Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Associate Degree vs. Bachelor Degree

In the fall I will be starting at a local two year college.  Since I most likely will not be able to transfer to four year college I am looking into getting an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in CS.  My question is, does anyone else have this type of degree and if so did you find it any more difficult to find employment than you think you would have had you received a degree from a four year school?

Thursday, April 18, 2002

This depends entirely on you. A degree is a piece of paper. And what you do with it is up to you. The best thing that college taught me is how to learn and be on my own. Of course you will have a harder time trying to get a will only have an associates degree from a community college (probably in your hometown). And the I cannot afford it arguement is BS. If you look at the opportunity cost you really cannot afford NOT going to college. But if you are super smart maybe you can get a reserch grant and start a company and forget college.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

I really wouldn't bother.  If you're not going to get a bachelor's, you're better off saving your time and money.  I don't know anyone who's tried to get a job with an Associate's, but if I were an interviewer I wouldn't take it seriously at all as a credential.  Too easy to get, and there are already plenty of bachelor's degrees chasing too few jobs as it is.

Jeb is completely right.  You can probably get a degree from a public college for under 10 grand, and you'll more than make up for that the first few years you are working.  Take out a student loan if you have to.  College is also a great place to start networking and meeting potential employers and recruiters.  It's probably the best investment you could make.

Friday, April 19, 2002

There's a misconception that you don't need to have a bachelor's degree to succeed in programming.  However, where I work as a programmer, you wouldn't be able to even get an interview without a bachelor's degree.  They don't care what field the degee is in.

What's more, I think academic prestige obsession is alive and well in the software field.  Look no further than the Fog Creek Software web site, where they make it clear they only want people from the "best schools."

You may be able to get a job in the software field without a bachelor's degree, but many, many things will be foreclosed to you -- like where I work; like Fog Creek.

A Bachelor of Arts
Friday, April 19, 2002

Another vote for the BS degree.  Simple rule of thumb: the more education you have, the more options you have in life.

The first two years of college typically cover the foundations, and the last two years are more concentrated of the field of major. Also, in this tight job market, I see many ads that list BS, MS preferred. So the bar has been raised, and you can be sure this isn't the last slow job market you'll see in your career.

You state that most likely you won't be able to transfer to a 4-year school to get a BS. I don't know what you mean by "able".  Most 4-yr schools accept transfer credits from 2-year schools, so that shouldn't be an issue.

If it's a matter of money or other constraints, then I would do the 2 year thing, then struggle for a few years working full time and going to school part time.

Or, do what I did and join the Army, get the college fund, and then spend the rest of your life happy just knowing that you're not in the Army anymore (kind of like the old 'banging your head against a wall because it feels so good when you stop').

Nick Hebb
Friday, April 19, 2002

I am currently doing my bachelor degree in computer science at the Fernuniversität Hagen, a German "long distance" university. Depending on how much work you put into it, it takes you about 3 to 6 years to complete the degree, but it is possible to do so while working in a normal job fulltime. It is a public university, so it does not cost much. Of course, it is in Germany and most (but not all) courses are in German, but I know that there are quite a few foreign students. They take their exams at some Goethe Institut in their home countries.

Maybe you should consider something like that, I do not know if there are similar colleges available in your home country. In case you know German, you can check out the Fernuniversität at:

It is a very convenient and (since it allows you to work fulltime) affordable way to get a degree. It lacks some of the fun you get from attending a normal college, though, I am afraid :-)

Have fun,

Jutta Jordans
Friday, April 19, 2002

I don't consider this a slow job market.  I actually consider
it a return to normalcy, and I think it will continue to get
more 'normal' in the near future.  What does that mean?
It means that even entry level grunt jobs are going to ask
for a 4-year college degree.  I've already started to see it
in the labor market in my area.  The really cool jobs?  Don't
bother unless you have a masters.  I would suggest that
you do whatever you have to to go to college.  Take out a
loan.  Work part time.  Make it happen.

Friday, April 19, 2002

I think it's a sad, pathetic and egotistical company that would *require* a bachelor's degree (no offense to anyone).  Anybody can sit in a classroom and get a degree.  If a company is so closed minded that they will only hire based on what degree an applicant has, they are going to miss out on a lot of talented people.

What a company should look at is your skill and knowledge, not a piece of paper.  I know guys with 2 year degrees that could out program and deliver better quality software than most guys with a BS or MS degree.  Thankfully, companies have recognized their talent and they are making very good money and delivering very good products.

Personally, if a company wouldn't hire me because of what degree I have, I would count my blessings.  That company would not appreciate me and I would not like working there.  I like working where my skill is recognized and appreciated.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Any smart company is going to hire based on interviews. But you need a degree to gen an interview in first place, so it is some kind of filter.

Leonardo Herrera
Friday, April 19, 2002

I think that a 2 year degree would be a great start for a career. You can always transfer into a 4 year college at a later time, maybe after you get your foot in the door. My mother started her career in technology with a 2 year associates degree making small wages fixing laser printers. Some years later she has a Masters in Strategic Managment and Is the Director of Operations of a mid size company. So it can be done, it just takes hard work and continuous learning.

I myself don't have a degree and have been writing software for about 6 years now, but I do recognize my limits and would like to go to college and get a degree. I was lucky enough to be picked up by a group of individuals that could see my potential and were willing to give me a chance. This came at the cost of earnings since I worked for pittance for a good deal of that 6 years.  It probably would have came easier if I had a 4 year degree, but if you set your mind to it you can still gain entry into the software industry through hard work and willingness to continue your education while you are employed (school at night for instance). Remember it' a marathon, not a sprint race. To keep your edge and your value you must continue to learn.

Ian Stallings
Friday, April 19, 2002

Besides knowledge in a given field, a degree shows that you stuck it through a 4 year program for a reward that wasn't immediately gratifying. Something that's important in the business world. You don't want to hire someone that will quit (physically or mentally) simply because they're bored, or because the work gets too tough.

A 2 year degree is more likely to say 'I know I need one of these things to get ahead, so I'll get the one that requires the least work and sacrifice.'

A local community college near here has earned the nickname "The Thirteenth Grade" by people who don't take it seriously. It's right near a beach, the courses aren't too difficult - I took some 'college now' classes there in high school and one teacher didn't know how to spell the name of the school, which also happens to be the name of the county we live in. No doubt she's an intelligent woman but....

PS - I don't have a degree (dropped out), and I worry that it reflects badly on me, on the other hand, I've been in a position to hire people and while I don't look for a degree all the time, it certainly weighs in someone's favor. I'm constantly considering going back to school to finish my Bachelors and then choose a field for my Masters.

One recruiter refused to talk to me because I didn't finish up my Bachelors and told me that I wouldn't advance in my current job either because of that.

This is beginning to sound like that thread "How do you choose from amongst 2,000 resumes..." Remember my advice? Find some easy metric to eliminate people by, such as no college degree. Nobody wants to be judged based on numbers on paper, but to some extent we are our resume as much as we are our credit rating.

Mark W
Friday, April 19, 2002

You might face interviewers like me who have no real idea of what a 2-year college could possibly give you.  One way see to leverage it is to have a nice portfolio of interesting projects to show for it. 

Keep in mind there are all sorts of work/study programs, scholarship, and financial aid packages waiting for students.  Just don't make any mistakes like starting a 4-year college without having found them; otherwise you'll likely be disqualified for future aid.

When you wish to transfer credit hours, make sure you communicate with the prospective university and get an approval IN WRITING.  (An enormous raft of problems are avoided by getting everything in writing.)  It's very common to take basic classes at community colleges, saving expensive cred hours for deeper courses.

Alexei Z.
Friday, April 19, 2002

A few anecdotes from my experience:

1) My husband has been laid off, has been programming since 1978 (when he was a wee tyke), and is a computer genius. He didn't finish his BS degree. The problem he is worried about now, applying for new jobs, is that some idiot in HR will automatically toss out his resume because it doesn't have a degree listed on it.

2) I have worked with people without degrees in computing - or with "certificates" in computing from community colleges or local universities. In my (somewhat limited) experience, folks with this background are missing a depth of understanding about computers that people who have gone through the coursework of a bachelors have.

The areas I've notices gaps are ethics, operating systems, basic concepts (semaphores, caching, data structures, db theory, etc.)

3) I knew a guy years ago who had an Associates degree and a specialized trade certificate (audio engineer). Bright guy, but could not move up in his organization because he didn't have a bachelor's. The joker who got promoted had the degree, but was not more competent. 

This guy went back to school and got his bachelors.

I think you should get the bachelors.

Lauren B.
Friday, April 19, 2002

I agree with Lauren. Her #2 is especially important to a prospective employer. If you went to a 4 year college it's more likely that you have a more well rounded understanding rather than simply hacked away at something until it worked.

anon #3 (they might read this)
Friday, April 19, 2002

It depends on what your goals are.

Most product development shops that I'm familiar with require a B.S. (OR EQUIVALENT) to get an interview. An Assoc. Degree is fine if you have a few years experience or are self-taught and have something to show for it. One of the senior software engineers at my last place had no college and was completely self-taught. We hired him because he was recommended, he had good experience and he interviewed very well. In the long run, if you are good, it may not hurt you. Its getting off the ground that might be tough.

By "product development shops" I mean companies who sell the software they write. You may have better luck getting your first job at a company that doesn't fall into this category -- like a financial firm that hires/trains programmers to write the code that operates the business.

Dave Mooney
Friday, April 19, 2002

Reply to Lauren B regarding Point 1)

If you husband has been programming for 24 years, he shouldn't be bothering with HR departments. He should be submitting his resume directly to managars at other companies, which are his former coworkers. Assuming he's as good one would need to be to survive in this business for 24 years, he should have some great contacts who can vouch for his skills.

Dave Mooney
Friday, April 19, 2002

Accidentally deleted the part where I said I work with two guys, one with a degree and on without a degree. The one with a degree is a real wiz, the one without a degree downloads code and fits it into his projects.

anon #3 (they might read this)
Friday, April 19, 2002

I got an associates in programming then transfered to a four year school.  Best of both worlds if you ask me.

I think there is a reason that education usually comes last on a resume and experience comes first.

BTW, for more anecdotal evidence (which is useless), my Stepmom doesn't have any degree and she is a high-level IT manager.

Friday, April 19, 2002

1 If you are going to Community College to learn some actual things, then go for it. The students tend to be older, more serious, more mature, and you can get a better education at a Community College than at a research university, where you'll be packed into giant classes and taught by TAs whose accent you can not fathom and surrounded by students who are not sure what they want to do other than party.

2 If you are looking to save some money before transferring to a University, or guarantee admission to the State College, then a CC is a great sensible way to go. Make sure you are following a program designed to do that though.

3 If you are looking for a credential, the Associate Degree is not worth much and as a stopping point, might be worth less than nothing.

In evaluating someone for possible hire, I would suspect someone with only an Associate has only a few months of experience working toy problems. On the otherhand, someone with NO degree might have some amazing talent -- why else would she or he by applying?

If you have no degree, make sure you have an amazing portfolio of shareware that people are using, or applications you have written completely yourself which you can demonstrate. Or perhaps a list of references of people for whom you have done freelance wonder jobs. If you don't have these things and have either no credentials, or only an AA, I can't imagine you finding work other than a phone support job or maybe a job in a small computer shop in a mall selling things.

If your goal is to do development work, you must either have:

1. A portfolio of software you have designed and preferable sold
2. A great resume profiling verifiable development you have done.
3. An MS.
4. A BS from a prestige university.
5. A BS from a state university with amazing grades, good letters of recommendation and a resume with development experience. (Most BS-CS grads are not qualified to do design work, though scripting and simple programming jobs are OK.)
6. Be a musician and have a degree in physics or math.

So -- if you are going to go to the Community College, you should do so as part of a plan to transfer to the University, or to learn skills to start your own company and develop a portfolio of respectable work.

X. J. Scott
Friday, April 19, 2002

Oh, forgot to mention -- if you are already a competant programmer and designer, you should not expect to learn too much from the university -- the degree just says that you passed what amounts to a 4-year test of being able to handle deadlines, follow directions, understand the basics, and put up with bureaucracy. But even so, that is extremely valuable knowledge about you to an employer and reduces the chance they are wasting their time interviewing you. And of course, there is nothing to stop you from getting a lot out of your education on top of the fire test of being able to handle the pressure.

The other thing is that any good employer really will take a look at you if you have a body of work you can bring to the interview. It just might take some persistence to get that interview, but with persistence you can get through any door placed before you. What you do once in the door is up to you!

X. J. Scott
Friday, April 19, 2002

The BS is the "Get Your Foot in the Door Degree".  If you don't have this, then you had better know someone who knows someone  else who hires programmers.  Sending someone a resume with no experience and no education won't get you very far.  Also, I've never seen any job advertisement that accepts associate level programming degrees.  The best I see happenng with that is taking a job doing something else (customer support, or something) and leveraging that job into doing what you really want to do.

Friday, April 19, 2002

As a senior computer science major I agree with a lot of what has been said. When I was finishing my senior year a friend of mine told me he wanted to 'get into computers' and I told him a lot of what has been said above about 2 vs. 4 year degrees - he chose the 2 year degree and graduated on schedule, and under budget. Fast forward 24 months and he is working as a call center help desk guy for some obscure software shop.

The good: he can afford to spend $10 on lunch everyday while I go hungry, he has all his evenings free to do whatever, I haven't watched more than 2 hrs of TV for a couple of weeks - I'm always behind on homework. This weekend he has cool plans, this weekend I have to write a couple of papers and build a spatial autocorrelation app. - enough work for at least minimum wage and I'm doing it for a lousy grade. In general, he's having fun and getting paid; I'm going through academic hazing and paying through the nose for it.

The bad: my friend is answering help desk calls everyday from dumb users of software he knows little about, probably just interface level knowledge. When he changes jobs, life will be very difficult for him 'cos it will involve a lot of learning with little framework to base it on. Any advancement in his career will be relative to his current job - which is not very fulfilling. I recently signed up for a GIS class - had done no more than dabble in the stuff prior to signing up. First week of class the prof throws an assignment at us and basically tells us to learn ArcView (behemoth GIS software) in a couple of days. Finding my way through this unfamilier app was a snap, something a person who has only learned how to snap PCI cards into a mobo and install OS's onto PC's would find challenging. So one thing this type of education gives you, is the ability to learn how to learn. Whatever it is you are required to learn, you already have a framework and know how the new technology fits in the framework. So yeah, there are no 'Using Cold Fusion' classes, but with a CS degree, it would take you a lot less time to figure it out than anyone else. Further, when I graduate (if the following is inaccurate don't tell me 'cos it's all i've got for motivation) I can work pretty much anywhere in the world, in a wide variety of projects for pretty much any kind of organization. A lot more doors are open because I have a basic knowledge of how computing technology can be applied to various domains.

So in summary, I would agree that a B.S. degree is a better option. Depending on your circumstances, it could be a good 4 years and you could find a way to pay for it; or it could be the worst 4 years of your life (if that, i'm on the 4.5 yr plan) with a lot of hoop jumping and academic kissing up and a lot of dissappointment and as in my case, you never know where next semester's tuition is coming from. Either way, I can safely say it's worth every sacrifice. Yes, it may be a piece of paper to get in the door, but depending on how much you apply yourself in your classes and projects, you'll learn things that will take you way beyond the door. That said, I'm sure there is a lot that can be done with a 2 yr. degree - it just takes a lot more acrobatics to get what you want.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Here is what I have seen to various groups of people that I personnaly know.
Those who did not go to college are mechanics, machinists, construction workers, or work for a family member.
Those who went to a regular "run-of-the-mill" college have regular "run-of-the-mill" jobs.
Those who went to prestigious schools have merit based jobs, have a graduate degree, or have their own company.
I suggest looking back on your life and seeing what you have done so far. If you have always been a slacker you will continue to be one. If you have always been successful you will continue to be. Yes, there are some exceptions to the rule but they are extremely rare.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Why all this talk of the B.S. degree?  The Bachelor of Arts is a degree that will make you a better-rounded person -- you will actually read some novels, learn some history, maybe even pick up a foreign language if you follow the B.A. track.

Many schools offer a B.A. in computer programming.

A Bachelor of Arts
Friday, April 19, 2002

Thanks for the input everyone, certainly a lot to think about.

Friday, April 19, 2002

"Why all this talk of the B.S. degree? The Bachelor of Arts is a degree that will make you a better-rounded person -- you will actually read some novels, learn some history, maybe even pick up a foreign language if you follow the B.A. track.

Many schools offer a B.A. in computer programming. "

on my way to getting a B.S. I've read 'some' novels (a lot of novels) and taken a lot of history classes, a lot of geo-science classes etc. and have to take 4 semesters of foreign language; it's all in what you make it.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

I'm hearing a lot of "go get your BS" talk getting thrown around, and I just want to make a point that getting a CS degree will not make you a good programmer.  I've been in the industry for a couple years and I very rarely do I meet someone with a CS degree who can code anything.  I've hired numerous developers and the first thing I look at is past experience.  Granted, i'm not shifting through 2,000 resumes, but if a company immediatly assumes a CS grad is more qualified than someone else, they will pass over some great people. 

Vincent Marquez
Saturday, April 20, 2002

I say, if you have ANY way of getting experience, then go that route.  Also, I agree with just keeping the option of transferring your credits after 2 years.  "Lease with option to buy".  Just do your 2 years, which you'd need to do either way.  In the meantime, GET EXPERIENCE, anyway anyhow anywhere you can.  Then you can decide what you need to do after the 2 years are over.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

If you have skills, there are stilll many places that will hire you even if you dropped out of high school.  Cheap labor ALWAYS has a marketplace.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

Re the anecdote about the CS guy doing good work and the non CS guy just hacking stuff together, I've seen the opposite of that too.

I've seen CS grad unix hackers build horrible rickety things that no-one can touch without it requiring weeks of fix-ups. At one place, this was so bad that the company couldn't even sack the relevant programmer. Even the new hires (young guys ) refused to do any work on it.

Also, when I worked as a consultant, I often used to have the job of fixing stuff-ups, often by big firms staffed by people with all the right quals.

My view is that there are distinct talents and knowledge required to be a good software engineer. A CS degree is a good preparation for that, but it's not enough on its own, and neither is it necessarily required.

Hugh Wells
Saturday, April 20, 2002

jutta, matthew - the uk equivalent to the german fernuni is the "open university" which doesn't require you to know german to take courses (sorry jutta, its just i get the impression that matthew's native language is english). try i believe they are quite open (no pun intended) to overseas students.

having said that, i don't believe a degree is necessary to be able to do the job, though they are becoming increasingly necessary to get the job.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Just remember, people may not disqualify your resume because you don't have a bachelor's, in fact if you don't and you have great experience they might just hire you over someone with the bachelor's.  Why you say?  Because they,.....who am I kidding,....I have done it.  See, the way it works is, I can get away with paying you less because you have "inferior" credentials.  Some kid with great credentials is going to cost me more.  My job is to produce quality work while minimizing my costs - get it?  The bottom line is that your doing the work for money, if you doubt me try volunteering (no money) your time to an organization and see how long your enthusiasm holds out.

Keep your eye on the ball.
Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Any degree you get is worth it. Let me tell you a story about a guy who when to ITT Tech. He got his AASEET and found a job. Then he decided to get his BASEET and found another job (more money) These degrees were from a tech school and considered terminal (Can’t go any further in education) Now this guy is getting his MSEE from an ABET accredited University. He will make even more money.
But this guy has been doing the work of BSEE for 5 yrs.
So it is not what you got it is how you use it. Don't be fooled by others telling you it is not worth it. You just have to convince them that it is.
Yes I am that guy!

Maurice Bertrand
Wednesday, January 29, 2003

I disagree with the person who said it's easy to get an associate's degree.  It's very difficult to get an associate's degree.  I've worked long and hard to finally reach an associate's degree.  I have two more courses to go and will get it at a community college. I really feel it's important that any degree is important from an accredited school. 

An Associate's Degree is also a road to better earning power also.  I am very happy to be getting my degree.  My parents only had a high school degree and I am working very hard to get my degree.  It's sad to think that some people thing a degree alltogether is a waste of time.  Education is never a waste of time, knowledge is power.  I am in my 40's and cannot think of a better way to accomplish something.  I think it's going to mean better earnings for me and an academic credential that is far ahead from a high school diploma.  Maybe someday I will think about a BS but for now I am happy to get an AD.

Thanks for your time.

Robert Williams, Jr.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003

I am located in north Oregon, and have two associate's degrees in Computer Science, am 19 years old, and am making a very healthy salary at a technical communications corporation, having replaced a person who was hired and paid on the basis of their bachelor's degree in CS, but couldn't do the job, and was thus laid off.

I will cast my vote for the associate's degrees every time. While four-year degrees may teach you actualy skill sets and current technology, most do not. they teach you theory, some basic programming, and an overview of general microcomputer history. An associate's degree creates a quick, modern skillset with plenty of technical classes, not just theory and overviews.

In the IT world of today, not only are associate's degrees more effective, but they can actually pay off more. A recent study showed that students graduating with an associate's or trade school degree in technical fields achieved a starting salary on average four thousand more dollars annually more than those graduating with a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree in computer science is fine with a masters on top of it; but by itself, it is a waste of those two extra years.

Get your associate's degree, and get your certifications. Any compotent person will hire you over the person with the bachelors degree and the same (or probably lower) skill set.

Bob Bosserman
Thursday, August 21, 2003

What about having a Bachelor of Arts in Music with concentration in Technology, a 2 year certificate in Computer Science and an Associate Science degree in Game Design and Computers from FullSail in Florida.

I'm a video game fan, and I like computers and audio programming. I am currently at Acadia Univiersity finishing up my certificate in Comp  Sci (which is a 2 year program), but if I continue 2 more years, I can get a Bachelor in Computer Science. I am also a musician and I use computers a lot for music composition and recording. I am debating whether I should get the BCS or just finish the certificate and go into the video game programming world. Or should I get a BCS and find a masters that focuses on audio  (DSP) and graphics (do you know a good univ. with a masters in such fields? a masters in video game design?).

I appreciate any help.

Mauricio Duarte
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

My question to an employer is would you rather hire a person with no degree with 5+ years experience, with an A.S. with 2 years experience, or with a B.S. with no experience?  I found it bothersome to have someone tell me I have no experience to accompany my technical A.S. degree.  Was it worth more to me getting a B.S. or worth getting  experience?  I chose experience and I.T. certifications.  I would go mad to have a B.S. degree and still be told that I need experience. 

Friday, October 10, 2003

Alrite guys !!!

heres the thing- i'm a senior high school student who is very confused about how to aachieve his  goal.
i already know what i want to do , but i'm really confused on how to get their. i'm into filming. And i definately want to persue filming as a career. what shall i do? Go to 4 yr university, get a bachelors, or go to a specialty / trade school and get an Associate degree. . .

what i feel as of now  - is  that a person is not judged on a piece of paper (bs degree)  although or unfortunately employers/ companies  ( most of'em ) judge u on tht piece of paper.
but if  u dont have bs or ms it doesn't matter , u'lll have to work very hard in the initial stage. once u come to know people and people know who u are and what u're worth u'll definately be successful..

remeber it doesn't matter wt school / univerity u come from, what matters is what u get with you.
.. a good school name might help u a little, but if u'r no good. u wont last long..

bottom line : it depends on the person., -  believe in yourself and u can do whatever you want..
u can achieve any kinda goals...

bt sometimes u gotta be practical though..

okay,, i belive in my self but how do i achieve my goal-
anyone please help me,

really appreciate that

Friday, November 07, 2003

Okay I read most of this thread and its kinda got me down LOL. I am 20 and I want to be a programmer. I have 3 years of programming(paid) for a small organization. I want to get my Associates in Computer Information Tech. Focus on Programming and  in addition get an MCSD. Will 3 years work, and AS and an MCSD get me a good Visual Basic programming job?

Monday, November 24, 2003

Well said Bob Besserman!

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Alyosha doesn't have any clue to what she is talking about.  Quote:"If you don't get a bachelor's, don't even bother" THAT IS THE STUPIDIST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD OF!!! I don't think she has a degree at all, so don't listen to her.
MOST GOOD PAYING JOBS TODAY ( almost 80%) REQUIRE ONLY A ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE.  I KNOW BECAUSE I HAVE ONE. You should advance to a bachelor's in due time when you are stable in a career from your ASSOCIATES.

Sunday, January 25, 2004


In that I see a logicalal order of accreditated education.
Why would anyone do a four year diploma instead of a four year bachelor?
Why would anyone do a two year diploma instead of a two year associate.?
How much do you value education?
How much do you value your experience?
How much of talent shows on your education or your experience?

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I received my Associate Degree in Business about 4 years ago.  At this point, I can't go any further in my career.  I have the ability and knowledge to be in a managerial position but because I don't have a 4 year degree (in anything) they won't even look at me.  And don't fool yourself into thinking that experience with a company that you HAVE been working for for several years will get you promoted either.  They will go outside the company for someone with a 4 year degree and pass you up even though they know you are qualified and would do an excellent job.  It's just company policy.  Hind sight is 20/20.  Get your Bachelor's.  Good luck.

Amber Butler
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Bill Gates dropped out of high school!!!!

D Pulver
Sunday, March 07, 2004

I see the value in  a bachelor degree. I have been researching for the last year now. My question to all of you is this. I have been looking to an online college, mainly for the convience. The college I am looking at is a nationaly accreditted college, but the total cost is fifty thousand which includes everthing- books etc. Does this sound like an insane cost? Also, will this degree be looked at by employers as second rate because I achieved it online? Iam sure it does not say that on the diploma but what do you think?? I really do not have the time to do it any other way but I really want to pursue a higher education. Thank you for any feedback

brad b
Friday, March 12, 2004

I only have a 2 year degree from a local community college. It my even reflect in this statement, but I can tell you a degree is nothing more than something someone else has told you you MUST get in order to succeed in life. Whatever! After a two year in Architectural Design, I quit to go to work. 7 years later after working for people such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, NASA, Universal Studios and several other contracting companies in CAD, I quit and started my own business and now make well over $150,000 a year. Moral:
When someone else tells YOU how to succeed in this society... and YOU believe them, YOU are already one step behind the smarter people. A degree means nothing unless You think you are nothing without it. Smart people ALWAYS SUCCEED!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

This is a response to Josh.  You have a very strong argument and also some strong feelings on this subject which is commendable and it shows that you have determination.  On the topic at hand, my experience with college degrees is a high school diploma and/or an associates degree is good for a career in a trade.  The reason for this is that these programs require more apptitude in hands on technical abilities and natural born talent.  Those of us who have an associates can see ourselves working in a specialized trade of some sort focused on our 2 year degree. 

On the other hand, I am about to graduate with two B.S. degrees and it takes more than just hands on skill and technical ability to achieve this.  It takes higher level problem solving skills and more brain work but also tags on some limited hands on practicum.  My courswork in my B.S. programs make my associates courswork look like pre-school and that is my view on this. 

It takes more brains than backmuscle to achieve a higher level of education and believe me it's not just a piece of paper.  I tremendous amount of hard work and determination go into earning a B.S. degree or higher.  If one has as strong a feelings as you do and has no higher education, one should think about going to school so one can start with a salary that one deserves for one's ability. 

In my opinion, a 2 year degree is challanging, but it's just a piece of paper when people are looking for higher problem solving skills required to earn at least a B.S.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I am a 21 year old a high school graduate about to attend a 2 year college, my fiance is currently working on his master's degree, he keep telling me that an associate's degree isn't anything and that I'm wasting my time. I say it's a jump start for me because I don't like school and I'm pushing myself to do this much further more school cost way too much money and it really would have been a waist of time and money for me to take out loans and drop out having to pay everything back my pursuing AS friends I understand just take it 2 years at a time AS, BA, MA etc. Don't let anyone discourage you! The more education you have the more power you have.

Ariel Jacobs
Monday, April 26, 2004

I agree Ariel.  It seemed like it took me forever to get my bachelors, but I hung in there and got it.  I actually started out getting an associates and changed to a 4- year program.  When I was close to finishing I realized that I had enough credits to get both.  I know it sounds stupid, but I got both.  The bachelors is in Technology and Public Management with a concentration in Criminal Justice.  The Associates is in Police Science.  So I feel like I have my feet in both worlds on one side I know how to run an organization and I also know the specifics that the other degree did not get into.  I can't describe how I felt when they called my name and handed me my diploma.  Now I am reentering the workforce after years of being in school.  Now that is the scary part.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I am 19 years old  and have a 2-year Degree in Computer technology, I work in the IT of a company near by as a networking engineer.  They started me of at 68k a year... so don't let people tell you a 2-year degree isn't nothing.  My older brother took the 4-year Computer Science and he had it easier than I did in the 2-year program.  Why you ask? most universitys move the kids in and out like cattle they just wanted ot push them through and get them out!

Monday, July 05, 2004

Hi Folks, I am the Engineering Manager at a mid sized facility. I am responsible for $32m in assets. I set the capital budget each year for the plant. I manage about $6m in projects per year. I have traveled throughout the world buying and helping design complex industrial machines. I have two degreed engineers working for me that I hired. I will be hiring another this fall. There are just over 500 employees at our plant and the ones that support people (10% or so) work for me. My salary is excellent and I get 2 bonuses a year. Together they are more than starting wage would earn you in most full time jobs.  I'm 49 years old and I just registered to attend college this week. I would like to have  a degree to go with my experience. Something to hang on the wall. Guess I'll settle for an AAS and be pretty darn proud of it. Sorry, no ego here over a piece of paper. Unless, that is, you consider cash as paper.....
Sure, a degree is important. It shows that you cared to further your education in an effort to better yourself. 2 years vs. 4 years? Neither one will keep you from pumping gas or carrying groceries if that's what it takes to keep food on the table now will it....
Your college degree is, at it's best, an excellent foundation on which someone with experience can build. Get the foundation, then get the education. Never depend on the paper to work for you though, you'll have to have more than college can give you to succeed. Bring me your ability and determination, not your papers. I'll supply the rest.
Good Luck!

Lucky Me!
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I am 41 years old with an Associates Degree in Executive Secretarial, which I received in 1983.  In 1989 I relocated from my hometown, Erie, PA and moved to Atlanta, GA for 13 years.  While in Atlanta, I had great opportunities with my Associates.  However, in my mind, I felt I probably would probably advance more intog a VP, Executive Director, etc. type positions if I had a Bachelors degree.  Experience, yes!  4-year degree, no!  In 2002 I relocated back to Erie when my mother started on dialysis.  Needless to say, with my Associates and my experience, I had to start at an entry level type position.  Well, in 2003, I enrolled back into College and I am currently pursuing my Bachelors degree in Business Administration.  Yes, by having my Associates Degre from 20 years ago, 16 of my credits were transfered.  In my case, I do feel that in order for me to advance, it was almost imperative for me to go back to school and get a 4-year degree.  I have reviewed several of the comments.  I see for some the Associates Degree worked very well.  For others, they feel like I do that an Associates is ok, but a Bachelors would be better.  I don't regret my Associates, but I do wish that I had pursued my Bachelors degree 20 years ago!

Barbara Lynn Smith
Monday, August 23, 2004

Hello everyone. I am a 19 year old female attending a local Community College. The fall of 2004 will be my 2nd year and I am so confused on what I should do. I was plan on graduating with an associate's degree, take a year off, find a good job, then go to a four-year university and get a bachelor's degree. Do you guys think that's a good idea? PLEASE HELP ME!.......I do have some colleges in mind.

Alex Brown
Saturday, August 28, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home