The likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg may have managed to build their sprawling tech empires without one, but most people who want to work in Silicon Valley will need a degree - and they'll be paid more for it too.
That's according to research released this week by jobs market analytics company Burning Glass Technologies which found tech employers are more likely to specify a minimum education level and more likely to prefer an undergraduate degree.
It also found software developer vacancies requiring a degree offer higher starting salaries, a trend that was even more pronounced in the tech sector.
"As technology spreads throughout the economy, all kinds of companies now hire software developers, from defense contractors to retailers," Matthew Sigelman, chief executive of Burning Glass, said in a blog post.
"But Silicon Valley remains the centre of this work, and has always been seen as a place more concerned about skills and ideas than credentials."
The data showed that in the US, 42 per cent of job postings for software developers don’t specify a minimum education level. And of the employers which do mention education, 89 per cent request an undergraduate degree.
But in the tech sector, only 25 per cent of software developer postings fail to specify a minimum education level. Additionally, almost all of the remaining job adverts (92 per cent) require an undergraduate degree.
Software developer posts that require a degree also pay more. Burning Glass found a 29 per cent premium in advertised salaries nationally for posts requiring an undergraduate degree, and a 36 per cent premium among tech sector employers.