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Is it necessary to go through an university to gain knowledge?

  1. Jul 15, 2007 #1


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    When a person can self-study and gain accreditation through certification exams?

    Are there examples of such examples in the IT industry, for example? Does the IT industry even care about one's credentials, irrespective of educational background?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2007 #2
    No in a simple sense it is not, but trying to gain the sort of education a University will teach you on your own is extremely difficult; without good and consistent feedback you may find yourself adopting knowledge and making conclusions that are false even though you pass exams. I would say that in my experience University gives you more than self learning would give, although there is nothing wrong with self learning as well.

    I genuinely think any industry likes to see a University education over a self taught one, but I'm not sure.

    This question may be better handled in the Academic & Career Guidance section of the forum.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  4. Jul 15, 2007 #3


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    But are there particular subjects where good and consistent feedback from an external observer are not as necessary? One of the questions I have - are there fields where a considerable proportion of individuals are self-taught? (especially in the IT or the computer programming industry?)

    I'm actually asking these questions in preparation for an essay
  5. Jul 15, 2007 #4
    Seeing as my father is a computer programmer I guess I can tell you that at least in Canada, yes I think it is possible to teach yourself how to program. My father works with a couple (out of maybe 100 that work there) that are self taught. But obviously it will be harder to get a job because you will always have to PROVE yourself.

    I don't know too much about it, but I know it is possible.

    Keep in mind that my father doesn't work for microsoft or anything, it is a mid sized software company that mainly writes database type software for companies. I don't know if its just a fluke that he works with self-taught people or not.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  6. Jul 15, 2007 #5


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    But is that the purpose of IT certification? (or certification of other ways?)

    I'm used to AP self-studying and CLEP self-studying, but I wonder about certification "higher up"
  7. Jul 15, 2007 #6
    Certainly not, especially if one talks about mathematics. No good mathematician has acquired the bulk of his knowledge at school.
  8. Jul 15, 2007 #7
    How many have acquired their knowledge without it.

    I genuinely believe University education is better for the reasons mentioned, but I certainly wouldn't try to say it's the only path to enlightenment.
  9. Jul 15, 2007 #8
    as a rule, yes.
  10. Jul 15, 2007 #9


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    If you can gain certification of your skills from a reputable source then you shouldn't necessarily need a university education. As long as your skills have been proved. Of course it probably will help if you've been to a top university instead.
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