Updated: Aug 26, 2019
What do Steve Jobs and Michael Dell have in common? They are international IT personalities, but they lack a university degree. These are just familiar examples, but many people are successful in their professional and private lives and do not have a degree. The secret lies in pursuing a vision you believe in.
My IT clients have different opinions when it comes to their employees having an IT degree. I have to follow their requirements because they know better what fits their business. But if you ask me, I would always put the attitude and ability to learn above the qualifications - because that's what life has taught me. I never used my law degree and none of the skills I gained in college.
If you work in the IT industry and do not have a university degree, your employer's training increasingly popular. If you’re lucky you can start an internship, where you don’t have to “bring” degree.
Non-traditional educational pathways tend to become as effective as traditional ones. All you have to do is convince the recruiter or hiring manager of your skills, that a college degree cannot offer:
You have a positive attitude that helps the team work together.
You are self-taught and the continuous learning will let you grow in that role.
You can prove your technical skills with a portfolio.
Does having a degree make you a better programmer? The funny thing is that although you have already completed your IT studies, you still have to prove your skills in a technical interview.
What I’ve learnt from former candidates is that there are IT roles which don’t require necessarily a college degree:
Computer Support Specialist
Social Media Manager
What I have learned from my IT clients is that a college degree gives you more attention from potential employers, but does not necessarily secure you a job. A degree is no longer the top priority as it has been in the past, but without one, you need to demonstrate your talent and technical skills.