that a degree is not necessary. I've lost out on even being considered for some jobs because my GPA was not 3.95 or above. I was one of those who had to work my way through college, sometimes as much as 50 hours a week, plus going to school full-time. So, maintaining a GPA of 3.95 wasn't possible. At least for more.

    Also, I've known people who had degrees in computer science, who were worthless at writing software. One lady I know had her master's degree in CS, with a GPA of 3.97, who couldn't write workable code.

    And lastly, I've known people who only had a high school education, who were expert software developers. This one guy was brilliant. No one, even with master's degrees, was as good as him. However, his circumstances in life prevented him from being able to go to college.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • I agree that a degree doesn't really mean that much. Hiring should be based solely someone being the best person for the job.

    As someone who did an engineering degree part time while working full time I can say that it did teach me to pick myself up after getting knocked and how to persevere.

    And it's still a lazy way employers can use to filter out candidates as the job market changes.

     

  • I agree that there will be candidates the can 'do the job' or 'are as good as a candidate with a degree'. However, if I interview 100 candidates with a degree and 100 candidates without a degree, the percentage of candidates without a degree that can do the job or have the base skills that I can teach to do the job will be a small fraction of the number of candidates with a degree that can do the job or have the base skills. If I require a degree, will I miss out on a good candidate -probably. Will I miss out on a good employee - probably not. Time is the most precious resource, I would rather not use it slogging through the plethora of hobby programmers who think they are ready for a real world job. Are there geniuses out there whose life situation prevented them from getting a degree - maybe, but they are few and far between and I question the "life situation." There are people who come from incredibly bad life situations that figure out how to overcome those situations and get a degree. As long as I can find good people to fill the jobs I have while applying the "degree filter", that's what I'm going to do. I will mention that there are a few exceptions. For example, graduates of the Navy's Nuclear Power Program not only get a look, they get a long look. That is one of the toughest academic programs in the country and anybody who completes that program will be a top notch hire. Graduates of that program possess many traits you find in quality candidates you cannot other measure. They are detail oriented, smart, take ownership, adhere to procedure, have integrity, are team players, and many more traits that matter more than a degree.

  • Rod at work wrote:

    As someone who has a degree, I agree that a degree is not necessary. I've lost out on even being considered for some jobs because my GPA was not 3.95 or above. I was one of those who had to work my way through college, sometimes as much as 50 hours a week, plus going to school full-time. So, maintaining a GPA of 3.95 wasn't possible. At least for more.

    Rod, I'm with you on that background.  My GPA was just average, and while in college I worked beginning as a stockboy, delivery driver, and then moved into self-taught bookkeeper/credit manager ( on ledger cards and a manual posting machine ) for a small company.  My college admin department would not allow me to have my car that I already owned in town because I was borrowing money for my education (how is that for logic) so I hiked 16 blocks to work and back between classes, etc and back to campus in the dark of cold winter evenings.

    But now they keep asking me for donations...

    Rick
    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

  • I have found that companies that require a degree (any major would do) for IT positions were also so bureaucratic that I would not want to work there.

    I graduated high school in 1978, so I'd have obtained a degree in 1982 if I went the traditional route. I'd have learned RPG, COBOL, and FORTRAN, but not C or anything about databases. I've been turned away from C, C#, and Oracle and SQL Server DBA jobs because I didn't have a degree, despite my having certifications and practical experience that exactly met all the other job requirements and that a 1982 degree program would not have prepared me for.

    I once was placed at a company by a consulting firm, and after 3 years of them being delighted with my work and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on software licenses based solely on my recommendations, would not hire me as a direct employee because I did not have a degree. I was told they required even the cleaning staff to have degrees, which is just silly.

    I think companies that "weed out" candidates without degrees before reading anything on a resume put themselves at a significant disadvantage.

  • m60freeman wrote:

    I have found that companies that require a degree (any major would do) for IT positions were also so bureaucratic that I would not want to work there.

    I graduated high school in 1978, so I'd have obtained a degree in 1982 if I went the traditional route. I'd have learned RPG, COBOL, and FORTRAN, but not C or anything about databases. I've been turned away from C, C#, and Oracle and SQL Server DBA jobs because I didn't have a degree, despite my having certifications and practical experience that exactly met all the other job requirements and that a 1982 degree program would not have prepared me for.

    I once was placed at a company by a consulting firm, and after 3 years of them being delighted with my work and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on software licenses based solely on my recommendations, would not hire me as a direct employee because I did not have a degree. I was told they required even the cleaning staff to have degrees, which is just silly.

    I think companies that "weed out" candidates without degrees before reading anything on a resume put themselves at a significant disadvantage.

    Boy, I hear ya!! I do have a degree, which helped me get started in a career of development. However, I have been shut out of employment at one of our national labs, because my GPA wasn't 3.90. I had to work my way through school, sometimes as much as 30 hours a week. Plus going to school full time; yeah, I don't have a 3.90 GPA. My Mom and Dad didn't pay a dime for my education. And what made things even worse for me is one of my coworkers at the time, a very smart lady, trust me, had a 3.90+ GPA on her way to a masters degree in computer engineering. But she couldn't program to save her life. She wrote an application which, after she left, ran non-stop for a month! Occasionally, it would spit out something new, but for the most part it was just keeping the CPU warm. And yet, there she was, on her way to a job at the national lab, incapable or writing applications. And there I was, completely capable of writing working software, but blocked from employment by an arbitrary judgement that "only people with 3.90+ GPAs need apply."

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • A degree shouldn't be necessary,  but it does prove that you had some discipline to learn something. You can prove that otherwise as well.

    Most of the time we have a shortage of workers, learning/validating on the job is a big thing giving the acceleration of new IT techs, at least for developers (apps, rest-api's, cloud, ai , different frameworks, ...)

  • Jo Pattyn wrote:

    A degree shouldn't be necessary,  but it does prove that you had some discipline to learn something. You can prove that otherwise as well.

    It also proves you had the resources to spend the equivalent 4 years in school full-time. Besides that obvious diversity problem, it seems absurd to require a degree from someone with 10+ years of directly relevant experience.

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