Do you need degree to be a software engineer?

In this article let’s take a look at whether you need a degree to become a software engineer developer and is degree really important or not in detail.

This is the most comprehensive article you can find online on this topic so I will recommend you to bookmark and also share the article.

So without further ado let’s dive right in.

Now before we understand whether you need a degree or not to become a software engineer it is very important to learn what software engineering is all about in the first place.

What is software engineering?

Basically software engineering is all about creating, developing and maintaining softwares and digital products and it’s all about finding the solutions to issues of software projects.

Now let’s take a look at whether you need a degree or not if you want to become a software engineer.

Do you need a degree to become a software engineer, developer & is degree really important?

To be honest in my opinion, You do not need a degree to become a software engineer and developer and degree may not be really valuable and important for you in your career because you can learn all the programming languages and all the things required to become a good software developer and engineer online through bootcamps and courses which are not only extremely affordable in price and also teach you programming very fast as compared to getting a degree which is very expensive and time consuming.

But I am not in any way suggesting you to drop out from your college as a matter of fact according to a survey more than 42% of the developers had some level of bachelor’s degree and only 12% percent of developers have no degree,

I am not saying that getting a degree is completely waste of money and time, it has some other benefits as well like building a network, learning new skills by joining clubs in the University and you can get job in many top tech companies by

getting a degree which is accredited and you can also learn programming and other foundational courses of computer science such as data success algorithms computer networks computer architecture and many more from your lecturer and get some guidance as compared to learning programming by yourself which is a lot more harder.

What I am trying to say is if you just want to learn programming and coding, if you are willing to work hard and dedicate,

You have skills of problem solving logical thinking and creativity, and more importantly You don’t want to spend 4 years of your life in college or

a lot of money or maybe college is not something that you prefer then you can have better alternatives to learn programming as compared to getting a bachelor’s degree as a matter of fact more than 60% of the developers had actually learnt coding by themselves.

There are many free resources you can take online such as reading articles and watching videos on YouTube or taking online courses on Udemy and Coursera or attending boot camps or even buying physical books are popular methods to Start learning coding.

And according to a survey only 10% of the developers had said that formal education is important in their success in the career even though 40% of the developers have got some form & level of bachelor’s degree with them.

It is not just me but many influential people like Elon Musk believe that traditional degrees and schools are not really worth it anymore and Elon Musk was bullied and abused in the school in his childhood and not just Elon Musk but many billionaires including Bill gates Larry Page Mark Zuckerberg Mukesh Ambani have actually dropped out of college and become successful in the life.

More importantly Elon Musk has released many jobs for people in his Tesla company and he clearly mentioned that educational degree is not mandatory to apply and get a job in his company and not just that many other tech companies like Google Apple Amazon Cisco and many other companies are now trying to hire students solely based upon the skills and experience irrespective whether they have the degree or not.

Why do people still prefer taking degrees?

Now you may be wondering that if degree and college is not required to learn programming then why do many people take bachelor degrees.

Just try to understand this from the employer’s perspective who is trying to hire candidates for his company, if a student has a degree from a top university like Harvard or Stanford or any other university then the employer might assume student would be good hard working, and some core computer science courses may cover include theory of computation, fundamentals of computer science, compliers and

operating systems, information theory, basic programming, they have good mathematical and problem solving skills, if they have good grades in academics,

it also shows they are knowledgeable person because of all these reasons students are trying to get bachelor’s degree and obviously you can have high chances of getting job from a degree in tech company as compared to without a degree but at the end skills and knowledge of programming is extremely important.

But Apart from a few top universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Ivy League, or IITs in India, majority of colleges and universities do not teach and include practical coding classes and most universities curriculum is not up to date with the latest languages and

techniques or in other words most of the curriculum in universities are outdated and do not include practical courses because of which many students still learn programming themselves even if they join the college and what’s crazy is software engineering is

one such industry which is constantly changing with new technology and languages coming in for example Java was the official language for Android development for many years but in 2016 a new programming language was developed called kotlin which has been replaced as the official language for Android app development in 2019 by Google by replacing Java.

For example India is one of the largest countries for producing engineers as a matter of fact more than 1.5 million students become engineers in India every year but the fact is more than 80% of engineers are unemployable because

they do not have the skills required to get a job such as coding or programming as they will not be taught these skills in their college and curriculum so just having a degree is not enough and only 4% of engineers in India have the skills of coding which are useful for the employers to get a job for the student.

Apart from that many universities still focus on rote learning, Less emphasis on practical knowledge, the still focus on getting marks rather than knowledge and developing problem solving skills which is a big issue.

So, It used to be that employers would give a lot of emphasis on degrees and educational background but now they give more importance on the skills and projects that the student have done because nowadays everyone has a degree in computer science so

the only way to select best students is to check whether they have the skills and projects or not and even if you have a few years of working experience in any small startup even if you don’t have a degree you can still get a job based upon

your skills and experience because the employer wants his job to be done & looks for skills, working experience in candidate’s not whether they have the degree or not.

You might be wondering how do you get the working experience if you don’t have the degree but here is the deal.

According to HackerRank’s 2020 Developer Skills Report, 31.9 percent of developers at small businesses don’t have a degree, 18.4 percent said the same at mid-size businesses ,14.9 percent at companies and just 8.6 percent at big organizations.

Majority of the students who don’t have a college degree actually get programming skills from either learning themselves or from any tech & coding boot camp.

Basically coding boot camp is a short intensive training program and this is a good alternative to traditional college degree because it is not 4 years long and anyone can do it.

According to HackerRank, 39.2% of hiring managers expected that people who have successfully completed a boot camp are “just as knowledgeable for tech job than others”. 

Even though most boot camp courses do not teach all the things that a normal 4 years college degree would teach you because there will be time limit in boot camp, they do provide learners with marketable skills and often attract determined participants.  So you can join any small startup or company which cannot afford to hire graduates and work in their company for some work experience as an intern and then you can apply for any job after you get some experience and projects in your portfolio.

HR people actually believe that unconventional learning experiences provide students a lot of benefits for example boot camp students are much more flexible and easily adaptable to changing situations as compared to college grads, boot camp students can easily learn new languages and technology faster.

So to conclude, In my opinion, As long as you are not getting admission in top universities like Harvard Stanford MIT or IITs universities, getting a degree just for the sake of learning programming languages and coding is not really worth it especially if you don’t like the college or you don’t have the money, time, there are better alternatives to it.

Read pros and cons of coding boot camps and alternative to coding boot camps and reasons you should take online coding courses.


These are all the things you need to know about whether you should get a degree or not for software engineering.

Do comment down what are your thoughts about degree for software engineering in the comment section below and

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