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General Discussion

Jacob Miranda
Jacob Miranda
19,392 Points

Education: Next Step?

I'm currently trying to decide on whether I want to go back to school or not and I was hoping I could get some feedback, ideas or comments because I wanted to try being more open and not trying to do everything on my own because that is impossible and is such a huge burden to carry every decision and try to go through every scenario in my head and on my own.

I've started learning HTML,CSS from Treehouse and reading other books and I'm currently learning Javascript and JQuery, which has proven to be a lot harder to learn/understand (But I'm getting there).

I want to be a Front-end Developer and when I spoke to a few friends about it, they thought going back to school for Computer Science would be best for me. I was also looking into Full Sail's online Web Design and Development degree.

So I was hoping for any opinions on going back to school for Computer Science vs narrowing it down to Web Design/Development. I would also still be working on the courses available here on Treehouse.

Thanks for your time! :-)

3 Answers

Stone Preston
Stone Preston
42,016 Points

computer science is really more about the theory side of programming. and you probably wont do any html/css/frontend stuff. most CS curriculums start with a language like C or python, then move on to more OOP languages like java or c++. you typically take courses like data structures, OOP design, compiler theory, theory of automata, etc. It gets very abstract when you get into those high level courses. In my opinion, CS is a great background to have, although it typically doesnt teach you the practical side of programming (although you might be able to take a few courses that are more practical and less theoretical like app development or something), it teaches you the ideas behind it.

Comp sci is a great degree to have and is very sought after by companies, but you could always try and find something thats more specific to web development and design. Many universities offer MIS (management information systems) degrees with a focus in web development which might be a bit more practical than comp sci or they may offer a web design degree

graphic design might also be another route you could go for frontend stuff

I think most people tend to stay away from for profit universities like full sail, university of phoenix etc. It seems their degrees dont really hold much weight. But I cant really say much about that sorry

Another option is just to continue to teach yourself and build up your portfolio. A degree is definitely not required in this field (though it certainly doesnt hurt)

Carla Thomas
Carla Thomas
Front End Web Development Techdegree Student 16,039 Points

Hi Jacob,

This is more conversation than advice :)

For front-end-development, Treehouse is my #1 priority for learning.....but for graphic design I will go to Session College for Professional Design. http://www.sessions.edu/degree-programs/graphic-design It looks like fun.

I am making a transition from working in the field of medical laboratory science to the field of front-end-development. I absolutely have no plans for accumulating $30,000+ for education in my new career. I would, however, go back to get a degree if my employer participated in a Tuition Reimbursement program to lower my investment.

My ultimate goal is to work independently ( i.e. freelance, contractor).

However, if I had discovered web development 15 years ago, I would definitely invest $30,000+ into my education.

I guess one option would be to get a 2-year-degree, get employed by an employer who has tuition-reimbursement, and then complete a 4-year-degree.

Ron McCranie
Ron McCranie
7,837 Points

I graduated from the Full Sail Web Design & Development program 2 years ago and learn a lot. It's not cheap but I feel the Return on Investment is worth it. I entered the job market above many experienced people who were self taught and many who had traditional Computer Science degrees. If Front-End Dev, UI Design, UX, or even modern back-end dev is your chosen path it's perfect for that.

The real difference is in you, will you continue to learn and get better at your craft throughout your professional career? That is what really makes the most difference in this and any other industry.

You can be self taught and be very successful but you have to be very disciplined in your learning of the basics. Many self taught guys skip the basics because they get bored and then don't know some things that might be expected of them 2 years down the road. Go through all the tracks, deep dives, etc. at Treehouse so you get it all.

If you want a good corporate gig, they like the degree. If you want more of a creative agency or contractor gig, the degree is less important and you r skill and portfolio get you the work.

Thank you for commenting on Full Sail University. I will be attending in April 2016 for a second Bachelor of Science in Mobile App Development. After separating from the military, I have had two years of unemployment coupled with attempt after attempt at entering the job market with two degrees and 13 years of experience, but attempting to make a career change when you don't know anyone in the target industry is unbelievably difficult. I chose to attend Full Sail at the campus for the networking with other students. It is my hope that the however-many months that I will be there (I will have transfer credits from my current B.S.) will give me the time required to build a solid portfolio and release a few iOS and Android apps before graduation. If it weren't for my Post 9/11 GI Bill, I wouldn't have a hope in attending without racking up $60,000 in student loans and seeking grants and scholarships.

I have been researching the school and have seen mixed reviews. It is my hope that my outcome will be dependent upon me and not upon the level of instruction or instructor engagement that will make the difference in my finding employment in a non-military / non-government organization. I've got 8 mouths to feed!