How to Become a Software Engineer Without a Degree

This allowed Frederick to develop the project management skills she uses today as a leader in higher education after working in the field as a software developer for more than 20 years. You might also find a position in a related field, such as test engineer or technical support specialist. These roles can help you gain the experience you need to get a leg up in the software engineer job market. As a beginner in the tech field, it can take a while to build the right skills for a software engineer job.

What percentage of software engineers have no degree?

According to HackerRank's 2020 Developer Skills Report, 31.9 percent of developers at small companies (i.e., those employing between 1 and 50 employees) do not have a bachelor's degree, compared to the 18.4 percent who say the same at mid-size businesses (between 50 and 999 employees), 14.9 percent at large companies ( …

Some of these bootcamps do have high job-placement success rates, and they tend to cost less than, say, four years at a university. Regardless of their education level, all software engineers can benefit from professional certification and continuing education opportunities. On this page, we map out the steps you can take to become a software engineer. Read on to learn what education and experience you need to excel in this in-demand field.

How To Prepare for a Job Interview as a Software Engineer

Coding bootcamps also have strong connections to the tech industry through partnerships with companies and large alumni networks. They’re a great way to build connections and your portfolio, all while gaining hands-on experience that will help you become interview-ready. Proficiency in coding languages is one of the most important skills to have. There are many languages to choose from, and you may need more than one for a certain project or in a certain role. It’s a good idea to focus on some of the most widely used options, like Javascript, Python, and HTML/CSS.

do you need a degree to be a software engineer

How our engineers added Jupyter Notebooks to data science courses and paths. It would be best to answer this honestly, but be sure to highlight intrinsic motivations, such as the thrill of solving problems or helping people and organizations. While these are all understandable reasons, they can change, depending on circumstances, and may come across as self-serving.

Computer Programming

If you choose to continue your education full-time, a master’s degree can take an additional two years. You may also choose to specialize in specific applications, such as networks or embedded systems, cybersecurity, machine learning, or even artificial intelligence. Research skills, critical thinking, and problem solving, for instance, enable engineers to explore different potential design options and select the best one for each project. Software engineers must be prepared to learn new languages throughout their careers.

do you need a degree to be a software engineer

Another great way to learn software engineering skills is by attending a bootcamp. With regard to price, program length and subject material, software engineering bootcamps are somewhere between a degree program and a regular coding camp. Coding bootcamps are not as comprehensive or long as degree programs, and they are more intensive than coding camps. Although a software engineering job is very technical, you can acquire the necessary skills through bootcamps or online courses. When it comes to formal education and knowing what to study at college, most software engineers start off with at least a bachelor’s degree of some kind.

Harvard Summer School

Even if you do a program like a software engineering course or bootcamp, many of them will have online prep work anyway. When it comes to learning to code, the same survey reports 70.91% used some type of online learning resource, like videos, blogs or forums. Another 46.3% said they did some type of online courses or certification, and 10.8% did a coding bootcamp. In short, no—you do not need a degree to become a software engineer or web developer.

There are many ways you can find support and guidance as you start your journey toward a career in software engineering. You can also practice your coding on your own or with a team to continue to hone your skills and build your confidence ahead of the interview. But don’t just focus on your technical skills — practice clear communication to articulate your ideas and experiences effectively. We at Aloa are solely dedicated to connecting businesses with the most talented software engineers both with college credentials and those without college degrees. Our platform has a comprehensive and rigorous vetting process that ensures only the top 1% of software engineering talent is accepted. Hackathons and meetups are great places to meet other software engineers and gain experience.


Businesses and organizations increasingly rely on software and mobile applications to drive economic growth. This evolving tech landscape offers incredible potential for growth and career advancement for aspiring software engineers. Many would argue that coding bootcamps and online certifications give you an advantage. This is because they prepare you with more on-the-job skills than a university degree.

Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s, which requires an additional two years of study. Furthermore, self-taught software engineers may face hiring challenges, as employers tend to prefer applicants with formal education. Self-taught tech professionals can Java Archive Downloads Java SE 9 boost their resumes with bootcamps, internships, projects, and certifications. If you choose to pursue a degree in software engineering, you’ll take courses focused on advanced data structures, software design principles, and software architecture, for instance.

It’s a flexible and iterative approach in which large projects are broken down into small tasks and organized into two-week “sprints”. One of the most common design methodologies in software engineering today is object-oriented design (OOD). Object-oriented design helps ensure software programs are flexible, simpler to write, and easier to adapt and maintain over time.

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