College or Self Taught

Hello everyone,
I just wanted to get a little guidance about a career in computer science. I am a senior in high school. I have done pretty well so far I have like a 3.5 Gpa. It doesn’t look like I will be able to afford University. My guidance counselor said that community college then transferring to a 4-year university would be the best option. However, since using Free Code Camp for some week I have noticed for the site and others that a degree is not necessary. I would like to go to college because I’m new to programming and I would like to have a good foundation. I would like to get job design systems and applications to increase efficiency in machines or design web site or games. There I would like to have a job in computer science but not sure if I can learn everything I need to know to be proficient in the workforce. Right now I am taking the javascript course on free code camp and I am understanding so far. So to everyone who has been doing this awhile or has some insight should do community college transfer route or try and learn on my own.
Thanks for reading.

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I majored in a different area, but I am going the self-taught route of software engineering. (I did do CC and then transferred to a 4-year uni)

  • advantage of college is that you will have an accredited degree & a network.

  • However, because software engineers are not regulated as much as per se Finance/Accounting majors, you can take either route to break into the market.

  • Main thing in software engineering is knowledge, so the choice of university versus self-taught comes down to your discipline.

Let me leave you with a dry joke. If you get creative in Accounting you might be put in jail. If you get creative in Software Engineering you might get promoted.


thank you for your help !

Hahaha! I didn’t know this. Love it.


If you have any little chance to go to college, take that path. Unfortunately, a degree is an essential thing in this age, still. -unless you are an extraordinary person-


If you ever need a party broken up, I have more jokes that will accomplish this in seconds!

I agree, college does give you a big leg up. However, if you chose to try and make it on your own, and it does not work out after 1 year, you can always go back to college. Many people graduate later than the 4-5 year deadline.

After 5+ years of work experience in the field, the recruiters/interviewers don’t even ask about college (Depends on type of work of course.)

Edit: If college is free/inexpensive 100% don’t hesitate, and go for it. Even community college (I have actually met some professors that were better than my Uni profs.)


Here’s my ten cents…

You don’t need a college education to get a job. What you need is the discipline to study and carve out your own path. Now, while you might not need a diploma to get a job (if you want to work at a company) it does help your chances in getting that first job as well as in other things.

In my situation, if I could go back in time to high school I wouldn’t have gone to university. Everything I learned to become a software developer I learned outside of my chosen major. So I actually had to study twice as hard because I had to study things for my engineering major plus programming which is what I noticed (too late) that I enjoyed.

I would also recommend to take a gap year or a few months to travel (depending on how the coronavirus situation evolves). After I worked as a software developer for a bit I decided to quit and I traveled the world for more than a year and it was the best damn decision I could have ever made. Now during that year I didn’t work as a software developer but I did odd jobs. After that year finished that university diploma did help me get a visa to work in China doing something unrelated. So in that regard it did help. Now I’m studying front-end to be a freelancer.

While traveling I met hundreds of people who did freelancing in so many area and many of them never went to university. One of my friends actually works for Important Looking Pirates (yes, it’s a real company) a company in Sweden that worked on West World and Jurassic Park for the special effects, and he never went to school. He just studied on his own.

Anyway that was long, but basically life is short. Take risks. Travel. Enjoy life.


I personally thing self taught is better than College. but College is necessary for everyone to groom up.

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thanks for answering everyone

thanks for answering me


Amen! We share a similar story. That being said, I have friends who did really well with the college route, and I have friends that prospered in a career which is complete opposite of what they majored in college.

I think the main theme of this thread is that whichever route you take, your skillset will be the one determining job placement.

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thank you for your help!