Do Companies Hire Self-Taught Programmers?

Do Companies Hire Self-Taught Programmers?

Programming is a valuable skill that many companies need. If you know how to program, companies will probably want you to work for them. Most programmers have a certified degree from a university. However, some programmers are self-taught. If this is how you learned, you may wonder if companies will hire you without college experience.

Companies do hire self-taught programmers. However, many will note that the programmer is self-taught and:

  • Compare their skills to someone with a degree
  • Require proof of skills
  • Examine how they operate

Companies want someone good. It is risky to take on a self-taught programmer, though they often will.

Keep on reading to learn about what companies might consider when contemplating self-taught programmers. They certainly do hire them, but there are some factors that companies may consider first to prove their value. 

Reasons a Company Would Hire Someone Self-Taught

Companies will hire a self-taught programmer based on the skills that they demonstrate, the experience that they have, and the way that they interact with the company as a whole. They will carefully consider someone who has not gotten a programming degree before hiring them.

We will go over each of these reasons carefully, ensuring that you have a full understanding of the factors that might influence a company’s decision. Then you will be able to:

  • Prepare your skills
  • Get the experience that you need
  • Perfect what you already know

Being self-taught often means that you are ready to work, and companies know that. All you need to do is be ready to prove yourself by acknowledging these items that they will look for. 

Assuming you have the experience and the necessary skill to back it up, a company will consider you a viable candidate for their job positions. 

They Possess Quality Programming Skills

A company will often look to see if a self-taught programmer possesses the skills that they need to complete a job. There are certain abilities that a person teaching themself might have missed in their training. You may need to show what you can do in a couple of ways, from proving your education to demonstrating what you can do.

The most critical skills that you can know to get a programming job include:

  • Programming language proficiency
  • Mathematical abilities 
  • The ability to use concepts in various places
  • Basic computer skills
  • Patience
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Self-reliance

You must possess a good amount of hard and soft skills to get hired as a self-taught programmer. Some of these can be shown through what you can do on a computer and what your resume holds. However, many of these items are shown in your personality. It will be clear to a recruiter if you are a good fit.

They Have Good Experience

Most technology companies value experience over education. If you have worked in the field and taken on a professional programming job, they understand that you know how to work well with others and take on basic programming tasks. Experience means that you have a grasp of the job and know how to jump right in.

Getting experience can be stressful. After all, most think that experience comes from working for a big corporation. This is not the case. A self-taught programmer could gain experience by:

  • Taking on a personal project and seeing it through to completion
  • Contributing to an online project with a group of people
  • Taking and reviewing various learning sources

Where you get your experience does not matter as much as what you do with it. Companies will monitor the initiative a candidate possesses to make sure a self-taught programmer has the drive to learn. That is what your experience should demonstrate.

They Fit Well With the Company

Skill can only get you so far if you are not a good fit for a company. A self-taught programmer is judged on their personality just as much as someone who is college-educated. Someone who is going to mess up the atmosphere of the workspace will not be hired, regardless of their experience.

You should make sure that you possess solid soft skills, such as patience and the ability to work in a group setting. If you can prove these to a company, they will see you as a valuable asset even if you are self-taught. Social skills, programming abilities, and experience all go hand-in-hand.

Companies That Do Not Require a Degree

It may serve you well to know the companies that do not require a degree for their programmers. There is a lot to choose from, including some of the biggest organizations in the world. While you can take a stab at other groups, these may make your life easier as a self-taught programmer.

Some companies that will readily give jobs to those who are self-taught include:

  • IBM, which is a software development company that is eager to give experience
  • Google, which emphasizes experience over formal education
  • Apple, which also pushes its future employees to favor experience 
  • LinkedIn, which often favors the self-taught over the college-educated

As you can see, four of the biggest companies in the world for programmers do not require formal education. This is great news for self-taught programmers. The opportunities are not limited for them.

You do not need to get a degree unless you want to. If you have the grit and the drive to teach yourself, you will go far with or without a formal education. Some of the most successful programmers got in without college experience.

Keep on learning, whatever that means to you. It can only benefit you and help you push forward into the future that you would like to see.

Should You Self-Teach or Get a Degree?

After reading all of this, you might question whether or not getting a degree or self-teaching is better to get a job as a programmer. This is a critical question, as what you decide can have a big impact on the rest of your life.

The answer depends on you. If you have the chance to get a degree, it might be exciting to take advantage of the opportunity to have the college experience. However, it is not for everyone. For some it can be too expensive, and for others it might be too social.

Deciding to self-teach programming basics can be beneficial for you if:

  • You want to save money and learn at the same time
  • You are in a position where you cannot leave home
  • You are self-driven and motivated to finish tasks efficiently 
  • You feel you learn better on your own

As we discussed, many companies will hire you even if you are self-taught. You might even be able to gain more experience by going this route. It all depends on the way that you feel you garner the best information. You control what you retain, and how you access it.

Programming is a great skill to have. If you can teach yourself the skills, most companies will hire you regardless of your learning method. You should choose the method of education that will work the best for you.


Programming is a skill that many companies are looking for. Many programmers get degrees at universities, but others are self-taught. Most companies will hire programmers that come from either walk of life. What they truly want are programmers who know what they are doing and are willing to work with the team.

If you are a self-taught programmer, research companies that will take you. Get the experience you need and understand the soft skills they require. Your actions and abilities will work for you and show the company that you belong with them.


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