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Education Programming IT

Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore? 630

snydeq writes "Self-taught technologists are almost always better hires than those with a bachelor's degree in computer science and a huge student loan, writes Andrew Oliver. 'A recruiter recently asked me why employers are so picky. I explained that of the people who earned a computer science degree, most don't know any theory and can't code. Instead, they succeed at putting things on their resume that match keywords. Plus, companies don't consider it their responsibility to provide training or mentoring. In fairness, that's because the scarcity of talent has created a mercenary culture: "Now that my employer paid me to learn a new skill, let me check to see if there's an ad for it on Dice or Craigslist with a higher rate of pay." When searching for talent, I've stopped relying on computer science degrees as an indicator of anything except a general interest in the field. Most schools suck at teaching theory and aren't great at Java instruction, either. Granted, they're not much better with any other language, but most of them teach Java.'"
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Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

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  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:16PM (#41308067)

    If you've got the chops for a real CS degree, you have largely the same options open for you with an electrical engineering degree, and a lot of other ones you'd be excluded from, too.

    If you want to do applied math.. well.. I'd get a math degree and take some CS courses to bolster the programming. Discrete mathematics is just that. Math degrees aren't that common, and IIRC, sought after, especially in finance and statistical analysis.

    CS is in an awkward spot. It never was meant to be a trade degree.. somewhere along the lines it was expected to be one. Hilarity did not ensue.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:21PM (#41308109)

    I'm doing Bachleor's of CS now. In most CS classes I do the following: Look left, look right, look at palm, apply palm to face. I know most of these clowns won't make it to the end, but the fear of some making it is what keeps me up at night. To put it gently, the piece of paper is not enough. CS seems like one of the fields were you always need to take the concepts you learn, apply them, and take them further. You also learn more things not covered in the course, but that are in your book. Then you learn things not in the book. If you expect the average CS curriculum to turn you into a genius, then you have a problem. In addition to my studies, I provide supplemental in class tutoring in several CS courses at local community college. Now in their defense a lot of people in those classes are not CS, usually you get Engineers, and those that are usually have dreams of making video games because playing them is all they do with their time. But the most bizarre question I get after they learn a simple program is: "What can I do with this?" It's like you show a cavemen how to make fire, and they ask you: "What can I do with this fire?" It's like showing a cavemen the wheel and having them remark: "So what?" I just don't know how to answer this question properly. I have tried several responses.

  • Mutually exclusive? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Axalon ( 919693 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:21PM (#41308111)
    There are self-taught geniuses, and there are incompetent people with CS degrees. There are also "self-taught" people who think they're badass because they've taught themselves PHP and Javascript and lurk on IRC channels but can't do crap outside their comfort zone and there are people with degrees that used every resource available to them to become experts in their field. In other words, where they learned their stuff doesn't matter, but rather, what they've learned and how passionate they are about knowing their field. A self-taught person will almost surely benefit from learning in an academic setting, provided you're not going to some joke school. Universities help you learn by guiding your learning and giving you access to resources and experts in the field, but they don't instantly make you a master of the material. That's on the student. Yes, being self taught implies that the person has the drive to learn, but it's also limited by how well they can steer their learning. And that's what schools and professors are for.
  • cost (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:23PM (#41308125)

    Of course it's worth getting; assuming the cost of the education is low enough. I believe the average person goes through 3 career changes in the course of his/her life. That's about 16 years in the field, give or take. We'll say the average income in the field is $50,000 -- just for comparison's sake. And let's say your education costs $80,000 (a not unreasonable sum, considering how quickly costs are ballooning). Now obviously because of interest rates and taxes and whatnot, this is an overly-simplistic estimate and I won't consider those -- but given the above, you'd be paying 10% of your income back over the expected life of your career.

    The real question you have to ask is -- is the increase in income greater than the cost of the education? Now, obviously, the above numbers are overly simplistic, but it's a starting point to a more in depth analysis. I think you'll find that when all the variables are taken into account, a college education only delivers a marginal benefit to your overall quality of life compared to either trying to get your foot in the door without one, or doing a job that doesn't require one. At least in my country (the United States), with the middle class rapidly imploding due to greed and other factors... you probably want every edge you can get. Work the numbers carefully; If you miscalculate, your financial future is grim.

  • by White Flame ( 1074973 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:28PM (#41308173)

    To pull out my standard Slashdot Car Analogy(tm), it's like a mechanic who knew nothing about cars before deciding that fixing cars looked like a stable career and went to trade school but doesn't tinker on his own vehicles because "that's work", vs somebody who's been under the hood of a cars since they were 13.

    Sure, those who enter the field later in life might be great at it, but your average worker in that position won't hold a candle to the one who was self-taught through driven interest, especially if they then went on to formal education in the field.

    Disclaimer: On the flip side, too many solo hobbyists don't know how to convert their hobby into professional work when it comes to demands, tradeoffs, and communication on the job.

  • Re:CS != Coding (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mooingyak ( 720677 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:31PM (#41308201)

    People are making a fundamental error in terminology here. If you're looking to hire someone for a programming job, then you shouldn't be looking at someone with a CS degree. Computer Science is not about coding or programming, it's about the practices behind it. If you want a coder, go hire a code monkey from your local technical college. If you want someone to design the software, make sure it's sane, and then hand it off to a code monkey, then hire a CS grad.

    I've met some guys who were decent coders but not very good designers, but I've never once encountered the opposite. I haven't seen much in the way of correlation between lack or presence of a degree.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:49PM (#41308343)

    1) aptitude No Ability + Training = Null
    2) Like Is coding fun? Code between semesters? Code Before going to school? Try things the school did not cover? Practicing stuff you do not like is work. like music or art you need to practice.
    3) Training. Self taught means self directed. doing things the hard way or wrong way, because you never stumbled across the right way. Plus as pointed out it makes getting a job easier.

    Is a BS worthless? It is if the holder thought hey programming pays go I will go to trade school, I mean college and learn that.
    give me all the baseball, singing, and art lessons you want, I will still suck. even if I pass the classes. the conclusion should be to many people are getting CS degrees would should have picked something else. And There are a lot of good talent not getting degrees. What's up with that?

    Full disclosure: Self taught, then went to school.

  • Re:cost (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xtal ( 49134 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:54PM (#41308381)

    The analysis is more clouded than the pundits think.

    If you are average to slightly above, and risk-adverse, getting a degree is a logical choice.

    If you are above average, and entrepreneurial, chances are you will succeed no matter what you do. If the opportunity cost is not to high, a degree is a good bet.

    Those who do well with degrees are more likely to do well without them, on a different path - and that makes the analysis more difficult, as the variable is the opportunity cost while in school.

    Many moons ago now I thought about CS or physics but did EE instead. It was probably harder but left open doors to management and different careers that would not have been there otherwise. My sister was going to do Chemistry but I persuaded her to do do Chemical Engineering instead. That opened up doors to a PhD in Nuclear Engineering that would not have otherwise been there in a pure science track.

    If you want the practical, and you don't have a trust fund, then do what's practical, and that's engineering in a post-secondary, technology environment. If you have an engineering degree and are personable, you will not want for a job.

    Do what you love, not what is easy, the life will follow. Not my words but wise ones.

  • Both sides are wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gtaluvit ( 218726 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:54PM (#41308387)

    Having a degree doesn't make you a great coder and neither does being self taught. Talent and understanding big picture concepts are what makes a great coder. If you don't have either of these by age 30, then having a degree or not doesn't matter as you're useless to all but the most bloated of organizations.

    If you are a hot shot coder fresh out of high school and understand how to follow a schedule, estimate hours, generate unit tests, use an automated build process, use revision control, capture requirements, and can generate readable documentation, then you are FAR FAR beyond where most self-taught people are.

    If you have a brand spanking new CS, SE, CE, IT degree and can do all of those things above but understand why compiler errors are typically on the line following the error, why C++ link lines need the libs in a specific order, why Java and .Net apps are trivial to disassemble, and have actually wrote something on your own that wasn't part of school to solve a problem you have, then you are FAR FAR beyond where most young people with a degree are.

    If either are the case, contact me cause I would probably hire you.

    Note: After age 30 or so, neither of these matter as you should have enough experience in the real world to do all of it.

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:56PM (#41308403)

    Self taught and degree aren't mutally exclusive ... Also university isn't just about learning a trade (that's trade school). It's about getting a rounded education in stuff you probably don't give a shit about ...

    I can't agree more. Learning on your own **and** learning as part of a formal degree program is probably the best. Most purely self taught tend to have gaps in their knowledge. They are just as smart, possessing the same raw talent and I have worked with many and would be happy to work with them again ... but occasionally gaps are evident. There are classes in a degree program that a person has no interest in and they are unlikely to study on their own. However these "uninteresting" topics are sometimes important or may provide an unexpected solution or insight into something you are working on.

    I have only met one person who is purely self taught, reads computer science textbooks or the equivalent, and reads such books covering a wide variety of topics comparable to what one sees in a traditional computer science program. When I was working on my degree I borrowed Knuth vol 1-3 from this person, these were not vanity books for a bookshelf, they were all obviously read.

    Most people do not posses the discipline to do it on their own. They will benefit from a formal program that forces them to do things they would not otherwise do.

  • by frosty_tsm ( 933163 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @10:59PM (#41308427)
    This is just the once-a-month self-taught vs CS-degree article to start a flame war. Seriously, enough is enough.

    Self taught people are effective, but sometimes they do things that are traditionally dumb like build their tree upside down. They can come up with creative solutions (because by their nature they think out of the box), but stumble on things a university graduate would find basic because we studied it and they didn't. Many can't do pseudocode or understand what big-O notation means because you never encounter it unless you've taken an algorithms class. On the flip side, non-CS-degree people are behind a large part of the CouchDB and no-SQL movement because they weren't constrained by traditional thought.
  • by dthanna ( 1294016 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:00PM (#41308433)

    The professors at the university I went to specifically told us that they were not there to teach us how to program in a particular language. But to give us the fundamentals to program in any language that we needed to. If you need to program in x, go buy a book on x and learn the language. And, to make that point, we were thrown at Pascal (all the data structures classes), ADA, C (networking, operating systems), C++ (OOP) , COBOL, databases, a couple flavors of assembler, file systems (I can still do block calculations) computers and law, and, to top things off, PostScript. I also was able to pick up a minor in mathematics, classes on Russian history, Western Civ., communications, economics, physics, chemistry and all that other 'crap' that is to make you a well rounded egghead. Because of that expanded world-view, I can actually work with my counterparts in India and treat them like human beings. (For everyone that is bemoaning the fact that jobs are going over there - don't blame the Indians - they want the same thing for their families as you do - food on the table, roof over their head, clothes on there back and a better life for their children. Blame your local politicians and business leaders).

    Because of the way they designed the CS environment, and how they approached the material, I was able to build stuff that ran circles around the 'self taught' folks. Sure, we can build a linked list and tree in COBOL 85 to do fast data lookups (COBOL didn't support pointers in that release, but it has this really good array system). I understand the multiple tree structures inside of a PDF - and how the file actually organized as it is written to disk.

    I have a CS degree.. I work in IT... and to be honest, I rarely use the programming skills to actually program - most of what I did was in PostScript when I did program. But, I've also had to learn Python, JavaScript, Visual Basic, 370 Assembler, JCL, and SAS when the need arose. Lately what I've needed to do is advise other folks on good practices vs. bad. Talk to the engineering departments at my vendors how their systems work (or don't) .. sometimes with an uncanny insight into how their systems were actually programmed (I'll bet Bob wrote this at 3AM) hopefully with some great ideas on how to make their better. I can translate business rules into software rules (four years coding pension plans) and generally understand why business operates the way they do. Finally, I made some great friends there. The kind of friends that are still friends 20 years later.

    Yea, at least for me, the CS degree was worth it.

  • Re:CS != Coding (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:11PM (#41308521)

    If you want to understand how and why a compiler works, and how to build one, CS is for you.

    If you just want to use one, it's probably not.

    "If you want to understand how English works and how it came to be, linguistics is for you. If you just want to be a writer, it's probably not."

    "If you want to understand how music works and is put together, music theory is for you. If you just want to play an instrument, it's probably not."

    Do you see the problem here? You can't call yourself a professional writer of English (or any other language for that matter) without some knowledge of the grammar, morphology, semantics and pragmatics of it. No, you don't need to be a linguist to the point that you can diagnose speech delay in children, or construct your own conlang. But you need to know how your language works, and you need to know it well.

    As for your specific example, even if you never consider writing a compiler, many (if not most) programming tasks involve at least some work that is compiler-like. For example, any time you need to write code which reads a file which has some structure, or implement a network protocol, you're writing a parser. If you don't know you're writing a parser, you'll inevitably write a bad parser which will either cause your code to die an obscure death, be a maintenance headache for years to come, or require a rewrite by someone who did study CS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:15PM (#41308547)

    I have a Bachelors Mathematics degree and Comptia Certs, Microsoft certs. Now at the same company I did desktop support and my friends did product integration (scripting) and testing of IT products. My friends also had Computer Science degrees from the same school as myself...we just had different degrees.

    Now lets just get down to it.
    My pay: 52k/year
    Their pay: 75k/year

    Conclusion: It depends who you know, what job title you get, and if you do Computers, a Computer Science degree looks best. A Mathematics degree looks good too, but Comp Sci is by far the best to have in IT as far as degrees.

  • by ( 1021409 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:32PM (#41308663)

    I will agree with this 100%. I have been in tech for about seven years, "formally". My bookshelf is full of technical titles, I have several "test" systems, and even my primary machine is full of "play" virtual machines.

    I *actually* started learning tech when my father was able to get me a shell account on a university Solaris box when I was about eleven years old. I had a 2400 baud modem that I had figured out how to install on the family's 8088xt (@6 MHz). It was even (CGA) color!

    I was lucky enough to have essentially zero formal tech/CS training for my entire educational career (which ended in graduate school). I had a typing class in middle school, and I did have part of a class that used LOGO in about 3rd grade. However, I did have an "education", writing, speech, math to calc II, and a hell of a lot of life sciences, chemistry, and physics (or what physics you can learn when you only go to calc II).

    After grad school in a COMPLETELY unrelated topic, I easily landed a job as desktop support for a bank @ $25/hour (in 2005). After progressing up through the ranks, taking contracts, and learning and reading in my spare time, I'm over six figures in my current (W2, full time) position (at age 33), with substantial health, vacation, and stock benefits.

    The kicker? Not only was my degree unrelated to computers or tech in every way, but I never actually graduated from any of my programs (nine years at four different schools).

    I would really like to go back to school at some point to finish an engineering degree of some type (EE or ME), but after supporting engineers for the past two years (mostly Mech, Civil), I learned what they actually make (even with a PE), and it's about half of what I'd even consider.

  • by tranquilidad ( 1994300 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:48PM (#41308769)

    I started programming in 1976 while I was still in high school. I went to a university and signed up for computer science but did not do at all well in the non-CS courses - probably because of the arguments I used to get into with the professors. I took as many CS courses as I could and quit school and started working. I retired at 43 in 2004 after ending up running a lot of very large product organizations within a pretty large company. The lack of a degree almost kept me out of the company but I had advocates within the company with whom I had worked who championed my cause.

    A VC called me to visit one of their startups in 2006 to see about joining at a fairly high level. Things went well until I interviewed with their head of HR and had the following conversation:

    HR - "You left education off of your resume. Why?"
    Me - "I didn't finish school and felt that a couple years of college weren't important compared to the rest of my resume."
    HR - "Don't you feel unfulfilled?"
    Me - "I'm sorry, unfulfilled in what way?"
    HR - "Don't you feel unfulfilled in not having a degree."
    Me - "Not really. I'm retired and your investor asked me to come see if I could help out. If it's not a fit then we can both walk away happy."
    HR - "Well, we'll need a notarized affidavit confirming your level of education."
    Me - "I'm not claiming to have a degree in anything and I'm willing to say I've had no schooling whatsoever if it will save us this process."
    HR - "No, we'll need the affidavit."
    Me - "I swear, I'm not hiding an advanced degree in nuclear engineering. How are you going to confirm that I'm not hiding advanced degrees?"
    HR - "It's policy."

    I never went back but I tell the story often about how the hiring process has degraded to a point of near uselessness. It's extremely difficult to find good talent to begin with and when we do find it the processes and legal jiu-jitsu we force the good applicants to endure makes it very difficult to bring them on board.

    The successful companies will continue to be those that get the processes out of the way and hold accountable the individuals who make bad decisions - be they hiring decisions or others.

    When you want to hire someone a good HR person will say, "Let me see how we can make that happen." Likewise, when you want to fire someone that good HR person should have the exact same response. Too often the HR and legal departments just become wielders of the veto pen and don't provide good support to the underlying mission of the organization.

    As a result, we end up with sadly degraded expectations where hiring becomes a check list of acceptable and non-acceptable gates through which our candidates pass and out the other end of the process is a mealy mash of homogeneity that does little to promote diversity of thought within an organization.

    The degree is still important but only as a single component in an overall tapestry that represents any particular candidate.

  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:49PM (#41308775)

    Nobody is asking you to lie, they're asking you to jump through a hoop.

    I've been asked to lie. A job required a computer science degree and 5 years experience (it was an entry level help desk position doing phone support). HR called me. I had a B.S. in an unrelated field and 12 years experience. I was asked to say that the experience is equivalent to a degree, so that I could be considered for the position. I'm guessing there was a shortage of people with a degree in computer science and 5 years experience looking for a low-paying phone support position for a crappy bank website. Given the requirements and the fact that they were so high, despite not being able to find suitable candidates, it was a clear sign that I didn't want to work for a circus master who finds it amusing to make others needlessly jump through hoops. Have a test in the interview. Don't have a hidden test in the form of hoops before getting there. That's just mean, and I wouldn't want to work for a prick like you.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:15AM (#41308933)

    Entirely agree.

    Regarding interest, my company had an open house recently where we invited students in the relevant majors from the large university in the town we're in to come and visit. We had a decent number come through, and one student was telling us about a project he worked on this summer. After he finished up, we asked what he did in his spare time. His answer? "Homework". To him, programming wasn't just something he did for classes. It was something he did as a hobby and an interest outside of class. Guess which student a lot of us actually remembered the next day when we were comparing notes?

    Of course, the fact that he had an awesome and EXTREMELY memorable last name didn't hurt matters either (name withheld for obvious reasons).

  • Re:Mercenaries (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:50AM (#41309157)

    This kinda reminds me of those women who refuse to date a man unless he's married, and their goal is to get the man to leave his wife and marry her. And then, when the man cheats on her with yet another women, she's shocked!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:25AM (#41309345)

    Those people that pigeon-hole everything "Java" as some kind of disease... IMO have unrepairable small mindsets themselves.

  • by Bremic ( 2703997 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:49AM (#41309457)

    Nobody is asking you to lie, they're asking you to jump through a hoop.

    I remember a friend of mine who had to check a box that he had "5 years of experience with Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server"... in 2002. If he didn't state that he did, his resume would not be put forward.

    I don't think much has changed since then; a lot of the time you are being asked to lie.

  • by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:10AM (#41309535) Homepage Journal

    >Anyone worth their salt as a programmer who has a CS degree can MAKE THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE at ANY TIME! When you get home from your call center job, just put down the controller and write some software, and assuming you stick with it, 6 months later you'll have some experience.

    This is the best advice you can give prospective CS students. Seriously, new CS people - follow this advice.

    And even if you like games, there's still a lot of projects you can do that are relevant. Some AI code I wrote for a game got me hired at a defense contractor called Cyberdyne or something (I kid, I kid - it was a lot more fun than ending the world), and also wrote programs to calculate optimal tactics / AI for my favorite board games, and modded Quake extensively.

  • by biodata ( 1981610 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:29AM (#41309635)
    Computer SCIENCE is the science of computing - it is a useless indicator of whether anyone can effective use computers. Engineering disciplines are the ones which teach people to use and make tools properly. If you want someone who can do things hire an engineer. If you want someone who can understand the nature of things hire a scientist.
  • by zidium ( 2550286 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:43AM (#41309695) Homepage

    I run a technical trade school where people go to (learn how to code []) and can vouch that the people who seek one-on-one mentoring and applied studies (as PHPU provides) end up surpassing college students by a factor of about 20 and even the self-taught at a factor of about 5x.

    After 4 years in operation, the average apprentice-level student who spends 3-5 hours a week studying and attending both group and individual training has had a $25/hour coding job within 3-6 months and a senior level ($40+/hr) within a year.

    Plus, the apprentices also earn far more valuable *work experience*. By the time they graduate under the full program, they've already received 2 years of work experience and are able to compete with people who have had 5-8 years.

    It's so cost effective, it's ridiculous. And with the apprenticeship program, you literally can get paid to learn.

  • Uh, no. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:13AM (#41309823) Journal

    You don't even know. MIT grads can be excellent, or not. I've known a few I wouldn't trust to do my laundry.

    Dude, I had a BA in computer science and a decade in the field when I was washing dishes in a cafe and deli many years ago. That's a vast understatement of my qualifications then. I've cleaned the same grease trap over, and over, and over. Do you know what a grease trap smells like? It smells like fragrant death. I had to deal with the owner's daughter, whose sole gift to humanity was that she was born rich and thought that was a reason to beat me down. I used to pause while walking the mile to work in all weather here and there to vomit.

    And at that time I had implemented LZW, designed my own operating system, programming languages, popular BBS forums, a platform for magazine distribution through self-executing e-zines, a streaming graphics protocol and a number of other things. Had been a Unix admin for a decade. Everybody involved knew I shouldn't be there but that did not change my life. And I guess that's OK. I had to survive to find the opening I needed to get out of that hole, and they needed things too. I'm not afraid of honest work. I managed to learn some useful things: I'm still a killer chef and baristo. I had to fight my way out of that hell.

    Eventually I got lucky and got back in the tech game, and have since found a good spot for me. Ever since I don't assume things about others, no matter their situation or education. They have only to show me they can and will do the work, and they suit.

  • by bluestar ( 17362 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @07:51AM (#41310949) Homepage

    "yes, but those were all hobby projects, not actual industrial experience, we can't accept that"

    That's why I created a "company" and registered a domain. I credit all my "hobby" work to that company. It at least gets you past the HR idiots and then you can explain things better to an interviewer. I don't "use Linux at home", I build HA web clusters for fun.

  • by Doug Jensen ( 691112 ) * <> on Thursday September 13, 2012 @02:40PM (#41326305) Homepage
    While many "CS" departments are just awful, check out the curricula at the top 10 CS departments (that ranking is decided annually by consensus of CS department heads) -- CMU, MIT, Stanford, etc. You get a through education in computer SCIENCE, during which you learn both the PRINCIPLES (including healthy doses of hard core theory--proving programs correct etc.; AI; databases; hardware, etc.) and the BEST PRACTICES of programming -- as much as is feasible in four years. IHMO a good CS education requires an M.S. If you intend to be a programmer, chances are you are going to start out as a good relatively inexperienced one and with experience become one of the 10%'ers that can out-program 10 mediocre programmers. But many people with CS degrees are not focused on programming -- for example, they may be focused on software engineering, which is a separate but closely related field. And of course he are people who get CS degrees, just as there are people who get physics degrees, not to work in CS or physics but to use their education in another field.Finally I'll note that some people get CS degrees so they are better prepared (assuming it's from a good department) to get M.S. and Ph.D. CS degrees.

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!