Questions about FCC courses and CS degree

Which certification should I complete first? Should I work on them in order?

What is your goal? Do you want to learn web dev completely? Are you only interested in front end or only interested in backend?

Or are you a beginner just trying to explore?

Thanks for the response!

My ultimate goal is to get into software engineering professionally.
(still a beginner here)

I’m seeking guidance on where to start, as there are so many routes that can be taken. I’m a Computer Science major (3.5 years till graduation)

DEBATE
Continue Computer Science degree
OR
Use my time to learn the foundation of a popular language and create projects.

If I put in the time and effort, is it likely to land a job relatively soon (knowing I’m a newbie) by learning a foundation and creating projects for my resume?

If so, what should I create my foundation on?

Lots of CS graduates have told me the schooling didn’t prepare them well for the workplace.

This is why I would like to know if it’s unreasonable to think I can land a job. That way I can surround myself with better programmers to learn from.

If it’s unrealistic, I will continue my CS education and just learn coding skills off this great website.

Appreciate all feedback.

HI @derekwerk !

Welcome to the forum!

As to your initial question, you should complete them in order because that is how the course is designed.

The first four cover frontend javascript, the next two cover backend javascript and the other four cover python.

Continue your computer science degree.
Finishing your degree gives you access to internships, and other career services that most self taught developers don’t have access to.
Having some experience and a degree will become important when you are applying for junior dev jobs.

Building projects and learning the skills is just one part of it.

You also have to understand how the job process works.

If you have a degree, it will make it easier to get past a lot of the job filters and HR people.
It will make it easier to get to the interview stage.

It is still possible to get there without a degree but it is hard to push past the HR and job filter requirements.
Most of the self taught developers I know relied heavily on their network to help them get interviews because they weren’t getting very far with the traditional online applications.

Also, for the technical interviews, you will be more prepared to tackle the algorithm and data structures questions because you spent years learning that stuff.

A lot of self taught developers have to learn that on their own. Some dread those types of questions because they spent most of their time just focusing on the coding part instead of the CS theory part.

What they are responding to is the fact that CS isn’t going to teach you the latest web technologies.
CS will teach you theory which is important in my opinion.

I personally think 3 1/2 years is plenty of time to learn computer science and learn the current web technologies.

I am not saying it is impossible to get a job as a self taught developer, but it does have its challenges.

My advice is to continue your CS degree, do internships and learn web dev on the side when you can.

That will put you in a great position to land a job after graduation.

Those are my two cents :grinning:

I also edited the title of your post to something related more to the discussion at hand.

Why Not both?

If your 3.5 years into your degree, I’d focus on finishing it. A partial degree isn’t anywhere near as good as a CS degree. More-over, your college should have extra resources you can take advantage of, like faculty, research, job fairs, clubs and other facilities you wouldn’t have available otherwise. I’d see if you can take advantage of those with however much time you have left with the, even a little.

I also assume you’ve done projects during your time studying CS, these can be uploaded, and “shown off” to show a variety of skills and backgrounds. So you should already have a few projects under your belt, and hopefully saved them to show off. You also should of learned at least one language, and can use that as a starting point to learning more for your own side projects.

The CS degree focuses on a few key aspects of specific types of jobs. If your a programmer, you should have experience learning the core fundamentals of whatever you end up doing, but it *wont teach you how to do things day to day. Day to day tasks, change to often, are often specific, and require you to continue learning on the job. Something as simple as a language used for a job could range from something you might of had experience with, like Java, to something vastly more specific or new, like GoLang, or the latest JavaScript framework. A degree wont focus on those, as its too easy to teach you something you wont need.

You are in a better position of landing a job with a degree than without one, as its one of the easiest ways to filter people during a job search. However, you also want to stand out of the crowd. Think of all your peers who will graduate with you, if they all find the same job your applying for, how will you sell yourself to get it over them?

This could mean you learned other languages, did other projects, learned other things and gained extra experience. This would mean doing side projects, and learning other things like other languages would help.

The most important thing most jobs look for is if you can learn, learn well, and learn quickly. When it comes to tech, things move quickly, so knowing an individual can learn them and adapt when they get a job and later when the “job changes” over time, is a key trait to look for. So no a CS degree wont prepare you 100% for whatever job is at hand, its there to provide a base so you can learn what is needed for the job at hand when the time comes. In the mean time learn anything, everything you think you’d like in the mean time and keep your doors open.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:

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Bloody hell, finish the degree! Teaching yourself skills is really hard: it’s likely that by doing that instead of a degree you will be deliberately throwing obstacles in your way. Yes it’s just a piece of paper at the end, but it’s a very valuable piece of paper, and the environment you get it in gives you access to a huge amount of resources (both computer and human) you won’t have otherwise.

You get back what you put in. Teaching yourself programming will not prepare you any better. Do both, the CS degree won’t focus as much on prosaic stuff (like, say, the current most popular frameworks for language X), because that’s not important in the context of CS. But you can do that whilst doing your degree, you can go through FCC at the same time. Find out what additional practical knowledge you need, and practice that at the same time.

Think about this logically. Why, if you were a business, would you hire someone with very few provable skills? There are reasons to do that, but a company will want some evidence to help try to guess whether a hire will aid them in their business goals. It’s really hard to get a first job: there’s a very large pool of people who are relatively unskilled, so a hiring company will use signifiers such as “this person completed a degree” as a filter. If you teach yourself, you need to be prepared that it may take an equivalent amount of time to a degree to get to a point where you’re hireable. It may not, but if you have the opportunity to do a degree, YMMV but it will generally give you a significant advantage re jobs.

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