Getting a Dev Job or Go to College

Life Goals: Becoming rich through solving others problems using through developing
Life Problems: EXTREME mistrust of Authority and the education system

I need advice, I am 17 years old, and a high school senior, so I am planning to go to college. I have gotten accepted into the two universities that I want to go to. But here’s the issue: I have gotten into a college that has a better engineering department and the other has a fairly decent engineering department, however the one that is fairly decent is stationed in a city that has amazing job opportunities for entry-level front-end developers. The other, not so much, it is stationed in a rural city with not as much opportunities, however has one of the best engineering programs in the USA. And THE best in my state.

Note: I have full-rides to both.

Reason why I want to go to college: Free rent and free food–a place to stay for 4 years.

My guardians and counselors are pressuring me into going to a college ONLY because it will virtually provide me “security” of a good job with decent pay. However the better engineering college offers a nice bonding with people and I don’t many friends, so I am honestly don’t know what to do. It would be nice to have a social life and it seems that particular college offers that.

I haven’t finished front-end cert, or anything because my mind always goes back to this choice I haven’t made. I have a couple of months to decide what to do. Btw the fairly decent college will PAY me to go to their college(so that’s another thing). I want to code and make money also, but I also don’t want to my family to look down on me( I am one of the first ones to go to college in my family, so a lot of pressure on me). I know if I go to the fairly decent college, I will get developer job after I finish the certs and have awesome learning experience.While at the same time, have a decent learning experience at the college since I already finished my first year of college in high school, I can get to the real stuff in my major(Electrical Engineering). Either way I know I am pretty privileged with have these choices, however I have no idea what I should do. I am lost and incrediblely confused teenager that has no idea what to do in her life. Please help. Thank you in advance.


If you have a full ride, get your degree. You can freelance in the mean time or work somewhere part time while you go to school to have some income in the mean time, but it’d be moronic to pass up a free degree.

To be honest, the world doesn’t care where you graduate from unless you’re a medical or legal professional. It cares what you can do and what you’ve done lately. I’d recommend going to the school with the better career scene.

One the biggest lies you’re told in school is that the college you go to and the GPA you finish with matters. For the most professions, it really doesn’t. All that matters is the piece of paper.

Hi, I don’t live in the US so I might be beside the point but surely studying somewhere doesn’t mean you’ve got to have your career in the same area, right? within the next four years, SOOOO much is going to change for you (and after that, and after that) …

Both have good educations. Which one appeals to you most? It looks like one is particularly attractive to you: the best education and social life - which is not to be underestimated.

You’ll make the choice that is best for you now and like everyone else on Earth. you’ll find that it has its ups and downs - and won’t regret a single thing.

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Thank you @FletcherMartin for responding and does it really not matter where? I mean, not going to MIT or anything of that nature.

No, you don’t have a career in the same area @timotheap, and I know many things will change, it’s just I want to prepare for a future, where I will be well taken care of financially and socially. And thanks for telling me I won’t regret the choice I make, because that’s what I’m most afraid of.

Nope. Outside of Ivy League schools, employers only care if you can or can’t do the job.

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It seems to me like you can’t go wrong at all. And for the career part I do understand but they both seems good choices - which is also maybe why the rational talking isn’t working (career, money, opportunities, bla bla…): which one is the most appealing ? When you let yourself imagine stuff, where does your imagination go?

you need to find what you love to do and … do it. if you find what you love to do and do it the other things will come. If you like developing, then excel in developing and the money will come. Dont ever do anything just for the money.

as for going to college, i would recommend it. You don’t have to have a degree to be a developer but if you want to hold a high administrative position at a company - you are going to most likely need some type of degree.

Watch these videos

and this one

good luck :slight_smile:


Thank you for the info!

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It goes to Google and starting my own company, I just want to know the fastest path, while also maintaining relationships(friends, family…etc.)

Michael is absolutely right. Do what you love and the money will follow. It’s one of the best pieces of advice teens coming out of high school can get. There are millions of people stuck in jobs they abhor because they were focused more on how much money they could make instead of what they wanted to do with their lives.

That being said, you also shouldn’t just sit around and wait for your life goals to magically come true. There are millions of people in trailer parks who are still doing that to this day.

Not every job is available in every location, which means to pursue your passion you may have to move. It’s better to be where the jobs are than where they aren’t. Of course there are a lot of remote work opportunities when it comes to technology, especially if you go the freelance route, but if you’re looking to work for a company or agency it’s always better to be in a nest of opportunities than on the outside looking in.

The American education system is one of the worst in the world because it places more of an emphasis on standardized testing than preparing people for the real world. If you want to be in a better position than 80 - 90% of college graduates, work towards getting practical work experience while you’re still in college. The primary ways to do that is by getting a part-time job/internship or freelancing while in school and/or building a portfolio.

You’re going to be fine Samphy. Engineering and coding are two of the most in-demand professions in the world and the demand is only increasing as we become a more technologically dependent society. Frankly, employers need people so bad they can’t afford to be picky about which school they graduated from. Clients don’t care if a company’s engineers graduated from MIT or Joe Schmoe’s Beauty Salon, they care about getting the work done and if the company they’re looking to hire has shown they can do it. Since that’s what clients care about, that’s what employers care about. The reason there’s an emphasis placed on your level of education when it comes to the medical and legal fields is because clients care about having the absolute best take care of/represent them.

You’re going to find out fast that the real world is nothing like school, but that’s a good a thing. Instead of an arbitrary value being placed on the regurgitation of information, your merits are largely determined by what you bring to the table.

With a full ride to college, you’re already ahead of the curve. You don’t have any bad decisions in front of you and can get to where you want to be in life going to either school. So don’t worry about it too much. Just keep working towards your goals and you’ll be fine.

P.S. Sorry for the long post.


It would be easy to dismiss that for being something cheesy or too hopeful but it’s absolutely true.
As for Google I haven’t heard much good when it came to family life but either way - do what you feel is right now.

And it doesn’t mean at all that we’re dismissing your ambitions at all !

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@michaelhenderson Thank you so much for videos, they have been really helpful, I just watch Steve Jobs, RIP, I love him and but whom I really admire is Steve Woniak, he’s the one who was like the Tesla to his Edision. Jobs is an inspiration, his words and backstory are awesome.

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@FletcherMartin, no THANK YOU FOR THE LONG POST, it was chalked full of good motivation, and I really appreciate it. You’re right, I should keep moving forward and work towards my goals. And maybe I will even make it like Jobs did :slight_smile:

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It sounds like all your options are decent, so really just pick the one your gut is pulling you toward.

You’re young enough (in fact most of us are) that you can do whatever you want right now only to find that in 10 years you wish you’d become a doctor or architect instead…and you know what, you’ll still have time to change track and do that in 10 years!

So don’t overthink it - just work hard, invest in healthy relationships and avoid getting yourself in to too much debt.

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The experience of college will be very enriching and you might come out as a completely different person( though a lot depends on who you associate with during these college years). You can always code on the sidelines or work on your project any time. Despite popular notion that college is hectic, you will actually find a lot of free time to open your mind to new avenues( this is the core purpose of spending time and energy in a college, experiment as much as you can,network as much as you can- let nothing hold you back, but at the end of every 3 moths keep a journal of how your personality is shaping up! are you feeling good ? retrospection is important). bottom line - find your self
PS: The best years of my life are my college years and i would do anything to have a few more of those years (provided i go back to the same age again ;))

Thank you for advice. I lived my life in a mainly sheltered environment and you are correct, I should have fun and experiment.

That’s so very true, avoid debt and invest into healthy relationships, I believe that is very important.

IMO: Getting a degree at university will always be the number #1 best option nowadays employers want to see degrees. Now in the software industry it is easier to get a job then any other industry from what I know without a degree but a degree is NOT negligible. I’m 17 years old too and I’d like to practice HTML CSS JS and a library enough to get a summer job but in the end I want to do CS because it opens way many doors in software and computer industry compared to someone that is only a frontend or something.

Stop taking exceptions as examples.