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"I studied Computer Science, not English..."

BenleyBenley Registered User Posts: 1,643 Senior Member
More and more graduates are finding that their conceptually-based college educations leave them ill-equipped to handle “real-world” jobs – so much so that, according to some experts, most companies no longer care what their recruits majored in, since they know they’ll have to extensively train them regardless. This is even more poignant in the tech sector – in fact, 47 percent of the technology jobs in New York City no longer require any college education at all. Across the country, only half of high-tech workers have graduated college.

Didn't someone say college students today could be too "pre-professional"? On the other hand, I feel that college education for STEM majors in particular will be forced to be more and more like "trade schools".

Replies to: "I studied Computer Science, not English..."

  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 16,589 Senior Member
    Many majors that are in a college or university setting are, in fact, technical degrees. Some (like nursing) were rarely integrated with the colleges and universities but were stand-alone schools.
    Maybe it’s a crazy idea, but if you’re going to spend all that money for a college education, shouldn’t you expect to learn real-world skills from people who know what they’re doing?

    Maybe things have changed, but I didn't go to college to learn real-world skills...I went to college (liberal arts gasp) to sharpen my analytical skills, to deepen my critical thinking skills, to learn how to think and talk on my feet, to write in an educated manner and to frankly, gain deeper understanding of global political dynamics because that, at the time, was where my interests were heading.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 22,900 Senior Member
    Well, if comp sci classes are as he describes, it doesn't say much for them.

    But I suspect that, as usual, there is more to the story.
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    ^^Agree. I'm sorry to break the bad news...not all CS/engineering degrees are created equal...and not all liberal arts degrees are created equal...so caveat emptor...

    ...a CS degree from Penn State may be "decent"...but, it may not open as many doors as you think....
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,765 Senior Member
    edited August 2014

    Wow. I didn't realize that the CS curriculum at PSU was so poor.

    Did he just take the easiest classes and somehow skipped algorithms, data structures, and operating systems?

    Did he graduate from a PSU branch campus?
  • YnotgoYnotgo Registered User Posts: 3,898 Senior Member
    If you check LinkedIn, his degree is in Management Information Systems, not CS.
  • WasatchWriterWasatchWriter Registered User Posts: 2,528 Senior Member
    Well, if his point is that real web developers don't use Dreamweaver -- he's right.
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    @Ynotgo. NO...you don't say...you mean to tell me that Washington Post (the same august paper that took down the president) did not check out this individual's educational background (known as simple vetting)...what shame...what sham!
  • warbrainwarbrain Registered User Posts: 716 Member
    Businesses aren’t looking for college grads, they’re looking for employees who can actually do things – like build iPhone apps, manage ad campaigns and write convincing marketing copy. I wish I’d been taught how to do those things in school, but my college had something different in mind.

    I don't get this. Okay, so maybe you'd be more attractive to employers if you took a class on how to make iPhone apps (though I'm not sure why it's so hard to learn this independently). But what are you going to do when iPhone apps aren't a big deal anymore?
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,765 Senior Member
    OK, the MIS degree explains it.

    I was going to say, a good CS program should give you a firm grounding in the fundamentals and concepts, not teach you languages, so that any CS grad with a brain should be able to pick up any language after reading a book and maybe 1 week of practice.
  • MichiganGeorgiaMichiganGeorgia Registered User Posts: 4,460 Senior Member
    As a former Computer Programmer with an MIS degree I would argue with the author when he says that MIS is a STEM degree. IMO MIS is usually a Business degree with some programming classes.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    If you check LinkedIn, his degree is in Management Information Systems, not CS.

    The difference between CS and MIS is similar in some ways to the intro CS courses for majors/minors and the intro course for non-majors looking to fulfill their quant/science requirement at my college.

    While the latter course had some programming involved, it was mostly an applications/internet for dummies with some web development and C/Java tossed in. The amount of programming in C/Java covered in the non-major's course was equivalent to the first 2-3 weeks of material covered in the very first intro CS course for majors.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,483 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    The column author also is upset that not all STEM professors have job experience in their field. That is an expectation of a business major, science and math are research fields. Different paradigm. One does not need to work in private industry to do what a scientist or mathematician does. Son's experience was of a math major including some grad level courses then adding enough comp sci to add that major. He was hired as a software developer/engineer (different companies use different job titles- and they are not consistent with college major titles) for his ability to think/problem solve..., NOT his programming skills. btw, as a college of letters and sciences student son also took many diverse humanities/social sciences not required by the business school.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,959 Super Moderator
    edited August 2014
    ^ This. DD2 was a math major at a LAC, hired to do coding with no CS experience and is doing well.

    And then we have this article from another thread:
  • BenleyBenley Registered User Posts: 1,643 Senior Member
    So I guess it just means the MIS program at PSU is not a good one and even it's top graduates may have a hard time finding employment?
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    So I guess it just means the MIS program at PSU is not a good one and even it's top graduates may have a hard time finding employment?

    A lot of tech related firms/departments tend to be skeptical about MIS graduates because their tech capabilities and ability/interest to keep learning can vary so widely in comparison to engineering/CS grads or sometimes even non-MIS/engineering/CS grads with demonstrated strong continuing interest in computer technology.

    One IT department I worked for had a couple of English lit majors...including a senior project manager with 15+ years of experience after graduating from a Top 10 LAC. Funny part is the English lit majors had such high computer technology chops even the senior engineering/CS folks would consult them whenever there are difficult technical issues they can't solve.
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