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Is uni worth it?

levymetal

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Hey Everyone,

If you don't want to spend 10 minutes reading, then don't continue!

I was just wondering what peoples opinions on University are. Last year I finished my Advanced Diploma of Computer Science, and then applied for the Bachelor of Computing at Swinburne. I got accepted (with 1.5 years off my course, leaving me with 1.5 to go) and I've been at uni for a few weeks now but I'm just not sure if it's really worth my time, and my money. Should I work full time, or continue with uni?

I work 3 days (22.5 hours) a week, and go to uni 3 days week. I barely have any time at all to do anything, it's stressing me out. Also, transport is a bitch (I'm an hour and a half away from uni). Aside from marketing (an elective), I'm not learning anything in any of my subjects. I already know java and php, but I've got the maximum amount of exemptions off my course so I just have to do them. It's good that I have some easy subjects, but at the same time I'm just wondering why I'm spending $1000 per subject when I'm not learning anything. Added on top of that is travel costs, food, and also the fact that I'm losing money from not working full time.

At the moment I currently work as technical support answering calls, emails, and performing mid-level operations on domain names. I get paid $22.33/hour which isn't too bad, and I can go back to full time no worries if I quit uni. I work night shifts (5pm - 1am), but it may be getting cut out so in the future I might have to move to daytime - where I'd lose my loading and I'd be down to $19.42/hour, which is kind of ****. I have to take this into considering while making my decision of what I should do.

I guess it does all depend on my future plans - which I don't even know what they really are yet. My strongest skill is php combined with mysql, and I love building websites that are functional and unbreakable. I love to make websites that people actually enjoy to use and feel that it's functional. So I guess I would really like to be a web developer, working on the server side of web applications with php and mysql. Would I really need a degree for this?

Let's step forward 1.5 years, and see how I'd be standing for each choice...

Staying at uni
* ~$6,000 in the bank
* $12,000 hex debt
* 2 years part time experience in tech support
* Advanced Diploma of Computer Science
* Bachelor of Computing

Working full time
* ~$20,000 in the bank
* no debt
* 2 years full time experience working in tech support
* Advanced Diploma of Computer science


I've heard that tech support is the first step in getting any type of job in the computing industry, and with 2 years experience, do I really need the degree? It's going to put me in debt, I'm going to be extremely stressed, and what for... A piece of paper... Is that really what's going to get me into the programming industry?

It would be interesting to know what experience other programmers have, if they went to uni, if they think it's worth it or not... I'm just having second thoughts, and perhaps other peoples views on it might help my make my decision. I've still got a few days before I can quit uni and not have to pay anything.

I appreciate any input,

Thanks for reading my book!
 

DANNY8

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Not quiet the same....but I do a bit of graphic design. Haven't done any courses or anything, just self taught (only done it for the last few years). Personally I don't think I'm too bad at it, but never thought about trying to make a career out of it. Then a few weeks back I started getting stuff printed (stickers for our race car mainly) from a different place. Then I made a flyer for a burnout comp coming up (in my sig currently), and when I emailed it to the boss of the company for a quote, she liked it that much that she offered me a casual job as a graphic designer in her business.

So at the end of the day, if u know ur ****, it's definitely possible to get a job without the bit of paper, the bit of paper is just like icing on the cake....and could mean if someone else has it they'll end up with the job. But it's not a necessity. If all else fails u could even start ur own business.
 

greenfoam

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Uni will give you a very easy run at life so you may as well do it :) as hard as it is to accept not many people will take you seriously unless you have done it. Why exactly that is who knows but that's the way it goes. I used to own everyone at my school sideways in test results but even the silliest people that went on to uni succeeded where I in my non existent wisdom decided I would be full of win without any more schooling (after I had a much needed surf to get over school) but it ended up a disaster :|. So yep whatever you do keep going :) epecailly now that the current economy conditions are on the way to being crap like they were when I left
 

stocky

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im doing the exact same course as you, at the same uni, and i dont see what the big deal is. wait until you can do industry based learning. i did it last year, earnt over 30k while still being a student, so concession rates still, and now im back at uni. when i leave uni, i have the chance to work for that same company, or look for other work knowing i have a year of industry experience. also, because i earnt that money, it classed me as independent, so i qualified for youth allowance, which gets me an extra $200 or so a fortnight. sure beats the hell out of dropping out and hoping for the best with a tafe degree.

i learnt most of my programming skills during that year of IBL, and now im doing those programming course at uni this year and doing great at it. it really helps to get that one years experience, because you will learn how important it is to really focus on what youre learning. once i completed that year of work, i knew exactly what i wanted to study as an elective in my course and am quite enjoying this uni year, while still having a part time job.

what days are you at uni anyway? might run into you at some time
 

MasterOfReality

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Good to see you are doing a bit of homework on this.

You really have to outweigh the investment of your own time and lost earnings to what you will be earning when you graduate.

Speak to people, work out how much people with a degree earn compared to people without a degree. Research the different career paths available for those with/without degree.

Don't worry about HECS, it doesn't hold anybody back from going to uni. Its a interest free loan, the best loan you will get. You hardly notice it coming out of your pay. I pay back around $160-$200 a week in HECS.

For me, uni was purely a financial decision. I picked fields I was interested in, and then did a bit of a costing on each one to see which one gave me the maximum returns. I did this as well for TAFE courses and trades.

Its worked so far.
 

ScoHar

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Im prob not much help cause I can barely spell, but im with foamy on that one
 

stocky

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as MasterOfReality said, dont worry about HECS. just be glad you have it and youre not an international student that has to pay the full cost upfront. its an interest free debt ill worry about later in life, and if it worries you that much, you can do a year of IBL, and use the money you earn from that to pay off your study. you could get lucky and get an IBL position with a company that is willing to pay for the rest of your study in return for you coming back to work for them.

i remember at my old job, when they had grad students applying, all they were really interested in was what subjects you had studied and what grades you received. the HR person would ask the programmers we had what they thought of a persons resume, and the different subjects they had studied at uni, how well or what grade they achieved, and to see if these subjects applied to the work they were doing. its more than just a piece of paper.
 

Tom_1569

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Im in a similar situation, but Im not at uni, but considering it next year.
My aim all through school was to go to uni and study IT, but I was "asked to leave" in year 11 and did not want to change schools and quite bummed about the situation. I found by doing cert IV at TAFE I could bridge into IT at uni, but during doing Cert IV last year I picked up work, so TAFE got put on the back bone. I was making over a grand a week working 4-5 nights a week, and thought I was in quite a secure roll and was quite proud considering I had no qualifications. Come Christmas time and everyone screaming economic crisis, I have no job. I've been applying and applying for weeks now, but they all seem to want a Uni degree, or some exceptional way of proven how good you are. For me majority of my work experience is Network deployments, so its quite hard to prove myself, unlike programmers or mulitmedia side of things where you can have a folio.
Im back at TAFE this year completing cert IV and if I dont pick up any work by the end of the year, I will be strongly considering uni.

Your half way through your course, so why not complete it. You will get a piece of paper that backs you up for the rest of your life, its only another 1 and a half years, your young you have plenty of time to earn money and pay off a hecs debt, so I wouldnt worry about them. Also you are getting experience whilst studying which is always a bonus.
 

MasterOfReality

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I just wanted to add, like many of the others here, don't dismiss the power of that piece of paper.

A lot of employers couldn't give two shits about how good you are at a particular task, they want to see a degree that backs you up. A degree covers a broad base and gives you a greater skill set.

For example, in my job a higher degree is a requirement so that means a masters of engineering or a phd. If you don't have those, then you need approx 25%-50% more work experience to get a look in than those with the higher qualifications.

The industry I am in is highly regulated - a mining or geotech engineer must be degree qualified. It varies from state to state, but in essence its the same.

I feel that other industries will be going the same way as well. Teaching has already done it, you need a education degree whereas previously it wasn't needed. Nursing is similar.
 

kart_racer

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I'm going to say finish the course, 1.5 years isn't that long at all.

In the end you'll have a better qualification which will make it easier to get a better job and make your salary higher when you do.

MasterOfReality & Stocky...while HECS is "interest free", it is indexed so it gains interest without calling it "interest".

Also, the later classes you do at uni should further your knowledge more. Just ride out the current classes, it will go quicker than you expect.
 
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