BSc. for Jobs [was re: [] Perl job at Giga]

Shlomi Fish shlomif at
Sun Feb 1 03:00:43 PST 2004

On Sunday 01 February 2004 10:39, Yuval Yaari wrote:
> Seems like I'm never going to get a new job.
> Why do companies insist on having BSc. ???

Hey don't look at me - I'm as unhappy about this situation as you are. 
(despite the fact that I'm hopefully about to finish my B.Sc. studies in 
Electrical Engineering)

I think one reason is that they probably see it as another way to separate the 
men from the boys. They want to have such a criteria so they'll be able to 
choose among less applicants. Or they think that it actually really matters.

Note that you do learn some interesting and even useful things in the 
university. For example: various data structures (hashes, 
balanced/non-balanced binary trees, linked lists, heaps, etc), graph 
algorithms, analyzing algorithms, operating system concepts and algorithms, 
distributed programming, Assembly programming and machine internals, etc. You 
can learn all of these things on your own, but in the university, the format 
forces you to learn it, or else you get good grades. 

How applicable it on a job-by-job basis if you're a very bright programmer, 
it's hard for me to judge. I learned some things from the university, but I 
also learned a lot by experimenting on my own.

> I know more than just a few great programmers who don't have any degree,
> some even didn't finish high school.

So do I.

> Are comapnies flexible about this criteria?

I think it depends on the company. I was rejected from a certain firm just 
because my grade for the B.Sc. degree was too low for them. Apparently they 
wanted Cum Laude students, which in the Technion means a GPA of 85%, while I 
have only 82%. So it could be even worse. 

> For the people who don't know me:
> I didn't finish high school and I've been working with perl for the last
> 2 years (as a daily job, that is) and for a lot more than that just for
> the fun of it.
> A worker in this company started writing a server for this company and
> dragged it over 6 months.
> It wasn't stable (he wrote another daemon that checks if the server is
> alive and re-ran it if it wasn't. YUCK.) and it didn't have a 10th of
> the required features.
> In 3 months I wrote this server in Perl, from scratch, including a
> database and a web-based administration system in HTML::Mason.
> Both the server and administration aren't very simple (I would even call
> some features complicated).
> It works great, my company adores me for that, and everything is stable.


> I don't think the fact that I didn't finish highschool/don't have a BSc.
> makes me a worse programmer/worker than anyone else.


> I do think that this fact will hurt my chances of getting a job.

Again right, but that's life. In the mean time you have learn and experience 
in everything you can. Contribute to open source projects, learn new computer 
languages, read a lot (books and Internet resources), keep up to date with 
new technologies and developments.

One option that you have ahead is to finish your Bagruyoth and get a B.Sc. 
This will be time consuming and will cause you a lot of frustration, but it 
will give you more job opportunities in the future (and probably better pay). 
Having taken that road, I'm not sure I can recommend it to anyone. It gave me 
some knowledge in the fundamentals of CS and Electrical Engineering, and a 
lot of otherwise useless knowledge, a large part of which I have forgotten 
since I learned it. However, it was also very time consuming and gave me a 
lot of aggravation and disappointment. 

You can learn everything important that is taught there on your own from books 
and from Internet resources, if you have enough enthusiasm to do so. But 
workplaces do consider a university degree as important for getting into a 
job, and you have to accept that that would be the case for the forseeable 


	Shlomi Fish


Shlomi Fish      shlomif at

I don't believe in fairies. Oops! A fairy died.
I don't believe in fairies. Oops! Another fairy died.

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