Nowadays, the IT sphere is very dynamic. New software solutions are constantly appearing, programming languages are developing, requirements and standards are changing. University programs simply do not keep up with all these changes. As a result, students of IT specialties complain about “useless knowledge” and the need to constantly engage in self-education in addition to basic subjects.
In fact, universities do not have the task to keep up with all the trends. Higher education is aimed at a little bit different – to give extensive well-structured basic knowledge and learn to learn. And such a situation is observed not only in Russian universities.
When studying in Europe or America, there is a similar situation. Depending on the educational institution and the country, the approaches, the peculiarities of learning, the number of practices, and the material base are changing. But the basic program remains almost the same – the maximum of mathematics, a wide range of additional “general” courses, algorithmization, application of mathematical and logical basis in practice. And the most important skill – the ability to work with information that will allow in the future to quickly get the necessary knowledge.
And learning modern programming languages and direct coding is a skill that every programmer should develop independently. After all, you will have to learn all your life.
Advantages of learning:
System approach. Unlike self-study, you won’t miss anything important simply because you don’t guess about the existence of this branch of knowledge.
Availability of information. In addition to textbooks, students are waiting for lectures, practical classes, the opportunity to get advice from a teacher, if something is not clear, to communicate with other students.
Higher mathematics. Almost everywhere programmers are considered first of all mathematicians. And universities pay much attention to this subject. Maths is indeed one of the important tools for algorithmizing complex tasks. And it is not uncommon for specialists to understand in years why they read mathematical analysis or graph theory in their first year.
General educational base. Nobody knows what sphere a programmer will work in years to come. Someone will take care of games or programs for the office. Someone will develop automation systems for industrial complexes, for example, in the sphere of metallurgy or chemical industry. And someone may be invited to work in aircraft building, space industry, work with AI and other innovative industries. And so the wider the horizon, the higher the probability of building a career in a variety of fields.
You can safely call a certified programmer an engineer. While as a result of self-education specialists most often stop at the master level, i.e. they know “how to do it”, but without a mathematical basis do not fully understand why it works like this. Naturally, such a comparison is admissible only for real specialists, i.e. people who have studied and not just “got a diploma”.
And what do employers think?
Practice shows that when choosing from two specialists of about the same level, preference is given to the programmer with a diploma. So, I suggest you check out life experience degree. The only exceptions are specialized IT-companies and startups, where the project manager can really evaluate the skills and features of each applicant, and choose a person with the right knowledge and approach to work.
It is believed that certified programmers are more disciplined, they have basic knowledge to work with projects in different areas. It is much easier for a junior with a diploma to find a decent job than for a self-taught person. And even after years of successful work, a lack of a diploma can lead to a denial of employment or career advancement.
However, the options of successful activity without studying at university we have considered above. And if you know for sure that you will never apply for a job with Apple or Microsoft, if you want to engage in the development of innovative industries, and have not seen after reading the other reasons for admission to university, study for yourself. Time is a very valuable resource. You shouldn’t waste it in vain.