Jobs in Tech: College Degrees Needed?

These days it seems like the tech industry is the place to be for a high salary and good quality of life. But, many positions in tech require candidates to hold a bachelor's degree to be considered, and sometimes degree's from even higher institutions are preferred. But, according to CMS Wire, this may not be entirely true. Despite the collegiate credentials tech giants like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer require, the truth is that plenty of companies are willing to hire individuals on their abilities, not the prestige or existence of a degree.

If you're pumped about the idea of getting a job based on your elite coding skills alone, take a breath. While your abilities are a big part of whether or not you get a job in tech, there's a lot to be said for holding the necessary credentials or certifications, or just receiving a modicum of formal training on the latest processes and techniques.

According to CMS Wire, Dan Goman, president and founder of OwnZones, claims to know plenty of individuals in the industry who don't hold traditional degrees but are "brilliant coders." But, there's more to it than raw skill.

"For people who don't have the degree and want to get into this field, it's tougher to get in the door and when you do, it's a matter of working your way up – can take longer. But again, once you get in and you display 'brilliance,' you can quickly move up and I don't believe there's a ceiling. At least I haven't seen it."

One of the most valid paths between no experience and traditional degrees are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs are online resources that provide courses on computer programming. They usually do not follow strict schedules, so students benefit the most when they're motivated and put the hours into learning new skills. Although there may be charges to enrolling in MOOCs, sites like Udacity and CodeSchool save students money on textbooks.

Veterans who are worried about the difficulty of learning code are encouraged to at least try.

"The fact is: these skills can easily be acquired through affordable and accessible online learning programs, like Treehouse," said Ryan Carson, co-founder and CEO of the online coding school. "Some have even dubbed online coding schools the 'vocational schools of the future."

"All that's required to get a job in tech, even if you're exploring options at a later stage in life or transitioning careers, is the determined, enthusiastic mastery and continuous 'upkeep' of your coding skills."

Carson claims to have seen beginners go from zero to employed with a $40,000 salary in about six months with about five to 10 hours of studying a week. If someone has the time to commit 21 to 28 hours, Carson claims they might be able to find employment in roughly three months.

While working with code isn't for everyone, the educational opportunities have never been so easily accessible. If you want job stability but a traditional four-year degree isn't for you, virtual coding schools provide the right knowledge to break into the tech industry.

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