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I think you radically underestimate how useful work experience is, both in terms of what you learn at work, and in terms of actually having money, rather than not having any. Technology shifts happen all the time. Being able to keep up is a necessary skill but it’s a great deal easier to learn the latest JS framework if you know another one. Given the large number of degreeless programmers and the fact that CS graduates are a minority of working programmers I think we can take it for granted that neither are necessary.

The only boot camp grad I’ve spoken to personally had a degree in Human Genetics, did App Academy after deciding they didn’t want to do it as a career and got a Django job out of it, despite having no knowledge of Python. They had learned enough Ruby on Rails in three months of more than full time work to impress in an interview.

Community college is only two years? That’s half the time needed for an actual Bachelor’s degree, but radically less valuable than one for getting a job. There are two sensible reasons to get an A.A. or A.S., to get a job afterwards or to get the Bachelor’s that comes after. You need to pay for it but more importantly you can’t get a real job during it and you need to eat and live during it.

Even if a good boot camp is strictly inferior to a median A.S. in Computer Science the first can still be a better choice purely because it takes less time. Having known people with Bachelor’s in CS who can’t code I doubt an Associate’s is better.

Who would you hire? The boot camper with two and a half years work experience or the A.S. graduate with one? What if neither of them has a B.A. to go with it? What if both do?




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