Here’s what software developers are earning based on their education

Last updated November 20, 2018

Is the job market becoming more friendly to software developers without a university degree?

In our first annual education survey of Canadian software developers, Course Compare found that 86 per cent of full-time workers don’t believe a university degree is needed to succeed as a developer in 2019—and our respondents had the salaries and education to prove it.

Self-taught developers who did not pursue formal education beyond high school will earn $60,124, on average, this year. That’s $10,000 more than the national average for all workers. Meanwhile, graduates of Canadian coding bootcamps earn $74,482 per year—$24,000 more than the national average.

Of course, attitudes about the necessity of a four-year degree are one thing; where Canadian developers ultimately choose to study, and what they earn afterward, is another. And here, our data suggest a university degree is still a valuable asset.

Here’s how salaries broke down based on a developer’s highest level of education in our survey:

  • High school diploma: $60,124
  • College diploma: $67,221
  • Coding bootcamp: $74,482
  • Bachelor’s degree: $82,825
  • Master’s degree: $94,545

Read the full report. 

It’s important to note that coding bootcamp graduates come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Before enrolling in a coding bootcamp, 48 per cent of developers had a bachelor’s degree, 21 per cent had a college diploma, and 14 per cent had a master’s degree. On average, bootcamp grads also had just four years’ work experience compared to six for non-bootcamp graduates.

Coding bootcamps only arrived on the scene in 2012, so it makes sense that they’ve graduated fewer students into the workforce than their counterparts. Yet, and this is perhaps our most interesting finding of all, nine per cent of the 500 Canadian developers we surveyed said they had studied at least part-time at a coding bootcamp.

In a fast-changing digital economy where competition for talent is fierce, our findings clearly show that new forms of training are helping prepare workers for a tech-filled future. You can read our full report to learn how that future is taking shape for software developers across the country.

Interested in learning how to code? Check out top-rated software development schools in your city. 

CourseCompare Editorial Team

CourseCompare is Canada's marketplace for education. Its editorial staff consists of award-winning journalists, visual storytellers, data analysts and web developers working together to help prepare people for the future of work.