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Did you get where you are because of your education?

Did college pay off for you? Did you get where you are because of your college degree or other formal education? Do you think having a degree helped you get a job at some point?

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13 Comments

  1. Hmm… let’s see.
    My undergrad is a BGS in Political Science, with minors in Communications, English, and History. My Masters Coursework is in Exercise Physiology and worked as a lead Fitness Tech for a Hospital for a couple of years. I took one semester of Design and Illustration and a few months of new media and digital imaging. I worked the past four years as a graphic designer and cartoonist and now work as as a Web Development Manager.

    Although I do not work in the disciplines of my degrees, they have helped in developing how I approach my work. Bottom line, my work, presentation, and desire to learn, even after I’ve “graduted”, have helped me more than anything.

  2. I have a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design (CSU, ’94). All it did was get me in the door for interviews. Everything I use in my job is self-taught (Graphics apps like Photoshop as well as XHTML, CSS, javascript, XSLT, XML, and now JSP). Still paying for that degree, though. A lot of my co-workers, who are mostly software engineers, have unrelated degrees like psychology and biology. Very few have CS degrees and many have an associates degree or none at all.

  3. I’m one of the three graphic designers at my job. The other two (art director and Sr. Graphic Designer) have degrees in something unrelated to design. Even though I’m not in school my job title is “intern.” I can’t get a promotion until I get a degree, according to the VP, and I’ve been working at my current job for a little over a year. So a degree counts for something, at least as my job it does.

  4. Short Answer: NO!
    Longer Answer: No, but it has helped me in the skills I need for the job I have.

  5. Did you go to college? If you did has it helped you? I’m not even out of high school yet so I can’t really answer.

  6. I’ve got a bachelor’s in History and am about halfway through my M.A. in the same. Helped me? Not really. I’m a good developer because I’m a historian and a good historian because I’m a developer.

  7. Oh and as far as the second part goes, it’s probably been more of a hindrance than a help in getting jobs. The relationship between history and web development is abstract and subtle.

  8. I don’t have a college degree – the only person in an agency of 16 people who does not. My lack of degree was no hinderance, for whatever reason. I did, however, take it upon myself to acquire an education and my own personal education certainly did have something to do with landing my current job as creative director.

  9. Matt Jones – No, I didn’t go to college. I also think that was one of my best decisions.

    Anonymous – I think you should go and get a new job. It sounds to me like the place you work doesn’t have a ladder.

  10. I went to uni, hated all 2.5 years of it. I did management and learned how to ‘manage’ a production line, it appeared the only way business works, in the eyes of acadamia, is in massive corporations. It did not set me up well to run a small business – all that, I’m learning as I go. I am now a web designer, a skill I learned almost entirely off the internet. So while I’m sure education plays a role, the details were nothing but a hindrence!

  11. Yes and no. I never got a degree, but I did get a job as a the webdeveloper and assistant manager of a small business because (1) i was somewhat experienced within the industry and (2) had been taking web related courses at the college for a year. Shortly afterwards I took marketing and advertising classes to enhance my abilities as a web dev, and integrate the biz’s marketing with the site.

    Do I have the skills to work at any local webdev consulting firms? No. Should I have passed up on the job and gotten the degree? Also no. I learned so much about business and managing people in those two years, which has helped me far more than that tech-only degree would have. 😉