At this months Refresh meeting Adrian talked a lot about college since he is the Technology Officer at ASU. Many of the guys there have been to college and gotten degrees in fields they don’t even work in. Others went to college for a few years and either quit or flunked out. My point is many people doing the things I want to be doing in the near future didn’t need a college degree to start doing the work they enjoy. I think most people looking for a web designer don’t care what kind of schooling the designer had, instead they would rather see what they can do. I don’t think many employers care if someone spent 4 years in college if someone else can do a better job.
When you pay for college what are you really paying for? Some people at the meeting mentioned that the courses are so outdated there wasn’t much to learn. I took a web design class at my high school a year ago and didn’t learn anything from it. The course was taken straight from a book teaching you the basics of HTML which you could learn all by yourself in a week. The class was a waste of my time and I don’t want college to be that way. When I pay for college I want to be paying for more then a certification that says I lived through 4 years of college. I want to come out of college 100 times smarter then I am now. I want to take the classes that will help me achieve my dream.
I learned from the meeting that one of the good things about going to college is the ability to network and be around many people who are trying to do the exact same things you are. But isn’t that what Refresh Phoenix is all about? I like going to these meeting because of how much I learn from these people. I try to follow in their footsteps because many of them are exactly where I want to be in the near future. I get to network and I don’t have to spend time in a class learning about things that were new 5 years ago. Someone at the meeting (sorry I don’t remember who it was) said that in this industry you don’t need to learn everything from the very beginning, you just need to know the most recent chunk of it. If that’s true then I’ve got a good start. I only want to take the classes that will move me towards my career goals, not the required classes that I’ll forget a month after.
Still I think college will be able to help me in many ways that I can’t see right now but then again I’m not sure. My current plans have been to go to college. Some people I’ve talked to have told me that college is a good idea but others have agreed that college can be a waste of time. If I go to college I think I’ll major in business and get a minor in computer science or whatever category web design is in. Eventually I’d like to start my own web design company so a degree in business could be more valuable to me. I can start learning the skills needed to be a good web designer now and a lot of the business type stuff I can learn in college. I just don’t like the thought of taking required classes like science or math that won’t be worth the time and money.
I’ve never been to college or started my own business so what do you think? Graduation is getting closer and closer and I need your help. Is college worth the time and effort, should I skip it altogether, or should I go for a business degree instead?
College is meant to expand your horizons. It’s more than just a place to pick and educate yourself on a career…it’s there to build your character and give you a broader idea of things. It’s a chance to take classes in anything and everything that interests you, a chance to round yourself out. I think that considering college just as preparation for a job is way too narrow a view. I consider college as a place where I will grow enormously as a person in what I believe and how I percieve the world. I think it’s an important experience for everyone and I don’t think you should sell yourself short just because it might not give you the best help with your intended career.
Posted by Elyse on Feb 9, 2006.