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Hello everyone! My name is Alex Cloudstar and today I want to debunk something.
One of the fears of those who wish to have a career in IT is that they either do not have higher education or they have a degree in a different field unrelated to technology. If you find yourself in the same situation, I recommend you keep reading as I will explain why this should not be a reason to prevent you from starting a successful career, regardless of how many people tell you that you won't succeed without a college degree. As crazy as it may sound, both those who study classical music and microbiology can pivot towards IT.
I do not want to suggest in any way that a college degree in the field of technology is useless. Clearly, it can bring you many benefits and it is absolutely ideal if you have obtained one. I'm glad for you if you have succeeded. What I am about to say is that nowadays, it can be optional.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend in the IT industry towards skills-based hiring, where practical skills and experience take precedence over formal education. Many IT companies are placing more emphasis on evaluating a candidate's technical skills, coding abilities, problem-solving capabilities, and relevant work experience rather than just their educational qualifications.
I will tell you this directly, personally, I do not have a college diploma. Neither in IT nor in any other field. Right from the beginning, I considered it NOT A MUST and had confidence in my ability to learn on my own. I started with a small passion and access to the internet, just like many others. In the meantime, I managed to identify the best sources (maybe I'll tell you about them another day?) for learning and which courses are super helpful.
In 2015, when I started learning IT, not having a diploma was viewed very negatively. It wasn't easy to find a job, and if I remember correctly, it took about 8 months for someone to call me for an interview. However, luckily for you, nowadays it's not much of an issue anymore. But what I want to say specifically is that if I have been able to succeed many years ago, I'm sure that you can do it too in today's world.
Here are some statements from big names in the IT industry.
Ping Look, who leads Microsoft's cybersecurity Detection and Response Team : "We give them a chance because they clearly have some tenacity or desire to be working here. It's worth having a conversation with them." (source : Insider)
On Google’s “How we hire” website it is stated that “No, a CS degree isn’t required for most of our software engineering or product manager roles.”
Facebook’s recruitment team : “It would we weird for us to require a college degree (see Zuck). If you can build awesome stuff and have big impact, that’s all we’re really looking for”
These are, for sure, big names in the industry who have learned to see the potential in people over time. However, obviously, there are companies that still list a college degree as a requirement. And here I would like to give a personal advice to all those starting out. If you have been rejected in an interview, or worse, not even accepted for an interview for this reason, I'm actually glad for you. And do you know why? Because you managed to avoid a close-minded company that would most likely have treated you poorly anyway. If you have shown them practical evidence that you know what you're talking about, and that you have potential, in the end, they didn't even deserve to have you.
My conclusions? In 2023, we should be interested in everyone's skills. It will take some time for everyone to understand this, but it is what it is. For all those starting out, don't be discouraged and keep applying to as many jobs as possible. And for those who want to start this journey, everyone who tells you that you need a college degree to work in IT is lying.