Do I need a degree to be a programmer?

Here we go with a look at one of the most asked questions about becoming a programmer. Do I need a degree to be a programmer? The short answer is no, but there are times where it might be handy. Let’s have a look into this in more detail by looking at some potential jobs or roles.

Web developer

No, you don’t need to have a degree. You can start working on becoming a web developer by learning from websites such as:

You will first need to focus on learning HTML and CSS, which are the core elements of website development. Once you have learned these concepts you can move onto other programming languages or CMS solutions if you so desire. CMS stands for a content management system and one of the most commonly used is WordPress.

By using a CMS you can build websites quickly and easily, leveraging themes and plugins developed by other developers. You still need to know the basics of HTML and CSS for those tweaks you will find you need to make when developing a website.

Work for Google

Working for Google is one of those dreams that a lot of people in the IT industry want to do. Positions at Google generally have a prerequisite of having a degree in Computer Science (or similar) or having relevant practical experience. Even with the degree the majority of their positions may require experience in an area of programming.


Freelancers in the IT industry can be multi-skilled or could focus on a specific area. You should not need a degree in this case. There are quite a few websites out there where you can start your journey such as:

Software engineer

As a software engineer myself this title can be thought of very broadly. Yes, I do have a degree, but do I need it to have that title? No. Essentially a software engineer is one who designs, develops, and maintains software solutions. In this position you will use several programming languages and depending on what you are developing will affect the languages you use.

Mobile app developer

This is the dream job of many and does not need a degree to start out developing. The two main systems to develop for are iOS devices and Android devices. Android uses a combination of Java and Kotlin, whilst iOS uses Objective C and Swift.

There are many systems out there including Unity which help develop apps across multiple systems. I would recommend that even if you use this you should still maintain a form of understanding of the way the respective systems work and potentially a foundation of their languages. You never know when you will need this!


Okay, it’s a little obvious now that maybe you don’t need that degree. You just need to remember that sometimes that structured course might help you tremendously on your journey. Not everyone can learn successfully from home and the ability to share knowledge and experiences with others together in a group can help.

I wish you the best of luck on your journey!

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.