Are You Sure You Need That Expensive Degree?

Sometime in the last decade, we entered a new learning Cold War. More people than ever are getting degrees, and as a result, many job seekers are now aiming to get an MA or MBA to help them stand out from the crowd. Many of these Master’s students have barely any work experience, yet studying for longer to get a higher qualification seems like their only option in a crowded job market.

But do you really need to rack up six figures of debt to get a decent job?

The good news is you don’t — but only if you pick the right industry.

What Employers Really Want

Most employers don’t want qualifications; they want skills. They want you to carry out necessary tasks effectively and make money for them. That’s it.

In some professions, the only way to acquire the skills you need and prove you have them is an appropriate qualification — and that’s a good thing in industries such as medicine and engineering — but this isn’t the case for every industry.

Coding and other similar professions don’t work that way. A degree is useful, and some employers may even require one, but many won’t — they just want to see proof of your skill.

Create Your Own Credentials

As a coder, you’re more likely to be judged on your portfolio and experience than on your qualifications. For employers, your past work is a better indicator of your future success than any piece of paper –they know the value of experience and hire accordingly.

In fact, a degree can even be a negative. Consider two candidates, both the same age: Candidate A spent four years studying for his Computer Science degree, and during that time has had a couple of summer placements but little real work experience. Candidate B has four years of professional experience with a high-quality portfolio to prove it, but no degree.

In this scenario, many employers will opt for Candidate B.

How To Get Ahead With Self-Learning

Self-learning is a great choice, but it still requires hard work. You can easily learn the skills you need on sites like SoloLearn, which uses gamification to make learning fun, easy, and fast. Learning to code is the easy bit — to succeed in your career you’ll then need to make your own opportunities and put your learning into practice.

The key to your success will be in two areas. The first is your portfolio — we’ve already mentioned how a great portfolio can be worth far more than a qualification.

The second is your network — your contacts in and around the industry. An estimated 80% of jobs aren’t posted publicly and are instead filled informally through connections and referrals. Building your network is one of the main ways you can access these opportunities to use your skills.

Ready to begin? Start your self-learning journey with SoloLearn today — who knows where it will take you?