Would getting an A.S. from a community college help me overall?

Hey, everyone. I don’t post here often but figured this would be the best place to ask my question. I started programming on May 1st of this year. I used freeCodeCamp as well as both of Colt Steele’s Udemy courses(highly recommended). My skill set is HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, SQL, mySQL, and some backend languages/frameworks.

I really enjoy programming and want to pursue it as a career but it seems my lack of a degree will really hinder me. The main problem is that I live in Connecticut but would like to move down south where there is obviously a lack of programming jobs. I’m 23 right now and don’t have much going for me.

My community college offers two-year degrees in CS and certifications in object-oriented programming. Should I just bite the bullet and apply? I would hate having to live in New England for another two years but I don’t think even a good portfolio will be able to get me a job in somewhere like Arkansas or Missouri.

Also, as just a quick second question, do you believe that even a two-year degree will be enough for me to get a job in a lesser-populated area? I don’t necessarily mean the absolute middle-of-nowhere, but a slightly more populated city like Little Rock or Springfield. I’m not sure if anyone here is from that area, but I feel like with such a lack of developers they will only take the people who have the most expansive education.

Thank you for reading, and I wish you all luck on your continued learning!

Getting some formal training and that magic certificate at the end is always a good thing.

Look at it this way. When you look at job postings. Many want at least a BS (and some even want an MS.) Now, some of those jobs are going to going to go with people without a BS, but at least having an AS will help a little. Ultimately it will be judged on quality of the portfolio, but that AS could be the edge. Plus, you are going to learn a lot about coding. And build some nice portfolio pieces.

When you’re young, two years seems like a long time. Think of it as an investment. Think of those great vacations in Fiji you’ll be able to afford with a better job. If I was your age, I’d bite the bullet and go for the full BS.