Student in mobile app development program in Toronto.

Do You Need A Degree To Be A Mobile App Developer?

If you’re a fan of technology software and coding, and want a career that combines those passions together — look no further than the mobile app industry. It’s a fast growing one, that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. According to statistics, on average over 6,140 mobile applications are uploaded onto Google Play daily, compared to over 1,400 on iOS.

Since mobile apps help us work and play on a daily basis, It’s no surprise that the opportunities in the field are endless. Whether it’s a game, mobile app store for a business, or a tool that helps users engage with one another — there are a number of reasons to develop apps for various fields. Because of this, the demand for more developers is only going to continue to grow, especially as mobile users continue to operate and stay connected to their phones.

Going into mobile app development is a smart career move as the job of a developer extends far beyond the creation of the app. Mobile apps need to constantly be updated to keep users engaged, they need to fix bugs and glitches that arise and constantly work on improving usability in order to enhance the user experience. The job of a mobile app developer is never ending, which is why it’s become a highly sought after job in the 21st century.

But do you need a degree to become a mobile app developer? The simple answer — you don’t. It’s definitely a career you can get into on your own, but before pursuing the career solo, there are many benefits to going to school to get a degree or diploma that you may want to consider before taking that leap. To help you weigh your options, here’s what it’s like to become a mobile app developer on your own vs. going to school:

Becoming A Mobile App Developer On Your Own

Before diving into this field, it’s crucial to have a passion in tech, coding and software. While you don’t need an entire separate degree to make it in the industry, many who end up in this field tend to have a computer science degree or background in software development to set the proper foundation of skills you’ll need to pursue this endeavor. While that’s not necessary to have, it will make things easier.

If you’ve completely written off the idea of going to school, there are a number of accelerated boot camps that you can attend in-person or online that will also help cover the necessary basics. For those who are even more ambitious, there are a lot of Youtube videos and channels that focus on this subject matter. Whichever route you decide to take, in order to truly excel on your own, you need to understand the fundamentals of software design, the various platforms where you build mobile apps (i.e. iOS and Android), and understand programming languages such as Java, Objective C, C++, and C#.

Once you think you have the fundamentals down, it’s time to put that knowledge to work! Look for various internships or entry level positions at agencies to help apply your newfound knowledge and get that real-life experience that will truly take your career to the next level.

While pursuing a career in mobile app development solo is tempting, the one thing we cannot downplay is the amount of hard work you’ll have to put in. Since you’re going at it on your own in a less structured environment, you’ll have to hold yourself accountable. In a field that’s constantly evolving, you’ll have to stay up to date with the latest trends and make sure you have a well rounded understanding on various platforms and programming languages. While it’s possible to make it in the industry without a degree, if you don’t put in the work it will definitely show and decrease your chances of success in the field.

Students developing app in mobile app development program in Toronto.

Becoming A Mobile App Developer Through School

A major deterrent for many of those interested in getting into mobile app development is the amount of time required to study and get there. If you’re planning on going through a more traditional route of getting a computer science degree along with other specialized training, it can take up to 6 years to finally make it up the latter.

But thankfully there are a number of specialized career colleges, such as Cestar College that can help you get your foot in the door a lot faster. How much so? Many accelerated programs can have you in and out in three years or less and the only prerequisite to get in is a high school diploma.

The Benefits Of Going Through A Mobile App Development Program

While there’s nothing wrong with going into the app development industry alone, there are a lot of benefits to going through a career college as well. They include:

Specialized Curriculums

Career colleges offer expertly crafted programs that cover just about everything you need to know to break out into the industry. Programs offered by colleges such as Cestar teach their students everything from java programming, iOS and Android app platforms and their programming languages.

Industry Leading Teaching Staff

It’s one thing to learn on your own through your own practice and research, but it’s a completely different experience to learn from teaching staff who are at the top of their industry, and have first-hand experience with developing mobile apps from beginning to end. Going through a school program will allow you to learn skills of the trade from professionals at the top of their industry who understand development, execution and how best to market your app to your target demographic.

Industry Connections and Employment Opportunities

The best experienced earned is through real-life ones and no matter what you learn in the classroom, the most valued things students will learn is in the actual workplace. Many postsecondary and career college programs have industry connections to help you get linked up to job or internship opportunities. While you can also find similar opportunities solo, going through your school can definitely expedite the process because your school has already made those connections and has a reputation to help back up your skills.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, whichever route you decide to take — make sure you weigh your options wisely. Consult others in the industry to see how they made it and check out private colleges that offer the program and see if it measures up to your expectations. Good luck!

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