Today I am writing about becoming a programmer without a degree. In today's economy programmers are in high demand and are typically very high paying jobs. With the ever increasing cost of traditional 4 year colleges increasing, many people wonder if it is still worth it to get a degree? Particularly with some past high profile non-degree superstars such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in the IT industry, is it still possible to succeed as a programmer without a degree?
I am currently putting a class around this topic and it will be out in a few weeks. The class is called "How to be a Successful Programmer Without a Degree" and will cover some of the strategies to get the necessary training. According to US News the average salary for a programmer is $95,510. Now this can vary widely in different specializations and geographic region, but the point is that this represents a well paying career for someone without a college degree. If it is possible to get this type of position without a four year Computer Science degree many people feel they are well ahead of the game.
The real question is are companies really hiring programmers that do not have a Computer Science Degree? in 2015 Stack Overflow took a survey of over 26,000 programmers and 48% of them did not have a computer science degree. In order to get your first job however, it can be a significant challenge. In the high pressure world of IT, managers do not hire people without skills and pay high salaries to programmers than can't produce results. So how can programmers get these skills with a traditional computer science degree? There are several methods out in the market today and I will look at then further in next week's post. In the mean time, I included a short survey to find out from our readers how many of you are programmers that do or do not have a degree. If you have any supporting comments please post those as well.