Anyone here (student or not or graduated CS) feeling like CS schooling (if not MIT or Stanford..etc) is somewhat, not completely, a waste of and money and time?

So, I’m a junior Computer Science major and I am not sure whether I am just wasting time and money doing school.

My problems are that I’m a junior and I feel like I haven’t learned much of anything while in college that I couldn’t have just self taught myself(CS material). I also find myself gravitating towards doing FCC projects instead of school Assembly lang assignments . In addition, Most of the profs just regurgitate what’s on slides with no care to establish further intuition by simplification or other methods, so I end up teaching myself certain CS concepts anyway. Furthermore, in the time I’ve been doing FCC, I’ve felt much more accomplishment that I have actual real world projects and I actually learned more through application.

This really hit home for me today when in class today and we discussed get, post, build a JS calculator, and all these things that campers such as myself, have built projects on top of, but here I am paying 3,000 dollars to still learn it. Keep in mind it took three years to get to this point (Dynamic Web apps) while in FCC it took 2 months. Not looking for an easy way just an efficient one And the projects on FCC seem to be more challenging than this course. Maybe, I’m just emotional right now, but…idk. I need to hear people’s opinions.

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I know how you feel man, well first it is possible to self teach yourself everything in college, including there is this git rep, which outlines the curriculum and gives you the link.

Unfortunately we live in a world where a piece of paper(degree) from a school opens doors, if it is possible for you to finish your CS degree don’t stop because i’ve learnt in college that it’s not only about the subjects, the human relation in a course helps you grow, this is something you wouldn’t get by being self-taught.
No doubt you will be a lot more prepared if you also pursuit knowledge outside your school.

anyway, continue on mate, don’t give up, i know sometimes college/universities can be really dis-motivating due to many factors


Excellent link. Thanks for input.

I dont have a CS degree, but I would rather learn on the job and get paid than than pay for my education.
If you are self motivated, I would say get a job if you can.

Thanks. Thanks for your input

The school in my area has recruitment days, where recruiters come in and nab students before they even finish their degree. The person who mentors me has no formal education in IT / Front End. In my current job, I did not have a degree in the field or any certification. It was required. It is possible, especially in a field where you have to prove that you can do the work.

If you are already a junior, I would go head and stick with it and graduate. Like someone said earlier, in the real world the 4 year degree matters a lot. It won’t be a wasted investment, even if it feels like it now. don’t do what I did, I didn’t finish my BS degree when I was younger. I had to get myself go through online school to get my degree with a full-time job and supporting 2 kids and wife. Trust me, it’s much harder when you are older, better get it done while you are still young.


Thanks, man. Much love

I’ve been a long time lurker on these forums but this is my first post! Even with the lack of motivation (which happens to all of us during college at some point), if this is your first degree, I would definitely advise you to finish it. In our day and age, you can pretty much learn anything on your own for either free or cheap on any subject- including anything you can learn at a University. So yes, you’re right in that you don’t necessarily need college just for the intellectual benefit.

But completing your degree and having that piece of paper carries weight and doors will open a lot easier for you because of it- especially if it’s computer science! Heck, even my unrelated degree in International Studies & German still looks good on my resume just because it’s a degree, and the hard work, dedication, and personal growth that it represents. Like Ojinguh said, now is the best time in your life to complete it and you’re most of the way there. Good luck!

Agree 100% with this comment. @EddieCornelious Your’re so way too close not to finish now.

I too didn’t get a degree when I was young. Currently working part-time online for one. It takes a lot of effort to come home after a long day of work to study when you have kids and partner.

I started working on it in 2011 and still have at least 3 more years before I complete it.

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/* DISCLAIMER I’m older than most on this journey */

Here’s my take-

You’re TOO far along to quit now. Suck it up and finish the degree.

Yes, it sucks that some archaic and antiquated status quo screws over so many people across this planet. But, I don’t see the millennial’s (current generation) trying to “fix” this issue. We (older generations) tried, but failed. I’ve been hoping to see this generation stop this practice, but it seems they’re only adding to the issue with another archaic and antiquated status quo; ageism!

This practice is a form of elitism and sets up the have vs. have nots BS that has persisted like a cancer way too long. This DISCRIMINATORY practice will only stop if you start hiring those without that college/university paper. As others have pointed out, college/university isn’t the only route to being “educated”, ask your mechanic if he has a BA/S or MA/S or PhD. in automotive repair.

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Thanks!!! I’m honored to have triggered you to post for the first time

Thanks. This is why I love this community

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I have a CS degree and find this part of your post a bit concerning. The theory part of almost every CS curriculum in the world is the important part and is what will give you an edge in the job market over people who don’t have a CS degree. If you aren’t paying attention to learn the basics in data structures, algorithms, discrete math, operating systems, programming languages, and other stuff like Assembly language, then you need to start now. Sure, I know that some of it might not seem relevant, but just about every single CS course in college is there to give you a solid grounding in as many different areas as possible. And Assembly is a great thing to know, no matter what other programming language you might prefer, since it gives you the knowledge of how the CPU works and how to really optimize code for speed. You would never learn that if you were only programming in JavaScript all the time. So my advice is to suck it up and learn Assembly. If you ever want to write code for embedded systems in the future, you’ll be glad you did. It could very well be a field that will explode in the near future thanks to things like IoT and machine learning, which are very hot right now. Heck, some would call that a far better career path than doing front end Web development.

Not to denigrate anyone here or FCC, but people who self-teach themselves Web development are usually only able to do Web development and not much beyond it, when there are so many career options within computing and computer science. And a CS degree is the gateway, so why wouldn’t you finish it?

Also, I know that we’re on a coding site and all, but remember that coding isn’t all there is to life either. While you’re in college you should be soaking up the experience - take advantage of career fairs, your advisor, any health/fitness facilities, social events not just on campus but in the nearby town/city, go out and meet members of the opposite sex (you’ll never again see as many girls around as you do in college). You’ll keep coding well after college from the sound of it, but you won’t ever again have the resources and opportunities that you do now.


A CS degree is not a waste of time. If you do some reading, you will find there are a ton of jobs (some don’t involve programming at all) that a CS or CS-related job will qualify you for. Also if you finish a degree, you pretty much guarantee an employer that you have worked with others in a group, worked under experienced professionals (some of your professors and possibly internships), and you are able to finish long term tasks (the degree itself). Personally I think the topics here on FCC complement a CS degree.

Don’t forget that CS != programming/development. If you draw a venn diagram, those are 2 sets. There certainly is overlap, but there is a big difference between the intent of CS and programming.

You should finish the degree even it you just go part time.

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I’m in the same position as you! I have about a year to go on my CS degree, and just a few weeks ago I landed a web development job. So I’m thinking, “What’s the point of spending money on tuition to get a job that I just got?” I’ve pretty much lost all interest in my classes now, for many of the same reasons you posted. But I know that if I’ve made it this far, I should stick with it, and here’s why.

Many job recruiters first search for those with CS (or similar) degrees, as a way to “weed out” unwanted applicants. Unfortunately (and erroneously, in my opinion), CS grads as a whole are seen as better equipped and more educated than those without degrees. However, there are numerous articles and postings on the web that talk about the difficulty recruiters have in finding CS grads with basic programming skills.

And I can speak from personal experience here - the “technical” interview that my employer gave me for this job was embarrassingly simple:

     * "What is a while loop?"

     * "What does 'int' mean?"

     * "What is an object, and why would you use one?"

I mean, are you kidding me?!

With everything you’ve taught yourself on your own, you’re already ahead of the curve on most CS grads, simply because you love coding and learning about it. Plus, that CS degree might get you in the door to more interviews than not having one would. So stick with it! :slight_smile:

TLDR; Yes you can make money by getting into the field. But my recommendation is get the degree AND learn on your own. Lack of degree in US can be a hindrance to getting some jobs, as it’s been my experience.

I’ll say this from personal experience, though won’t be too different from what other’s have said. I personally have had at least 5 or more different jobs at different companies in the span of 16+ years in the field. And while I still do NOT have my CS degree (need final senior project - not done out of lack of interest, making time and procrastination), I’ve been able to get jobs from entry-level to VP, Engineering (i.e. head of programming/technology department).

All of that said, I’ve personally noticed at least 3 or 4 jobs I could have gotten had I had my degree that I was unfortunately not considered (on that alone). Granted we can say, perhaps “their loss” or how “narrow minded” those companies were. But if you’re looking at it from a personal perspective, that’s $ that I could have had but didn’t and instead had to stay at an employer longer until I found the next opportunities (translate: lose potential $ earned).

Removing the money aspect, you can also look at it as experience lost since you eventually platue with challenges or learning at most companies (unless you’re lucky to dive into new and challenging projects).

All that to say, yes you can make money by just diving in to the workforce and you would learn more “valuable” skills and be more efficient per se. However, the lack of a degree (at least in the US), may come back to haunt you as you seek to find different and challenging work. but I did say may. So from my experience, considering you only have 1.5 - 2 years left I say focus on getting your degree (or even A degree - my DB professor was a Phsyc major and my algorithms professor was a literature major) WHILE learning from places like FCC and side projects. This will expand your options beyond what folks like myself have been limited to (self-inflicted of course).

No. I pay attention in DS and Algo, just not Assembly/ other similar projects. Thanks for your input.

Thanks. I’m glad you understand my viewpoint. Let’s finish that Degree!!! Congrats on your job

I don’t have a CS degree, but I have a science degree (geology major) and am glad I did it even if I’m looking to transition out of that field.

From a recruiter perspective, having a degree means you know how to learn things. And with a CS degree, there are a lot of ‘old school’ recruiters out there who will consider you for the job when they wouldn’t even give an objectively better and more experienced coder (sans degree) a second look.