Want a job in Tech? Step 3 …

Thanks for taking a minute of your valuable time to read this — really appreciate it!

In my previous posts (Step 1 and Step 2) I shared with you …

  1. Pay — How much will you earn as a Developer?
  2. Location — Where are these jobs?
  3. Training and education — How do you learn the skills required?

Now we’re going to dig into these two things …

  1. Why you can get these jobs without a college degree
  2. Step-by-step instructions to get your first job in tech

You don’t need a degree — really? 👩🏻‍🎓👨🏿‍🎓

Indeed.com has released a new statistic: 1,300,000 new Developer jobs will be created in the next 10 years, but the universities will only be able to graduate 400,000 Computer Scientists.

That means there will be 900,000 jobs that can’t be filled, which means employers are being forced to look for a new source of talent.

The great news is that more and more employers are realizing that they don’t need to require a college degree to be a Developer. They can hire Apprentices and train them up to be Developers which allows them to create a “farm team” for talent.

We are seeing this first hand with our pilot program for apprenticeship called FutureTech.

Step-by-step instructions for you

Here is a basic playbook for getting a great Developer job without a college degree …

  1. Try coding first. Sign up for a free 7-day trial on Treehouse and try this course. If you find yourself enjoying it, then continue, If not, you’ve spent $0.00 and only a couple hours of your time.
  2. If you started to enjoy that course, set aside 30 minutes per day and make it your goal to finish these two courses, in this order:
  3. Introduction to HTML & CSS
  4. JavaScript Basics
  5. Once you finish those two courses, find a family member or friend and ask if you can build a very basic website for them (using the skills from those two courses) for $100 or less. This means you will have your first paid experience as a Developer, with low risk of rejection or failure.
  6. Once you complete that challenge, choose one of our Techdegrees (if you’re not sure, I’d recommend Full Stack JavaScript, as it’s the most flexible and in-demand skill right now). We’ve designed the Techdegree to guide you through every step from zero skill to apprentice-ready, and then how to search and find your first job. Worst case scenario, if you work hard on your first month of Techdegree and decide it’s not for you, you’ve only invested $199 total (instead of the thousands of dollars in a college degree or a bootcamp).
  7. Set aside 1-hour per day to learn. It must be a time that won’t get interrupted or scheduled over. I’d recommend early in the morning, lunch or late at night. Don’t cram it all in on one day — it needs to be spread out over the week. It’s much more important that you spend time every day, even if it’s less than an hour, instead of trying to lump it into one giant cram session over the weekend.
  8. As you’re progressing and completing Techdegree Projects (which are examples of real-world projects that you’d create in a job), find friends, family or small local businesses and ask to build similar projects for them for $100 — $500. This continues to build your portfolio of real work, while also beginning to create income for yourself.
  9. Start cleaning up your online presence and building your resume. We have a great course on this in Treehouse.
  10. Start attending networking events in your hometown that are related to learning code or companies you might want to work for. Don’t try to land a job when attending, just work hard at making good impressions, meeting a lot of people and making sure people get to know you. Be as helpful as you can before asking for any favors. Look for local non-profits like LaunchCode who can help you or search Meetup.com.
  11. Keep building projects for friends, family or local businesses and gradually charge more and more money.
  12. Keep learning for 60 minutes per day. You will get discouraged which happens to everyone. Know it’ll happen and when it does, take a break and then come back the next day.
  13. Read this blog post and use this as your playbook for the job search. It’ll be at least three months of hard work, but you can do it. The only thing that will stop you is quitting. Just don’t quit, no matter what.

Step 11 can either lead to a “Junior Developer” role or an “Apprenticeship”. In my next email, I’ll discuss some of the nitty-gritty details around how this job search works and how you can find a job, even if they all say you need a 4-year degree.

Thanks again for reading this and giving me your attention.

Please comment below and ask me any questions that come to mind. I’d love to hear from you.


Hi, I’m Ryan, the Founder of Treehouse 👋😃

My mission is creating the future of education, so I can help as many people as possible. If you enjoyed this post, please give it a clap!

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