Is a Computer Science Degree Needed to Get a Good Job?

Getting into IT without a computer science degree isn’t necessarily uncommon. It happens. That’s how life is! Even Google hires people without computer science degrees. You’ll need a good portfolio though.

If you can’t go to school to get a degree or you don’t have the money, you can use and pay the $25 monthly subscription. You can master the programming foundation courses offered at the beginner and intermediate levels. Then, you can complete the advanced programming courses. You can also consider attending an online course from many universities in USA.

Taking Unconventional Route Entails Hard Work

If you intend to begin a new career path, or move into a career in which you’ve got zero formal training, you’ll need to study a lot. You’ll need to read extensively. You’ll need mentorship too. You genuinely need that thirst, that desire, and of course, that want.

There are countless reasons an individual might not pursue a computer science degree or complete one. They might lack the funds for university, they might fare poorly in an academic environment, or they might have transitioned from a different field or job.

Likenesses to the Dot Com Era

Essentially, it boils down to how an individual likes to learn, what their preferences are, and what their resources are. Success with an unconventional route depends in part on external circumstances. During the high-flying dot com era, innumerable individuals without a computer science degree got hired. Currently, an identical set of circumstances are playing out.

A Computer Science DegreeMerely a Piece of Paper?

Actually, for the IT enterprises, being able to do the job means everything. It means much more than merely having a piece of paper that says an individual is able to do it. In fact, many IT enterprises are drawn to professionals who’ve taken the non-traditional route.

It clearly demonstrates that these individuals have the requisite initiative. They are smart. More importantly, they pick things up real quick—on their own. Hirers understand that these individuals worked through obstacles and taught themselves.

Attributes that Beat a CS Degree Hands Down

Software enterprises prefer to hire smart individuals who are versatile, flexible, and are successful without supervision. Individuals who love what they’re doing make the hirers’ cut rather easily. Hirers prefer these attributes over a CS degree.

Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal, takes this sentiment to the extreme. The Thiel Foundation sponsors 20 young individuals $100,000 each to skip school and focus exclusively on their work during the ensuing two years.

Thiel believes that an individual should learn throughout their life. He says that technology creates newer ways to learn each year. He adds that before long, spending four long years in lecture halls with a hangover will be considered as an antiquated, debt-ridden luxury good.

Prove Your Skills to Make an Unconventional Route Work

Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) like Code Academy and Coursera are other choices for catching up. The important part of making an unconventional route work lies in proving your skills. IT enterprises look for individuals with analytical minds who exhibit passion. For them, degree or otherwise don’t matter. But outside projects are mandatory. An individual without an outside project would be a definite no-no.

Employers are Impressed by Self-Taught Technologists

Self-taught technologists make for better hires—much better hires than computer science graduates saddled with huge student loans. Employers are picky because many of the computer science graduates don’t know any theory. Many of them can’t code either. They merely succeed at putting the right keywords on their resume.

Employers’ Awareness of On-the-Ground Realities

Companies seldom provide training or mentoring. The scarcity of talent has invariably created a mercenary culture. Employers are aware of employees’ constant exploration of ads on Craigslist or Dice for openings with better pay. That’s the reason employers don’t rely on CS degrees as an authentic indicator of anything except perhaps, a cursory interest in the field.

Employers know that most schools are mediocre at teaching theory. The schools suck at Java instruction as well. Employers know that schools are incompetent at teaching other languages also.


During an economic boom, not having a computer science degree is a non-issue, especially in the IT sector. At such times, the demand for talent far outweighs job seekers’ academic qualifications. Right now, this is the big advantage job seekers enjoy.

Scroll to Top