Do you need a college degree as a developer?

Do you need a college degree as a developer?

Is a College Degree Essential for a Successful Developer Career?

College—your parents told you to go, your teachers told you to go, and you are left wondering if it is really worth it for your programming career. Well, yes and no.

In this article, we are going to talk about when a college degree is needed and when it is just a useless piece of paper.


I have an associate's degree in software engineering, and I dropped out of college the second year for my computer science degree. What did I really learn? As a developer with more than 7 years of experience, I learned all the skills I needed even before I started my associate's degree.

So, I didn't even attend the classes for my associate's degree. The thing you need to keep in mind is that degrees, in general, help you if you are not disciplined enough to learn how to code by yourself.

In college, though, I learned much more—just kidding, I didn't learn anything. All the important things about System and Database Design, I learned by myself, and the same goes for Data Structures and Algorithms.


To all the things I mentioned above, there is a big but. Companies care about degrees—not all of them, but it is not a big benefit. This matters if you want to follow a career and don't want to get the big bag. Nowadays, the big money is not in a 9-5 job; you need to create your own software. This is where you make the real money.

If you want to stay an employee forever, I encourage you to go for a degree. But if you don't, stop wasting time and start building your own software.

The trajectory the world is going right now, developers aren't getting paid enough to make a good living. Only if you get a job that pays more that $150K / year then you are good. But this is mostly for the United States and for Tech Leads in Europe. 90% of the engineers make less than $100K.

What to do ?

If you do choose to not have a degree, you need to know one thing. The time the you would spent on university you need to spent it implementing your own technologies and building your own things. If you waste that time doing useless things it is better to go to university.

For the young people out there, if you are still not sure what to do, don't rush your decision. Going to university even at 30 years old is not a bad decision. Just sharpen your skills daily as a developer and stay up-to-date with latest trends and technologies.


When you are in the technical interview process, your university degree won't save you. That means you need to know how to code. Trust me, university doesn't teach you that.

Preparing for a technical interview at a big company is like earning a degree itself. You need to prepare for months if you are not an expert yet. Focus on Data Structures and Algorithms, and practice a lot on LeetCode.


In conclusion, whether or not you need a college degree as a developer depends on your personal goals and discipline. A degree can open doors in traditional employment settings and provide a structured learning environment, but it's not the only path to success in the tech industry.

If you're self-motivated and eager to build your own projects, you can achieve great things without a formal education. Always keep learning, stay updated with industry trends, and focus on honing your skills. Ultimately, your dedication and ability to create valuable software will determine your success.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at, and I will respond.

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