Want a tech job? Study this. Advice from Mozilla, Reddit, Tumblr and more

Students often say they hate group work. I don’t attach a huge amount of points to group work, but I do ask them to collaborate on various projects. Learning how to deal with a team member who isn’t pulling his or her weight, or how to work with a take-charge person who tries to shut out less assertive group members, is a valuable life skill.

Critical thinking, self-driven progress in a skill over time.

“Coding, editing video, design — it really is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, based in Mountain View, Calif. Mozilla produces the Web browser Firefox. “What’s below the tip of the iceberg is participation, critical thinking and being able to collaborate. You really need to be a well-rounded, Renaissance, Internet-era kind of person.”

Although it’s still possible to get a job without a college degree, as companies mature they tend to look for employees who have experience collaborating with peers on projects and have picked up skills beyond, say, programming. Coding can be learned online, but students’ ability to connect with people and with alumni who can steer them to internships, jobs and mentors can’t easily be replicated outside a college setting.

Employers say the choice of a major isn’t critical. It’s the discipline to spend years on an area of study — and producing work that demonstrates the result of that effort — that persuades employers to take a chance on hiring someone in their 20s. —The Washington Post.