January 24, 2024

Hiring A Talented Programmer: How To Choose Between Self-taught And Certified Specialist

Hiring a skilled programmer is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success of your projects.


Hiring A Talented Programmer: How To Choose Between Self-taught And Certified Specialist

Hiring a skilled programmer is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success of your projects. The debate on "Are self-taught programmers better" than their formally educated counterparts is ongoing, making it challenging for employers to make informed hiring choices.

When evaluating candidates, it's essential to consider the merits and limitations of a programming degree vs self-taught background. Each pathway brings unique strengths to the table. Formal education provides a structured learning environment, while self-taught programmers often exhibit strong problem-solving skills and adaptability.

Ultimately, the decision should hinge on aligning the candidate's skills and learning approach with your company's specific needs and culture. 

Is a Degree Important?

The debate of self-taught programmers vs. degree holders is increasingly prominent. A degree may be crucial for some individuals and roles, as it can offer a comprehensive foundation and a recognized credential. However, the landscape is shifting, with a growing number of aspiring developers opting to bypass traditional education in favor of boot camps or self-directed learning.

The difference between self-taught and degree programmers often lies in their approach to problem-solving and adaptability. While degree-holders may have a broad theoretical understanding, self-taught programmers frequently exhibit practical, hands-on experience and a knack for tackling real-world challenges with agility.

In essence, the importance of a degree is context-dependent, influenced by the specific demands of the role and the value placed on formal education within the hiring organization. As the tech industry evolves, the emphasis is gradually shifting towards skills and practical knowledge, regardless of how they are acquired.

Software Engineering Degree vs. Self-Taught - Pros and Cons

The discussion about self-taught programmers vs. CS education programmers remains a hot topic in the ever-evolving tech landscape. This debate is crucial for individuals embarking on their coding journeys and employers navigating hiring decisions. Each path offers unique benefits and challenges, shaping the skills and perspectives of programmers in different ways.

Pros and Cons of CS Degree


A Computer Science (CS) degree provides a structured, comprehensive education, covering a wide range of topics from basic programming to advanced theoretical concepts. This formal education ensures a solid foundation in key areas like algorithms, data structures, and computer architecture. Degree holders often benefit from a well-recognized credential, which can be advantageous in the job market, particularly with employers prioritizing academic qualifications.


However, a CS degree can be time-consuming and expensive, potentially leading to significant debt. The theoretical focus may only sometimes align with current industry practices, which evolve rapidly. Furthermore, the structured nature of university programs might not offer the same level of practical, hands-on experience that employers are increasingly seeking.

Pros and Cons of Self Taught


Self-taught programmers often exhibit high motivation and passion, driven by their self-directed learning journey. They have practical, hands-on experience, having learned through building projects and solving real-world problems. This approach can lead to a deep understanding of specific languages or technologies, particularly those in high demand but only sometimes covered in academic programs.


On the downside, self-taught programmers might lack a comprehensive understanding of fundamental principles and broader theoretical knowledge, which can be critical in certain complex problem-solving scenarios. They may face initial hurdles in the job market without a formal credential, as some employers still prioritize degrees. Additionally, self-taught individuals might miss out on the networking opportunities and resources available to university students.

Which Are the Most Important Certificates?

Certificates act as a bridge for both types of candidates to showcase their expertise and commitment to their profession. Here is a summary of key certifications that stand out in the tech industry:



Best For

Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate


Cloud computing specialists

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer


Cloud services developers

Google Professional Cloud Architect


Cloud architects

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Very High

Security analysts and managers

Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE Programmer


Java developers

Final words

It’s hard to answer the question, “Are self-taught programmers better?” After all, it all depends on how much effort these professionals have made. If the CS diploma were replaced with productive courses and boot camps, it would help people solve their problems.

No items found.

Aryan Vaksh

Share Post:

Comments System WIDGET PACK

Start engaging with your users and clients today