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Discussion on: As a self-taught, have you considered getting a degree afterwards?

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Ben Lovy

I'm currently pursuing the degree as an adult after a few years of self-learning. As a self-learner, I had a severe case of tunnel vision, and felt there were some gaping holes in my knowledge. As I solidified what kind of work I wanted to do, I realized I would benefit from a more thorough introduction to the theoretical underpinnings as well as the practical details, and being required to work through a full curriculum in a subject before moving on means I can no longer let myself off the hook with a partial understanding. When just learning for myself, I have a tendency to learn just exactly what I need to move on and then stop, which can leave me with an inaccurate sense of both the topic and my grasp of it.

It's been frustrating, too, because there has been material that was entirely review that I felt silly paying for the privilege of being taught again, but each class I've taken so far has been more worthwhile than not, and that ratio is improving every semester.

While I think from a practical standpoint I likely could scrape by without an undergraduate-level degree, you also mention another point that's important to me - I may, in the future, choose to pursue a high-level degree in a specific specialization. Programming language theory and design are incredibly interesting to me, and down the road I might want to revisit in a graduate program. That's a lot easier to make happen if you put the time in to get the undergraduate done first!