Over the last decade, programming skills have become more in demand than ever. The reason for this? It’s the digital era we live in, where our phones, televisions, washing machines all require coding to work properly.
Without programmers, banks, business, airports, and hospitals would find themselves unable to function efficiently, and important infrastructure such as traffic lights and street crossings would no longer operate properly.
Due to this demand and the chances of landing a well-paying job in this sector, many older kids will show an interest in pursuing a career in programming. However, unlike other careers, programming is still relatively niche, and as a result, it can be confusing to understand which skills and qualifications are required.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that one of the most common questions across search engines is “do programmers need a degree?”
Do you need a degree to become a programmer?
First and foremost, it is important to understand that most programmers do not have a degree in computer science or software engineering (two of the most important relevant skills to programming as a whole).
Although gaining a degree can help, especially when it comes to learning about programming, it is not an essential requirement. Most employers will be far more interested in a person’s portfolio than their qualifications, as well as their ability to work well with a team.
Furthermore, there is evidence to back this up. For example, according to a 2017 study conducted by Burning Glass, only around 25% percent of programming and IT job listings required a degree in computer science.
Alongside this, large tech companies, such as Google, no longer have stringent rules about degrees in programming-specific roles such as software engineering, setting a precedent that many other companies are likely to follow.
Why do some disagree with this?
In programming circles, it is not unusual to come across people who believe that having a relevant degree is important or even necessary for success. Some programmers believe those without degrees in computer science or software engineering are not “real programmers”.
This is not true.
However, a certain level of education is still required for programmers to succeed. Without properly understanding coding, they may develop a tendency to create buggy or borderline broken applications, creating issues for businesses or clients.
Children can start early. At FunTech we offer a range of different courses for kids of all ages who want to get started in coding.
Do certain jobs require a degree?
Although obtaining a degree is not a requirement for most programming-based jobs, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
For example, a network architect is employed to design and build data communication networks, and in general, pursuing a role in this career tends to require a degree in either computer science or information systems.
However, outside of a couple of very specific careers in programming, most employers will be happy to hire anyone, so long as they are proficient at programming and gel well with their current team.
What alternative methods are there to learning programming?
There are many different options for would-be programmers to teach them the ins and outs of coding.
For example, a good starting place for kids and teenagers are the FunTech courses. We offer both online and classroom lessons in coding.
For older ages, platforms such as Udemy could be a good option for programming courses. These courses take the form of videos in which students follow along with a teacher.
Thankfully, there are hundreds of courses specifically focused on programming and coding on the platform, so finding a relevant course is never a problem.
Alongside this, MIT OpenCourseWare is another great resource aimed at students who are further along in their programming journey.
Here, there are tons of amazing classes that go in-depth into subjects such as computer science and how to get started in programming in python.
If you have a child interesting in programming, we would encourage you to explore the different FunTech options, including how we can help them achieve earlier qualifications in tech.
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