How to Become a Software Engineer Without a Degree?


How to Become a Software Engineer Without a Degree: 12+ Valuable Advice

Do you want to be a programmer but don’t have a degree?

According to the statistics, more than 50% of software developers don’t have a college/university degree.

How to become a software engineer without a degree?

The answer is very simple – the most important here is to know what you are doing. Suppose you have proper knowledge of a programming language, a list of successfully finished courses, some coding experience, and apply all learned skills in practice. In that case, you will find a tech job easily.
To prove our words, we are going to tell you about becoming a programmer without a degree.
Sounds interesting, right?

Let’s go!

How to Become a Software Developer Without a Degree: Insights to Know

First things first – you need to find out as much as possible about your future job. Below we will discuss the software development industry itself, the salary you may receive, and some more valuable facts that will help you with becoming a software engineer without a degree.

What is Software Development?

In short, software development is the process of developing, designing, supporting digital projects on various platforms (e.g. websites, mobile applications, etc).

This term is very broad – you may even develop the best Forex signals platform.

According to the 2019 statistics, there were around 1,5 million jobs occupied in the software development field, which shows us the high opportunity to choose your particular area.

What is Software Engineer Salary?

Among all the tech workers, software developers receive the biggest amount of money. The average salary is $107,620 per year.

The third place is occupied by the web developers who receive around $70,000 per year.

What are the Qualifications for Software Engineering Jobs?

As we told you before, you are not obliged to have a university degree to become a software developer.

Here are the qualifications you may need to become a programmer:

– Knowledge and ability to work with databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.)
– Knowledge of specific system frameworks, APIs, IDEs
– Knowledge of the software development life-cycle
– Ability to create testing of code components or complete applications
– Knowledge of computer languages like C++, C#, JavaScript, Python, etc
– Previous experience in building software

Remember that these requirements may differ based on the tech tasks and objectives defined by a particular software development company. If you want to work at MLSDev, you probably need to have a high qualification in the Ruby programming language.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Computer Programmer?

Again, it depends on different factors starting from which task you do, what software you develop ending with your own brainpower, and how fast you get the info.

In general, you need 2-3 years to get the proper experience and the possibility to work with complex projects.

How to Become a Software Engineer Without a Degree with 7 Step-Process

Before starting looking for a proper educational course or any other additional information, it is important for you to know your goals, so you will be able to go step-by-step and avoid a lot of mistakes.

We want to offer you some tips that will help you to become a software developer at home.

Step 1: Define your goals in software engineering

Here it is time to understand what type of job you are for.

So, before learning how to become a computer programmer without a degree, think about the following moments:

1. If you want to work in a team or along;
2. If you want to be hired by a big company or freelancing is better for you;
3. What type of software projects you are interested in;
4. What type of developer you want to be (Java developer, Ruby developer, Swift developer, etc.).

As soon as you are ready with your goal, you will be able to get a programming job without a degree that will be really interesting for you.

Step 2: Choose what software engineering language to study

Today it is easy to learn a new coding language using online resources. But before buying all the possible courses, take your time and find the language you want to learn.

Here are the possible programming languages to learn:

1. PHP;
2. JavaScript;
3. Java;
4. Objective-C;
5. Swift;
6. Python;
7. Scala, etc.

For example, if you want to work with the mobile application on iOS, you will need to learn one of the following languages:


By now you should know your goals!

Step 3: Enroll in online courses & Practice software development

If you are a complete beginner and you want to become a software engineer without a degree, it will be better for you to pay attention to different online sources. You can check Coursera, Udemy, etc.

As soon as you have a basic understanding of coding, you can start to look for face-to-face courses.

Step 4: Use tools for software development

This is a must for you because using special tools will help you to get experience faster.

Here are the best software development tools that coders use in 2020:

1. Github;
2. Gleek;
3. Codepen;
4. Buddy;
5. Atom;
6. Bootstrap, etc.

Step 5: Become a part of a software engineering community

People with the same goals as you may help you to develop faster as well.

You can find a lot of your like-minded on courses, Facebook groups, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

By the way, in the moments when you think everything is very hard and you are ready to give up, you will have a great team that will support you!

Step 6: Start your own software project

By now, I suppose, you should know your goal and have a middle experience in developing.
And it is impossible to get the experience without practicing.

I suppose that the online course you are completing has a project as a final task, and if no, you can always use Techdegree, where you can find a lot of projects to practice.

Step 7: Grow your professional tech network

It is always easy to move on or find a good job if you know many people who think the same way!
You can visit different meet-ups and conferences for software developers to share experience and find like-minded people. 

You may also start your own blog (and you have a chance to develop a website for this purpose) where you can share your thoughts, and, believe me, people will find you!

How to Become a Programmer Without a Degree: Extra Tips to Get Your First Job

As soon as you know your goals and succeed in learning and practicing, you may start to look for a job.

This process also requires a step-by-step approach, so let’s not waste time and start!

Step 1. Research programming jobs without a degree

This step is very easy. Don’t be upset when you see you don’t have enough experience or can’t offer some of the requirements.

Conducting detailed research in a software development job market will help you form the whole picture about your future tasks and starting salary and understand if you are ready to work in a company.

Step 2. Look for internships

Actually, most young developers started as interns. This part of your life will help you see the whole process, get experience working in a big company (if you need it, of course), and finally form the ultimate goal in your head.

Step 3. Get prepared for the interview

As soon as you find some great offers, it is time to prepare in a proper way.

At first, we advise you to create your profile (if you don’t have them) on LinkedIn, Twitter, Github.


Because future employers may google your name to see the real picture, so you need to be prepared to show them that you are really into coding!

Also, you need to write a CV. There are a lot of examples on the Internet, so it’s not going to be a problem. List all your skills there, be short and sweet.

Step 4. Accept the job offer and officially become a software engineer


Now it’s time to dive into the world of developers.
Get the experience, learn new things, and don’t forget to enlarge your tech network.

Concluding Ideas on How to Become a Software Engineer Without a Degree

We successfully discussed with you all the steps on how to become a software engineer without a degree.

As you see, it is possible but it is not easy.

Here are the things you should remember:

1. Always define your goals to find the job you will like;
2. Always learn something new – it will help you in your career path;
3. Develop the network – find people who think as you do.

And, finally, don’t give up!

If you see that it is hard to learn C#, for example, it doesn’t mean you need to stop. It means that this process will help you to develop even faster.

Wish you good codes!