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Education Businesses The Almighty Buck

Top Established and Emerging Tech Companies Prefer To Hire Highly Educated Candidates, Not Dropouts (cnbc.com) 267

An anonymous reader shares a report:It may seem like Silicon Valley is populated entirely with celebrity college dropouts, but in fact, they're the exception to the rule. Going to college pays off, and to land a job at one of the most coveted tech employers, you'll need to stay in school. Data analysis site Paysa looked at over 8,200 job posting and over 70,000 resumes at tech "titans" (companies worth at least $100 billion with an IPO more than 10 years ago) and "tech disruptors" (companies worth at least $10 billion with an IPO within the last 10 years) and found that employees at these companies are highly educated, not dropouts. A disproportionate number of employees at these sought-after companies actually have advanced degrees, and one company stood out as employing the highest percentage of workers with Ph.D.s -- Google. A whopping 16 percent of positions at Google require a doctorate degree. Less than 2 percent of Americans have earned a doctoral degree and an even smaller percentage have studied topics that are relevant to Google's work.
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Top Established and Emerging Tech Companies Prefer To Hire Highly Educated Candidates, Not Dropouts

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  • Is This News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:09AM (#54898817) Homepage

    The only Drop-outs you see in the tech industry are people who dropped out because they got too busy managing a company they created themselves. The quality of developers is bad enough even among those who graduated. The people who couldn't even be bothered to finish their degree and then have to send out resumes looking for jobs are even worse off.

    Your best bet is to complete your degree and do interneships or co-op placements to get real world experience. In addition, you should be working on your own personal projects in your spare time so that you actually understand how to do software development by the time you graduate. It may sound like a lot of work, but if you only depend on what they teach you in class, you will get out of school with very few marketable skills.

    • Re:Is This News? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:34AM (#54899009)
      The problem stems from media articles which used the term "drop-out" to describe to people who quit college because they didn't need to finish it. "Drop-out" in common usage refers to someone who quit college or high school because they were incapable of or unwilling to finish it, which is why it has a slight negative connotation. Unfortunately, some journalists abused this ambiguity to try to spice up their articles with a subversion of the expectation of the term, and as a result they have helped create a society which believes getting an education isn't really that important.
    • Re:Is This News? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:58AM (#54899215)

      Having been in college, and a masters degree. I have seen most dropouts are not from being too good for school, but usually due to poor time management skills, or separation anxieties from their home.
      Both are not really good attributes for an employee.
      The popular Dropouts were actually more then good enough to pass college. But they chose to start their own company, not drop out and try to get employed.

       

    • by dstyle5 ( 702493 )

      The only Drop-outs you see in the tech industry are people who dropped out because they got too busy managing a company they created themselves.

      This is definitely not true. Where I work we have a few senior devs who dropped out, I don't know the reasons why but they are good at their jobs. Another moved on to Google of all places. Not sure what % of people there don't have a degree but he was head-hunted so if you are good enough even they will hire you without a degree.

      Yes probably a large % of ppl in the

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        This is definitely not true. Where I work we have a few senior devs who dropped out, I don't know the reasons why but they are good at their jobs. Another moved on to Google of all places. Not sure what % of people there don't have a degree but he was head-hunted so if you are good enough even they will hire you without a degree.

        Quite likely those people dropped out because they got a job offer and have kept employment for a long duration.

        Those are really the only kind of dropouts that employers may overloo

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:09AM (#54898819)
    A degree is not merely about demonstrating that you can acquire some minimal base of knowledge to start your career from. It also demonstrates that you can finish what you start, even when it is a long process that requires you to do many things you have no particular interest in doing.
    • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:26AM (#54898955)

      A degree is not merely about demonstrating that you can acquire some minimal base of knowledge to start your career from. It also demonstrates that you can finish what you start, even when it is a long process that requires you to do many things you have no particular interest in doing.

      Not only that, but it is entirely different to drop out and start your own company than it is drop out and look for a "normal" job. Basically:

      • drop out to start a company -> that says "I can create more value by forgoing the rest of my formal education because I see a perishable opportunity that may not be there when I finish" (Microsoft, Google, Facebook are all excellent examples of this; the proof is in your ability to persist and make your idea a success)
      • drop out to land a regular job -> that says "I can't be bothered to finish my formal education (the reason itself is unimportant, though some people have legitimately good reasons for dropping out) and now I want to come work for you" (most sensible hiring managers would look at that and ask "well, what else are you going to leave only half done?")
      • The point is that either way someone has to roll the dice on you (that is even true for someone who graduated, though the uncertainty tends to be less) their willingness to do so (either invest in your startup idea or hire you as a dropout) is almost entirely dependent on your ability to articulate the value that you bring to the table. That is decidedly difficult to do with a startup, but if you hustle you can start building up your track record with demos of your idea/product, early sales, etc. I would argue that it is much harder as a dropout to build the sort of track record that will convince someone to take a chance on you. I mean, the guy with the start offers investors the possibility of making enormous returns on their investment (if the idea survives). The dropout looking for a job offers the employer the possibility of doing pretty much what is expected of any employee, of which there are many prospective candidates, lots of whom have finished their degrees.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        drop out to land a regular job -> that says "I can't be bothered to finish my formal education (the reason itself is unimportant, though some people have legitimately good reasons for dropping out) and now I want to come work for you" (most sensible hiring managers would look at that and ask "well, what else are you going to leave only half done?")

        Depends on the type of job... a lot of hiring managers are trying to avoid people with too much education / experience / ambitions who'll jump ship as soon as the opportunity arises. If you've kinda hit your ceiling already I think you can convince a manager you want a decent job and steady paycheck that's not rocket science and usually they have some work like that. But then you're not really the kind of person you'd see in start-ups or high-end positions, more the kind of guy who knows how to make the TPS

    • by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:38AM (#54899051)

      The larger problem is that the signaling value of a degree has come to greatly outweigh the vocational value of the education it represents to the point that the education has become nearly irrelevant, rendering it merely a signaling device.

      We're literally requiring many people to spend thousands of dollars learning irrelevant information just to show that they're willing to do it. It's almost like an introduction to corporate insanity, where they will take jobs that require relentless volumes of busy work (TPS reports, say) for no apparent purpose.

    • A degree is about indoctrination, as is all education. You are made to think the way that your betters believe that you should think, so that they find you useful in their bureaucracy.

      A degree has nothing to do with intelligence and not even much to do with persistence. You'll make it through as long as you can pay the bill and show up occasionally.

      • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @12:48PM (#54899685)

        You are made to think the way that your betters believe that you should think

        You are severely misinformed, at least for courses of study like computer science. In such a program you learn as much from your peers and from self study as you do from your professors. I also had little problem arguing with my professors about something. They in fact seemed to enjoy a student do so rather than just repeat back to them the book or the lecture.

        A degree has nothing to do with intelligence and not even much to do with persistence.

        No one claimed a degree is some exclusive evidence of intelligence. What it is evidence of is a broad comprehensive body of relevant knowledge, again speaking from a computer science type of perspective. People going the self-taught route exclusively often have gaps. Topics they did not study since they were not interested and/or mistakenly thought unimportant. For example aspiring video game programmers who spent little to no time studying data structures.

        Regarding persistence, it absolutely demonstrates the ability to complete a multi-year project filled with things you have no inner passion for.

        You'll make it through as long as you can pay the bill and show up occasionally

        And get weeded out in job interviews. Its why even those with degrees are subject to the various programming "tests" as part of the interview process.

        • I hope that made you feel better, buying all that bullshit.

          Now, the truth. Colleges do not teach people how to be good programmers. Almost all of the biggest lazy, no-talent shitbags in the industry are CS graduates. The colleges indoctrinate people into subservient, bureaucratic modes of thought that are conducive to operating as a cog in a large organization. That, and a little English Comp to compensate for the illiteracy of those that are turned out of high schools.

          The weeding you claim - hah. Just

          • I hope that made you feel better, buying all that bullshit. Now, the truth.

            Yes, please try to explain the "truth" to someone who has seen things from both sides. Who dropped out of a computer science program the middle of their sophomore year to pursue a unique startup opportunity, worked in such an environment for a couple years, moved to a more traditional software development job, went back to school and finished their degree.

            Colleges do not teach people how to be good programmers.

            The classroom is not the sole source of knowledge for computer science and related fields. You learn as much from your peers, fellow students, and from se

          • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @01:56PM (#54900183)
            I too have a 30+ year career. However I earned my CS degree 5 years into that career, not 25 years into it. Who might have the better perspective on how a CS degree affects the early portion of one's career?
      • A degree is about indoctrination, as is all education

        Cynicism is the first rationalization of a failure.

    • by CodeHog ( 666724 )
      That's only a small bit of it. Look at some of the people who graduate from college.There's knowledge, there's learning a process to which accomplish tasks on your own, accountability, managing your time, and, yes, enduring a long process to meet a goal.
    • A degree is not merely about demonstrating that you can acquire some minimal base of knowledge to start your career from. It also demonstrates that you can finish what you start, even when it is a long process that requires you to do many things you have no particular interest in doing.

      Then again, there are those of us who never went. I finished what I started in the military, then taught myself to program on the job.

      There are a small number of "tech" jobs that benefit from certain specialized degrees. (Most tech jobs, meh.)

      A generic degree requirement proves little, other than your ability to spend someone else's money for years.

      • The military is an even better way to demonstrate that you can finish what you start, despite having to deal with the boring and the unpleasant.
  • How is this news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:14AM (#54898849)
    I'm guessing this is addressing that silly tech narrative that you can drop out of college and become a billionaire Does anyone really believe that? If you take even a cursory glance at the rich 'dropouts' they were all from well to do families who could afford to take a break and come back. Meanwhile my kid basically gets one shot at college since if she takes even 1 year off because she didn't get into her 300 level courses (not enough space for somebody with a measly 3.8 GPA / average is 3.9 to be admitted to her major) all her loans come due and you can't get more loans until the first batch are paid off.
    • by starless ( 60879 )

      Well, Peter Thiel is encouraging (paying) students to drop out of college...
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • It may seem like Silicon Valley is populated entirely with celebrity college dropouts

    No it doesn't.

  • Debt Slaves (Score:4, Interesting)

    by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:24AM (#54898931) Journal
    Debt Slaves are easy to manipulate
  • There are some things that you learn when pursuing certain degrees which would be fairly difficult to learn on your own, but most job minimum education requirements out there are less about getting someone who has learned some advanced stuff and more about having a worker that has been trained for the job you want to assign to them on that worker's own personal dime instead of the company's. As a bonus, most degrees incur debt on par with an expensive car or a mortgage and the debt plus interest can potent
  • Yeah, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yayoubetcha ( 893774 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:29AM (#54898973)

    I did not get my degree. I dropped out back in 1981. I have had a stellar career, and never had a problem getting a job because of the lack of a degree.

    However, a degree sometimes doesn't mean shit. I had two particular grads from the University of Washington come in for an interview for some openings I had for software engineers. They both had almost no ability to write code. I was so pissed that they both got their degrees and I was left wondering just how did they get their Comp Sci degrees.

    I have always evaluated people on their abilities, regardless of education. Some I have worked with or hired had no degree, or a degree in something completely unrelated to engineering or software, and some who had degrees or advanced degrees in engineering.

    • See, it's because the name "Comp Sci" is misleading. They should instead call this program "Programming circa 1961"
    • by BryanL ( 93656 )

      You are assuming a degree in computer science and computer engineering are the same thing, though it is not necessarily your fault. . Some Comp Sci programs in the US do not require students to write a single line of code. The thinking is that Comp Sci is about a higher level view of the concepts and principles of computing. There is a disconnect between what Academia and Industry think a Comp Sci degree is. Until that gets sorted out, there will continue to be problems such as the one you have encountered.

    • I had two particular grads from the University of Washington come in for an interview for some openings I had for software engineers. They both had almost no ability to write code. I was so pissed that they both got their degrees and I was left wondering just how did they get their Comp Sci degrees.

      Frankly, I'd question your interviewing skills before I'd question their coding skills. They had at least 4 years of progressively difficult software education. You had what sort of training for interviewing? How often do you do it? How many years of progressively difficult interviewing have you put in? How often were you tested and reviewed on your interviewing skills by educated interviewing experts?

      Software engineers who are more used to constantly dealing with machines are typically poor judges of p

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @11:41AM (#54899085)
    Robert Kiyosaki has a book called "Why 'A' Students Work for 'C' Students and Why 'B' Students Work for the Government" [amzn.to], where A students (graduates) work for C students (dropouts) and B students (everyone else) work for the government. You don't need a college degree to own the corporate ladder, you just need to hire people who are smarter than you.
  • Sure they don't hire dropouts, those who do the hiring _are_ the dropouts, they _own_ the company.

  • by Graydyn Young ( 2835695 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @12:00PM (#54899227)
    I find it ironic that Google invests so heavily in online education programs, but only hires people who have gone through the higher education song and dance. They straight up claim that their Udacity Android nano-degree will get you a job in the field, but how many of those grads are they hiring?
    • I find it ironic that Google invests so heavily in online education programs, but only hires people who have gone through the higher education song and dance.

      Disclaimer: I work for Google, and interview people for software engineering positions at Google, but what I'm going to say represents only my own perspective and is in no way an official company statement.

      The irony you see doesn't actually exist. Outside of research positions (of which there are quite a few, and those really do require research credentials), Google does not care about your degrees or lack thereof. Many of my co-workers do have PhDs. A majority have master's degrees. But there are plenty

  • and doctorate degree is not for IT help desk or sys admin work. Unless they want to hire an H1B with an job that no USC can be slotted into on paper.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @12:28PM (#54899483)

    If you have little to no experience, a degree is the most basic filter the HR department can apply to the 12,384 resumes they are receiving for the open positions. No degree? Garbage, and yes I'm well aware of how unfair that is and how many potential good people they lose. A degree from the right program shows you can at least stick with something that's reasonably hard long enough to make it through, and can probably solve a few non-trivial problems given enough time and guidance.

    I've been working for big companies for almost my whole career, and the simple truth is that you have to play a lot of stupid, asinine retarded games to get and keep a job, and advance in your current one. if you don't like it, go work for one of the 4 billion "Dude, GitHub is my resume!" web startups. A zero-knowledge, C-student HR generalist is going to apply whatever it takes to reduce that pile of resumes down. She has a degree -- it may not be CS and she may have spent most of her time at sorority functions, but she's going to feel she's college-educated and you should be too. If you're trying to cold-call your way into a job, it's a rare medium to large company that will even consider someone who hasn't completed a degree of some sort.

    I'm in IT and we have _plenty_ of people with just a BS, AS or no degree at all who are very good at what they do. A lot of us don't even have a traditional computer science background. But, woe upon any of these smart people who can't network their way into their next job when they need one, because it puts them at a disadvantage no matter how smart they are.

  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @12:33PM (#54899543)

    The drop outs they want to hire aren't applying for jobs because they're busy starting their own companies. I started my own companies and completed college and worked full time. It was frankly nuts and I would have been better off dropping out to just start my own companies. No customer has EVER asked me for my diploma or even where I went to college. They want to know I'll solve their problems, not what my education was.

  • A whopping 16% of Google employment ads request a PhD, but what is the actual hiring rate? Are 16% of new hires PhDs? Also, what's the retention rate - when a PhD is hired, do they stick around for 20 years, or are they out in 2?

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