Following the trend of anti- and pro- college posts in Hacker News last night (in my timezone). I want to write my current situation. Also I should clear up this matter since probably some friends think that I think I don’t need college degree of some sort. That’s wrong. I do think I need college degree. I don’t ever dream to compare myself to antics such as Steve Jobs or Larry Ellison. And all elite programmers that I look up to actually has good academic records and earned Phd at most.
As of current, I work as programmer and been leaving college for almost two years. I still can’t believe that this is actually called dropout, but it’s really happened. I remember ever wrote about this in another post.
I’m not even close to a wizard, ninja, or rockstar programmer. I’m a bit slow among average programmers, and it just happened that I like to tinker with this stuff called computer and its programming languages. I spent my high school’s first year in computer rent, taught myself how to code. And it sucks to learn something without any systematic guidance, tutors, or anything to measure your self-current level of knowledge or skill. All materials I got was from internets and this one book about Pascal language given by senior at this computer club in my high school.
But I’m just not smart enough to learn complex algorithm and structure data tricks by myself. And despite what I studied in college, I still can’t do any maths to overcome this. This is what I really regret, haven’t learned enough mathematics, or physics as in my major.
Most of people who dropouts has a common. They tend to think that college is a waste. I’m not. It’s indeed a waste if you can’t relate anything you learned at college with the thing you really want to do for life. But for more advancement, definitely you’ll need a degree.
To sum it up. If you ever doubt about whether you should get into college or not. Get into it. And finish it properly.
As for myself, asked whether should I go back into college? I should, I mentioned most of the reasons above but it’s also because I (in positive way) envy my friends who was/is/will/planned to going abroad to continue with their education/life, since that is awesome. One from lot of privileges you can never get without a degree. Also work visa requirement, though I can actually get visa without any degree, my life will be a lot easier with at least a bachelor degree written in my resume. But would I? We’ll see.
Some people post similar experience to mine here and here. Might be a good read.