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18 Dec Should you go to University, or Learn to Code on your Own?



Going to university is a big decision, because of the cost in time and money. In this video, I go over some of the things you should consider about university, and whether it might make sense to learn to code on your own.

So, is higher education worth it? Answer: it depends on what your goals are.

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MOST RECENT COMMENTS
31 Comments
  • Wde DK
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Your videos are really interesting to listen to! and i learn alot. Are you a teacher? a really good one if so.

  • Vitaly Tomachevski
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    I wish I saw this video back in 2010, when I want to a technical school to study graphic design. I went for a one year technical diploma and midway I learned that it was not what I wanted to learn. However I finished and did not have sufficient skills to get a starting job nor did I want to take on a job. The salary was also very low and it was very competitive to just get noticed. I only owned $15,000 + interest. I have been working a minimum wage job all these years paying it off. And finally I am only a few months away from finishing my final payments after saving enough money to make my final payments. To add to this I just realized that my institute shut down a few years ago for fraudulent activities. The worst part is I still don't have a job in my graphic design field and now I have to learn something new which makes me hesitant to spend more money again to continue or even restart my education. That's many years of my life down the drain. Thankfully I never went to a 4 year college and thankfully I am pretty much finished getting out of debt.

  • Fennec Ran
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    This why Bankers ang Big news companies are allies against Islam, islam prohibits interest and fights against those devil monsters and their strategy of slaving people thrue interest and money debt, im not talking politics but i think people on your channel are smart, so their no problem to mention this point

  • minh quan Do
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    So from my point of view, the question ultimately boils down to what kind of hardware and data do you need in order to write your code? The benefit of being in an academic institution is that you have large amounts of resources at your disposal. If you need access to research papers, medical datasets, basically any kind of data that's expensive and hard to get your hands on, it's probably best to go to university. Or if you need access to hardware, like robotic parts, medical devices like an MRI, CT, X ray, etc then you should consider being in an academic setting. So what jobs would require this? I would say anything related to autonomous robotics, I mean you could stay at home and write code for servos all day but you still need to run that code with an actual robot. If you're going into machine learning, you might need access to data that's expensive or difficult to obtain. Or maybe you want to do some crazy research into quantum computing, good luck getting access to that piece of hardware. So to sum it all up, it depends on what you want to do with your program knowledge.

  • Mihai A
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Rather than going 4 year to university start small with begginer programming books and work your way up from there.

  • Sherman Owen
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    I was working for Raytheon back in 1985. I was making $25K doing the sam job as a guy making $100 because he had a BSEE and I only had a certificate from IVY tech. Get a BSEE if you want to make money programming. I managed to go back to school, get my BSEE minor in math, minor in CS. I now am the head of a software engineering group with a strong interest in controls. I made $1M in the first 12 years out of college. Get a BSEE degree. It is gold.

  • larmando22
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Nice breakdown

  • Laurentiu Stefan
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    thanks for yet another motivational vid.

  • Ali Tanwir
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Great video !

  • Quicksilver17
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    You speak another language. Maybe even originally from a different country…

  • Mike Greer
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    All your videos are good, as is this one. But, you seem to skirt the issue, the reality issue, like everyone else does. Going in to debt for an education, is just an investment. An investment in yourself. Why should bankruptcy even be a consideration? Someone gave you that money, you should be responsible enough to pay it back. End of story. If you make a bad investment in this world, guess what? You lose. Try something different. And, there are ways of getting a college education without going in to debt. Work your way through, like I did, or, join the military, like I did. Yeah, it's tough, but, then, so is life.

  • C U
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    The morale is don't hurt into debt but do both

  • mukhtar obayd
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    simple truth

  • 1UP
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Just go to a place where they teach Haskell or Lisp, and you will be fine

  • Jos Nienhuis
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Well said! Although you disregard the social pressure going to college or university. Also from family side of things (parents saying "you HAVE to go to school!!") .
    It's sad but a lot of people still feel this (any, my parents kinda convinced my younger brother to do psychology on a bachelor lvl) degree is soooo important.
    I wish I knew this when I was 18 (going to college the first time and failing, having some student debt from that as a result). I discovered that my way of learning isn't book learning, it works really bad for me personally.
    I am now (what I consider) a very successful and very pragmatic software developer. I see colleagues with university degrees around me that I consider a lot worse than myself when it comes to delivering a solid and robust program or website. Sometimes all that university knowledge about design patterns and what not can actually make a solution over complicated and super fragile or tricky to expand.
    I like watching your videos (just started recently) since it coincides with a lot of the believes I personally have, it's nice to find more confirmation and you tell it in a way everybody can understand (sometimes, or actually most, for me the lvl is too low but still refreshing to have a somewhat simplistic look on things. It's also nice as reference for my girlfriend for example to make her understand something I cannot explain myself so well, sometimes bad with words and all).
    Did you ever read "the cathedral and the bazar"? I'd like to see your views on that paper. I strongly feel a lot of the corporate world could still learn from that paper even though it's already 20 years old by now.

  • Boxing Expert
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Khabib vs Mcgregor prediction?

  • R4INM4N
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Liberal Arts, Art History, History would be some of the dumbest degrees to waste your time on.

  • A Man
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Great advice. Even for software engineering, they don't teach things that apply to the real world. Like understanding how to build operating systems, programming languages. It's ridiculous. It's like making everyone learn how to build a web browser, text editor, or some other particular type of software. Students need to learn fundamentals, algorithms and data structures and practical real world tools and languages.

  • notaDJ
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    I started teaching myself web dev 2 years ago, currently employed. My mates who have studied for 3 years either can't find work or ask me the most basic of questions about the framework they're using. I don't have much respect for Australian universities

  • Satoshi Nakamoto
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    please teach kotlin or java. or have a small tutorial of the fundamentals of java .

  • Mae Borowski
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Do both. Get your college paid for with scholarships, study code in your free time as well.

  • Gameplay By Faks
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Answer is No it's fraud.

  • - -
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Stefan: job prospects for psychology aren't that bad, in many western countries psychologists as a group have only ~2% unemployment rate. As a psychologist, you can go into clinical settings (hospitals etc.), as an Industrial&Organizational Psychology you can go into consulting, HR (Personnell assessment and development), training & coaching, work in organizational development etc.

  • Pixel Martyr
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Stephan, I'd say your formal education in psychology very, very much enhances your web development skills and abilities. To this day I repeatedly see articles on how worthless a film and video degree is. I earned mine in 1998. I came out of that program with skill in computer productivity including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premier Pro and I learned all kinds of fundamentals relative to web design and development before degrees in such topics existed. Strange world we live in. So many employers do not recognize so many areas of formal education. However these experiences make an individual distinctive in the workplace. I am currently pursuing a degree in web development. I very much value what studio web has to offer. Its not what you get in the classroom. Unfortunately academia forces you to spend time and money in areas where you will never use the information being taught in the real world. A friend of mine had to learn Calculus to earn his computer science degree. He has been a very successful .NET programmer for a very long time. He told me to this day he has never used a bit of the calculus he was forced to learn in school during his career. Looking back id say I got a lot out of it. But I also wasted a lot of time I can't get back. I know that even now I am repeating the same thing. No one gets away unscathed if you want a degree to distinguish yourself. I have almost two Bachelor degrees and I should have my masters in two years. A guy I grew up with worked at McDonalds his entire life. He has a beautiful home in Florida with a pool and screened in porch, two cars and raising three daughters. I have a shit load of debt and not even a vehicle of my own. Maybe I should have taken the fast food route. I am really unclear on that. Life is so strange.

  • Jon Mester
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    I'm an entrepreneur and lately, I've been thinking about taking a degree related to AI, programming and machine learning. Really interesting field. The education itself would be completely free where I'm living, but you'd still rack up some student debt and spend years of your life on it.

    AI and machine learning is where I think our world is going in the next decades, and I hope to provide massively to that progress.

  • Miguel De Guzman
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Hi Stef, what are your thoughts on blockchain technology? I think I have never seen you create content for this space..

  • Susumu Yokota
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    i study in germany, not the best kind of uni but it s super cheap, like 500$/year cheap

  • ahmed younes
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    You hit the bone marrow with your words, really thanks for your efforts and astonishing content.

  • ferfykins
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    Great video Stefan… Was hoping i could get your opinion… You didn't really talk about computer science bachelors VS self taught…. Not sure which road i should go down… I'm sure it's easier to get a job with a degree… but as you said, self taught you're ahead on time pl,us no student loans… I'm currently learning Java on the side, from a course on udemy… Not sure which is the wiser route, comp sci or self taught? I'm in michigan…Thanks. Also I'm wondering what languages are best to get a job doing back end work, self taught?

  • judo nomi
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    I'm completing my CS degree this fall. I took classes in programming, but essentially taught myself through online resources for free. You have to ask yourself why you want the degree. I wanted to work abroad in the field of education, and you need a degree in order to get a work visa for another country. Here's the twist…. Now I want to do web development, and I NEVER TOOK A SINGLE CLASS IN WEB DEVELOPMENT in university. Not one class. Save your money folks. Teach yourself. Buy some books. Take some Udemy courses. Join some online communities. Go to Meetups. Find a study buddy. Going to university will just teach you a bunch of high level theoretical stuff that you'll likely never use.

  • DeicidalPsychopath
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 December

    100% true! I agree with everything you said. However, a person graduating with an economics degree actually has many options. For starters, majoring in economics is like majoring in mathematics. You'll learn multivariate and vector calculus, probability theory, game theory, optimization theory, statistics and regression analysis, and of course, you'll learn about markets. In addition, you'll learn Excel and various statistical analysis software, such as SPSS and Stata, and in some cases, even R or SAS. After you graduate, you'll be able to get jobs related to data/statistical analysis, financial analysis, or even become a statistical programmer. That said, I do believe majoring in computer science, for example, is better. But, economics shouldn't be lumped in with history and the humanities. Also, not to many people know this, but the term "liberal arts" actually includes the sciences and mathematics, which is why every single liberal arts college, from the very beginning, offered science and math majors.

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