1. College Programs are Outdated
Computer science is actually made up of several fields, some of which are so recent and fast-developing professors and college curriculums are unable to catch up or keep up:
- game design
- game development
- mobile applications
- web development
- web design
- cloud technology
- data science
- virtual reality (VR)
- augmented reality (AR)
2. College Focuses on Theory Over Application
Beginning the quest for computer knowledge and experience can begin at any time and at NO COST.
Most students go to college to get a better-paying job. But if they only learn one programming language, don’t contribute to an open source project, and don’t do further collaboration, or learn about the types of work available in the computer industry they are at an expensive time and money disadvantage to others who’ve spent their time coding, creating and working on projects, interacting with other inquisitive techies, and earning certifications. It’s like comparing a beautiful jewelry box with nothing inside it to a plain, scuffed up shoe box bursting with treasure.
Mulan Lau, a Full Sail University student majoring in mobile development (with six years of programming experience), recommends Odin Project and freeCodeCamp – two FREE resources for learning and applying computer science concepts. Odin provides projects and links to third-party courses – this is the goal and here are your tools. Projects show companies what you can do and provide direction for further learning. Currently, both are free. I don’t know how long that will last. Coursera and EdX also started completely free but have changed to a partial pay system.
3. College Takes 4+ Years
This is an eternity in tech time. Without continuously updating its curriculum, a computer science degree loses its relevance.
Learning and reading as much as you can about the industry will help you decide which parts interest you and what else you need to know. Otherwise, if you sit back and wait for college to fill your knowledge bowl instead of being an active learner, you may discover two years in that you prefer information technology over computer science. Or, you will be indistinguishable from other computer science graduates to hiring companies.
Learning about the field before college can better prepare you to choose a relevant major and pursue your passion within it.
Start investigating free resources now instead of waiting until college for direction and information. Without teachers currently or recently employed in computer industries, colleges cannot offer the depth and variety of computer languages, projects, applications, and methods a motivated learner has access to online.