How Much Does Education Matter?

Published June 1, 2007 on adamfortuna

    In regards to the computer science profession, the value of education is one of the most hotly debated topics, which resulting in an hour long discussion at work the other day on the issue. While we mostly came to an understanding on the issue, I was sparked to write about while reading A Computer Science Degree Does Hurt (A Lot) and some of the comments made me think a little more about the issue. What initially brought up the issue for us was putting your GPA on a resume when applying for a job. The argument was that when you're receiving a lot of resumes and you need criteria to filter out candidates who may not be up to the task setting a baseline GPA for applicants is one way of going about it. GPA then serves as an indicator of just how much effort that candidate can put forth and how much you'd expect from them at the job. It's a gauge of their ability to "learned how to learn”, which is essential for any profession that changes as rapidly as computer science. Then as a recruiter you can cut any who apply with a GPA less than 3.0 or 3.5 and be left with a very refined group of overachievers who may just fit your needs. Now let me say what I like about this system. If you're wanting people who have cared about their future for a number of years (and tied that care to their GPA) it's a safe bet. 4 years on a subject with consistent results is an achievement in itself. But what I don't like is that it doesn't take into account those who weren't interested in what they were taking so researched things on their own. For instance, at UCF I think there was one web programming course that was available- - and even it was an elective. Unfortunately I wasn't even able to take that one. There were a few database courses, some basic HTML, but the bulk of courses were general programming. Is this issue black and white? No you can always