Is a Degree Necessary for a Career in Tech?
New research suggests that a university or college degree is no longer a must-have for working in the tech industry, boosting hopes that more candidates will be able to succeed. The study by AWS recruitment company Jefferson Frank explains that traditional, formal education such as a degree is a less reliable route into work than it once was. Furthermore, higher levels of education can be costly to achieve as well as time-consuming, which Jefferson Frank says has led to a “homogenous and non-inclusive industry.”
The report also documents a Fortune (opens in new tab) report claiming that Gen Z uptake of tech roles is alarmingly low. With this news, it is hoped that a more inclusive industry can be crafted.
Do I Need a Degree for a Tech Role?
The study of 3,000 tech professionals found that general attitudes toward degrees were softer than previously imagined, to the tune that over half (55%) of cloud tech professionals thought that a degree was not an important consideration in terms of searching for a role in their ecosystem. The sentiment more widely is much stronger, too, with only one-third (33%) of cloud tech professionals feeling that a degree is necessary to work in tech more broadly.
Despite this, only 1% of the participants did not hold a degree, indicating that although the general sentiment points in the other direction, a degree still remains an important – if not vital – part of the role.
Jefferson Frank CEO, James Lloyd-Townshend, explained: “the majority feeling that having a degree hasn’t been decisive in their journey is a good sign in terms of attitudes, and even company cultures – but there’s an obvious tension when considering that the percentage of current tech professionals without a degree is so low.”
Expanding Inclusion and Access to Opportunities
Moving forward, given the current digital skills gap, Lloyd-Townshend believes that “we absolutely have to be working to expand inclusion and access to opportunities within the tech space for those who haven’t been to college.”