Would you hire a foreign developer without CS degree?

shuzootani profile image shuzo Updated on ・2 min read

Probably, you just said "Nah" to the title, yet I'm glad you're nevertheless reading this post.


What would you do if you were a foreign developer without CS degree, who wants to get a job in other countries.

I'd really appreciate if you could share your thoughts and advice, or your stories and the reality in your country.

Here is my list of api to get a job abroad(get a work-permit/visa).


  • GET /Master of CS
  • GET /Online CS degree
  • POST /internship_application
  • GET localhost:Tokyo/jobs?purpose=to_earn_more_dev_experience
  • GET localhost:Tokyo/jobs?has_branch_abroad=true&visa_sponsored=true
  • OPTIONS /bootcamp_and_look_for_job
  • DELETE /developer_careers_and_go_for_saxophone_player

Please tell me if you have any ideas for better apis!

Master of CS

It will definitely make it easier to get a visa.
But getting CS degree especially in the US costs a lot, not everyone can afford it and I'm not sure if it's worth taking a couple of years.

Online CS degree

Some people get online certifications or think of it, such as MOOC, Coursera, Udacity or UOP.
They are usually much cheaper and shorter to get than getting a degree offline although I'm not sure if you can use it as valid certificate to get a visa.

UOP University Of the People


Anyway move abroad first and apply for internships or jobs, hopefully to get a job. very optimistic.

Work in Tokyo.

I feel like this option is too realistic for me to go with.

So I wanted to know if there is any possibility for foreign developers without CS degree to work in other countries.

$ ping any_possibility_for_foreigners
Pinging any_possibilty_for_foreigners without CS degree:
Reply from US: Destination net unreachable?
Reply from Canada: Destination net unreachable?
Reply from Australia: Destination net unreachable?

Thank you for reading !!

I'm really waiting for your comments, advice, tips or the reality in your country !!



Editor guide
vasilvestre profile image
Valentin Silvestre

In France this is pretty usual to hire people without CS degree.
If you have a portfolio and the ability to proove your knowledge, you can get hire.

shuzootani profile image
shuzo Author

a bon !? I had thought it's totally opposite in France like elitism even in web developer field.
Thank you Valentine for sharing !!

vasilvestre profile image
Valentin Silvestre

Big companies have this elitism. Focus on the French tech and start-up. Not to be racist or whatever that could offend, but there's a trend to hire Indian people.
It could also work for others, the fact is that we like to open our mind, meet other people and cultures.
Be welcome :)

Thread Thread
shuzootani profile image
shuzo Author

I envy Indian ppr !!

merci monsieur !!

ardennl profile image
Arden de Raaij

Hah this is amazing, I'd hire you for this post alone😂! I am also a developer without a CS degree, in a foreign country (still the EU though, so it's relatively similar). I've moved from the Netherlands to Portugal and am currently looking around for opportunities here. They seem very well available even without a CS degree. In the Netherlands not many companies think a CS degree is the most important thing on your CV. Especially digital agencies are way more interested in what you can do and what kind of person you are than what degrees you have!

shuzootani profile image
shuzo Author

Arden, Thank you for sharing your world !! I'm glad to hear you liked my post.
You don't need kind of Visa to work in other EU countries ?
I'm curious about tech in both countries Netherlands and Portugal !!

ardennl profile image
Arden de Raaij

No visa, only a 'residence certificate' which is easily obtained when you're from a EU country. If I can answer any questions about the tech scenes in either country, don't hesitate to ask!

jfrankcarr profile image
Frank Carr

In the US right now immigration is a hot button political issue so it isn't the best time to come here. On top of that, the typical tech immigrant employment path, H1B visas, require a CS degree, preferably an advanced CS degree. This is filters down into it being a requirement for a lot of jobs, even if it isn't really necessary. (I could rant at length about this situation, primarily how it benefits big corporations while hurting both US and immigrant developers, but I won't here.)

The non-CS-degree immigrant programmers I've worked with have had permanent resident status due to marriage to a US citizen or refugee status. I've usually found them to be more skilled programmers than a H1B contractor with a diploma mill Masters in CS.

shuzootani profile image
shuzo Author

Frank !! I appreciate your Frank comment so much !!
The real world story you shared here is very helpful for foreigners like me, which made me think real and take next step.

disckitty profile image
Erika Harrison

Depending on your age, you may qualify for a work-holiday visa abroad. I know Canada & Japan have reciprocal agreements, and there may be other countries as well. While the focus is to travel, you can try some CS employment opportunities/adding to your resume without needing a work visa. Best of luck!

shuzootani profile image
shuzo Author

Thank Erika !!! Yes ! I guess work-holiday visa is the easiest and the most realistic in my case, and as you mention Canada(Vancouver or Montreal) is really good to go, which is gonna be my first possible option.

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

Sure, I'd hire you! (Of course, caveat, we don't have money to pay, fund visas, etc...we're still just a little startup.) For our internship program, we really only look for four major criteria:

  • Professional working proficiency with English (ILR-3).

  • Basic knowledge of programming fundamentals and object-oriented programming.

  • Working proficiency with at least one programming language.

  • Willingness to learn! <-- This one is huge.

Beyond that, we really don't care where you're from, or how you learned to code. We don't require a degree...many tech jobs ultimately don't!

But, yeah, I know, we're just an internship. Some would say that midlevel and senior positions are going to be more demanding (they are logically more competitive), but I suspect the pickiness is their problem. Good workplaces are going to have much the same expectations as the above, often with the added requirement that you have at least n years experience in the required technologies. Even with that, some workplaces will recognize that 10 years experience in C++ and a basic familiarity with Java will probably equate to a qualified individual for a Java coding position within a few weeks of familiarization. ;)

Long story short, neither nationality nor degree should matter for most tech jobs. The only place you really need a degree is if you're actually working in the academic branch of CS - scientific and algorithmic research and/or teaching.

shuzootani profile image
shuzo Author

Jason Thank you so much for your inspirational words !!
and also clear criteria is very helpful for me.
I don't think I meet ILR-3 in terms of English proficiency, Im ILR-2 or a bit less.
Anyways, I really appreciate your comment and now I feel more confident to give it a try to move abroad !!

yolanda_hanna profile image

A person in your situation who wanted to seriously consider living and working in the U.S. should consider Hawaii. I lived and worked for a software development company in Hawaii and noticed that Hawaii is very friendly to Japanese. Living in Hawaii is NOT cheap though and finding housing is a nightmare.

Howver, if you have friends or family already there, you can try it and a two-year degree from Kapiolani Community College in Information Technology IS cheap. Most of the foreign students in Hawaii speak very little English but manage to get through the degree program there. (The University of Hawaii has four-year degrees in Computer Science.) BTW, after living in any U.S. state for 1 year you are considered a resident as far as tuition and resident tuition is MUCH LOWER than nonresident tuition.

Also, I hate to mention it but maybe NOW is not the BEST time to try to come to the U.S. (except for Hawaii where you are always welcome!)

Many of my English language students are wary about moving here because of our current climate on immigration reform.

For example, some of my students who came here on Work Visas are finding their companies do not want to sponsor them next year. The "climate" now for foreign workers is a little tough with our current president.

Check out the U.S. job boards i.e. indeed.com, careerbuilder.com, monster.com to see what types of "degrees" they require or if they hire people without degrees here in the U.S.

Best wishes!

shuzootani profile image
shuzo Author

Thank you very much yolanda 人 for sharing specific info which is very helpful for me.
I will definitely consider Hawaii as well

rajil profile image
🇨🇬Rajil VEMBE

wow i am impressed by the question and level of this publication.

I am a Web and Mobile Developer with 6 years of experience
Country: Congo / Brazzaville
Continent: Africa
And I think immigrated to the US or CANADA by 2019
My first approach is to find at least 15 million CFA francs; enroll in an American university for 2 years then find a job as a developer.

I'm still looking for other approaches ... What's on
I create a blog
I feed my github
I am on Behance
I'm on Twitter
Will apply for Google Dev Expert
to increase the chances of being visible in the eyes of the world and hoping that someone is needed by me.

shuzootani profile image
shuzo Author

Thank you RajiI
as you mentioned, I also think being visible and searchable is the key.

others that I can think of ...

write public posts
make a public talk in conf

Best of luck :peace:

realanitaolsen profile image
Anita Olsen

An excellent question and I wish you the best of luck!

dennissmolek profile image
Dennis Smolek

I stumbled onto this while searching the other way, but you wouldn't have much of a problem here in the US with smaller companies for your first jobs.

Larger places like Google, Amazon, Etc. will be harder as a ton of CS grads will be flooding them. What I would do is build up your online rep with open source, articles, etc. Then find a job with a creative or advertising firm or more "Tech adjacent" jobs. Web development, mini-sites, etc. This would give you the stateside footprint and the chance to build up your network.

What I've learned the most career wise is how useful a good network is. Going to tech events, volunteering, speaking, etc. will get you in lunches or committees with people that run departments at places that your resume may not make it past reception.

The other option is the startup community, which is awesome but a lot less reliable and may not look as good on your resume if your goal is bigger shops (IMO) as your experiences there may be less than a year. BUT Startups do give you a much higher Title/responsibility bump that can sometimes make a huge difference when looking at another place.

The way I would think of it is, lets say 5 years from now you apply at say.. I dunno Twitch..

If you have 2/3 companies of work history, membership in a local organization, maybe a certification (AWS) and a higher title, vs someone who has that CS degree and spent that same 5 years at one or two places you're much closer to each other.

In fact, I googled it and Twitch's job postings don't even list a degree as a requirement: jobs.lever.co/twitch/931021a4-8d79...

andrerpena profile image
André Pena

I am from Brazil and I managed to land a job in Germany without a degree =)

mark25floor profile image
Mark Okoth

no computer science degree or no degree completely

andrerpena profile image
André Pena

No degree completely

shuzootani profile image
shuzo Author

Thanks Yokim !! Hope you too !!

yokim profile image
Yokim Pillay

Hahaha, I love this post so much. I'm in the same boat as well.

I hope you find something you'll love soon!

mowais90 profile image

Can an open course ware (OCW) such as CS50x serve as an alternate to a CS degree required for a work visa in a foreign country?