It speaks of how Wikipedia can teach you perhaps as much stuff as a formal Computer Science degree can!
If you weren’t feisty enough to click the link and find out why, the author has cited another link where another person counters his point citing how College grads score way higher than self-taught ones.
This is a moot point, and let me just share my views on it.
I know a LOT of self-taught people like this guy and this guy to name a few. Vishnu himself is another notable example among such ‘self-learned men’. These people learned a lot of stuff by themselves and are actually professionals in their own fields without much help from their education. As far as I know, they’ve spent days learning complex facets of coding, designing et al. And if what I hear about them is to be trusted, they’re extremely successful in their own fields. The people I’ve mentioned above with links are undergrad students while Vishnu is a B.Tech graduate. All of them are of the solid belief that their B.Tech education’s nothing more than just a ‘degree’ in paper.
I don’t know about other branches of Engineering, but my trade (Information Technology) deals with Web Technologies, and ‘Information management’ (to quote my former Head Of Department). Two years of education later, I’m yet to learn anything ‘tangible’. Yes, I know how to make random games in Java, how to implement a Linked List in C. I even know enough about Big O’ Notation and Hash functions, to hold a seminar for Twelfth grade kids. But these persons I’ve mentioned… they’re creating, re-engineering web-technologies by their own means. They’re re-writing web-technologies and even making tangible money in the process!
My engineering education teaches me to memorize things. In the process of my ‘learning’ all I do is to learn essays by rote. I ‘read’ and ‘understand’ a lot of materials so that I can reproduce them in the exams. I need marks, for good marks would buy me a good job! But I forget them the very next day. I’m sure my classmates would concur.
Is this what we mean by education? The Oxford Dictionary defines education as: “The activities of educating or instructing; activities that impart knowledge or skill”. Exams are the ‘comprehensive processes of evaluation’ that help understand how far one has learned. But they turn out to be nothing more than memory tests. The process of ‘retention’ supercedes ‘understanding’ and ‘application’ in our learning process, at least in my university. If my friends at the IITs, NITs and reputed foreign universities like MIT are to be believed, the process is altogether different there. It’s all about implementing what you learned that matters in these abodes of higher learning. That should be the raison d’ etre of acquiring knowledge, especially prescient in this new era of challenges!
So the next time you learn, try to think out-of-the-box. Think about implementation, real-life scenarios and the like! Embrace education as fun, instead of pain. I’m sure you’ll relish it! Unsatisfied by bookish knowledge, you’ll scourge the world for more and more knowledge!
Take my word, the combination of eclectic and comprehensive univeristy syllabi of a ‘University-Grad’ with the vocationary-interest and will of a ‘self-learned-man’ will turn out to be an extremely potent one!
Whoops, I gotto run!! Time to mug for my exams tomorrow… Already overstepped my ‘break’:-)