Why You SHOULD GO to University to Study Computer Science:



In the last post I spoke about how courses (mainly online ones from the likes of Udemy, Eduonix, Clever Programmer ... ) were not worthwhile because of how they limit your learning and they aren't the most practical. For more information about that, check out my last post!


While those points still stand, I think that it's only fair to talk about the other side of the argument because there are benefits to going to uni.


DISCLAIMER: I am simply offering advice and backing it up with reasons. There's no definitive 'right answer' for everyone. There are reasons to support doing these courses, as well as not doing these courses. Simply enjoy the posts!


  1. The 'Status' of Having a Degree

Traditionally, getting a degree came with a status. The 'power' of education and having a degree usually led to higher job prospects. Having 'BSc' or 'MSc' or even 'MComp' next to your name was usually a sign of respect that someone had put in the hard work within that field. Admittedly, nowadays it seems as though degrees are becoming less necessary, particularly in the fields of Programming, Machine Learning, AI ... where the skills can be easily acquired. With that being said, the status of a degree cannot be ignored, even if that status is declining.




2. A Set Structure of Content

One of the biggest benefits about learning through university is that their courses are standardised and usually accredited (e.g. through the British Computing Society). This means that you cover a range of topics from The Processor to Algorithms, Data Structures, Big O. Within the Computer Science community there are some memes showing students skipping certain topics in favour of other, more trending ones (see below):

Credit: https://pics.esmemes.com/computer-science-students-todays-overexcited-al-ml-big-data-58039844.png



It should be noted that topics like Data Structures, Computational Thinking and Maths are ones that FAANG Companies (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) like their employees to be skilled in. Smaller companies probably care less about these because they focus more on Software Development, Web Development, and meeting the needs of their clients rather than world-changing ideas.



3. The Networks, Connections and Opportunities

Universities provide so many opportunities to connect with like-minded people. Most courses tend to offer a 'team software development project' which mimics a real-world industry situation. They also host career events where representatives from different companies come to the universities and deliver talks about Computer Science, providing valuable knowledge. Most programs offer either a year in industry/ a year abroad/ a combination of both, which helps students stand out.


The point is that most of these opportunities are either out of reach, or harder to obtain, if you're an individual learning to program. Universities are able to offer more support to its students.






Disadvantages:


So now, I'd like to talk briefly about some of the disadvantages of going to university. I've already spoken mainly about disadvantages in my last post!


  1. It's Expensive!!

Typically costing around £9000 p/y. Lots of money required which could be spent elsewhere. Even though most people take out a student loan, they're still left in some sort of debt for the next 30 years (it's wiped after then).





2. It Doesn't Necessarily Guarantee Better Career Prospects

There are a fair amount of college dropouts who've quit to go build better things, within Computer Science. And nowadays, most people have a degree meaning it's not enough to stand out. Like I said in the previous post, 'Implementation is Key!'.


Conclusion


  • Me personally, I've decided to go to uni. More on that in the future (maybe a future blog post?!!).

  • University provides a well structured program to tackling Computer Science as a whole!

  • University does provide a lot of opportunities.

  • Does the Cost and the fact that it can be outdated quickly, outweigh all this? (That's up to you to decide).


Final Things: If you made it this far, thank you for reading!! This was my second ever blog post!! I'm always learning so expect better posts in the future!


Initially I'm posting on more boring topics to improve my blog-writing skills. Once I get better, I'll tackle more interesting topics!!!