Education – Computer Science is Still Mostly Self-Taught

QUESTION: Hi Mr. Armstrong,

I am 19 and just started college at Georgia Tech. I’m a fan of your blog and greatly respect you and your team. I want to ask your opinion in regards to choosing a major in the modern university system. I applied a business major and received a ~$30k scholarship (distributed over 4 years) to study business here. Upon arriving, I have realized that I do have an interest in computer science and feel it may be more useful than a management degree. If I did switch to CS, I would lose my business scholarship, but Georgia does have in-state merit scholarships so while the switch wouldn’t require student loans, I’m still losing a good deal. My question: What is your opinion in regards to my situation? I’m aware of the debates about the modern education system and its shortcomings, but I feel I might as well get something out of my time here! What is your opinion on CS degrees? I could always minor in CS, but it is obviously not as comprehensive and in-depth as a major. Georgia Tech is very well ranked for CS. I know you are very busy and that this may stray from your normal questions, but I would greatly appreciate any advice!
Thank you for all you do!
NC

ANSWER: You definitely do not want student loans. Those in the CS field are more often than not self-taught. Stay with the business that will not cost you anything and take CS on the side to get familiar. Degrees in CS are not really required in many roles since so much is not taught in school.

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