Get Into Coding Without a Degree

September 23, 2019

The start of the academic year is upon us and thousands of students are heading off to university to study a degree in Computer Science. Whilst university degrees are a great stepping stone into coding, you might be surprised to hear it’s only one of the ways to get into the field.

The skills gap

Every year, businesses struggle to fill thousands of tech roles and the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS) predicted that as many as 1.8 million IT jobs could be unfilled by 2022. Whilst colleges and universities are trying to meet these demands to provide up to date curriculums to accommodate, they’re struggling to keep up! This has meant that graduates can lack the right skills needed for the rapidly changing tech industry.

This issue is widely known as the digital skills gap and has compelled businesses to reconsider the ways that they recruit tech talent. Businesses are starting to acknowledge that there are several different ways to learn to code, which include online classes and coding bootcamps.

Free online classes

There’s a range of free online courses available that can get you learning code in your spare time both at a beginner and intermediate level. Here’s some to look out for:

  • Codecademy - Programming languages: CSS, Ruby, HTML, Python, jQuery and PHP.
  • The Code Player - Programming languages: HTML5, CSS3, Javascript and more.
  • Khan Academy - Programming languages: HTML, CSS, SQL, JavaScript, DOM
  • Pluralsight - Programming languages: Ruby, Javascript, iOS, HTML/CSS
  • Code Avengers - Programming languages: JavaScript, HTML/CSS

*Some of the above-mentioned courses offer additional paid services.

Coding bootcamps

Coding bootcamps offer intensive coding courses, designed to get people coding quickly. The idea is to prepare bootcamp students for jobs in software development, web design and other coding-based roles by the end of the course.

They typically last several months and only focus on skills that are likely to help students land a job once they’ve finished the course. This means you won’t be wasting time on programming skills that aren’t currently popular in the industry.

Going to a coding bootcamp is a great alternative to university. Research from Indeed in 2017 found 72% of employers think bootcamp’s prepares students for a tech career just as much as university degrees.

If you’re considering a coding bootcamp, Software Engineer Milecia McGregor, offers a helpful pros and cons list to help you decide if this is the right path for you.

If this path sounds like your yellow brick road, click here to see some of the top coding bootcamp’s worldwide.

Already have these coding skills under your belt?

Here are some tips on what to do next…

Keep practicing your skills, take on projects

Whilst looking for jobs, take on small projects to build up your skills portfolio so you can WOW your next interviewer with your skills.


If you don’t already know anyone in the industry, finding a mentor can be useful to provide feedback on your work. They can also use their expertise to give insider tips on everything from how to code to how to land the perfect coding job for you. If you’re lucky, they might even be able to get you chatting to other people in the industry.

Tech meetups

Tech meetups are a great way to explore the tech industry. You can learn so much about the newest technologies and projects or just about other people’s experiences in the industry. Not to mention it’s also a great way to meet likeminded people and for other people to get to know you!


If you’re still struggling to find a job, start-ups and small businesses often offer roles that don’t require you to have a traditional tech education. If you’re willing to demonstrate your skills, potential and show that you’re a well-rounded candidate, you’ll have a good chance of impressing employers.

Does getting into tech without going to uni sound more realistic now? We hope so and that we’ve inspired you to pursue that coding dream. Your career in tech awaits…

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