Yes, IT degrees are still dumb in 2020

“Yeah well that’s just your opinion, man.” Sure as hell is. Of course, I could be preaching to the choir here, but it seems like this time of year these questions always crop up. “Is said dumb thing from last year still dumb?” Yes it is. Incidentally, I came across an article that laid out the numbers and it’s horrifying. Check this out:

“According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees (fees may include the library, campus transportation, student government, and athletic facilities) for the 2016–2017 school year was 33,480 at private colleges, 9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and 24,930 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

These numbers do not include housing, meals, books or school supplies which could easily tack on another 10,000 to 16,000 a year. If you add room and board to yearly tuition and fee averages, a private nonprofit four-year college costs 45,370, while a public four-year costs 20,090. Now, multiply those numbers by four (four years of college), and you are looking at a really hefty college bill. It’s no wonder that the student debt crisis has toppled 1.3 trillion.”

That’s 80,000 to 180,000 to get a degree.

Is that really worth “showing you can stick something out” or, even worse when it comes to IT, learning a bunch of “theory”. Of course, the degree-pushers have an answer for this.

You’ll make more with a degree!

And, they’ll quote you the statistics:

On average, in the US, someone with a Bachelor’s degree makes 1,173/per week. That’s 60,996/year. But if you don’t have a degree, on average, you’ll make 712 per week. That’s 37,024 per year.

John, that’s 23,972 per year!

Ah yes, but there’s that pesky 80-180K, see. This is where it’s really important to understand ROI. Best case scenario, it’ll take you 4-8 years to actually see the payoff from your degree.

But, of course, loans have interest.

For 80,000, you’ll actually end up paying closer to 100,000. So, add a 5th year. For 180,000, it becomes more like 220,000. So, add two years… up to 10-11 total before you see the benefit!

So, think about that.

You, first, have to go to school for 4-5 years to GET the degree. THEN, you have to pay off that loan for 5-10 years before you ever see the benefit of the extra income you’re earning FROM the degree.

That’s 10-15 years!

Now, I don’t know about you…

But, I’m confident that I could get a helluva lot further, in those 10-15 years, if I just went into the industry and started working. I mean, at that point, is anybody even going to care that you don’t have  a degree?

Better yet, lots of tech companies will PAY for your degree.

Of course, this isn’t actually theory. I watched my little brother do it. He got hired at IBM for around 40K before he ever got his degree. Within two years he was making 95K. And now, less than 5 years in, he’s pushing 150,000/year.

Oh and his company paid for him to get his Bachelor’s degree.

So, what are we even talking about here?

Especially, when you consider the plethora of resources out there to learn the actual skills without handing over half  your life to do it. Udemy, Skillshare, Treehouse, Lynda… there’s 100 different ways to do it.

But, if you’re smart….

You can elbow your way into the industry without all the debt and be set for the next 30-40 years… and actually get to enjoy it instead of constantly fretting over your student loan bill.

So yeah… still dumb.

Now onto biznaz…

Of course you know… I have a curriculum to help you start learning this stuff. HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, MySQL. It’s all in there. I’ve put it up on Skillshare to make the barrier for entry easy. You even get a 2-month free trial so you can get started right now without paying a dime.

Anyhoo, I won’t brow beat you.

If you’re smart, you know what’s up.

Link for the trial is here:

Once you’re all signed up, just search for “John Morris” on the site and all my courses are listed on my profile page. You can work through them how you see fit. If you’re brand new, I recommend starting with the HTML course.



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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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