Marc Andreessen is writing a series of blog posts about career planning. His second post discusses education. Reading this post I cannot stress enough how right Marc is. He pretty much nails what I believe to be the best approach to building your skills.

Starting with a college education, build a foundation for success. A degree in Science, Engineering, or Mathematics is highly valuable regardless of whether or not you pursue it as a career. General Liberal Arts degrees are just stepping stones to something else, and essentially a waste of time. Graduate degrees can be useful (or required) in certain fields but in general you will be better off launching yourself into the working world. PhD's are nearly worthless unless you want to make a big impact in a very specific field.

Get real world experience while you are in college. Absolutely.

Be excellent at something (or two). Before you become a jack of all trades, demonstrate your ability to learn something in-depth. Once you've been a rock start in a certain field, you'll find it much easier to tackle the next one.

Get a broad set of experiences. Once you've tackled an area in depth (or better yet, while you are doing so), build the basic skills needed to handle the working world. Speaking, Management, Sales, Finance, International (an area have a lot of room to develop).

Read the post, it is dead on. Of course, I may be biased given our shared pedigree. Of course, while we both worked for the NCSA, Marc was writing Mosaic while I just worked in Mosaic customer support (for the Mac no less). Oh, I think Marc has sold a few more companies than I have as well. I guess I need to work on my skills.

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