Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I Don't Think a Four-Year Degree is Necessary to Be Proficient at Coding'

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 10, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited an Apple Store in Orlando, Florida to meet with 16-year-old Liam Rosenfeld, one of 350 scholarship winners who will be attending Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference next month.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and WWDC 2019 scholar Liam Rosenfeld via TechCrunch

    Echoing comments he shared with the Orlando Sentinel, Cook told TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino that it is "pretty impressive" what Rosenfeld is accomplishing with code at such a young age, serving as a perfect example of why he believes coding education should begin in the early grades of school.
    Cook made similar comments during an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting at the White House earlier this year.

    While in Florida, Cook attended a conference that saw SAP and Apple announce an expanded partnership focused on new enterprise apps taking advantage of technologies like machine learning and augmented reality.

    Despite all of the technological advancements in recent years, Cook told Panzarino that many businesses have not "changed a whole lot" and are "still using very old technology." With more solutions like those from SAP and Apple, and tech-savvy employees of the future like Rosenfeld, that could change.
    The full interview can be read on TechCrunch with an Extra Crunch subscription or in the Apple News app with an Apple News+ subscription.

    WWDC 2019 begins June 3 in San Jose.

    Article Link: Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I Don't Think a Four-Year Degree is Necessary to Be Proficient at Coding'
  2. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    You don't get better at coding by going to school. You get better at coding by coding.

    Now, if you ever want to be more than a developer, a 4 year degree would likely come in handy.
  3. joueboy macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2008
    One day these programmers will be like factory workers with the same salary. This is exactly what Tim and the rest of the tech industry are trying to do getting into cheap labor to increase profit.
  4. Unity451 macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2011
  5. CJM macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2005
    The problem is, so many companies see the bottom line and aren't willing to invest in their infrastructure. I work for a large multi-national and one of our subsidiaries clearly really does care about their IT. Working with them and on their equipment is a whole different ballgame.
  6. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    In a 4 year degree course, you learn more about software development than just cranking out code.
  7. smaffei macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    Of course he doesn't. That's because Tim wants a cheaper labor pool. And, if the requirement is changed from a 4 year degree, the employers can eventually pay less.

    That 4 years of Computer Science gave me the proper foundation to design / implement software (not just code).
  8. rpat701 macrumors regular

    May 25, 2016
    No, but by most companies HR standards it's required to advance past middle management.
  9. TMRJIJ, May 10, 2019
    Last edited: May 10, 2019

    TMRJIJ macrumors 68040


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    I agree. Having just graduated with a BS Degree, I felt the first two years of programming courses were just review for me and most of my classmates. After Data Structures, it was just correcting misconceptions and incorrect techniques while learning to collaborative in projects and actually putting knowledge into application. I still need experience working in the field especially since the program was brand new at my University.
    Still, I'm glad I have this piece of paper for when I'm looking for work.
  10. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    So Tim is saying that I wasted four years of my life going to college?!?

  11. gplusplus macrumors member


    Mar 5, 2018
    While a four year degree may not be necessary for coding, or really most jobs for that matter, Apple and most companies insist on making sure to hire those who are burdened by crippling debt, mainly in the form of student loans. It’s a fantastic strategy for hiring people who desperately need to make their payments, allowing companies to exploit and underpay them.

    Careful, Tim. If the industry figures out this big secret that everyone already knows, people might have to start getting paid enough to live a prosperous life *and* educational institutions might have less demand for Apple products!
  12. cletus-cassidy macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2014
    What does Tim Apple know about coding? He's a supply chain expert.
  13. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2016
    the pool
    I guess you could think of being a music artist in the same way

    Anyone can learn to play the guitar and sing with practice, but to write lyrics and compose music takes more knowledge
  14. Metatron macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2002
    I for one appreciate his statement. Degrees for most technical, high paying jobs are worthless. I’ll hire experience over education any day, when it comes to IT positions.

    I do wish the American society would take more interest into educating trades vs degrees.
  15. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    Universities are now unnecessary. Everyone should screw their future employment prospects and potential livelihood by instead making yet another app (of the millions that already exist) for the App Store. Great advice.

    Looks great on a resume- College Attended: None (but I made some apps for the iPhone)
  16. imageWIS macrumors 65816

    Mar 17, 2009
    'We want coders to work for us just like small children do making overpriced iPhones: as economic slave laborers'

    There, I fixed it for him.
  17. edgonzalez32 macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011
    I've worked with so many developers that never went to school. And they are all brilliant. Most of them started at design agencies and start to get a sense of the process, what design is and it's rules and they learn quick.

    Definitely don't need a 4 year degree to advance in this field.
  18. BootsWalking, May 10, 2019
    Last edited: May 10, 2019

    BootsWalking macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2014
    Corollary: Being proficient at supply-chain management doesn't qualify you to leader a visionary company.
  19. imageWIS macrumors 65816

    Mar 17, 2009
    NO ONE is saying you can't be great at your job and / or brilliant and never go to college. However, a 4-year or more degree is like certification: it's another way to open a door, or for them to use against you to keep the door locked.
  20. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    Tim Cook is just desperate to steal your idea and boot your app from App Store.
  21. Crowbot macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2018
    I'm sure not. Education is always good but these days kids need to be encouraged to find something lucrative. I spent 4+ years as an undergrad in Biology before I switched to a 2 year Associates degree in biomedical engineering. Best move I ever made. The undergrad courses helped so it was good all around. But a good technical education can get an inspired person on a solid road.
  22. Lyoha macrumors member


    Mar 20, 2014
    I'm a senior software engineer who dropped out of college after two semesters. Everything I know, I learned on the job and learned practically nothing from said college (albeit their program was worse than most). I dropped out because I was working overtime and my experience by then was more than enough to get employers' attention without a degree.
  23. MaxGravy macrumors regular


    Jul 24, 2011
  24. badatusernames, May 10, 2019
    Last edited: May 11, 2019

    badatusernames macrumors regular


    Jul 1, 2018
    Then why does Apple still require a 4-year degree from all their software engineering jobs?

    EDIT: They don't necessarily.
  25. Gorms macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2012
    ^^^THIS^^^, 100x this.

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