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3 Reasons Apple and Google are saying NO to College Degrees

Apple and Google sent shockwaves through the University and college sector recently by announcing that they are no longer looking to recruit graduates with 4-year degrees. This post is inspired by the the video College Degrees are Done by Patrick Bet-David.

And they are just 2 out of 14 big tech companies that have effectively said that college degrees are a waste of time if you want to work for them.

Surprising news?

Well – not really.

I’ve been saying this for quite some time – college degrees are pointless if you want a tech job these days.  Looks like the tech companies are waking up to this too.

Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why Apple and Google are turning their noses up at college graduates.

1. Pace of change

Things change quickly these days. Very quickly. In fact, if you complete a computer science today, most of the stuff you learn will be obsolete within 3 years or less!

Also, consider this. Dell predict that 85% of the jobs that will be around in 2030 don’t exist yet!

So you go to university now, finish in 4 years time. A few years later there will be jobs that didn’t exist when you started your degree course.

How can universities keep up with that rate of change?

The simple answer is:

They can’t. And they don’t.

Universities are falling behind – and they realize it. That’s why tuition fees are skyrocketing – they are trying to offset future losses. Why are they falling so far behind?

Universities are slow to change.

When you think about it, it’s the tech companies themselves that are driving the change. They have research and development departments that are constantly innovating and pivoting. They are at the cutting edge, while universities lag behind.

The companies get frustrated with the fact that new graduate recruits don’t have the required skills, so they go to the professors and ask them to update their syllabuses. This takes time. The new curriculum has to get approved. It can take years. By which time, it’s out of date again!

In other words, University teacher’s knowledge is outdated, the curriculum is outdated, and pretty much the whole college system is outdated – certainly when it comes to tech jobs.

Online learning and ecourses however are up-to-date, relevant and cutting edge. Just what employers are looking for.

If 2 people apply for a job as a developer at Google, one with a 4-year computer science degree, one with several specialist online coding course certificates in Java, JS, React and Node, which one do you think they are more likely to choose?

They’ll want the person with up-to-date skills, not obsolete college-taught ones.

2. Knowledge is not important as practical skills

The university model of learning is mainly based on the retention and regurgitation of facts and knowledge through exams.

This is so backward-looking.

With Siri, Alexa and Google close at hand, who needs to recall facts these days?

You don’t need a good memory to be a good developer. You need to have highly-focused specialist skills, not lots of general knowledge on a subject.

A company like Apple or Google will train you on a specialized skill in 3 to 4 months, not years!

Also, the companies can control what is taught and what skills are developed by creating their own training programmes rather than relying on universities.

In other words – many of the big companies are creating their own fast-track universities. And online courses and e-learning is playing a big part in delivering content for these specially-tailored courses.

3. Control the narrative

By training their own employees, the big companies can set the direction they want to go in. They become the trend-setters, the pioneers, the innovators in their sector.  They also gain status and credibility by offering specialist training and research, often in areas of technology that other companies and universities can’t offer.

All of this leads to an increased market share, and after all – that’s what tech companies are all about.

Summary

Speed is of the essence.

The digital world changes very quickly. A typical IT degree will be obsolete within 3 years of completing it.

That’s why employers these days prefer people with specialist skills developed through up-to-date online courses.

In other words, unless you want to become a teacher yourself, avoid college degrees – they’re a waste of time.

 

Hi! My name is Mosh Hamedani. I’m a software engineer with two decades of experience and I’ve taught over three million people how to code or how to become professional software engineers through my YouTube channel and online courses. It’s my mission to make software engineering accessible to everyone.
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8 responses to “3 Reasons Apple and Google are saying NO to College Degrees”

  1. Makki Anjum says:

    i am not of this thought. totally disagreed. college degree is a must. u do have MS in networking. why do u promoting not having a degree?

    • “college degree is a must”. You’re kidding, right? I hope you are.

      Please explain to us how on earth could a degree be a must while there are so many successful engineers (developers specifically in this context) without any college degree?

      College is 90% of the time worthless (especially in the tech industry) because things are constantly changing, and you’re not gonna last for too long in this industry if you’re not self-taught and you’re not always learning, because of this, studying for a few years in a row absolutely cannot guarantee that you’ll be a good engineer 5 years later. This is why it’s complete nonsense.

      I don’t like to judge people, but I think people like you are probably forced by their family/parents/culture/etc. to go to college, and they want to convince “themselves” by saying things like “college degree is a must” while they really know that it’s pure nonsense.

    • RR says:

      If he did not have it, you would write that he has no idea what he is talking about. His degrees permits him to say such a opinion (that they are not important).

  2. Neshat Ademi says:

    Well I don’t totally Agree! Even though those days as you said, everything changes very fast!

    But, college degree isn’t just for getting a Job, I think college for some reason make you think different, It’s not just wasting time, but living a time like a Student and gets you to know new People, etc etc.

    Anyway, those days, hmmm. At some point you are right!

    Best regards Mosh 🙂

    • AmirHosseinHmd says:

      I’ve heard this argument a lot: “College is good for knowing new people, blah, blah, blah…) But it doesn’t make any sense to me, because:
      If the main benefit of going to college is getting to know new people in your industry and that kind of stuff, you can easily achieve the same thing is other places and situations such as bootcamps, online academies, and especially when doing an actual job: freelancing, full-time employment, etc.; not to mention that these paths do not have the disadvantages of going to college like debt, outdated subjects, no practical experience, etc.

  3. Alex says:

    Facebook Minimum Qualifications: B.S. or M.S. Computer Science or 4+ years in software development experience
    https://www.facebook.com/careers/jobs/1188884994480209/

    Apple Minimum Qualifications: BS degree in Computer Science / Engineering or MS degree or equivalent experience.
    https://jobs.apple.com/de-de/details/200062635/ios-developer?team=SFTWR

    Google Minimum Qualifications: BS degree in Computer Science. Preferred qualifications: Master’s, PhD degree
    https://careers.google.com/jobs/results/6461057285685248/

  4. Usman says:

    What about Ethics ? how to behave in any organization ? Wht about professional practices

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