The importance of a college degree in the field of technology has been a topic of debate in recent years, as major companies such as Alphabet, Apple, IBM, and even recently Elon Musk have stated that it is not necessary to have one to apply for a job in the technology area of their companies.
Likewise, many bootcamps services and platforms that provide courses in various areas; after all, it is their main business. And by this we do not mean that this is bad, not at all. There are specialized courses that can last months or even a few hours, and the knowledge acquired is very complete, in addition to being up to date.
However, technical knowledge is not everything.
From our perspective, the fact of studying in a university institution does add value to professional performance. Beyond the fact that perhaps the contents of some study programs are not up-to-date, that exams do not vary over the years, and that some key subjects are taught by unqualified staff; the university allows you to:
- Demonstrate responsibility by completing all assigned tasks in different subjects.
- Relate to people and understand what teamwork is.
- Learn to analyze and synthesize content for better understanding. And sometimes, share it with others.
- Set a goal and achieve it through different study plans; providing a general learning structure that will help you adapt to any future situation.
Another important point is that a college degree does not expire over time, it will always be part of your professional resume.
This does not mean that a university degree is enough on its own. To be really good in the field of technology, it is necessary to practice, keep updated and establish a self-taught learning plan that also includes taking courses, bootcamps and reading many books.
Now, evaluating all scenarios; it could also be the case that by studying a college career, you realize that outside of the university, you acquire more technical knowledge related to your area; updated programming languages, or management of engines for video game development, to mention some examples.
At this point, you could consider changing your career to one that allows you to complement all that knowledge. If you are going to be dedicated to software development, a career in administration or accounting could be useful. In the case of video games, majoring in mathematics or physics would be great.
Thus, answering the main question:
Is it important to have a college degree in the IT area?
Certainly not. It is not essential. From our point of view, it is recommended given the reasons previously stated. But this will depend on whether you can afford it or not, whether for financial reasons, time, or any other variable that affects this decision.
In case you decide not to obtain a college degree, make sure your self-taught education is of quality, available to you; practice, create simple but functional solutions, and add greater difficulty after each project. Review the work of other people to analyze it and see what you can learn from them. Interact with people from different areas, work on your vocabulary, and learn to express yourself.
In summary, a considerable percentage of technology companies seem to not give importance to a college degree when hiring. However, if you have the opportunity and time for it; by attending a university, you will lay the foundations for a structured learning that you can expand over time, and as you put it into practice, it will open the doors to greater opportunities.
Thank you for reading, until next time.