Do you need to go to college to learn code or you can just learn online?

Wassup! :v:

To all those who went to uni and those who haven’t:

So I was wondering, do you still need to go to college or uni so you could learn software engineering or you could just learn online, by learning the languages needed and then just maybe a few other stuff in this time and age?

My parents say that I should go to uni because it’s better than saying you learnt on some online course and that I might learn something you’d never learn in online courses. I, don’t agree, because you can learn online at over half the price and can also find literally lots of info online, I also heard that in an interview, they don’t ask where you learnt to code or who or what taught you, they just want someone who can code something for them.

So all I’m asking is for someone to confirm that, and also any extra stuff?

Thanks!! :v:

Hi Lewis,

I understand where are your parents coming from, going to uni means you’re getting a degree after all, and also there are still so many job adverts for companies that are looking for graduates (at least in the UK).

On the other hand, like you said you have to pay a lot for getting a degree and you read so maaaaaany stories from self-taught developers who made it without a degree or having a degree in a completely different subject.

Parents can put lots of pressure on us so we go to uni, I know, I’ve been there haha. You seem convinced that coding is what you want to do so have you thought of taking a gap year? Use it as a time to learn coding on your own? And if that doesn’t work then uni?

Try listening to the FCC podcast, there are so many stories from people who become developers without CS degree.

Good luck,

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I get you have not yet met FreeCodeCamp, where people learn to code, and gain jobs. (check the #career subforum and /news for success stories)

freeCodeCamp homepage says:


If college is an option for you, I recommend trying to get a degree if you want to become a programmer. You can get jobs without a degree, but having a degree makes it easier. But, follow your heart.


That’s nice, thanks man! I’m also turning fifteen so that’s a plus! :+1: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

You certainly don’t need to. I would even argue going to university is not where you go to learn how to code. At least not through a CS degree anyway.

I have a lot of respect for people with CS degrees and greatly appreciate the value of studying computer science, but they don’t teach you how to code. A CS degree has a very broad curriculum and programming tends to be a tiny aspect of it. Any coding you do is not even close to industry standards at all.

There are a lot of college/uni programs out there that focus more specifically on programming which will teach you quite a bit more than what you’d learn studying CS. The issue with learning how to code in college is that even schools that put a lot of effort in communicating with local companies in the industry to keep their content relevant, still won’t teach you everything you need to know to be “job ready”.

I’ve seen a lot of decent college courses not even mention Git for example. Students have to learn about that by being proactive and joining local meetups and finding other resources to learn from in tandem to their college program.

In my experience few people who attend university or college are able to just jump into a job working as a programmer without doing quite a bit of self-study outside their schooling. Although if your school offers co-op or internship placements it’s definitely possible!

You can definitely learn how to code and probably pick up industry standards much faster on your own by taking courses online. If you go the self-taught route, getting that first job can be really tough.

If you know you want to be a programmer, and you can afford to go to school for it I think the safest path is finding a college program that specializes in the area of the tech industry you want to work in (such as web development for example) and make sure there’s a guaranteed co-op or internship placement.

However, all of the above paths are totally valid and will work out in the end.

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