You may be surprised to learn that there are many computer programmers working in this high tech industry without a college degree. The college route is the traditional way, but this does not mean that it is a requirement for those who want to make a living as a computer programmer.
It is more than possible these days to have a wide range of careers without a college degree. The rising costs of attending college are making more and more people look into different options. There is an abundance of training available online and many people are self-taught in the skills required to be a computer programmer.
If you are determined to make a break from the traditional route and not pursue a college degree you do have to be aware of certain obstacles that you may face. Whilst many employers will consider candidates without a college degree, there is no doubt that some will simply not have them on their short list of candidates. The most difficult part about becoming a computer programmer will probably be in getting your first break.
Once you have experience and a portfolio, many employers will not consider the lack of a college degree to be an important factor. If you are a talented computer programmer and you can prove that you are, the lack of college qualifications will not hold you back. However, the problem is, how do you get your first break?
The market place is competitive for everyone. You have to think about how to make your skills and talents look appealing to prospective employers. There are many ways that you can do that, starting with building up a great portfolio which showcases your talents. Think about the things which you are most interested in and where your strengths lie.
It is a good idea to build a personal website to showcase your work. Make sure that the site is well structured and presents your work in a well-organized and user friendly way. Adding a blog to your website can also help you represent your ideas and projects in an accessible way.
Consider whether to participate in an open source project. This will show any prospective employer that you are able to collaborate and work with other programmers.
Another idea if you are good at teaching others would be to have your own YouTube Channel. You can link this to your website and make videos which are relevant to your particular area of expertise. This will show any employer that you are prepared to commit time to your talent, and that you can go over and above what many people are prepared to do. Anything which shows initiative and indicates that you can think outside the box will be attractive to prospective employers.
Employers are always looking for experience – but how do you get that when you haven’t yet landed your first job? The answer is to start small. One idea is that you could work on projects for family and friends. You can also look to freelance sites to take on small projects (probably at a low fee), simply to gain experience.