I was reading Raymond Chen’s blog post about the NCAA tournament the other day and it got me thinking. Raymond set up his brackets based on the college’s graduation rate for basketball players. Most of those teams graduate fewer than half their players. Not exactly a recipe for success in later life in my opinion. Now I guess if most of those players turned professional it might not be quite so bad. But the fact is that very few of them will actually make a living playing professional basketball. It takes an extraordinary level of both skill and hard work to become a professional basketball player. And of course there are very limited spots open. You can’t go all entrepreneurial and start your own team either. Well I guess you can and there are independent teams that entertain people but really unless you are the Harlem Globetrotters it is not an easy life. On the other hand a good education – including one in computer science – lets pretty much anyone who wants to work hard at it turn professional.
And last I heard the hi-tech field, even in this economy, is a route to a good career that is open even to people who are not 6 foot 6 with a great jump shot.
While I am at it, I’ve found myself reminding people that one of the benefits of the Dreamspark (now available for high schools to sign up for on behalf of their students) program is that it comes with the IT Academy Student Pass. That means 12-22 hours of free online training related to Microsoft certification. I hope a lot of people take advantage of that program.