Web development is currently one of the most popular career paths in the tech industry. It's a challenging and lucrative one, so it's no surprise that many people are considering making a career switch to coding. If you're thinking about learning to code, you may be wondering whether you need a college degree to become a software developer.
The short answer? No, a degree is not required to become a programmer.
Most Developers Do Have Undergrad Degrees
On the one hand, it's fairly common for developers to have a degree. Three out of every four respondent in Stack Overflow's Developer Survey Results 2018 have a college degree, and the majority of them majored in computer science, computer engineering or software engineering, so their education maps neatly to their careers.
There are benefits to obtaining a degree, of course: you learn from highly trained educators, and you can dive deep into the fundamentals of computer science while specializing in specific technologies.
But the costs can be high: on average, it takes four years to obtain a degree and just one year at a public college can cost you $10,000 to $20,000.
But That Doesn't Mean a Degree is Required—Or Right For You
That said, a degree isn't for everyone. Maybe you've already earned a degree in another field, or you have a family and can't commit the resources it would take to attend school right now.
There's good news for you: more and more companies are dropping their degree requirements. Earlier this year, Glassdoor published a list of 15 companies that no longer require a degree. The list features some of the biggest companies in the United States, like Apple, Google, Ernst & Young and IBM. Other companies are likely to follow the trend set by these major companies.
Laszlo Bock, former SVP of People Operations at Google, makes the case succinctly, saying, "When you look at people who don't go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people."
Establish Your Skillset Even If You Don't Have a Degree
If you're ready to get started, there are a number of ways you can build your skillset without getting a programmig degree:
- Dive in and start learning with any number of options. Here's our list of top recommendations, and they're all free!
- Check out Udemy's programming classes on or Harvard's CS50 course, now available on freeCodeCamp's YouTube channel
- Demonstrate your new coding skills by building sample projects and sharing them on GitHub or on your portfolio site
- Give back to the community and strengthen your skills by contributing to open-source projects
And of course, if a bootcamp is something you're considering, we're here to teach you the skills you need to be a web developer in months, not years. We don't require a degree, only a high school diploma or GED. And as part of our bootcamp experience, our Career Services Team will help you update your resume, create a porfolio and learn to navigate the hiring process like a pro.
Download our course description and see if a bootcamp is right for you. And if you've got questions, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.