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General Discussion

14,636 Points

Education vs. Ability/Drive/Experience: Devs, Employers and General Professionals. How Important is One vs. the Others.

Hello all,

I've been discussing some things with a friend of mine who, along side trying to teach himself web design & development, has a family, works a full time job and is trying to get a degree online in his off time. That degree being for design and tech in general. Recently though he's become overwhelmed and is thinking of shelving the self-driven pursuit for various reasons and it got me to thinking... why not just shelve the online degree? It's taking up a lot of your time and energy and it's not doing anything for you right now and with the pace you're able to go, what with prerequisite courses and all that nonsense, it's gonna be years before you get to anything decent in the way of learning about the actual development and deployment nuts & bolts that you can so easily teach yourself online. So why not shelve that and just autodidact your way to learning how to be a developer sans degree?

So my question is to you pros, devs, employers and general veterans of the industry.

How important is having a degree, any degree... not just a degree in CS or design or whathave you, compared to say, someone that just knows what they're doing?

Do you find that within an industry like this, it's MORE important that they're self driven, motivated, creative and good at tackling a problem as well as adhering to deadlines & working with others? Or do you factor in heavily whether the person has a degree or not?

If a person comes in with a well made portfolio and interviews well and you establish that they're a good candidate, but they don't have a degree of any sort, does that affect your decision?

There are a bunch of caveats and side questions I could ask here but I guess you get the point.

So if someones pursuit of a degree was actually hindering their progress by taking away time better suited to learning and honing their craft, would you suggest "Hey, forget the degree dude... just learn and practice."?

Thanks in advance!