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Getting a good Java job without a degree

Frank Hale
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2000
Posts: 230
How difficult is it to get a good job in Java programming without having a degree? I mean does it really take a degree to prove you can program in Java? I was thinking of describing programs I've written one my resume to show prospective employers of my worth. Is this a good idea?
As you may tell I don't have a degree.
Frank
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20496
    ∞

I don't have a degree.
Bill Gates doesn't have a degree either (except an honorary degree).
Some employers are weird about that, but those that are usually pay lousy and have hideous office politics.
The important thing is, can you write the code.


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Matt Midcap
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 440
Please see the thread "Graduate Program" in this forum also.
http://www.javaranch.com/ubb/Forum37/HTML/000052.html
The way I've seen it, if you can program and develop in Java, and you're "good", you don't need the degree in todays market.
Interviewing well and communicating what you know will probably be key to getting in without the degree, but who knows if thats even needed now? My question would be in line with Paul's comment, as in what type of organization will you be working for? Are they really desparate? etc.
But don't get me wrong. I know three BRILLIANT developers who make a lot of $$$ who don't have degrees, but they did have to pay their dues...
Best Regards,
Matt
[This message has been edited by Matt Midcap (edited June 23, 2000).]


Best Regards,<br />Matt Midcap
Frank Hale
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2000
Posts: 230
No I am not desparate for a job. I've got a job now in the US ARMY. I am developing a help desk type application for my office now. Our office handles tech support and work order calls for our organization. Its a good project and I enjoy doing it, I volunteered to do it because I figured I could finally start working on something I want to do, I get to work on it a little during the week but mostly I develop it at home on my free time. I've been programming as a hobby since 95 and its the one thing which I want to do full time once I get out of the military. I don't particularly want to get a degree because I would loose valuable time from the programming projects I want to do. I am not worried about upper management and all that, all I want to do is write code and get paid doing what I love to do. Getting a degree doesn't really interest me because I can already perform satisfactorily in the field of my choice, computer programming. I prefer to keep my nose buried in programming manuals and programming related websites. I am just not the type of person who does well in public type education. It really bores the hell out of me. I like doing things on my own and programming lets me do that very liberally. I am very interested in getting Java certified but I haven't grasped all the fundamentals of java programming good enough yet to where I am able to pass the test. I've still got alot of studying left to do.
Frank
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20496
    ∞

If anyone ever asks me why I didn't get a degree, I say "Because companies were paying me too much money not to."
There have been a coupla times I thought about going for the degree and the thought that kept coming back was: I could give up six figures a year for two years so that I could earn less than six figures a year. Don't wanna.
Frank Hale
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2000
Posts: 230
See thats what I believe too. Why should I go out and bust my butt getting a degree when I can already perform at my chosen field without the degree? I mean at this point if and when I do go out and look for a job if the majority of jobs don't wanna hire me because I don't have a degree then I may be forced to get one. And for me at this point in my life the only thing that will make me get one is if I am totally forced into getting one because I can't find a decent job.
Frank
Eric Barnhill
Rancher

Joined: Feb 25, 2000
Posts: 233

Frank just to clarify, I think when Matt Midcap said "are they desperate" he was referring to the companies, not the applicant. That is, if they are desperate the chances of getting a job without a degree are better.
All the evidence I've seen suggests in the right market you should have no trouble, if you have programming experience and show you can do java. You might not make six figures right away, but you can get a junior spot, if that interests you.
Eric
Matt Midcap
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 440
Frank,
Sorry I didn't clearify myself. I was wondering if the companies who hire without degrees were desperate. Not if you were desperate. Sorry.
Anyway, it sounds like you're in really good shape! Keep adding the development stuff to your resume and you shouldn't have too many problems finding a job. You might even start making more than Paul
I don't regret my degree, but don't know if I would do it again or not with hind sight.
Best Regards,
Matt
Good Luck,
Matt
 
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