Tech Firms Want Developers with BAs

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How many tech companies want software developers with college degrees?

According to a new study by Burning Glass Technologies, some 75 percent of tech-company job ads for developers require some level of formal education; of those, 95 percent cite a bachelor’s degree as the minimum. (Hat tip to the Wall Street Journal for summarizing the data.) The firm analyzed 1.6 million job postings for software developers.

Outside of the tech industry, requirements were a bit looser, with 58 percent of “general” employers asking for prospective developers to possess some level of formal education; 92 percent of those employers required at least a bachelor’s degree.

Some of the tech industry’s legendary figures—including Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates—never graduated college, and Silicon Valley often seems to lionize dropouts who found successful firms. But in reality, a substantial percentage of tech employers seem to want applicants to show up with a degree in hand.

No matter where you went to school, listing your academic credentials in your application materials can only help you. At Google, where the applicant went to school doesn’t matter, according to its head of HR. “What we find is the best people from [state schools] are just as good if not better as anybody you can get from any Ivy League school,” Laszlo Bock, whose formal title is ‘Head of People Operations,’ told CNN last year. The search-engine giant also claims to care more about applicants’ problem-solving abilities than their grades.

Whatever your academic background, you can edit your application materials to put your skills and background in the best possible light. Check out some recent Dice articles for some key tips and tricks:

Good luck!

Image Credit: indestudio/Shutterstock.com

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