How Programming Courses Could Replace Degrees

You don't need BA to land job in the growing field: Christopher Mims

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 4, 2014 12:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – While US students rack up more than a trillion dollars in debt, the demand for computer programmers is far outpacing the supply: By 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a million programming jobs will have gone unfilled. And to land these positions, there's little need for a degree, writes Christopher Mims in the Wall Street Journal. Some 67% of coding jobs are with non-tech firms looking for industry know-how, not expertise in the theory side of computer science. Even some Google teams are 14% degree-free.

"Computer programming, in other words, has become a trade," Mims writes. "We've entered an age in which demanding that every programmer has a degree is like asking every bricklayer to have a background in architectural engineering." Coding schools are springing up everywhere. One 16-week course in Seattle offers your $12,000 tuition back if you don't get a job; Codecademy in New York is free. What's more, the courses Mims examines all enroll far more women than are currently on most tech firms' engineering payrolls. Click for Mims' full piece.

Computer programmers needn't do a university degree, Christopher Mims writes.
Computer programmers needn't do a university degree, Christopher Mims writes.   (Shutterstock)
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