Help about U.S college/university?

I’ve just finished Year 11 in New Zealand college (high school for americans), I’m 16. I’ve just started coding here but have some experience with HTML, CSS and some very basic JavaScript and JQuery as well as MySQL, although I don’t have many finished projects to show off yet. I’m convinced a career in programming is what I want, possibly front-end, app development or game development (not a game enthusiast but would love to make one).

I’ve been offered a spot in the NSR pathway program which is basically a sports related pathway to college/university in the U.S that makes it less costly by providing financial support/sport scholarships. I want to study computer science although I’m not sure whether it is worthwhile studying computer science as some people on youtube have explained that bootcamp or being self taught is better. I would like your advice whether it is worthwhile taking this opportunity, it isn’t free, it is very costly although not quite as costly as it would be doing it without NSR.

I need to make this decision soon, I have 2 years left in college (high school). Is there anyone who has been or is going to college/university in U.S.A and is it a good experience. My other options are going to university in NZ, self teaching before I leave college (high school) and getting a job as soon as I leave school or doing well and possibly getting a scholarship.

See this video for the exact question you are asking

A CS degree will open the most doors unless you are an auto-didact like the guys who founded Apple or Facebook. In that case it won’t really matter.

Hey @tobiasmeyrick. I completed my C.S. degree at an American university a couple years ago (I am an American). It’s quite an investment, but I don’t regret making that investment at all. A traditional Bachelor’s program isn’t the best option for all people or all circumstances, but it does offer value (both tangible and intangible) that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

This thread started off as a different topic, but later devolved into a “should I attend college for CS or not attend college” conversation that may shed some useful light on a few people’s opinions (mine included).

TL;DR: I wouldn’t be the person I am today without college, and though I didn’t major in anything CS or programming related, it’s still been crucial to my development as a developer. (Hehe.)

Slightly longer answer: if you have the opportunity to attend college without an enormously significant financial burden, I say yes. Not at all for job preparation - in fact, you might not learn a lot that’s directly related to future jobs. What you will learn are all of the intangibles - how to think critically and solve problems, how to be an involved and informed citizen of the world, how to express your views and experiences and debate articulately, how to work and deal with others, and maybe even gain a better understanding of the kinds of things (subjects, people, industries, etc.) that you like and don’t like. If you seek them out, you can also gain invaluable, life-long friendship and mentorship. To be fair, you can do all of this on the job without going to college, but college gives you an environment to experiment in with very few real-life consequences and an environment where your sole goal is learning, which isn’t something that happens often in one’s lifetime - if at all.

I went to college (in the US) for Biochemistry and Psychology - nothing directly related to CS or programming, but the skills I gained have served me incredibly well. My ability to think critically and solve difficult problems (and persevere through said difficult problems) was a byproduct of college. The writing and speaking ability I developed have earned me free tickets to conferences, bootcamp scholarships, and the opportunity to be represent my bootcamp in an interview with a high-profile site (coming soon). In addition, I’ve gained lifelong friends that I still talk to very regularly, mentors that have helped me through some of the more challenging times along my life journey, and a built-in network of people across the country that I can reach out to at any time.

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I went to college as well, and I couldn’t agree more with all of those intangibles you mentioned. Just wanted to add another on top of all the ones you posted: Along the same sort of lines, don’t forget that it’s also easy in college to meet plenty of people of the opposite sex (or the same, for those so inclined) that in turn could lead to a future spouse. Well, not that it happened for me personally, but I definitely know other people who met in college.

Not that I’m saying that someone should go to college specifically to meet girls (or guys, as the case might be), but just be open to the possibility because it actually is a great environment for that—actually, probably one of the best in most people’s lives, because when else in your lifetime are you going to meet so many different people?

So, sure it’s possible to get through life without a college degree, but I’m betting most people forget to consider the intangible benefits of college. And unless you want to be a social hermit, I’m betting that most people would like the side benefit of new friends and one of the largest dating pools that you’ll ever get in life. :wink: