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What is the highest level of education I should pursue to be a successful software engineer?

I want to go above and beyond. I want to be the person my coworkers turn to when they need help. How far should I go? Is it a waste of money to get a master's or doctorate? Is the return on investment worth the time and money I would have to put in to be successful?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Parsav’s Answer

Getting a highest level of degree is not a key to become a Successful Software Engineer. Degrees are more like a brand . It's actually your creative and curious mind which makes you successful in the software industry. Dive through the internet, read tech blogs, articles on latest tech developments, Software's HLD and LLD details, get hands-on-experience from various coding sites such as leetcode, codeforce, etc will surely help you reach your goal to become a successful engineer.
So, to answer your question, Bachelor's degree in software engineering/Computer science is sufficient to become a software engineer. And to become a successful one, get the Internet subscription, explore through various articles, understand, Ask questions like "Why??", "How??" and explore more to get the answers. Keep this loop running till your curious mind is done for the day, take a break and start exploring again tomorrow!
Hope this helps. :)
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Mr. Jain! Jsai
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King’s Answer

I don't believe you need a high degree (master's / doctorate) to be successful as a software engineer. There will always be something new to learn. If you stay engaged and active you WILL become the go-to person on your team. Don't be afraid to jump into projects and learn as you go. Be comfortable being uncomfortable.
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Shilpa’s Answer

Having an undergrad education in Computer Science or Information Technology is sufficient to start a career as a software engineer.
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Vincent’s Answer

I have a Master's Degree and I can tell you it's largely unnecessary. It might have opened a few more doors for me when I was looking for employment, but by and large, a Bachelor's (undergraduate) degree is typically enough to get into an entry-level position. And in some cases, bootcamps plus demonstrated experience will work too.

What's more important is your understanding of a particular field and demonstrated experience in that field. There are certainly people with less formal education than me that are much better engineers than I am. A degree program is a good tool for organizing what and how to study and learn software engineering, but aside from some highly specialized positions like Data Scientist that require some advanced-level math (and Ph.Ds in some cases), advanced degrees are just more practice and studying by doing things you could be doing on your own. Just at less cost and without a diploma at the end.
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Nitsan’s Answer

You don't have to have a high degree (master's / doctorate) in order to be a successful software engineer. That being said, there are roles that are only open for people with a higher degree, and companies that will give a preference to higher degree.
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Karunai dass’s Answer

Degree is just a backup of your first step,you should train a skill based knowledge in technical field,study data science.
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Lisa’s Answer

A degree will get your foot in the door, but your work experience and reputation is what will set you apart from the rest. It is not necessary to seek a Masters or Doctorate if you don't have the experience. Stay in the know, and keep on top of trends. Spend your spare time taking certificates or bootcamps to learn new things. If later in your career you feel as though higher education is needed, take it then. Right now you need to roll up our sleeves and put in the work!
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Niels’s Answer

The key to remember with software engineering is the tools, languages & frameworks are constantly changing. The fundamentals are constant, but much above them is where all the change occurs. I've seen cases where a language or framework used throughout a degree program was no longer relevant by the time they graduated.

My advice would be spend the time to get a good grasp on the fundamentals. Learn how to always learn. There are plenty of courses on new tech all the time, many online or at conferences. Take those as appropriate, and always try to learn about a new tool, language or framework. If you spend your effort on learning how to learn, you'll always be more successful than someone who thinks a degree is the end of their learning journey in software engineering.

Don't worry about a formal degree. They may be relevant if you want to work in academia & they might be an initial filter early in your career, but ultimately what you've built is more interesting than a degree. Consider contributing to open source, if what you built there is used by many, it will be far more valuable than any degree ever could be.
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Elissa’s Answer

Hi, I would also look into coding boot camps if interested, depending on your age, along with online independent classes. Good luck!
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Dom’s Answer

From what I gathered from attending seminars and tech events. Having the highest level of education doesn't necessarily translate to landing a software engineer job. I would focus on joining a cohort that are at no cost to you, there are a couple you can search for online and developing your soft skills and technical skills.
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ROBERT’s Answer

I have to agree with Vincent here. I am a BSEE, but I've been doing softare as part of my job for almost 40 years. I know several people nearly at my level with no formal education beyond high school but an intense curiosity and passion for learning and writing the best and most efficient code they can achiieve. Just because you have s "job" does not mean that you stop learning - it means that you have to stay on top of the best practices and current fads (even though you may eventually reject the premesis of the fad as being just fluff - which happens in all jobs).
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David’s Answer

To further answer this question (a lot of these answers are great!) you don't need more than a Bachelor's degree. This isn't to say that getting your Master's degree wouldn't be worth it, but it just depends if you prioritize researching (Master's) or applying what you've studied thus far (Bachelor's).

This also isn't to say you stop researching once you're in the field, as you'll quickly learn, you are always learning! This is good! Make sure you CONSTANTLY are curious. You don't understand something? Look it up. Want to learn something? Do it. A lot of these topics that you learn don't even have to be fully correlated with one another, they just need to be something you could potentially connect if you wanted.

I would highly advise sticking with a solid group of friends, or making a group of friends, who love what your particular niche may be. Example, I made friends who are all interested in the very general field of Cybersecurity, and we all keep each other updated on the latest news, participate in CTFs together, etc. Doing things like this may help you further reach out of your comfort zone and help push your skills even more, when you thought you couldn't learn more.

As someone else mentioned earlier, contributing to open source projects are really great ways of giving back, and if you started now, you'd definitely have a very solid understanding and would look really good for you early on. Make sure to keep an eye on Github, or ask others working on different open source projects to see if they know of a project where you can contribute. I'd be more than happy to help as well if you need any advice as to where you can contribute based on what you're interested in!
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