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Best college for computer programming?

[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 5, 2011
186 posts
8 upvotes

Best college for computer programming?

I was actually really impressed by this 16 month program at sheridan

https://www.sheridancollege.ca/academic ... ammer.aspx
https://www.sheridancollege.ca/academic ... ering.aspx

but now some people are saying they don't have good transfer options for further university studies. I looked some other colleges, but they were way too long. I don't want to spend 3 years at college. I got into York U computer science program two years ago, but couldn't go due to health issues. I am feeling a lot better now, but I am now 30 years old and I desperately want to jump into computer science/programming

please advise
55 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
31108 posts
2700 upvotes
Winnipeg
is this just a hobby thing? if you intend to make a career out of it, just know that you be up against competition with 4+ years of post secondary...
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 5, 2011
186 posts
8 upvotes
yea i want to make a career out of it. I have been programming on my own for a while and really love it. I really wanted to goto york 2 years ago but my health took a turn for the worse. Right now I am working at a law firm as a part time clerk and i don't like it tbh
Deal Fanatic
May 18, 2009
5463 posts
1126 upvotes
Richmond Hill
ssharm02 wrote:
Apr 21st, 2015 11:34 am
yea i want to make a career out of it. I have been programming on my own for a while and really love it. I really wanted to goto york 2 years ago but my health took a turn for the worse. Right now I am working at a law firm as a part time clerk and i don't like it tbh
sorry to be off topic but how did you become a law clerk? Did you get your ILCO?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 5, 2011
186 posts
8 upvotes
my dad is lawyer - i work at his law firm and he trained me. TBH I really have no interest in law. I like math and programming much more but I can also do law on the side for extra $$$
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
31108 posts
2700 upvotes
Winnipeg
if you like math and programming and want to get serious then definitely get a degree, that's like the bare minimum to break into the industry these days, unless you go indie
Member
Nov 24, 2011
278 posts
73 upvotes
Mississauga
ssharm02 wrote:
Apr 21st, 2015 11:51 am
my dad is lawyer - i work at his law firm and he trained me. TBH I really have no interest in law. I like math and programming much more but I can also do law on the side for extra $$$
What kind of law does he do?

This is a bit off-topic:
As you like math and programming, there's this entire field called Economics Consulting that does a lot of statistical programming and data analysis to support legal work. For example, in Apple v Samsung, the billions in damages in copyright infringement is computed by Economics Consultants using empirical data. You should look into that.
Member
Sep 30, 2012
305 posts
42 upvotes
Hamilton
It does not matter whether you go to College or University (The latter just looks better), what matters is whether the program has a coop or not and whether you have the chops to do it, that it, nothing more nothing less.

If you're interested in that College, you're better off with one of these two instead of the ones you listed:

https://www.sheridancollege.ca/academic ... ering.aspx
https://www.sheridancollege.ca/academic ... alyst.aspx

If you don't want to spend 3 years in College then I don't know what to tell you, but if you're looking to transfer why bother with College to begin with. Maybe apply to Ryerson's Computer Science program, I have a few buddies who graduated from it and they're all doing very well now.
Sr. Member
Aug 11, 2008
635 posts
220 upvotes
I've sat on the hiring side for the past few months. We have hired recent graduates and co-op students from colleges.

Honestly, we didn't hire a single person based on their academics or their program. The lack of relevant experience that these students received from the college programs was almost shocking. I heard a lot of 'I'm great at COBOL' but they had barely touched C or C++ (if at all). The only web language they learned in school was PHP, and most had never heard of jQuery or written any CSS. Some didn't know anything about pointers since they had only worked in Java.

The students and grads that we hired had made a significant effort to build their skills outside of school. They were familiar with some of the latest web technologies (e.g. jQuery, CSS, nodejs, nosql databases), Linux (command line, no GUI), and had done some embedded programming (e.g. raspberry pi, arduino, beaglebone). One student had spent his two years in college building up his portfolio of skills and directed us to his Github account, he was only at college to get contacts and a foot in the door. One recent grad was running his own web design company on the side.

From what I can tell, college will give you exposure to a bunch of different topics, but if you don't put significant time to go into more depth, you will struggle to get a satisfying programming job. My coworker tells me that his fellow students who depended on the program alone ended up with customer support help desk positions (e.g. at a call centre).
Member
Sep 30, 2012
305 posts
42 upvotes
Hamilton
inmyturret wrote:
Apr 21st, 2015 5:42 pm
I've sat on the hiring side for the past few months. We have hired recent graduates and co-op students from colleges.

Honestly, we didn't hire a single person based on their academics or their program. The lack of relevant experience that these students received from the college programs was almost shocking. I heard a lot of 'I'm great at COBOL' but they had barely touched C or C++ (if at all). The only web language they learned in school was PHP, and most had never heard of jQuery or written any CSS. Some didn't know anything about pointers since they had only worked in Java.

The students and grads that we hired had made a significant effort to build their skills outside of school. They were familiar with some of the latest web technologies (e.g. jQuery, CSS, nodejs, nosql databases), Linux (command line, no GUI), and had done some embedded programming (e.g. raspberry pi, arduino, beaglebone). One student had spent his two years in college building up his portfolio of skills and directed us to his Github account, he was only at college to get contacts and a foot in the door. One recent grad was running his own web design company on the side.

From what I can tell, college will give you exposure to a bunch of different topics, but if you don't put significant time to go into more depth, you will struggle to get a satisfying programming job. My coworker tells me that his fellow students who depended on the program alone ended up with customer support help desk positions (e.g. at a call centre).
I also sat on the hiring side plenty of times and my experience is almost very opposite from yours. Usually College grads who had relevant coop experience actually turned out to be the better programmers while those who came from a more academic background (Specially those who had grad degrees) actually struggled. Don't get me wrong, they were very intelligent but they struggled applying that intelligence to real life scenarios.

Ultimately I think it depends on the work environment, if the workplace is more of a dynamic scene where it requires the developer to be multitasking and meeting tight deadlines, I would take the College grad with coop experience. If it's an academic environment where it's mostly research and no heavy multitasking, I can see students with higher education doing better.

Either way I agree with you on one thing, if you don't put the effort outside of school and specially after graduation you will be irrelevant in no time because this industry moves very fast.
Sr. Member
Aug 11, 2008
635 posts
220 upvotes
DTscript wrote:
Apr 21st, 2015 6:05 pm
I also sat on the hiring side plenty of times and my experience is almost very opposite from yours. Usually College grads who had relevant coop experience actually turned out to be the better programmers while those who came from a more academic background (Specially those who had grad degrees) actually struggled. Don't get me wrong, they were very intelligent but they struggled applying that intelligence to real life scenarios.

Ultimately I think it depends on the work environment, if the workplace is more of a dynamic scene where it requires the developer to be multitasking and meeting tight deadlines, I would take the College grad with coop experience. If it's an academic environment where it's mostly research and no heavy multitasking, I can see students with higher education doing better.

Either way I agree with you on one thing, if you don't put the effort outside of school and specially after graduation you will be irrelevant in no time because this industry moves very fast.
I never stated that college grads were inferior to university grads (I'm not going to open that can of worms). I am just trying to make the point that the curriculum is at least 3-4 years behind the technologies used by industry. This really surprised me when doing interviews.

If a college student doesn't make the effort to go into more depth than the curriculum offers, they will have trouble getting the type of job they are hoping for when entering school. We hire both coop students and new grads. One quick course in Linux doesn't teach coop students enough for them to be successful during the short period of time they will spend with our company. We want to teach them useful workplace skills (like you said, multitasking and working under tight deadlines), not basic programming skills.
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2011
199 posts
20 upvotes
Toronto
If you like programming and you have been doing it by yourself, you seriously don't need a degree to stamp on your skills. I know lots of developers (working professionally) who started programming as a hobby. Made an application or contributed to open source project significantly and got hired by companies without going to undergrad school
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2003
1515 posts
70 upvotes
OP look into Seneca's CPA program. It is 6 semesters (24 months).

Here is what a number of students are doing:

1st semester
2nd semester (transfer to CPA-co-op)
3rd Semester
Co-op workterm
(4th semester here)
Co-op workterm
(OR 4th semester here)
Co-op workterm (co-op workplace offers you a fulltime job)
Switch to CPD to graduate

CPD is 16 months of studying.
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 5, 2011
186 posts
8 upvotes
i want a good independent life for myself and my future family. which do i go with? university or college? I wont inherit anything, I will have to build everything on my own. I'd rather invest the time now than struggle later in life.
Penalty Box
User avatar
Jul 11, 2008
4368 posts
1482 upvotes
Away from RFD idiots
hyph3n wrote:
Apr 21st, 2015 8:40 pm
If you like programming and you have been doing it by yourself, you seriously don't need a degree to stamp on your skills. I know lots of developers (working professionally) who started programming as a hobby. Made an application or contributed to open source project significantly and got hired by companies without going to undergrad school
this. you don't need formal education. there are tons of resources available as we speak from top universities and they're free.
if you can showcase your work and skills via real life examples, that's going to be better than any degree/diploma you can get.

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