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Couple questions for everybody who wants to chirp in. I really appreciate everyone's feedback.

1 ) The way my school works when you get your Associates in Programming is you specialize in a certain field. If I have already studied Java on my own time...no master, but I'm proficient in the fundamentals and I'm beginner-intermediate w/ advanced topics. Which of these choices would make me the most desirable developer?

   1) Major in Java to refine my fundamentals and practice more advanced topics.
   2) Major in Web Development (Html, xml, javascript)
   3) Major in Mobile Development (iOS + android)
   4) Web 2D based Game Development (idk what language is emphasized here, but a few courses on photoshop + 1 on 3D)

2) What benefits will I see in the job world from getting a Associates in Programming vs a certificate? For example, if I get a Associates in Java programming. The only classes that are added on vs. a certificate is:

   - Computer Networking
   - Intro to Computer and Programming Concepts
   - Intro to Algorithms + Data Structures
   - Machine Architecture + Organization
   - My choice of: A Serverside, clientside or Objective-C course.

A few of these I already feel I have a good grasp on, if not I could just buy a book and learn that way too?

Just looking for some feedback because I'm struggling with how getting a degree will benefit me that much more getting a Job and on the working on the field.
 
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Ben,
1) Any of those are good options.
2) You'll have a better understanding of the basics which will make you a better programmer. You could read the books for the classes without taking them of course and figure out the best assignments to do. Or take them on Coursera for free. An advantage to taking them and getting your Associates is that it positions you to get a Bachelors in the future if you choose.
 
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Which of those courses appeals to you most?
 
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Ben Jass wrote:Just looking for some feedback because I'm struggling with how getting a degree will benefit me that much more getting a Job and on the working on the field.

First. Degree itself is 'almost nothing'. Think about what you get out of your studies? Knowledge? - Cool. If you gain knowledge in particular topics, you're being rewarded a degree in natural way, you don't need to bother a lot.
Nevertheless, some people getting degrees by not much taking out of studies - then such degree is 'almost nothing'. There are about 50/50 I'd say who gets something out of it and who doesn't. Maybe word gets I need to change to takes.

Don't think just to pass modules exams, but rather aim to get highest possible marks, which are usually directly related with gained knowledge during the studies time, that surely will be rewarded.

Second. During the interviews you won't have a lot topics to talk about the gained degree. You need to talk about something how degree helped you to gain something - that could be your personal programming project. That shows that you're passionate about the programming not only during the studies time, but also during your free time. This is what companies looking for I'd guess.

Third. Spend a lot time at Ranch reading topics, contributing yourself. You can get a lot knowledge from seniors here. This is what I do mostly That will give you a confident during the interviews when you will be asked about common problem and possible solutions. There are big chance that it was discussed here.

And fourth. Good luck with your studies and job hunt.
 
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