I'm studying Engineering in India. In Information Technology, Many CS-friends of mine told me that that degree is not worth it and that none of the subjects will be useful in my computer science career.

I subsequently lost interest in studying until a friend filled me in on the uses of each subject included in our course. I started studying hard since I understood the importance/application of these subjects in the computer world. I scored well.

Also, I made projects which were included in course with Interest.

I wonder why people are giving less importance to the Computer Science degree and why they say that it is not important in the real world. I think if it is studied enough, it can definitely yield a job.

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    Many reasons. Too name a few: perhaps the institution you're at is not teaching its students well; e.g., too theoretical, old concepts or languages. Your friends may not know what a CS person does, or that the CS discipline has had bad publicity in your country. – Prof. Santa Claus Mar 3 '18 at 5:47
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    Please clarify highly successful people. Chief Engineer/Chief Architect of well known IT companies, like Tata? Or just some mobile app developers working for 50-some employee mid-size IT companies? – scaaahu Mar 3 '18 at 8:22
  • I feel India has nothing other than Tata and few other companies. For this, I cite the recent interview of Steve Wozniak (economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/…) – Coder Mar 3 '18 at 8:52
  • "why do they say" I am surprised you dont see a problem in yourself? – SSimon Mar 3 '18 at 10:51
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    Because they don't know what they're talking about? – JeffE Mar 4 '18 at 0:20

My answer follows the answer provided by @DmitrySavostyanov.

I also feel you are basing all your conclusions based on a false assumption and hypothetical facts.

I have done engineering in the same field as yours. I am working in a quite well-known place. And, trust me, all the things that I have studied in my bachelors are coming up every time I start my day. At least the Mathematics and Algorithm aspect of the courses.

Your friends are probably not clear about what are they doing and they are diffusing the same idea into your head. That happens in the engineering studies.

Further, your claim people are giving less importance to CS is baseless. I would stay with my above statements and exaggerate that CS at present is at the apex of anything. However, I do not see partition between CS, Electrical Engineering, Physics. At the end, everything is Science. So, based on that we can say that we must know our fields as much as we can and then think of expanding it further.

If you look at Computational Biology and Computational Fluid Dynamics (and such like), you would see massive use of Computer Science knowledge and mathematics.

TL, DR; Don't listen to such junks from your friends.

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  • "...CS at present is at the apex of anything..." Kind of yes and no. Almost everyone depends on computer in their everyday work now but it doesn't mean they are the center and purpose of it. Computer for many are just handy notebooks, organizers, communicators and calculators. – Trilarion Mar 3 '18 at 10:12

You question is based on false assumption. You seem to believe that the goal of science (CS in particular) is to get people jobs in a particular company or successful career in IT. This is not exactly right. The goal of science is to maintain and generate new knowledge. Students on CS programs not only learn advanced methods used in IT industry, but more importantly they understand the mathematical and engineering principles underpinning those methods, and the research methods required to develop new algorithms. Successful people in your definition may not be doing any research at all.

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    Unfortunately, for a majority of people, getting a degree is to get a job and contribute to the society, and feed their family. The lofty goal of generating new knowledge is the responsibility of a comparatively small number of researchers. Also, perhaps you should read up on the CS education in India. – Prof. Santa Claus Mar 3 '18 at 9:16
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    @Prof.SantaClaus You make it sound like this small number of researchers are somehow privileged and don't have the same responsibilities as others. They do. Arguably, generating new knowledge and respecting scientific methods is shared responsibility of wider community, including managers and IT specialists with "successful jobs", in OP's terms. – Dmitry Savostyanov Mar 3 '18 at 9:26

As far as I can tell, in all reasonably applicable fields (Biology, Chemistry, ...), there is a common sentiment among people in industry that higher level education (beyond what you need to get a job) is useless. Most people who have that higher level education seem to disagree.

This suggests that it is mainly a psychological phenomenon: People who have X will rationalize why having X is advantageous, while people who lack X will rationalize why X is not worth having anyways.

Since both sides profit immensely in their peace of mind by claiming what they do, it's virtually impossible to learn who is right simply by listening to them - they gain way more by their perception of worth of the degree than they would gain by actually trying to figure out who is right.

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Whoa... you have it all way, way wrong to answer the OP's question.

I have an advanced CS degree including a Master's in the subject from Stanford. Granted, I graduated in 1993, but it did me nothing to actually land a good-paying job.

I got great job offers at the time I graduated - as most college grads do, but factoring in the time-value of paying back my tuition (I'm not sure about IIT or India in general but in the US many of us take out many loans to get through a University program) none of them had a ladder that would equivocate the cost-payback of the education itself. In other words, financially I would have been better suited flipping burgers at McDonald's. Universities, especially for CS, are dinosaurs. I'll be surprised if they even exist in 20 years.

To understand Computer Science, or any science, is an application approach - like a craft. It's not boiled up in Academia. Meaning this: a great plumber doesn't go to a University to learn about fluid dynamics. They learn, then apprentice (at a plumbing firm) for years to understand real-world problems - then if they want to build something on their own, they're required to keep up on the latest in plumbing technologies to continually be useful in their field. CS/IT is exactly like this. Philosophy, which is generally an arbitrary study - is what Universities are generally good at teaching and conducting "group think" about.

I run my own company now, and I can assuredly tell you that I don't even look at the education section of a resume of a person I'm about to hire. I look at their work experience and their work product, along with [in some cases] a portfolio of code [in the case of, say, a CSS or UI/UX engineer] and whatever is relevant to them.

Find what within the subject you are passionate about and grab every book, every online course you can and apply yourself. If you can't immediately find a job, there are countless ways to create your own (using freelancer.com , upwork.com , even fiverr - and countless others). Once you've amassed a work product that you can demonstrate - "look at this that I've done" - you'll find that your chances at employment will far outweigh a college graduate chance's. Lastly, you may end up freelancing for life ; nothing wrong with that either, many successful people do it in every category/every profession.

No college degree needed. It's useless, unnecessary and a complete utter waste of your time in 2018.

That's my 2 cents.

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  • +1000, There was a question here where people asked why colleagues have more programming classes than Universities in USA – SSimon Mar 3 '18 at 11:00
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    I am wondering what kind of people you will hire when your company's got contract to do data science. – scaaahu Mar 3 '18 at 11:05
  • I guess, we just sit and wait till your company pushes google and amazon off the market. – Dmitry Savostyanov Mar 3 '18 at 11:31
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    I highly doubt universities will just disappear within 20 years. – JAB Mar 4 '18 at 0:40

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