A Programmer’s Way of Thinking About College

As the internship steps into its third week, I was asked to write some questions about a career as a software engineer and pose them to my supervisor. These were questions about college, career, job etc. Out of all my questions, I posed an interesting question which was: “must I have a college degree in order to get a job in a software engineering field?” In his response, Justine said, “Absolutely not. Colleges only teach you the basics while what you need is work experience. In college, all codes will be perfect and it won’t pose much of a problem. While, in real life, you might be asked to fix a part of a program that hasn’t been touched for years.” In his opinion, a student of software engineering shouldn’t expect to graduate from college and get a good job as a programmer if he is missing real-life development experience. His answer got me thinking about how exactly college would benefit me then. After I asked him about my thought, he replied, “I am not saying you shouldn’t go to college. It’s a good thing to have a degree. You can predict that you will work as a programmer but you never know what you will do down the road after 20-30 years. If you happen to work as something else other than a programmer, you will need that small piece of paper.” His answer satisfied me so I got back to working on my test project which is complete now. It’s not a great site with lots of functionality but it’s just a small site I put together to test my learning with my newly acquired knowledge of c#, sql, mvc5, entity framework, and razor. Hopefully, I will be able to improve my site and add some more functionality for the users in the next week.

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