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    Tim Cook: 'I Don't Think a Four-Year Degree is Necessary to Be Proficient at Coding'

    "I don't think a four year degree is necessary to be proficient at coding" says Cook. "I think that's an old, traditional view. What we found out is that if we can get coding in in the early grades and have a progression of difficulty over the tenure of somebody's high school years, by the time you graduate kids like Liam, as an example of this, they're already writing apps that could be put on the App Store."

    Cook told Panzarino that many businesses have not "changed a whole lot" and are "still using very old technology." With more solutions like those from SAP and Apple, and tech-savvy employees of the future like Rosenfeld, that could change.

    "I think what it is is they haven't embraced mobility. They haven't embraced machine learning. They haven't embraced AR. All of this stuff is a bit foreign in some way. They're still fixing employees to a desk. That's not the modern workplace," Cook says. "People that graduate from high school and get a little experience under their belt can do quite well in this job."


    https://www.macrumors.com/2019/05/10...eeded-to-code/


    Do you know good coders who don't have a 4 year degree?
    .

    "This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can."

    -- Capt. Copeland

  2. #2
    Half the (experienced) coders at my company are missing a degree and that never stopped them.
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    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    Do you guys not have phones?!

  3. #3
    Definitely true.

    While information from higher education can be helpful, academic framing of it does not necessarily translate directly into usable coding skills.

  4. #4
    The Undying Themius's Avatar
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    If one just wants to code it is not necessary but if one wants a wider range of opportunities and to better understand the theory behind computers science well... then a degree may be necessary.

  5. #5
    A degree isn't needed to be good at coding. Any good coder will tell you this, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a bad coder. Degree courses teach coding as a matter of necessity - what they're really interested in teaching is computer science, which is more theoretical and suited to a degree course.

    Obviously, don't take "you don't need a degree to be good at coding" as career advise. It's still good to have.

  6. #6
    Herald of the Titans Aoyi's Avatar
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    I agree that a 4 year degree shouldnmt be necessary these days if you have experience and knowledge thet you’ve aquired relevant to the field you want to work in. That said, I just checked the coding job listings for Apple and they require degrees lol. They do have other non-coding positions avaibale that will accept experience without a degree, though.

  7. #7
    Just another example as to why I think elementary, middle, and high schools need an overhaul in what they're teaching kids. Also cutting the fat from college degrees would help out a lot with this as well.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by freefolk View Post
    Do you know good coders who don't have a 4 year degree?
    yeah two of my friends where already working for very successful companies while they were on their 1st year

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    Coding is an extremely easy thing especially considering what’s asked of coders in your average coding job, many researchers teach themselves how to code because they need complicated and very specific software to do their research. To many people logically inclined coding a specific language can be taught in a week or two, the reason you get a degree is because it’ll teach you many other things too. Not having a degree means you’ll get paid less and there is a slimmer chance you’ll move on to a better job it’s a win win for any employer looking for coders.

  10. #10
    The Undying Themius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonballgtz View Post
    Just another example as to why I think elementary, middle, and high schools need an overhaul in what they're teaching kids. Also cutting the fat from college degrees would help out a lot with this as well.
    What fat?

    /10char

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    I consider myself to be a decent coder. I only have an associates degree, yet have worked in the field for 45 years (retirement is only 6 weeks away).

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    It's probably not needed and the same goes for a lot of professions but it's easy to weed out the less skilled by just not accepting applications from people without proper education.
    You're simply risking having to interview a lot of people that apply without having the skills needed.

    That said, the current head of sales at my current job has no formal education after high school and the guys a genius so obviously it was not needed here and I'm sure the same goes for being a top programmer. The problem is getting the job and proving yourself.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Caaethil View Post
    Degree courses teach coding as a matter of necessity - what they're really interested in teaching is computer science, which is more theoretical and suited to a degree course.
    This. Computer Science or now also the Digital Humanities, which is my field. Universities are about theory and research, and teach critical thinking skills above all else. The idea that college is about job placement is and has always been false.
    Doctoral student in the Digital Humanities. Expertise in human behavior, internet culture, new media studies, and pop culture politics. Web: MatadorMedia.org.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by freefolk View Post
    Do you know good coders who don't have a 4 year degree?
    For bloody sure I do, heck my previous workplace had a CTO who was completely self-taught and was brilliant. He simply was in technology working his ass off from his teens and read a ton of books and material. His skill was real.

    To be frank out of those 4 years, only 2 years are really relevant and mostly it's about timeless theoretical stuff like Algorithms, Graph Theory and so on. Any practical coding done there is hopelessly outdated, academia is not really fasted thing there is in the industry. For example from my degree, I'd say only maybe 2-3 courses out of two dozens were really spot on up to date latest technologies and practices.

    THAT SAID, I still suggest going for the degree, it makes things much easier down the road.

  15. #15
    More professions should be like this, but coding is just one of the few that allow you to skip college. The notion that it takes 4 freaking years to learn a skill is laughable. A truly motivated person can learn enough for a job in less a year with only the free resources available online. As a poster said above, the fat needs to be trimmed for college.

  16. #16
    Course not... a lot of coders are self thought. Having experience with a port folio is more important than someone who's learned but lacks it... degree in coding is useless.

  17. #17
    My ex is a programmer and does very well for himself sans degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aoyi View Post
    I agree that a 4 year degree shouldnmt be necessary these days if you have experience and knowledge thet you’ve aquired relevant to the field you want to work in. That said, I just checked the coding job listings for Apple and they require degrees lol. They do have other non-coding positions avaibale that will accept experience without a degree, though.
    Gotta love the hypocrisy. Last sentence doesn't excuse the disconnect between statements and practice, considering that Cook was talking about coding jobs specifically.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Themius View Post
    What fat?

    /10char
    Required courses that have nothing to do with the major someone has chosen.

  19. #19
    Brewmaster Dwarfhamster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuse View Post
    This. Computer Science or now also the Digital Humanities, which is my field. Universities are about theory and research, and teach critical thinking skills above all else. The idea that college is about job placement is and has always been false.
    This. If you want to be more than a grunt in your field, you need an undergraduate degree or even more.

  20. #20
    Scarab Lord Thekri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Very Tired View Post
    More professions should be like this, but coding is just one of the few that allow you to skip college. The notion that it takes 4 freaking years to learn a skill is laughable. A truly motivated person can learn enough for a job in less a year with only the free resources available online. As a poster said above, the fat needs to be trimmed for college.
    Well, there are plenty of skills that take four or more years to actually be good enough to get a job with. However I think college is just the wrong medium for a lot of these. A lot of skills you are better off learning in some sort of apprenticeship or some other on the job skills.

    When I was in the Army, one of my junior soldiers was getting out, and I sat down to talk with him about his career plans. And all he really wanted to do was some job involving scuba diving, because he loved it. So he apprenticed with a welder for a year, then got a job that trained and used him as an underwater welder. He is now making about $170k a year clearing debris from navigation channels in ports. The only formal education he has is a high school diploma.

    So yeah, it isn't necessary. I recently decided against going for an MBA for similar reasons, I am learning at a faster rate putting that time into running my own business.

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