College: yay or nay?

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BHXSpecter wrote:
(and pay attention since you seem to keep missing this fact) my son's health forced me to quit my job in order to stay home and take care of him
Yes, I remember the many times you've mentioned it. I am curious why you don't have home care paid by medicaid, my girlfriend is a nurse and used to do home care for kids in similar situations and she was paid by medicaid.

BHXSpecter wrote:
Also, BTW, student loans are financial aid. Scholarships, grants, and student loans are all considered financial aid as you can't get any loans unless you file FAFSA forms.
Yes, federal subsidized student loans are considered aid, but I think you knew (or should have) what iseeplusplus meant.
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Here’s my 2 cents…

A lot of the opinions on this thread so far, are from people either attending or graduated from college/university. My point of view comes from working a professional job and not having the time to go to college/university. (Sort of trying to do a career change). I’m not saying my way is best/right, but it will give you another point of view.

There are dozens of books out there that explain everything you need to do in solid depth. Not going to school will take away the large fee, however buying all the books you will need and possible hardware, won’t be free. One thing for sure, if you are serious about this, you can’t rely on internet tutorials alone. In fact, even a good C++ book won’t be enough. You will need several. You should also be disciplined enough to do this without someone telling you what and when to do something. Making yourself a solid schedule with goals.

Once you’ve spent several years doing that (learning that is). You can build yourself a portfolio that shows what you can do. Don’t worry too much about the contents of that yet, it will come to you overtime. If you wish to get into games, then post one or two small games on that portfolio. Even if it takes a team to make a full 3d game, you can always display your skills by making a small 3d Room with realistic physics and lighting. You don’t need to make a full game to show that you can do the job.

In the terms of finding a job. I have 2 close friends that work in the programming industry that either of them have a degree or any related school. If they did it, you and I can too. There are countless forums, blogs and articles on the internet which will also explain exactly that too. A lot of employers are starting to prefer portfolios over CS degrees (you can look up the reasons for that).

In the idea of making your own indie game with your own team… well that’s a different story all together. Unless you are a group of friends doing this for free part-time, It will be more expensive then going to school. I’ve had my own company before (unrelated field), for almost 2 years. And just to start it was a good $10,000 upfront. Then the expenses to keep it running were roughly $16,000 a month. Now with games, you don’t turn in a profit until you sell it, which means, you usually need 2 or 3 years worth of expenses upfront.

Other things that can help you once you’re looking for a job as a programmer;
- Some experience working somewhere full-time for a few years, preferably in an office environment with great references from your employer.
- credit in one or more open source project.
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There have been countless debates on this subject on this forum and probably a lot more to come everyone has their own opinion.

So I will just say this. It is a undeniable fact that if you don't have a degree in your chosen field whether it be accounting or computer science you will be severely limiting yourself finding a good job. Yes it is still possible to find a good job and it does happen but you are still limiting yourself.

Another argument is that you can learn more and do more by learning programming yourself then going to college to learn it. Which personally I agree with if you are able to stick with it and have good resources yes you can learn more. But that isn't the point of a college degree. The point of a degree is so employers know that you know the basics of your field. They know that you put in the years to get that degree and that you most likely have the basic skills to make you employable. It shows that you will put in that effort to get a degree so that you can get that job you want.

It is used a trimming tool by employers. Employers get a huge number of applicants every time they are hiring and usually if the applicant doesn't have a degree it will be in the trashcan the first time around. It won't matter if you have a amazing portfolio or not the chances are you wont make it past the first round of cuts.

Is this the best way to do things? Maybe not, but just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean it isn't real. You just got to deal with it.

The bottom line is if you can afford to get a degree and want then do it, otherwise you will regret it most likely in the end. Either by not being able to find a good job in your field, or by being passed over for that promotion time and time again because the other guy has a degree and you don't. The choice is up to you but make it intelligently and do the math. Making the wrong choice can have lifelong consequences that aren't easily fixed.
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How do you even start up a company? Do you need to register it and such?
Fredbill30 wrote:
How do you even start up a company? Do you need to register it and such?

Where I live you need to register it with the province and you need to get a business license from the city. There are also some other licenses that may be mandatory based on the type of business as well as some insurances.

@Zereo:
I don't know what your life experience is, so I don't wish to argue much with your post much; However, in my experience, degrees have not limited most people around me. But those same people have solid work history, have great communication skills, and have a strong work ethics. So its possible that the ability to introduce yourself to an employer in a professional manner and provide some good work reference, has much to do with it as well.
I don't think anyone can really argue that a degree will close any doors for you. It will make getting a foot in the door so much easier. But you need more than the degree. A portfolio is what will land you the job. But the degree is useful too. There's a lot to a degree besides just the programming. You get lots of knowledge from other CS fields which will help you integrate with other employees, and you also learn how to communicate, which is arguably the biggest skill someone can have these days. Gone are the days of the lone programmer in a dark room by himself.
naraku9333 wrote:
I am curious why you don't have home care paid by medicaid, my girlfriend is a nurse and used to do home care for kids in similar situations and she was paid by medicaid.

He does, but it only covers his care for the limited time he goes to school (2 hours a day at the most). We are currently fighting to get him more hours but medicaid is fighting on it. Medical insurance it a great thing in our country....those who need it can't get the things they need while those who don't need it can get enough meds to start a meth lab. Wife is independent enough to where she can't get nursing, but needs enough help that I need to be there for her too.

naraku9333 wrote:
Yes, federal subsidized student loans are considered aid, but I think you knew (or should have) what iseeplusplus meant.
Both federal subsidized and non-subsidized student loans are aid and that is what my entire $100k is made up of between Sallie Mae and Nelnet.
Price should always be a factor in college selection, though a fair amount of students are aware of this. A recent study of recent freshmen by researchers from UCLA found it is becoming a very large factor in their choice of alma mater.
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