When a computer science degree matters, and when it doesn't

A very good question is posed in this article: Top 10 technology skills

Why yes... it all depends.  How about that for an answer?  Given, I could have also answered the question with another question.  For example, "What necessity are you referring to?" or "What would the person be doing?" and so on.

I guess the point that I'm trying to drive home with my non-answers.  Is the fact that the dynamics of information technology have drastically changed.  Gone are the days of the basement people (yes they still exist... shivers) where there was a clear dividing line that kept business, marketing, and political science majors on one side of the room and IT geeks on the other.

Instead, IT is now part of an organization such that an organization needs IT to survive.  Thus, all aspects of IT and the business world are now intertwined.  Such much so, that I often use the image that IT acts much like the nervous system of an organization.  If your nervous system crashes... well loosely translated... regardless of what degree you hold, part of your job will be IT related.

Granted, there is always the need for deep technical skills.  After all, the world does run on code.  But, given the direction towards utility computing, social networks, and so on, I think the real demand is for what has become termed as a Technology Generalists.  In short, these are people that can adopt, relate, mold, and use any technology to meet the ever changing business dynamics.

So, for those individuals that can wield a mighty information sword... no... a degree in computer science is not a requirement.  In fact, one might question if any degree is necessarily relevant given the pace at which the IT landscape is changing.  I hardly think 4 year degree programs can keep up.  But, that is another topic for another day.

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