Before taking up my degree I spent a great deal of time trying to researching the value of a CS degree. I asked family members in the industry and spent a great deal of time online. While every one of my friends ploughed into university full force, stating that it was without a doubt the best thing to do - it may be for them, but I wasn’t convinced - I’m still not convinced.
However I came to the point where I decided I was going and in September moved to Aberdeen.
While most of the time I’ve been thinking about my studies, sadly the doubt remained, even been reinforced. Now that I’m here I have a little more to balance up. My aim is to get into relevant work and the university question has become all about time and money. I’m spending four years and over £5000 pounds a year to get this degree - but is it worthwhile?
On the money side I was almost decided that it, was in fact, worth it, it costs a great deal more in England and the student loan is a real gift. However, I can’t help but notice a discrepancy. Most of the people who gave me advice were older than me, and I think degree courses might have changed. That has become my new question. I get around 14 hours of contact time per week, asking my parents though they seem to have had a great deal more than that. I’m going to ask around to get a better idea on this - I’m suspicious that students today get significantly less teaching and much poorer value for money.
The other question is one harder to research: Is a CS degree really the best way to train computing professionals? While I’m far from qualified to answer it, the question remains. This is an opinion that I’m prepared to alter but, from what I can tell it’s not - far from it even.
I do four courses - one, Management is not directly relevant and is more of a prep course for a Management degree which is largely psychological. The rest are my three CS courses. Personally I think that only one, Web Application Development, teaches any real skills - the others are interesting all the same. We use real tools and learn the basics to real peoples jobs - it’s seems obviously the most useful.
If it’s the practical courses that are perhaps the most useful then wouldn’t those skills be better taught on the job? Computer science can still be an option, but I’m currently in need of some explaining as to why it has to be the only option.