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Don't major in CS: 5 reasons why

-June 27, 2014

Just graduated? You want to ride on the Google bus, don’t you? You figure Facebook, Twitter, GoPro and all the other smokin' hot Silicon Valley companies pack themselves with CS (computer science) majors, right? Well, not really. They’re filled with people writing software, sure, but most of the people doing the coolest work don’t have CS degrees.

It’s okay, I know. You're convinced that majoring in CS will teach you everything you need to know to write that cool app and make you an instant millionaire, but it’s not quite true.

Here are five reasons to resist the urge to major in Computer science.

4. Don’t let human resource departments dictate your life.

No question, if you want a job right now, a CS degree will get you one. It's also true that many HR departments obsess over acronyms rather than intelligence and ability. The problem is that HR rarely has much understanding of what technologists really do. If they understood the problems facing their companies, they'd be solving them instead of searching for other people to do it.

A degree in science or mathematics might generate a furrowed brow of confusion at your first job fair. When I went from academia to industry, an HR rep from a major tech firm looked up from my resume and said, "Physics? Our company doesn’t do physics." I managed to keep a straight face while explaining what physics is.

But don't worry, you're not getting a university degree to position yourself for your first job at a rinky-dink company with a clueless HR crew. You're setting yourself up for life, developing a career, merging your vocation and employment.

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