Usurping the 4-year degree requirement?

Going through job boards and and postings; the majority of ads are showing a 4-year degree requirement.

So how are we supposed to usurp this requirement? Is it even possible? I want ACTUAL proof, not some made up BS hyped by online education providers. Is it even possible to get these $100k+ jobs in developing without a college education, just using FREE online resources as your foundation?

Is it possible to get developing jobs without a 4-year degree? Yes.

Some companies and/or positions may make it a strict requirement. Other jobs may list it as a requirement but in reality will take what they can get. Apply anyway.
Entry-level jobs which don’t explicitly require a degree may not pay quite as well as those that do. This seems to only be relevant for entry/junior level jobs. Once you’ve been working it’s your work history that matters.
The onus is on you, as the applicant, to prove that you have expertise and experience that is at least equivalent to that of a formal 4-year program.


I’m not sure what “proof” you’re looking for.

Yes, there are people without college degrees working as developers earning 6 figures. Most of them put as much time into practicing and growing as it takes to earn a college degree.

Many people with college degrees don’t find jobs earning as much. It depends on personal factors, experience and the job market in your area.

The simplest answer is you cannot always directly get around the requirement for a degree. By not having a degree, you absolutely will face additional hurdles. That’s life. It is absolutely possible to reach the same earning potential using experience, though it may require accepting a lower paying job at first and working your way up.

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Take a look at Haseeb Qureshi’s story for proof of what a smart hardworking dude can achieve in tech without a degree.


Don’t fall for this myth that an average Joe can get entry into software jobs without a degree . In most reddit threads and other online forum,I see a lot of people saying they got a job without a degree.But later when I check their linkedin profile,most of them usually have a Bachelor in Arts or some other fields.
Even in the example given by bonham000 the person Haseeb Qureshi did not get the job without a degree.He has a Bachelors degree in English from Texas University.Even though Arts and other degrees which have no relevance to software jobs,these people usually get interviews and then it’s their skills that decides their fate.People need to understand that not having a degree means not having any degree at all.Unless the candidate is super skilled & has a really great portfolio and knows how to make connections,it’s really difficult to get called even for an interview.Resumes are sorted usually through college degree as a criteria . No degree means the chances of resume getting thrown out is high.
I know this because I am a college dropout and don’t have anything to show for these years.Not trying to discourage you,but life of a newbie without any degree at all is not good.You can try your hand at freelancing.But there you have to compete with the whole world.

My friend got into business without any degree and with almost 0 skills. But of course he didnt get a $100k offer.
His brother had been working in some gps tracking company as Junior Developer (not sure Java or what) for about 1 year when he suggested my friend to apply to that company as apprentice. So having only desire to learn and work, and a brother who gave a word for him, he was hired and has been working there for 10 month already. At the moment he earns about 800 pounds a month, but in 2 month he gonna finish his apprenticeship and continue as Junior Developer with 20k+ annualy.
So what i mean, if a dude with no skill and degree got an opportunity to work in Software development, i’m sure anyone with knowledge got through all these online courses and the right attitude and motivation can do that as well. And how much you gonna earn just depends on skill, experience, hardwork and some luck in getting opportunities.

You say your friend is making about $1200 per month? and then make 30k. That is not a lot of money to me for a skilled person.

I guess what proof the OP poster would be looking for is some stats. I read that in the USA there are about 150k weddevs and that increases about 5% per year meaning there is only 7000 openings per year or about 70 per major city. And I read that FCC has produced 2k grads per year and the other code camps 10k and that is 15k grads from code camps for 7k openings and that does not include the number of IT grads for 2 and 4 year degrees. The numbers seems to say the market is flooded. Of course in the worst job markets there are always people that get great jobs with little formal training. Even in the depths of the Great Depression some people got great jobs but a big percent were completely unemployed and many living in shanty towns with barely enough to eat.

This is just what I have read. I would love to see more rosy stats if anyone has them but anecdotes really do not show the picture.

In the end, no matter how you, me and everyone talks about this… the final answer will be dependent on each company’s HR/decision makers if they’ll make an exception to their hiring rules/requirements.

Can someone without a college degree work in software development? Sure – but it really depends on the person’s talent and skills. A college degree is not a guarantee that a person is smart, and in the same way, a lack of college degree is not a signal that a person is not smart.

Can someone get $100K jobs without a degree? Sure – as a 1st job, I don’t think so. Maybe after several years and after continuously moving around. Also depends on what state/city you end up getting a job.

A person making $100K in San Francisco, while it may look much but if you factor $3,500 apartment rent per month, then it doesn’t look much at all. (Also factor CA have state income tax, higher taxes, higher cost of living). The same person in TX will need to make only $53K to match the standard of living of the guy in SF.