I'm sorry if this thread is in the wrong forum, but I sat here for 10 minutes trying to figure out which forum to put this thread in, and this seemed like the most reasonable. Admins, if you need to move it, feel free. Just please don't delete.
I'm 24, by the way. Don't know if that matters at all?
Is the Bachelors degree in computer science 100% necessary on a resume when looking for a development job?
Everything I know (which is far from all of it) I learned myself from reading other people's code and developing/debugging my own and others applications.
All you need to be able to do is demonstrate your skills - that could be provide code samples, answer code questions, or provide working demos of applications that you've built/had a hand in.
I've switched careers...
I'm NO LONGER a scientist,
but now a web developer...
Do not go to a university. I understand University after the highschool scene. You enjoy life. Learn very little. But can really enjoy yourself.
If I was 24 and did not go to a university and wanted to start making money. I would not go to one.
Once you get good at that dive into PHP. There are many jobs out there for PHP developers.
Online tutorials can do you justice for learning. But in the end you need real life problems that you need to solve. Start hustling on Craigslist. You will get a small paying gig. Work your way up.
Once you get a couple projects under your belt. You can build your portfolio to sell yourself. I say 1 -2 years anyone with some dedication can turn themselves from a junior developer. 3+ years you can be landing big paying jobs.
While a degree (or other recognized certification) can help, especially for a first job in the field, the main tool for finding a job is networking -- not computer networking, but people networking.
If you're lucky enough to live relatively near some city that has tech meet-ups, user groups in applicable fields, and so forth; go to them -- not just to learn stuff, but to meet people and get known by them as someone with a real interest in the field. Sites like this, LinkedIn, and others might also give you useful contacts, especially if you add to the site with quality posts.
A quite high percentage of jobs get filled by internal referrals from someone already working at the company, so the old saying is often true: "It's not what you know, but who you know." (Mind you, once you get the interview, you still have to convince them you're worth hiring, but you can't do that if you don't first get the interview.)
"Please give us a simple answer, so that we don't have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don't fit the way we want the world to be."
~ Terry Pratchett in Nation
From the sole standpoint of landing a job, the degree just gets you in the door. You get hired on your experience and ability to speak intelligibly.
That said, some of the higher level CS coursework can be beneficial. And while I wouldn't insist upon a degree, I'd recommend getting as much formal education as you can until you're comfortable with the inertia in your career. While you may never need to implement or understand a doubly linked list or a binary tree, you may need to be familiar with using a stack and a loop to replace a recursive function. And even if you don't, your interviewer may ask you to prove basic CS competency, maybe by asking you about the big-O complexity of a particular sorting algorithm -- particularly if your real-world experience is somewhat lacking.
The ideal path, IMO, is to stay in school and obsess over personal CS/Web projects until you land the career you want. Work "less skilled" development positions, like a university department's developer/designer spot, or some freelance jobs, until someone hires you for "serious" work.
Keep up on personal projects. Always push the limits of your experience in the process. Experiment. Make 'em a little shiny -- or at least not hideous. Make them publicly accessible. And put them on your resume somehow.