Advantages and Disadvantages of Pursuing Higher Education as a Programmer

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Pursuing Higher Education as a Programmer: Research and surveys confirm that in the IT field when applying for a job, knowledge, and skills are more important than a higher education diploma.

The main thing is to successfully complete a test assignment, pass an interview, and show a strong portfolio.

The need for higher education also depends on the field in which you want to work and develop.

For example, a future data science specialist is unlikely to be able to independently master the skills of data processing and management, to study mathematical analysis and probability theory, machine learning algorithms, and text analytics.

Therefore, many employers indicate higher technical education among the requirements for the applicant.

At the same time, for a web developer to start in the profession, it is enough to take courses in layout and programming, master the nuances of interaction with the server, and learn how to use frameworks.

Arguments For

  • More related knowledge. At the university, in addition to subjects related to the profession, students study related subjects: fundamentals of algorithms, higher mathematics, probability theory, mathematical statistics, and several programming languages. This knowledge will be useful when working, for example, in the field of bioinformatics.
  • Discipline. Students learn to plan time, show perseverance, work with primary sources, and assimilate a large amount of knowledge in a limited time. In IT professions, these skills are valued.
  • Work in a state-owned company. State organizations, when hiring specialists, look at whether they have a higher education. Without a diploma of specialized education, you will take a linear position, but not a managing one.

Arguments Against

  • Experience: After university, young professionals often have no practical experience, all their skills are based on educational projects. And a specialist without higher education, but with experience working on real projects, delves into tasks faster. The company will not have to invest time and money to adapt it to the conditions of this development. Therefore, experience and skills are more important than the level of education.
  • The Relevance of the Information: The knowledge that is received at the university quickly becomes obsolete. Graduates often find that vacancies no longer require what they were taught in lectures. It will take another six months or a year to update knowledge or independently study the tools that employers indicate in vacancies. Plus, it takes time and a lot of work to complete unnecessary subjects. Luckily, there are services like that can solve this issue and free your time for more important things.
  • Lack of Training Programs: In some specialties, universities do not produce specialists. For example, there is no full-fledged program in the state education system for a front-end developer. Future IT specialists study the tools of the profession independently or in online courses.
  • Portfolio: It is important for employers to know what a potential employee can do and what he has already worked on. That’s why they pay attention to the portfolio. If there are complex successful projects in it, it is realistic to get a job without a higher education. But with a diploma, but without a portfolio, it is much more difficult.

What it Takes to Become a Programmer

What it Takes to Become a Programmer

Abstract Thinking

Programmers often deal with entities — abstract concepts that have no analogs in the real world. If the developer has abstract thinking, it is not difficult for him to figure out what logical structures are or how the classification of objects works.


The quality of a programmer’s code depends not only on knowledge, but also on attentiveness, accuracy, and the ability to notice details. Dirty code, or shit code, is not readable by other programmers. After the release in production, it will be more expensive to maintain it in working order and make corrections.


The developer rarely does the whole project himself from start to finish. The team is engaged in the development, so it is important for a specialist to be able to negotiate, discuss other people’s ideas, objectively perceive criticism, and not be afraid to seek help from colleagues in difficult situation.

Algorithmic Thinking

This is the ability to plan actions several steps ahead, anticipate what different solutions will lead to, and break large tasks into small ones.


It is important for a programmer to follow trends in the IT sphere, master new tools, and upgrade their skills so that they do not become outdated.

What are the Alternatives to Higher Education?

  • Self-education. Study independently on educational resources, free courses, and online programming simulators, and look for answers to questions on forums or in telegram channels. This is a difficult path: you will have to independently form a training plan, scrupulously search the Internet for reliable information and not be distracted by extraneous matters.
  • It is good if you have a mentor in the process of self-study. It will help to improve the code and tell you in which direction to move and how to enter the profession. If you’re looking for additional guidance, consider seeking assistance from a cheap essay writing service to help you with your academic tasks.
  • Online Courses. There are courses in any IT specialty. They usually last 9-12 months. Curators help students in the learning process, and at the end of their studies, the student receives a certificate or diploma. Such studies are easy to combine with a work schedule.

So Do I Need a University?

  1. Don’t worry about the lack of higher education. This is not a barrier to getting into an IT company. Gain experience and real projects in your portfolio.
  2. To become a successful developer, in addition to specialized tools, it is important to have certain character traits. For example, perseverance and abstract thinking. If there are no such qualities, the diploma will not be able to compensate for them.
  3. Enroll in a university if you want to get system knowledge about programming and have not yet decided on a profession. Higher education will become the basis for further in-depth study of a narrow IT field.
  4. Alternatives to the university are online courses or self—education. To master the basic skills, you will have to show perseverance, discipline, and self-organization.
  5. However, without higher education, it may be more difficult to get a job in a foreign company and get a work visa. Or to a state-owned company, where it is impossible to take a managerial position without a tower.

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