Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I Don't Think a Four-Year Degree is Necessary to Be Proficient at Coding'

Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited an Apple Store in Orlando, Florida to meet with 16-year-old Liam Rosenfeld, one of 350 scholarship winners who will be attending Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference next month.

tim cook apple store florida

Apple CEO ‌Tim Cook‌, left, and WWDC 2019 scholar Liam Rosenfeld via TechCrunch

Echoing comments he shared with the Orlando Sentinel, Cook told TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino that it is "pretty impressive" what Rosenfeld is accomplishing with code at such a young age, serving as a perfect example of why he believes coding education should begin in the early grades of school.

"I don't think a four year degree is necessary to be proficient at coding" says Cook. "I think that's an old, traditional view. What we found out is that if we can get coding in in the early grades and have a progression of difficulty over the tenure of somebody's high school years, by the time you graduate kids like Liam, as an example of this, they're already writing apps that could be put on the App Store."

Cook made similar comments during an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting at the White House earlier this year.

While in Florida, Cook attended a conference that saw SAP and Apple announce an expanded partnership focused on new enterprise apps taking advantage of technologies like machine learning and augmented reality.

Despite all of the technological advancements in recent years, Cook told Panzarino that many businesses have not "changed a whole lot" and are "still using very old technology." With more solutions like those from SAP and Apple, and tech-savvy employees of the future like Rosenfeld, that could change.

"I think what it is is they haven't embraced mobility. They haven't embraced machine learning. They haven't embraced AR. All of this stuff is a bit foreign in some way. They're still fixing employees to a desk. That's not the modern workplace," Cook says. "People that graduate from high school and get a little experience under their belt can do quite well in this job."

The full interview can be read on TechCrunch with an Extra Crunch subscription or in the Apple News app with an ‌Apple News‌+ subscription.

WWDC 2019 begins June 3 in San Jose.

Related Roundup: WWDC 2021

Top Rated Comments

topgunn Avatar
29 months ago
You don't get better at coding by going to school. You get better at coding by coding.

Now, if you ever want to be more than a developer, a 4 year degree would likely come in handy.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smaffei Avatar
29 months ago
Of course he doesn't. That's because Tim wants a cheaper labor pool. And, if the requirement is changed from a 4 year degree, the employers can eventually pay less.

That 4 years of Computer Science gave me the proper foundation to design / implement software (not just code).
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stella Avatar
29 months ago
In a 4 year degree course, you learn more about software development than just cranking out code.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cletus-cassidy Avatar
29 months ago
So Tim is saying that I wasted four years of my life going to college?!?

/s
What does Tim Apple know about coding? He's a supply chain expert.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joueboy Avatar
29 months ago
One day these programmers will be like factory workers with the same salary. This is exactly what Tim and the rest of the tech industry are trying to do getting into cheap labor to increase profit.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imageWIS Avatar
29 months ago
'We want coders to work for us just like small children do making overpriced iPhones: as economic slave laborers'

There, I fixed it for him.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
iPad mini pro feature

Next iPad Mini Won't Feature Mini-LED Display, Claims Display Analyst

Friday July 23, 2021 8:07 am PDT by
Yesterday, DigiTimes claimed that the upcoming iPad mini will feature a mini-LED display, but now, display analyst Ross Young is going at odds with that report, claiming that while the updated iPad mini continues to be on track for a release this year, it won't feature a mini-LED display. Young says he "confirmed" with Radiant Opto-Electronics, who DigiTimes claims would provide Apple with...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...