Getting Hired Right Out Of High School As A Programmer: A Zero To Mastery Success Story

Daniel Daines-Hutt
Daniel Daines-Hutt
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What if you could skip college and get your dream job right out of high school?

Trade $100,000+ in school fees (aka DEBT!) for $100,000+ paychecks?

Get a programming job out of high school

It sounds too good to be true, but you don’t actually need a Computer Science degree to get hired as a programmer, you just need the equivalent skills and the right approach to getting hired.

This is what we focus on here at Zero To Mastery. Taking you from zero knowledge and any background in tech to getting hired in a job, in as little time as possible.

We provide the resources and community but it’s up to you to put in the work and make it happen. Today, I want to share a success story with you from one of our ZTM students who put in the work and went from finishing High School to getting hired almost immediately…

Meet Tomer

Tomer profile pic

Hi, my name is Tomer Kordonsky from Israel, I'm 18 years old and a Data Scientist / Machine Learning Engineer at Opora.


As a Data Scientist in Opora my job is to create different Machine Learning models for different problems in the cyber security fields. I can’t really say more than that as it’s classified.

What did you do before you got your job now?

Before I got my job, I was finishing high school and have also been spending a long time self-studying the field of Machine Learning, especially the field of Deep Learning. I've never had a tech job before but was able to get hired less than a month after finishing high school!

Why did you want to join Zero To Mastery?

I wanted to join ZTM because the courses are so special and the instructor's teaching techniques were so unique to other stuff that I saw out there.

They don't just teach the basics on the topic. They go into avanced details but more importantly, they’re also strategic in that they cover exactly what you need to learn to meet today's high-tech problems and technologies.

And the community? The community is fantastic! The Discord community is always there for you and is always active and supportive and will help you in a way.

I was so lucky that I saw the advert for ZTM and the ML course

After a year and a half of studying AI, I just didn't feel motivated anymore. It felt like it was just another optimization function and everyone always talked about the same things. 😤

I started to move to Web Development which made me some money but it was a mistake, as the field didn't really fit me and I didn’t enjoy it as much, so I forced myself to go back to AI.

Luckily for me, I saw the ad for ZTM’s Machine Learning and Data Science Bootcamp at just the right time and it looked fantastic. It brought back all my motivation to go back and study the field of AI thanks to the instructors who were so motivating and hyped to teach, which made me hyped too!

Learn Machine learning

Were you apprehensive about joining ZTM?

The course itself? Oh no, the courses at Zero To Mastery are great for any level, but I was apprehensive because people always told me that I'll never get a job in programming without a fancy degree and I would just be wasting my time learning from you guys, since I'll learn everything that I need to in college, so why bother?

Of course, I listened to them since I was a teenager but I wanted to check it for myself and so I asked people from the top university in Israel a few questions in the field of AI.

Editor's note: Never listen to someone who’s not done what you want to do. We literally have thousands of students with zero degrees who get hired at companies like Google, Uber, Tesla, and others.

I spoke to lecturers at the top colleges and I was shocked by what I heard…

They told me that the things that I knew and was learning with ZTM were the same content they teach at a Master's level! I was shocked but also so happy to hear it. It proved to me that I didn't need a degree to understand the field of AI or even have to get a college education and a heap of student loans!

So, how was the learning process and following the ML course?

I had a good grounding in that I already had some basic understanding and I understood the theory behind AI but I never knew how to implement that information. There’s a big difference between knowing what a thing is and then applying and using it!

But the courses taught me everything from scratch. Sure, at the start it wasn't easy but after a few lessons, I started to understand what the instructor was saying and it got much easier.

I even built a few projects. Here’s an AI that generates shoes by giving the AI the shoe's sketch.

How do you build it? I implemented the Pix2Pix research paper, improved it a bit, and then added some new features to it.

ai shoe design

Getting paid while learning to code

So like I said before, although the field of Frontend Web Development wasn’t a good fit for me, I did actually make some money with it!

I took the Complete Web Developer course at ZTM with no previous background in site design or coding and then did some freelance site builds and got paid!

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It was super easy. Andrei taught the course in a very friendly way and taught me the latest technologies to really build some awesome websites, so basically, the courses are great for every level even if you're a total beginner or an expert.

Getting the job

Now that I've got this job, I feel much more secure in myself and in my future. I feel that all of those years of studying and sweating were worth it and I'm happy that I could learn from the best of the best.

Was it a big difference in earnings from what you made before, to now with your new job?

This is my first job so basically it was a huge difference!

Editor's note: I’m not sure what salary Tomer is on as a new hire, but the average salary for a Machine Learning Data Scientist in the US is $139,418 per year.

average machine learning salary

Not bad right?

Do you want to get started in Machine Learning?

If you’re like Tomer and want to skill up and start learning to program, build Machine Learning models, and more, then check out the courses we have at the Zero To Mastery Academy.

We have a whole selection from coding, design, security, hacking, blockchain, and much more, as well as advanced advice on how to get hired, even without a degree!

And if you’re not sure where to start or which job or language would be right for you, then check out our custom career path quiz.

tech career path roadmap

You answer specific questions about your goals and the life you want and how you want to work, and the quiz will point out the best role for you, as well as where to start learning on a structured path so you can get hired asap!

Then, be sure to check in and let us know YOUR success story! 🙌💰😃

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