tweety's blog

By tweety, history, 3 years ago, In English,

I was going to write a short post asking you about your opinion on the importance of university degree but ended up writing a really long text about the education system in my country, and I don't want to delete so if you don't want to read much please skip to the last paragraph.

Next year is going to be my last in high school so I was thinking about attending university. The universities where I live (in Syria) are really bad.

In the city where I live (which is the capital) there is one very bad (but free!) public university and couple other much worse private universities. Before I tell you how bad they are let me first start by telling you how terrible the application process is here.

There is a final exam by the end of the last year in high school which decides what universities you can get into. There's one school book set that is taught in every single school of the country. Schools can't teach other book sets by law. The school exams test your ability on memorizing what's written in the books rather on your understanding.

For example, in the English exam there is a task to write a paragraph. The teacher tells us beforehand what the subject of the paragraph is going to be and writes a sample paragraph on the board. Everyone copies it and memorizes it, then writes it on the exam in the exact same way their teacher wrote. Of course you can write your own paragraph, but it's more guaranteed to write the one that our teacher gave us since our teacher himself is not good enough at English for grading your paragraph (although they think they are).

In mathematics exams they copy the exact tasks from our school books and just change variables. I don't know anyone in my school who's good at maths, they all memorize the solutions for all problems and they are only trained to be adaptable with variable changes. I was once proud of myself for solving a relatively hard problem in the exam then after the exam I realized that the exact same task was featured in our book.

On the biology exam there comes a question and you have to answer it exactly as it's answered in the book. If you only change the context but keep the meaning you might lose marks. (I know you may not believe me but it's really like this, you can ask any Syrian and they'd tell you the same)

The final school exams are made in like manner. The problem is in how important they are despite how wrong they are made. Your high grade is the only ticket to get you into the university. There are minimal grades (limits) for each faculty. For example, for Medicine you have to have a grade higher than 98%, for Computer Science 95%, Civil Engineering 92%. Yes as you see facilities are as if ranked from what they think is best to what they think is worse. Some of facilities that require lowest grades are Fine Arts, Biology and Philosophy. The university won't hear you story, nor will they hear anything from you. They only look at your grades. That leads to kids only aiming for Medicine Studies. You (almost) won't find any freshman in Computer Science studying his degree for having passion in it. They will be studying it because they weren't able to achieve a higher grade for Medicine (and I guess that is one of the reasons behind the very low number of competitive programmers in Syria).

When it comes to the educational system in our universities, they pretty much lack of the same problems of schools. It's all about memorizing stuff for the exams. I won't judge any faculty other than Computer Science since I only have friends from that facility, but from what they told me they don't really learn anything there, they learn everything by themselves from the Internet.

I can try admitting to universities abroad, but I guess it's going to be really hard especially considering our very low budget. But even if I could, is really worth it? From what I see you can learn pretty much everything you need from the Internet. The only thing that would interest me in the university (as of what I'm thinking right now) is the ACM-ICPC (especially since it's really easy to qualify from our region due to the small amount of skilled participants :D). But then comes the importance of getting a university degree for applying for jobs. But wouldn't experience (say if I spent 4 years working on a project instead of attending a university) be more worthy than the degree?

 
 
 
 
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3 years ago, # |
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Not so important, but if you want to study abroad I suggest you to prepare for SAT and you can get full scholarship in Turkey(ODTU and Bilkent university)

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    Isn't it a bit unsafe there? :D

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    I think that link shows why it is important: because the guy had taken some courses, they trusted him more about the subject and didn't check his knowledge extensively. This tends to happen even if the course was one of those "just memorize questions and pass", although I think an interviewer who also went through one of those would be more skeptical.

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3 years ago, # |
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University degree is important, when you want to get a visa for work abroad. Moreover, good university education develops thinking abilities and gives you theoretical knoweledge. Think about universities in Russia. In Saratov State University, we have some students from Syria. I am not aware of financial details, but you can contact the international office. If you are interested in ACM ICPC, Saratov State University is a particularly good choice. Just imagine, your coach will be MikeMirzayanov himself.

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    I suppose we should know Russian for applications and for me it looks impossible in half year :)

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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      Haha lucky for me I lived in Kazan for 3 years and I'm fluent in Russian :) I would love to study in a university like Saratov State University it just looks very hard getting scholarships especially from Russia :) also considering the fact that I'm almost only good at competitive programming but compared to such university I'm probably a newbie

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    University degree is not important for work permission. Proving that you are a valuable specialist is important and that can be done by your employer. For example look at L1B and H1B USA visas. L1B is much better option and you don't need degree for it. On the other hand, developing thinking abilities is a good point. Most people who don't have university degree or sucked dicks for 4/5/6 years instead of learning something are unable to understand complex things like hardcore theoretical parts or project architecture and their solutions impact. So in general it's better to have degree.

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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      As far as I know, H1B requires you to have either Bachelor's degree or equivalent job experience and 1 year of college is "equal" (in these terms) to three years of job experience. That is, either 4 years of college or 12 years of job experience. There are also intermediate states like 2 years of college and 6 years of experience.

      L1B does not require that, but you're allowed to work within one specific company only, aren't you? Also you should work in that company somewhere outside US for one continuous year at the least.

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        3 years ago, # ^ |
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        Yes, you are allowed to work for one company in case of L1B. But with that comes a lot of good stuff, like most paperwork being done by company + clearance checks are smoother (not confirmed though, it's just a personal opinion of several colleagues) for "special" degrees. Working for company for 1 year abroad is nearly impossible to check in fact, so no one cares. There are a lot of loopholes, statement goes along the lines "working for international branch, AFFILIATE, yada yada". There is no reliable mechanism to check if information provided by affiliate is valid. So almost any paper that doesn't look like complete garbage will do.

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3 years ago, # |
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Important for what? To get a good-paying job? IMHO it's good to have, but not necessary. A friend of mine who did well in programming contests (participated in Baltic Olympiad in Informatics and ACM ICPC semifinals) has no university degree (left university after one year) but currently works at Google.

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3 years ago, # |
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Having a degree might not open many doors(by doors I mean opportunities) by itself(you will still have to work hard and become good at things not taught very well in university, like programming), but NOT having a university degree can CLOSE a lot of doors, or at the very least, make them harder to open.

If the syllabus in college is easy, as you have mentioned, I suggest that you should join the government college, get reasonable grades and then focus all your attention towards things you love.

As Natalia mentioned, having a degree will make it much easier for you to get visa for work/higher studies abroad.

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I'm currently studying 5th year at Damascus university, as it's the same university you are talking about, I hope the following helps:

During my study I have noticed that subjects at DU can be considered to be good. I mean you will study advanced topics in the university (in the 4th & 5th year many professors use slides from Stanford University). What is really bad are professors them selves, I mean really really bad (hope they don't read this :D ). Nevertheless, you can get over this by using internet. Coursera courses for example are really helpful.

Later, at your 5th year you can start applying to study Master's degree in a different university, this way you will get a certificate from a well-known university. As I'm my self searching for a good Master's scholarship now, I can tell you that in most cases the following things can give you a good advantage in getting one:

  1. University degree is important (as sad as it may sound).

  2. During your study you will make many projects, consider keeping these projects and may be make a small demo about each one, this can play a huge role in making a university interested in you, and it motivates them to give you a scholarship.

  3. TOEFL is almost always required.

  4. papers you have published will give you a huge advantage (it's not required, but if you published some it would be really awesome).

  5. if you qualified for ACM-ICPC (hope you do), it would give you a huge advantage in getting a Master's scholarship, and getting a job in big companies (e.g. Google maybe).

Finally, I know DU professors will make you hate your self :P, but I hope you keep the good work in university as you are doing at competitive programming. I know many comments will say that many peoples got work at Google although they quite university, but I don't think this is the right way for two reasons:

  1. you won't learn advanced topics in competitive programming (e.g. Database, Data mining, ...)

  2. It's your future you are talking about, so try to find a balance between university and competitive programming (I know this may sound a little hard, and lots of people here won't like this, but there is a difference between being an engineer and being a coder. I know that working as an Engineer differs financially from working as a coder, not mentioning that as an engineer you can make your self a scientific career).

Eventually, I hope you all the best :)

P.S. I noticed you said in a previous comment that you are fluent in Russian, I have tried to apply for a Master's scholarship in Russia (as I'm fluent in Russian too, I thought it would be really great not to worry about studying a new language), but unfortunately getting a scholarship in Russia is very hard, although getting an acceptance is not that hard as long as you are willing to pay the collage fees yourself :(

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3 years ago, # |
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The degree may be important if you consider scientific career. If you don't consider now, may be you will change your mind later and would regret.

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3 years ago, # |
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you haven't told us what you want to do with your life

what kind of jobs do you want to apply for, and what kind of projects could "replace" a university degree, and what degree are we talking about here?

it's impossible to answer your question without providing any context.

what were your friends expecting to learn from a computer science department? code? computer science is so much more than coding.

My suggestion to you is to conduct serious research before reaching any final conclusions.

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I guess while you're still under 18 and that's too young for choosing your future ,you should wait till you're done from high school with high grades (that's gonna help you in more than a specific you) and then you'll probably completely change your mind.

the high school final books and subjects are not as bad as you're talking ,it's just some subjects that's not related to science and we have to study it which make it hard , but mathematics ,physics ,chem ,biology and english / french languages books have very important informations that every educated person should learn and know , and i found them really interesting ,though i'm not really good at memoising without understanding things.

University are important though you can't get to ACM — ICPC without a University :P

From now till you're highschool ending i wish syria get better and more chances opens for new under graduated students.

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3 years ago, # |
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A lot of people worry about whether they'll do well enough on shitty tests to get into university.

I got into university by sending an application form — there are no exams, no requirements, everybody's accepted. And it's free.

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    In my country getting into the top institutes is a HUUUUUUUUGE deal. All kinds of scams just to get into shitty universities. This is because we have a HUUUUUUUUGE student population, and people are too concerned about getting jobs than getting an education. Even great people like yourself would struggle at least(if not get rejected) from good universities, because there's no value of your red color, nor your olympiad performance, only a few entrance tests. Its probably one of the most cut-throat competitive phases of our lives. Just imagine, the best competitive programmers of my country don't go to the best universities. Sad but real.

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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      Maybe your universities aren't that great, then.

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        I must say, even though the competition is brutal, universities aren't that good. Very few people are actually passionate about education, and there's no one to guide us basically, we have to do everything on our own before it becomes mainstream because of job prospects.

        But, despite everything, I love my country.

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      In our universities there is also no value for anything except grades. No anything. Even if you're an IOI gold medalist, a student with 99% score on his exams deserves Computer Science more than you.

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    I got into university by sending an application form — there are no exams, no requirements, everybody's accepted

    Is it because of low student population, government policy, what?

    And it's free.

    Umm, probably not. Your parents pay taxes. And soon you will too.

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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      Is it because of low student population, government policy, what?

      Both and other stuff. There's government funding per student and it's hard, so most people just drop out afterwards.

      My parents are in Slovakia, the school is in Czech Republic. Check and mate, capitalist :D

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        3 years ago, # ^ |
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        Well played :)

        But honestly, one good feature of universities in my country is, they're quite cheap. Though, not free level cheap. Only, 50 times cheap compared to US colleges. So its a pretty good deal. Are schools in Slovakia government funded?

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    Wow. That's great. But I can't help but think what happens when a huge amount of people decides to go into the same college/university?

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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      Easy: there are entrance exams.

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        Well, I am directly quoting from you: "I got into university by sending an application form — there are no exams, no requirements, everybody's accepted."

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I don't know how good job market of your country is, but a college degree is a safety net. Plus, you'll get to meet people who are smarter than you, or are passionate about same things as you, and that is when you'll grow in a community. Everything's on internet, but can you do everything, or even find out everything on your own? Go to college.

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3 years ago, # |
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I'm not aware of the details of Syrian education system. All I know of it is what I read from this blog. I thought I'll offer my two cents on this.

A university degree is always beneficial. It's importance however varies with your career path. Much cliched right? Let me explain:

-> If you want to do your Masters/PhD then you definitely need a University degree.

-> Unless you are some amazing developer with great projects in your resume, university degree helps as it shows 4 years experience studying that field.

-> You are good at competitive programming at a relatively young age (at least compared to me, I'm still such a beginner), so I'm certain you can manage both university and competitive programming.

So I would suggest you to definitely go for university. It will open lots of doors for you. Regarding trying for scholarship in Russia, I have no idea. You'll have to ask others for that.

Rather than considering the methodology of teaching, have a look at the syllabus/course curriculum of the universities. If they cover really good topics, then trust me you can learn so much. It may so happen that if you learn on your own, you may not be aware of certain cool and interesting fields so if the curriculum is good, then it's really worth it. You can supplement your studies by doing courses online from coursera.org , edx.org and/or udacity.com. Here is an awesome list of resources — https://github.com/sindresorhus/awesome . A good syllabus and having sound understanding of it is invaluable for a software engineer/developer. Check out udacity nanodegree (https://www.udacity.com/nanodegree) and coursera specializations.

The course projects that you develop, do upload it to Github or any other code hosting site where you can display the work you have done. I regret not taking this up seriously and lost a great deal of learning. Even if a trivial project satisfies the university, you go ahead and make it big, applicable for the real world.

One of the best things about being in university is that you can take part in Google Summer of Code. It is a summer internship sort of thing where you can work for an open source organization. It provides you with an awesome learning curve and you can get in touch with so many developers world over. You get paid 5000 USD at the end of it.

Need I say anything about being able to take part in ACM-ICPC? :D

Take part in hackathons. Helps in networking and developing products under a time constraint. They are fun too.

One important and usually forgotten aspect is team work. There are possibly more scenarios where you work as a team while in university than working alone. I neglected team work and it affected me so much in my internship.

If possible and interested, work on publishing a paper while at university. That will help you greatly in the long run and it puts you in a different league altogether provided it's a really good paper under a great publication.

All this seems cool but time management is an issue, however I feel you can do well. You can manage to spend around 3-4 hours in competitive programming every day and yet devote enough time to learning/exploring software development and the like (though this varies from person to person). All in all, you can end up in a really good position to bag great job offers even abroad by applying offline. Why? Because not only will you have an incredible project display to show, you are a good problem solver already. Just imagine in four more years how much you can improve? :) But how will you manage university exams? As you mentioned, memory based exams, so you can study for a week beforehand and memorize I guess (worst case scenario but by doing projects, learning online etc you will not have a problem).

Okay, you may be one of those geniuses who can learn by himself. Do you still need university degree? If you want to do Masters/PhD then yes, you do. Otherwise you can work really hard and still manage to be really good. However are you aware of the other fields and the problems in computer science that you can solve? If not take some time and read about it. Right now you may not feel the need but later on you may be interested in a certain field and might want to go really deep into it in which you almost certainly have to do your PhD! So don't restrict yourself right now.

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okay u discriped it pretty well but as u and I know tweety it's been shitty as hell in the last 5 years here so how do you expect a good education from the government while millions of ppl r starving I know education here sucks and I'm a victim of that myself but still you should give the educational system a chance and go to university here the war is bound to end and when it does I think we will see a huge differences in education here and if we don't see a differences u can work on ur programming skills and get a gob at a good company if u (while u r studying) worked on a good project and used as a certificate of ur skills... P.S: the educational system here is great considering we have been in war for 5 years,the educational system is still working(more or less),and it's free for god's sake the government is still educationing u even in times of war that should count for something.

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    For now I'm not blaming the government for the education, they do have more important things to care about right now, but that doesn't mean that you have to accept educational system's badness just because "it's good for a country that's been in war for 5 years"

    I probably wouldn't mind going to the university, but I would mind sacrificing a whole year memorizing stupid things (the books are really huge) while instead I could be doing something more useful and valuable for me like preparing for the IOI.

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Hey:) I'm a first year student in Bucharest and i will give my opinion . I went to the university because my parents said so and everyone around me seems to do it.

i will examine the situation from 3 perspectives:

-Knowledge-wise -Job-wise -Other Perspective

-------------------------------------Knowledge-Wise:-------------------------------

-->Internet beats University all day , its not even a question , not even close , atleast thats how i see it.

Now there are 2 kinds of people :

1)the ones that cannot learn by themselves and need a teacher and grades ,

2) those who can progress with just the internet/friends/communities(like codeforces)/hackatons.

--> I think you fall in the second category , just because of your codeforces color so do I.

--> For the first category the university is a BIG plus , because it will keep them motivated to learn new things , and progress in a way (not necessarly a good rate of progress) but still its better than staying home and doing nothing.

Overall view on knowledge-wise role of university:

College was a great thing !!! atleast 30 years ago , when there was no internet . Internet changed the game big time, but people still view college as a main way of doing progress , because you would be amazed how many people think internet is a bad thing. MOST of the people in this PLANET don't believe in the educational role of internet, which is crazy !!!

-----------------------------------------Job-Wise:-------------------------------------- --University will bring you job oportunities , like internships which is a good thing !! --If you do a job search online , you will most part of the jobs are looking a Bachelor Degree person !!! i don't know how this works , no experience in it.

---------------------------------------Other Perspective---------------------------------- pluses: + you will make new friends which is great! + you will have fun at university ! + you will learn things from your friends that you meet at univ.

minuses: — it will eat a big-to-medium portion of your time — you will get to meet a lot of anoying and stupid teachers.

Regarding the Job-Wise i really want advice from other Codeforce'rs too , since i don't know how things work in software engineering industry.

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    Just want to add something. You do not need Bachelor Degree to work somewhere. They will hire you based on your knowledge (in most cases). I am student and I am currently employed as software engineer in an small international company. It is my last year (4th) of the studies and I am working four months already. I got job at the begging of my last year.

    And to answer to your question tweety. If you have enough experience you can search for job. If not I would suggest you to enroll to some university. To get decent experience in something, you need to work on serious projects, need to have a mentor to tell you what is the right way to do something and you need to explore new technologies to see either you like or not. Can someone work without experience on big projects on his own, questionable.

    Programming is not only about data structures and algorithms, it is a lot more. But if you ask me, the most interesting part of programming is solving algorithmic tasks. Even if I don't have too much time for that. :)

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    About Internet vs University

    (1) At University there is at least one test or a deadline every week starting from the 4th week into semester and until the exam study break. Hectic last couple of weeks of semester. (Some units have weekly assignments.) So pretty much all the time you're optimising time and have a concrete goal tomorrow that you can't postpone. Now, multiply that by 10 semesters. University makes you learn to work.

    (Unless you went to uni to meet girls and get a 55% average, but that sort of degree is a piece of junk.)

    (2) Yes, sometimes you can keep working on a personal project days and nights and there is no source of motivation stronger than that — university will never give you a project that you feel 100% passionate about, like something of your own. However, your own project is always about something you're already competent in.

    (3) University forces you to get exposed to fields that you thought were tricky, and sometimes you had only a fuzzy idea about, hence reluctant. Again and again it does it. At the end of a unit you feel at home in that field. (A) This gives you many tools to solve problems. (B) This teaches you tactics to storm a new field.

    (4) There is always someone saying "here's a guy who dropped out and now works at Google". That's n=1. Here's a better question: what percentage of Google engineers have degrees? Or people say "Bill Gates dropped out". But before dropping out he wrote a paper with Papadimitriou. How many drop-outs you know have written a paper, as an undergraduate, with Papadimitriou? Maybe this should be called rise-out, rather than drop-out.

    It also depends whom you want to get hired by: by people with degrees or by self-made geniuses. Shared culture, like-mindedness, is probably somewhat important.

    Having said all that, personally, in my eyes, a degree with "Gold" written all over it is still second-best to somebody who managed to cultivate 2+ successful projects. But can you do it? Risky...

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To be honest, all people ask these kind of question should go studying in university. Why? Because asking this question obviously means that you don't know yet what to do with your life, and don't have any clear goal in mind. So, give it a try, you can always quit if you find something better to do.

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If anyone can help me with this, I'd be grateful to them :)

I suppose having some university education can be helpful (undergraduate level) , but what about graduate level education? Since everything's on internet anyways, and if you're not that interested in research right now, is it wiser to not go for Masters, and spend your time exploring things using internet only? Even all the research papers are on internet now-a-days, so why not just use this awesome resource instead of getting degree after degree? Is there a flipside to this? I am doing my ungergraduate course in Computer Science, but I am not sure what to do after that. I love competitive programming, and I also like reading but not research. Could you please help me?

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Hi tweety,

First of all All the Best for your last High School year!
I'm amazed to see people from High-School participating and performing so well in Competitive Programming.

[I also had similar thoughts, although after I had already joined University. Here are somethings which come to mind when I rethink on the same. Note: I've finished my University studies and it's been a while that I have been in a Job. Miss those College Days!] Here are some points I'd like to mention:

  • Myth: Great skills imply a Great Job

Although there are skillful people who do get into "Great Companies" without a University Degree it is just because they got the chance to show case their skills somewhere:
        great skills without any opportunity do not imply a job
        great skills and an opportunity to showcase your skills MAY imply a job
Although you will get many different opportunities in life, different opportunities favor different types of skills. Being in a University is a big opportunity as well as opens many other opportunities in future.

[Also I've seen BIG Companies give irrational importance to scores.]

  • Myth: A University with Bad Professors is not a good place to develop your skills

Contrary to what some people think, Professors are not the most important factor for your improvement in a University life. There are many other factors. Here are some which I felt the most but can differ from person to person:

        People around you    — Generally people around you are driving factorfor your motion
        Your goals                — Your goals play an important role in how you will progress and where your momentum will be. Hence remember to keep your goals big enough for you to keep running. [Goals can be anything like going for ACM ICPC World Finals or to be great in Artificial Intelligence].

  • Professors promote rote-learning

Well this is true. But there is always a choice of whether you do it or not. You can always go against the system, which MAY affect your grades (there has to be some compromise). Depending on your situation you may skip unnecessary lectures and use that time to do something interesting [How flexible you can be differs from place to place and person to person].

  • Myth: Instead of going to University starting on a Job will make you better

Note: There are many other things to be Computer Science and Engineering than Algorithms and Data Structures [eg: Computation Theory, Information Security, Databases, Operating Systems.........]. Competitive Programming focuses only on a small subset of it (mainly Algorithms and Data Structures).

From my experience it appears Jobs generally have a much narrower scope than you can get during your University period:
        - In a University you'll be exposed to many different fields out of which you can choose to delve into some. You can switch between various as and when you want and without any major issues.
        - A Job will generally require you to work on some field for a much larger period of time than you usually would in University. Although it greatly develops your knowledge in one field it provides limited exposure to other fields.
        - Hence if you do a Job after a University you can more easily switch between fields of interest.


- Also you get to participate in ICPC!

- Finally you get a Degree Certificate which means that you have completed your Education!
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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    But there is always a choice of whether you do it or not. You can always go against the system, which MAY affect your grades (there has to be some compromise). Depending on your situation you may skip unnecessary lectures and use that time to do something interesting

    Why would you think that people who would punish you for being an independent thinker (which is what "going against the system" and "affecting your grades" means) would be willing to compromise in any other way than requiring total obedience from you? An irrational actor does not, by definition, act rationally.

    See thread, OP image 1, OP image 2. That guy is studying computer science. He has to take a class on "study of important texts" with a teacher who's very clearly Marxist. There were no problems with his grades (he was explicitly told so) until he interrupted the teacher.

    Remember kids: if you have to take a class in a Western university on non-technical stuff, buy a spycamera, sound recorder and record your interactions in class. Then, you have nothing to fear.

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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      I think you understood wrong, he is probably talking about compromises the student himself can make, not about compromises he can expect from college, which, as you said, is basically almost none. (Not to say they don't exist entirely: for example my algorithms teacher let me trade a few class assignments for ICPC study).

      Actually studying for a test (rather than just memorizing the book) usually gets you lower grades, but lets you leave the university more skilled. If it's an important subject, that's a compromise I would be more than willing to make.

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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      Yup. As ffao mentioned I mean't compromise by the student.

      I've seen Professors not caring about the students. [There are good professors as well.]

      Not all professors are understanding enough for ICPC [even Placements for that matter]. It's upto the student to balance these things.

      Understanding a subject (possibly beyond even the professor) may not always allow you get ready enough for the exams.

      Also professors may not consider your achievements beyond formal education.

      Sidenote: I really liked your suggestion of Spycamera and sound-recorder. I've seen it's use although that was a technical subject and the purpose was to uncover a scam.

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3 years ago, # |
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Come to Turkmenistan. We haven't had any terrorist attacks since 1881 (when Russian terrorists invaded our most important fort, as a consequence of which I know Russian better than Turkmen). I might have been described as "authoritarian" president, but believe me, everybody (not necessarily in Turkmenistan) in position of power abuses their privileges. An exemplary personality for this would be my fellow brader Recep Tayyip "4G RTE" Erdogan. Man, he has power. He makes indeed very good use of it.

Jokes aside. Don't come to Turkmenistan. We have a peaceful country and very hospitable and nice people, but our education system just sucks. So please don't come. No matter what. Just don't.

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3 years ago, # |
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You seem smart for me you're great since school. I'm in the university and I don't find it very regarding.

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3 years ago, # |
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How would a company's image be impacted if they hired a CTO without a degree?

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs are university dropouts. Abraham Lincoln didn't even finish high school :3

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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      They founded their own companies. Let's be realistic here, the odds of that happening to anyone is extremely low.

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        3 years ago, # ^ |
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        Two words — Silicon Valley.

        People found(? find?) their own company day in and day out. Most of them get acquired though.

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          3 years ago, # ^ |
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          founded :)

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          3 years ago, # ^ |
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          Found (set up, create) is present tense, so that's correct.

          And yes, people found companies all the time. The secret to success is knowing whom to suck up to.

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            3 years ago, # ^ |
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            The secret to success is knowing whom to suck up to.

            After much thought and consideration, I've come to conclude that I refuse to be anybody's bitch(as long as I am not broke). Any company/startup/whatever, can't fail , if the founder doesn't quit, by definition. So, another way of success can be not quitting and knowing what the hell you're doing and going to do.

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3 years ago, # |
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I study in Damascus university , 4'th year Automation engineering student currently ,the education is very bad and you may pass exams without understanding any thing at all in some subjects .

If I'm a first year or second year student I would change this university , but now I think it worth to continue and get a degree so I can apply for Masters in other university and applying for jobs .

Now I think you have to focus on your high school and get a high grades then search for a good university

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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    I took 2 gap years to avoid going there :D

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3 years ago, # |
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Why does this post keep jumping to the top of recent actions list despite having no new comments :3 !

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3 years ago, # |
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So, are you now at MIT?