Do I need a degree to become a developer?

When starting a career as a developer it is important that you do your research first to ensure it is something you have an interest in and what specific developer you want to aspire. You’ll find that experienced developers who are earning a high salary have a lot of knowledge and experience within the industry which is why they’re in a high position. With most jobs in the world today, employers mainly look for candidates with a degree to become a developer, especially when they’re entry level. So, a question you may ask when trying to progress a career as a developer is ‘Do I need a degree to become one?’.

Software Developer

It is possible to become a software developer without holding a degree in computer science or a relevant subject. However, it is advised you have knowledge and experience of specific programming skills or an A Level qualification in Maths, Physics or Computing/ BTEC in computer science. These are a few of many skills needed that you can learn without a degree to become a developer, however having experience in these programmes will open many doors when progressing your career as a software developer:

  • JavaScript
  • C++
  • HTML
  • .NET
  • Smalltalk
  • Visual Basics

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Web Developer

Having a related degree to become a developer in computer science or a similar subject is not a requirement when wanting to pursue a career in web development. A study confirmed that almost 70% of developers partly self-taught themselves, 13% said they were exclusively self-taught and less than half have a degree in computer science. To start your career in web development, you will need to be familiar with and have experience in the following programmes:

Front end Developer

  • JavaScript
  • HTML & CSS
  • CSS Pre-processors (Less & Sass)
  • Responsive Design
  • GitHub
  • AngularJS
  • ReactJS
  • WordPress

Back end Developer

  • APIs
  • SQL
  • HTML5 & CyberSecurity
  • Building Servers and Databases
  • Ruby & Python

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App Developer

Like a software developer and a web developer, you do not need a degree to become a developer, however learning code and having experience in specific programming skills are essential if you want to progress a career in this field. Having a qualification in software design, computer science or any related subject can be beneficial, however not essential. You need to have knowledge and experience in the following programmes:

  • JavaScript
  • C#
  • C++
  • SQL
  • PHP
  • iOS
  • Python

Along with the programming skills, it is also useful to know how to work app development platforms. Here are some of the app development platforms you will need to learn:

  • Como
  • Accelerator
  • Dojo Mobile
  • Pega AMP
  • SAP
  • jQuery Mobile

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Of course, it helps to know what speciality you want to go into, so you can learn about the programmes that’ll help you reach your desired career. All the skills above can be self-taught online and through courses. Most of the programmes are free to use, however some do come with a cost when you start to become more experienced. The more you practice these skills, the quicker you will learn. However, this is all down to how easy you are finding it to understand, as some platforms are harder to learn than others.

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