Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Transferable skills

Some people think that if you haven't taken an official class set up by the government there is no possible way that you could ever know or master that skill. The same people think that if you don't have a 4 year degree in a certain subject then there is no possible way you could ever master that technique.

There are two problems with this. It assumes that learning within that degree is the panicle of education (it's not). It also assumes that know how to apply the information within the degree. Most likely that wasn't taught.

There are a surprisingly large amount of people who program and are in tech without tech degrees. How can this be? Most people think that if you have never taken a programming class you couldn't ever possibly program. Well in other degrees there are transferable skills that give you a huge advantage when working in tech.

Most people are caught up with the specifics of a degree and not the general theme. What that means is that most people are more concerned about filling in the write multiple choice question versus learning the greater concept of the material. Of course Derek Sivers has a great article on this.


In any case if you go get a 4 year degree and truly learn the theme behind the degree you will be successful. Even if it's a "bullshit" degree like philosophy, there is a ton of useful transferable skills that can be applied everywhere. In fact that is really the point behind higher education: learning skills like critical thinking and problem solving. By the way I know a ton of philosophy majors who have fantastic jobs in tech.

So don't discount people on their degree choice, perhaps they might bring something to the table that the standard degree doesn't cover. Also most computer science degrees don't teach the broader concepts of design but other degrees do.

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