Need a Degree to be a Software Developer?

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The most common passage to work as a software developer was by securing admission to a college and graduating with a degree in Computer Science. And what if life gave you other options and college wasn’t one of them, should you give up?

Remember, when working as an engineer without a college degree was simply out of the question? It was a whole generation ago that a college degree was mandatory to secure a high-paying job in any field. But is it the same today? With changing times, college degrees are losing their sheen, slowly but surely and that is good news to millions of students with a love for learning!

This article covers some key points to give you the closest definitive answer to whether you really need a college degree to become a software programmer or not.

If you are wondering how the system changed, then the advancement in technology gave way to a surge in the demand for developers and programmers in the software industry. And when the businesses were unable to fill all the job openings, there seemed to be a grudging yet slight acceptance and realization that skilled developers are just as good, if not better than, software developers with a college degree! 

Is College Degree in Software Not A Requirement?

An upside down picture of graduation celebration.

Circa the 21st century; time is money, and getting a 4-year college degree seems like an expenditure without the best and quickest return on investment for some industries. If it’s not med school, then in 3-4 years, you could live two lifetimes!

And so we’ve learned that learning skills and working as developers, among other things, are very much within everyone’s reach without a college degree.

We have also seen many college dropouts breaking the wheel and making it super big as software developers in Silicon Valley without a college degree. [For the less informed; Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Travis Kalanick, Mark Zuckerberg, and many more!]

How did the change come about? 

Happy girl with a laptop, studying online

Student loans have become the noose around an entire generation that works to pay off their tuition, and this made options such as coding boot camps, self-learning, etc., seem like a better alternative to a college education.

The good news is;

  • More and more employers hiring candidates without a college degree. 
  • Skill is valued just as much as theoretical knowledge.
  • People are able to save a huge amount of money on college loans.
  • People who did not have a chance to attend college earlier are now able to follow their dreams of becoming Software Developers and pursuing a career in the IT sector without investing 4 years in a college degree. 

You may have also noticed that graduates from coding bootcamp or fast-tracked courses are preferred to college degrees after the pandemic. And employers are now discussing how bootcamp graduates are just as prepared as college graduates to work as software developers.

As discussed earlier, one of the main reasons for overlooking a college degree in a candidate’s application is due to the increase in demand for software professionals. There is a high demand for developers, and companies are urged with this great importunity to fill their staff to get the work going. This sudden explosion in demand and scarcity in the supply of developers in the job market has welcomed skilled professionals with or without a degree.

Related Article: How Long Does It Take To Learn Python?

Software Developer Without a Degree!

Smiling man standing between brown buildings

There are many important factors, other than a degree to work as a software developer. Have you ever considered who is more suitable; someone without a degree but has 2 years of work experience, or someone with a degree, and no relevant experience? 

Most software development jobs nowadays actually do not mention that they require a degree in their job description.

Companies are looking for people with a passion for coding. And so projecting your zest to work as a developer and showcasing your abilities and creativity provides recruiters with what they are looking for.

For example, a great start is building a portfolio that gives you an edge over the competition, as an actual display of your projects and skillset presented in a unique way. It demonstrates to the employer that you are qualified for that specific job, adding to your credibility and communication skills, even if you are not a college graduate. 

Most of what you are saying in an interview needs to be backed up by actual evidence, and a portfolio helps validate and exhibit your work, skills, and projects in a more creative and personal manner.

A portfolio is the best window to your personal projects that reflect your actual ability and achievements.

Related Article: Technical Interview, How to Prepare and Crack It.

Coding Bootcamp: An Alternative to College

Some of the best alternatives to a college degree, when it comes to coding or software development are the infamous coding bootcamps. 

Coding bootcamps, ensure to teach you all you need to know about coding in just 5 to 6 months, and then assist you to find a job. Bootcamps, like TECH I.S., have high job-placement rates, with a great starting salary for their graduates.

In contrast to spending high amounts to procure a college education, a coding bootcamp is refreshing in its approach to both your money and time. With TECH I.S. coding bootcamp you have the best alternative to a college degree in computer science, with their curriculum designed for you to understand the core concepts as much as any college graduate. These courses are accessible and offer intensive, project-based training to assist prospective developers to equip themselves with industry-relevant skills.

Kick-start your software programming career with a coding bootcamp! Visit TECH I.S. to learn more about their fast-track, immersive and part-time courses.

Start Your Education With Coding Bootcamp

Your path to becoming a successful software programmer without a college degree is now a possibility and a reality! Start learning with the right mentors with the right coding bootcamp. These courses are tailor-made for beginners to learn in-depth concepts quickly, with a much more affordable option than college.