Chapter 2

Exploring Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees


check Learning to code with a bachelor’s or master’s degree

check Coding outside class in clubs and hackathons

check Securing an internship to learn on the job

“When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world.”


Going to college to learn how to code is probably the most traditional and expensive path you can take. A bachelor’s degree, designed to take four years, is rooted in the tradition of the English university system and was made popular by the GI Bill after World War II. More recently, the two-year associate degree has become more popular. It costs less than a bachelor’s degree, but many are designed as a way to eventually transfer to a four-year bachelor degree program.

But when it comes to computer programmers, you likely know more people who didn’t graduate from college than did. Entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison dropped out of college to create technology companies worth billions of dollars. Still, the world’s biggest technology companies continue to hire mainly college graduates.

Whether you’re thinking about going to college, ...

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