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    I loved my community college. Started going when I was in high school (homeschooled) and graduated early because of it. Got a masters in literature from a local state university, couldn’t find a job and didn’t want to teach, so I went back to that same community college and took some Cisco cert classes. The CCNA got me an interview at a tech company as a support person. Taught myself programming while I worked there and have moved up to lead/manager of the backend team at that same company.

    tldr; community colleges are great! And if I can do, so can you!

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      I loved my community college. Started going when I was in high school (homeschooled) and graduated early because of it.

      Lol, I did the same thing, and that saved me two years at a state school getting my BS since I could transfer my credits from my associates. Same degree as everyone else, just half the time and money ;)

      In my experience, many of my community college profs were as good or better than the ones at the state/private universities I attended (I had some great gen eds and math classes). I didn’t see a clear correlation with cost and quality of teaching (in fact, the masters classes I took at one of the top engineering colleges in the country had the worst prof I ever came across, so it actually might be a negative correlation for me, though my experience there may have been an outlier).

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        As an academic drop out, my experience is that where graduates end up teaching is more or less random. It helps to be a better teacher or researcher, but a lot of it comes down to factors like: Did you apply to a grad program that is hot seven years later when you finish? Are you willing to move anywhere? Anywhere, anywhere? Do you have loved ones, lol? How long can you go without taking a salary? How about a little longer? Are you able to write a strong recommendation letter for yourself for your professor to sign? Can you impress people who know nothing about your subfield in an interview? Etc. etc. So all things equal, it’s better to be a good teacher, but it’s lost in the noise of other factors. Community colleges are more likely to get people who enjoy teaching as profession but need to be able to live in a specific geographic location, so there’s a slightly positive bias there, although it’s not super strong because you aren’t ever really evaluated.

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          At a university the main job of a professor is to obtain grants and do research; teaching is of a secondary concern. I’m sure that many professors would love to skip out on teaching (and probably do by passing it off to their slaves grad students).

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            At one point, my former department looked into just cancelling classes. They budgeted out that, if everyone took a 10% pay cut, we could just stop teaching entirely. It was ultimately decided that this would be bad for recruiting, so they didn’t go through with it, but the university lawyers had agreed that they couldn’t stop us.

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        Since we’re not all from the US, what exactly is community college? Do you get equivalent degrees? Are they different certifications that are supposed to convey the same subject skill? What makes it “community”?

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          Community colleges are government-run colleges that offer 2-year degrees focused on a job instead of the more standard 4-year degrees in traditional subjects. They are called “community” because students commute from home instead of moving to the school. There are usually agreements in place so that you can use the 2 years of classes from a community college as credits at a nearby 4-year college. Some states have really great community colleges with lots of choices and really low fees, while in other states they are underfunded and pretty bad.

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            Ah, thanks! We have something similar, by the name of TAFE (technical and further education).

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              I thought the name came from the fact they are designed to serve the local community.

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            not many talk about community college in those communities

            Definitely true. I’m sure I have worked alongside people who went to community college, but I wouldn’t have any idea who they are.

            Fantastic post!

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              I used community college to get my first two years of college for much cheaper than I would have at a larger college, and met some lifelong friends there. My final 3 years for my BS-SE were at a nearby university. Between Pell Grants (my parents are not of high means) and working as a developer during my time in school, I managed to graduate without college debt.

              Granted, college, for me, was more about making sure I had a degree than feeling like I needed it to specifically further my development as a developer at the time.

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                I went to Community College for Computer Science remotely and planed to transfer to a prestigious college, but I dropped out because of financial reasons/academic difficulty. I felt that my CC courses were about on par difficulty wise as the other college I was going to (often referred to has the Harvard of x state), but at least it was cheaper and teachers at CC always responded to my questions unlike to the other college I was attending. Plus the CC used canvas to submit student assignments (same as the other college did etc.).

                I’m currently working full-time at tech company, so I withdrew from CC, but I plan to start again part-time to earn a degree someday. I’ve been rejected a lot due to not having earned a Bachelor’s though afaiu, so I’d like to fix that someday. Dr. Frey [1] studied at a CC and he went on to work at RenTech/teach at uchicago etc. WGU, UoPeople etc. exist, but I’d prefer to go to CC than earn a degree from one of those universities candidly. WGU, and UoPeople seem sketchy to me even though lots of people on HN vouch for them and WGU has the same accreditation as uchicago (so does uophoneix).

                1. https://www.nuclearphynance.com/User%20Files/1462/Rentec%20Resume.pdf
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                  I went to community college, and while I was already self-taught by then, holy, did it sharpen me as a person. I would say the best part of it was really learning “the business” of being a software developer, and working with other people. Those first intern jobs really give you a taste of what’s to come and how to prepare for things!

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                    Community college to four year CS last credit drop-out. I learned a lot at both. I made more lifelong friends at the former.

                    IMHO they’re one of the best parts of the American education system.