All articles

The role of higher education in IT. Motivational stories of successful people

The importance of higher education in the field of IT_ pros and cons.

The most interesting question for future IT engineers is if they need a technical education to build a career in IT? There are historical examples where motivation and discipline have done more than in high school. However, are there benefits of Career and Technical Education?

So far, there is a debate among IT professionals about the necessity of spending 4-5 years on education at university. Perhaps the vocational courses provide a lot more specialized knowledge? After all, there is a theory and practice, and there are no IT-related additional subjects like history, physical culture, philosophy, etc. In fact, each case should be considered separately. But there are those where technical education is a necessary basis.

Is there a need for Higher Education in IT?

If you want to master the profession of a programmer (C++, C#, Java, C, Python, etc.) or computer network engineer, you should understand that the university can only give a base. Most of the time you will have to study the basics and write code. What a university does not offer is a practical experience to the extent necessary. In most cases, you need to master yourself on the side – look for practice on projects, freelance, and try to get on free practice in companies. Networking is also possible at the university, but it all depends on the university you choose.

But you shouldn’t underestimate the foundation you built. As long as it works! Training in universities is an opportunity to get a technical background, learn to search, structure, work out and use information, and understand the logic of programming processes. It is a base for those who see themselves as the future ML developer (Machine Learning), or want to become a DevOps specialist, study computer engineering and develop architecture, and work with Big Data and Neural networks. In many of these vacancies, specialized technical education and the diploma provide an additional bonus and the chances of being elected candidate. Of course, if you have the required hard and soft skills.

Another interesting question – is it possible to do without a university and get into famous companies such as Google, Apple, or Microsoft? Recruiters generally recommend pointing out education and the mean. But companies also attract students. For example, Google constantly offers students and recent graduates paid technical and business internships – they can be a pass to permanent work. But an important condition will be knowledge of the technical English language. So if you want to work in those companies, the university can be a good beginning for that.

IT specialties that you can master from scratch

University studies are not necessary for those who want to develop in the field of web development or as an analyst, frontend, or tester. In any case, it will be necessary to study constantly to develop their skills and seize new opportunities for career development.

Специализации в ИТ, для которых необязательно окончить ВУЗ:

Tech Jobs that don’t require a College Degree:

  • Project Manager. In order to acquire the necessary skills, all that is needed is to study the basis of the courses and improve them in practice.
  • Manual Tester (QA). He/she is also a specialist in IT without programming knowledge, which tests IT products: websites, mobile, web applications, etc. Of course, the tester needs a knowledge base and master the basic principles and algorithms of product testing. But for the start, QA will have enough completed courses, and then practice on real projects in the role of June.
  • Front-end Developer. It is engaged in testing and improvement of the «external» part of the site, that is, the interface. It does not require technical education, it is enough to study the theory and master coding (HTML5&CSS3, JavaScript).
  • Internet Marketing Specialist (SEO, Social Media Marketing, other). He/she analyzes and promotes products on Internet platforms, such as search engines, social networks, communities, or forums. Usually, you can get this specialization on courses, in particular, Google or LinkedIn.
  • System administrator. This specialist is responsible for the setup and commissioning of local area networks, the Internet, telephony, software testing, and configuration. You can start training in courses that provide basic knowledge and skills in practice. System Administrator is a good start in IT! Further development allows you to select a DevOps. We have a success story of an NLT employee, read on our official Instagram page (TAP).

Thus, to the question: «Do you need a diploma in IT» we can answer «Yes» and «No», depending on the chosen path in IT, and further aspirations. There are many success stories of people who did not get a diploma but still achieved their goals.

Stories of Super Successes Who Overcame Failure

Bill Gates and Paul Allen at Microsoft in 1982. (Resource: Times)

Perhaps the most famous story is about Bill Gates. He was a good student and tried to study constantly. After choosing the Law School at Harvard, he focused further on mathematics and computer science.

The year 1975 was decisive for Bill Gates when his friend Paul Allen showed an article in Popular Electronics magazine about MITS Altair 8800, the first commercially successful personal computer. Bill decided to leave Harvard and focus on building a new world-changing company, Microsoft. 30 years later, he did get a Harvard degree (never finished it), but now Harvard had the honor of having such a graduate.

Mark Zuckerberg, February 4th, 2004. Runs Facebook from his dorm room in Kirkland House. (Resource: The Harvard Crimson)

We are highly motivated by the stories of great men, such as Mark Zuckerberg. Almost the same story. Also Harvard, and also just a couple of years. Mark chose the faculty of psychology, but at university, he quickly became known as a programming genius. In his second year, he had already created two CourseMatch and FaceMash programs. Mark continued to work in programming and soon created a social networking site with his friends, allowing Harvard students to communicate with each other. In June 2004, the site was officially launched as Facebook. After his sophomore year, Mark Zuckerberg left the university to devote himself to social networking. It is remarkable that they wanted to purchase Facebook from Microsoft, but Zuckerberg refused. He said he didn’t want to sell it, that he wanted to build it.

1978: Ed Oates, Bruce Scott, Bob Miner, and Larry Allison celebrate the first anniversary of Oracle (Resource: Insider)

And one more man who didn’t give up. Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, did not graduate from the University of Illinois due to a personal tragedy. When her mother died, Allison dropped out. He later tried to go back to college at the University of Chicago but dropped out after only one semester. However, it was at this university that he first encountered computer design, with which he made billions. Over a hundred billion!

To summarize, does higher education in IT matter?

Higher technical education is a good opportunity to acquire fundamental knowledge and the ability to work with algorithms of computer systems. To get it would have to try those who have already clearly set out what it wants to do. If there are plans to continuously improve skills, work in international companies, work for global companies, or even founding a company then the university diploma will be a good bonus to realize these ambitions.

However, if you are not sure about your specialty or understand that programming is not your thing, there are many opportunities to work in the IT field without higher education and programming skills. We recommend the article from the NLT HR specialist, where we reveal the secrets of a successful start in IT and how to choose an IT career. (TAP). Also, we offer an interview in our company (available vacancies). New Line Technologies recruiters always review interviews!