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#1 Cplusplus_and_furious  Icon User is offline

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A decent job with a community college degree?

Posted 06 September 2017 - 07:21 PM

So I have this nephew of a friend who is coming to the states for a community college degree in CS, the cost is a major factor that he chose community college, because he failed to get any scholarship for international students.

He is going to study in california, living on campus. so the cost is expected to be 1200 tuition fee + 1000x12 living expenses = 13200 usd annually - they are prepared that the actual expenses will be higher, much higher. But it would still beat a public college in terms of cost.

Now, elephant in the room: Community colleges are community colleges for a reason. They are not nearly as robust and famed as a public or well established private one - say USC or UCB.

But then again, it depends heavily on the individual.

I'll be honest, when I left da valley, it was late 1990s. Things were different. Dotcom boom were real and finding a job was definitely on the easy side. I worked for a company making precision optics for the military. I remembered I was asked only a few cliche interviewing questions (like where do you see yourself in our company after 3 years? Well guess what baby in 3 years I'm outta here), signed some confidentiality agreements as well as had some background checks done (to see if a dixie nerd were actually a crime kingpin) and bam! I'm their guy.

Now I hear tech companies make UCB and Stanford students jump through hoops and answer trick questions like "How many polar bears are there in north pole?" "How do you change a light bulb without ever touching it?" Wut. So I imagine things could be really tough for new grads these days.

The kid wants a livable code monkey job and he is gonna stay in California, which I suppose translates into 70,000 annually before tax.

I don't know very well the kid but he seems to be smart, and a bit on the lazy side.

So... what do you think? I actually don't know much about anything on the international student stuff.

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#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: A decent job with a community college degree?

Posted 06 September 2017 - 08:25 PM

Quote

He is going to study in california, living on campus. so the cost is expected to be 1200 tuition fee + 1000x12 living expenses = 13200 usd annually - they are prepared that the actual expenses will be higher, much higher. But it would still beat a public college in terms of cost.


To be fair, it's California, which is not known for being a cheap place to live.


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They are not nearly as robust and famed as a public or well established private one - say USC or UCB.


California has a lot of top schools for CS. Even a BS CS at other quality public institutions in the US look substantially different than the two year associate's degree. The associate's degree provides a minimal preparation to teach folks how to program and problem solve. It helps folks learn how to teach themselves, as far as software engineering goes. The last two years in a four-year CS program emphasize more CS- operating systems, algorithms, theory of computation, AI, machine learning, bioinformatics, HCI, etc. In short, a two-year associates in CS and a BS CS are apples and oranges, really.

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Now I hear tech companies make UCB and Stanford students jump through hoops and answer trick questions like "How many polar bears are there in north pole?" "How do you change a light bulb without ever touching it?" Wut. So I imagine things could be really tough for new grads these days.


Top companies are looking to hire computer scientists that are also effective software engineers. They are not looking to hire code monkeys. So questions on advanced algorithms and such are appropriate when hiring folks to work on tough problems (online algorithms, auction algorithms for online ads, personalization algorithms, sentiment analysis, etc.).


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The kid wants a livable code monkey job and he is gonna stay in California, which I suppose translates into 70,000 annually before tax.


I don't know the market in California. The best thing he can do before graduating is to find a decent summer internship or co-op. With some experience and an associate's in CS, I'm sure he can land a job. Will it end up being in California? I don't know.
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#3 Cplusplus_and_furious  Icon User is offline

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Re: A decent job with a community college degree?

Posted 07 September 2017 - 01:06 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 06 September 2017 - 08:25 PM, said:

Quote

He is going to study in california, living on campus. so the cost is expected to be 1200 tuition fee + 1000x12 living expenses = 13200 usd annually - they are prepared that the actual expenses will be higher, much higher. But it would still beat a public college in terms of cost.


To be fair, it's California, which is not known for being a cheap place to live....



Snap, you made it sound like he doesn't really stand a chance. Oh well, I guess I better get him prepared...

I remember back in my days algorithmic programming wasn't nearly so dominant, tons of coding jobs.
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#4 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: A decent job with a community college degree?

Posted 07 September 2017 - 06:49 AM

It's certainly possible for a skilled software engineer to get a decent paying job, regardless of degree. Without a lot of experience, getting a job at Facebook or Google might not be realistic. But there are still plenty of good opportunities out there.
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: A decent job with a community college degree?

Posted 07 September 2017 - 07:55 AM

Something about traveling abroad for college with the intent of a community college seems.. off putting.
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