Im from Canada and I was faced with this problem as well. High school drilled in my head that I HAVE to go to university to make it out there and trades and diplomas will get you nothing in the long run. I was skeptic and I did my research and saw that more people that were in the IT field had technical diplomas/applied degrees. After waiting, I chose the hands on approach and went with the technical diploma. I did a couple years of related work with the diploma, went back to school for an applied degree and now I am guaranteed work in the IT field. I have never seen anyone of my coworkers or anyone else in another company up to present date with a CS degree or a Comp Eng Degree have a career in IT. To be honest, there are a couple factors I see here. 1) Most people that end up going the university route have loans to pay off because its way more expensive, so they have no choice but to put their career on hold and find any job to pay it off ASAP. 2) Either a technical diploma or a degree will not get you a job without any real starting experience. The majority of people with the diploma are more willing to start at a bottom of the IT industry just to get some experience and a majority of university people (this is going to sound rude, but its true) have an elitist attitude where they expect over the top industry expectations. 3) University is all theory, no hands on and prof's worry about their own research rather than where their students are going to end up. Diploma programs actually have comititee's made up of industry representatives telling the college's what the students should learn so they have a better chance of getting jobs and all of my teachers worked at previous IT companies, so its a symbiotic relationship. Sorry to say this isn't bias, this is what I've seen first hand, but I would still consider university a more valuable asset since you do have more things taught to you and its better in the long run.