One of the most dangerous things is how young reporters are… this isn’t new… same thing happened in the 90s Internet Gold Rush. A few drop-outs hit it big and make the news, plenty of others are languishing in careers that are very limited by not having the college degree… The New York Times articles, The Youngest Technorati identifies teenage app developers and their call to Silicon Valley.
As a 23 year old programmer, it doesn’t matter if you have a college degree, 4 years experience might matter more… At 30 when you want to head development at a startup or otherwise, that degree matters… At 35 when you want senior development opportunities, that masters that seemed a waste of a year or two at 21 comes in handy…
Making $30k developing apps is AWESOME when you’re 16 and living at home… it doesn’t go that far at 35 when you have a wife and kids… There is always a fresh supply of 17 year old talent willing to live on Ramen Noodles coding in Silicon Valley. While a few will hit it rich, most will find their career and life stalls without the college degree. Light loading my senior year to start an Internet Business seemed like a good move at the time, but more serious studies as a junior/senior and doing the 5th year masters would have paid dividends at this point in my career, and going forward.
Many recent graduates work jobs that “don’t require a college degree” in their 20s, the problem is, without the piece of paper and what it symbolizes, your career will start strong and top off fast.
Unless you have the family backing to go for the gold rush, then return home and go to college in 8 years if you aren’t a billionaire, better to push real life off a few years. It’s much harder to go to school as real life places more and more demands on you.