Here is the question: can you study all the subjects that you are passionate about through self study (by using the internet and textbooks) and still learn more than someone who goes to college for the same purpose?
Consider both sides of the debate. Forking over $40,000 and 4 years of your life to college gives you something that you can hang on your wall, a certificate that both you and your employers can be sure off.
This question was submitted by a very young, exceptionally gifted and talented top performer who wants to know, “how he can live up to his potential”.
I am very young (23) and was radically accelerated through college \ graduate school.
By next year, I will have a BA (Math \ Religion), MBA (Management Consultancy), MSc (Business IT), PhD (Computing & Mathematics), and PhD (ABD), in IT from leading universities, as well as 9+ years IT experience, with 5+ years BA experience with stellar recommendations.
There is such a wealth of information out there that it can be overwhelming to someone trying to figure out what they need to learn.
I mean, when you look in your local bookstore you will see a huge section of books to help, but what you won’t find is the insider information that teaches you exactly the most profitable techniques or what you absolutely must know.
You also won’t find any resources that will give you the inside information about what you need to know so that you stand out from the crowd.
The answer to the question: “Is College Worth The Money?” is YES … so please go to the best college you can afford because there are doors in life that will be easier for you to open if you have a college degree.
That being said, there are pros and cons to attending college and a right / wrong mindset that you need to be aware of.
In a new book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” sociologists Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia, are of the opinion that “College Students in the US are not learning Much“
Several years ago, I had a conversation with a lady who had a computer science degree but was unable to get hired for any type of Information technology (IT) job.
I realized right away, that what she lacked was an understanding of how the IT job / career market works. The sort of information that is generally omitted in schools because no one thinks it is important enough.
So, after she shared her story with me, I did some research and came to the startling conclusion that she was not alone.
How do you prove that you have learned or mastered business analysis or computer programming or project management or any other Information technology career?
Do you demonstrate your competency with a college degree or by gaining hands-on experience or acquiring a certification?
In some professions like medicine or law, there is a rigorous licensing, certification and training process without which you cannot practice practice the profession or get a job.
But in Information Technology (IT), you can become a software tester, business analyst, computer programmer, IT Manager or project manager without any supporting certification, college/post-graduate degree or license.
On of my readers needs help with putting together his career advancement plan. I posted the information I provided to him below. If you have any question about this or about your career, post it as comment at the end of the post and I would answer it for you.
Set a SMART Goal
Begin by creating a comprehensive end to end career roadmap or plan.
Your career roadmap needs to include a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goal) That means that you need to define an end objective (for example, mastering business analysis or learning computer programming or improving your software testing skills) and a timeline for achieving it.
2009 is proving to be a big year for online learning as more tech professionals enroll in web based, video based, distance learning programs to improve their skills and employment prospects.
I have compiled some predictions from learning experts, coaches, trainers, educators and training providers published in the eLearn Magazine
Allison Rossett, San Diego State University, USA: … today, in these harsh economic times, there is pressure to reduce costs. Technology is favored over registrations in hotels and hours in classrooms away from customers and clients …
There are a number of ways you can learn programming or business analysis or any
other technical skill. I recommend both coaching and self study. I
am going to compare both modes of learning so you have a better idea of what
works for you and what doesn't.
Self Study or Teach Yourself
Self study is the type of learning where you are 100% responsible for the
outcome. It involves researching a concept, subject or topic through books,
online websites and other types of media. You set the learning goals by
yourself, draw up a lesson plan and then do your own reading and learning.