Sound like you don’t!

Recent studies show that a major chunk of the tech talent out there is self-taught.

In the US, a third of IT workers (36%) do not hold a college degree at all. In the UK, it is a quarter of developers (26%) that have listed no university education.

People working in tech admit it: according to a survey by Stack Overflow, one of the largest developer websites worldwide, 69% of programmers that responded are at least partly self-taught; 14% of some teams at Google alone don’t have college degrees.


Many developers make the conscious choice to learn coding in ways that offer everything but a degree: MOOCs, boot-camps and on-the job training.

Only a minority of IT workers go for a computer related degree: only a third of IT workers in the US have an IT-related college degree, and only 24% have a four-year computer science or math degree.

What is the salary difference for those who choose not to get a degree over those holding a PhD? Not so much of a difference, according to Stack Overflow. Those who “learned on their own” report earning about $104,000, compared to PhDs making about $122,000 a year.

Is there even a difference in skills and success? Not even: a study looked at patterns between 10,000 resumes and job performance on a 14 years period, and found out that there is no correlation between having a degree and being a talented programmer.

Considering a huge chunk of developers don’t have degrees and that degrees do not predict competency and wealth, you just have to hope to work for a company for which HR processes know how to vet tech candidates – not simply on the CV.

For more information about how YBorder validates tech talent on – send us an email – or just follow this blog.



Economic Policy Institute, Guestworkers in the high-skill U.S. labor market, April 2013.

Stack Overflow, Developer Survey Results 2016, March 2016

Wall Street Journal, Here’s a Thing: There’s No Correlation Between a College Degree and Coding Ability, April 2015.



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