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I'm a programmer and I have no degree and make more than most of my friends with degrees. If your goal is to make more money I suggest figuring out how much you'd like to make and which companies you'd like to work for. Then study the jobs they offer and the skills required. Then study on your own and find ways to apply what you learn to your current work. That's worked for me.

I started as a web designer, eventually became a an actuarial systems developer, and then a data analyst/developer for one of the larget web sites in the world. A degree hasn't limited me at all.

Having said that, I've struggled with this question my whole life and now at age 30 I'm in school and pursuing a degree. I finally realized I don't need one, but I really want one. Just because its always been something I want. Why? I can't deny that I apply a certain amount of credibility to a degree and I want that.

Edit: typos

This. The last line epitomizes how I feel, the degree provides a certain level of credibility to my career, it is a form of validation in a way.

As a recruiter who tries to find candidates who don't suck, your lack of a degree would not be factor in my decision on whether or not to approach you (if it looks like you don't suck).

One thing that really helps a candidates stand out is something that supplements their resume, such as a well written blog. Being able to show sucess in your career and an ability to articulate what you know is a pretty killer combo.

Thanks for the reply, this is probably the kind of contact I was looking for when I posted this, the question is, without a degree (and to be perfectly honest, no real interest in open source) what do I do to make myself stand out, to say hey, maybe we could have a chat over some coffee? to the recruiters at these companies?

Here's an example of something I've done (I actually use this my personal budgeting): http://pocketloot.com

While I don't participate in other people's projects much I have a BUNCH of projects I've done for myself on github. https://github.com/jcbozonier

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