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The answer would have to be "it depends". I've not got a degree, but I am self-taught in several subjects. One thing that helped me early on was that I was able to get jobs with small companies who cared more about what I could do (or could learn to do) and what I was enthusiastic about than what degree I had. But the first few times that I interviewed with bigger companies (>50 people), I had to answer the question "do you feel that you're at a disadvantage not having a degree?". My answer was usually that I'd been interested enough to teach myself (and backed this up with an intelligent discussion of "academic" CS topics that I was interested in at the time). And I also told them that I suspected that not having a degree meant that it took longer to get to the same career level. Since they generally had degrees, this made them feel better about themselves without making me look any worse.

Of course, after I had 5+ years of experience, no one cared any more; I had a resume. But before that I had to fall back on my knowledge, enthusiasm, and portfolio (it helps to have something to point to that you've done and are proud of).

And it may help you to move somewhere where people are enthusiastic about learning and doing new things. There are better places for this than Hillsborough/Pinellas/Pasco counties (I say this from years of experience).

Coming soon to a screen near you: Escape from Brooksville!

In reply to Re: Formal Education Required? by bikeNomad
in thread Formal Education Required? by mexnix

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