This is a fun thread especially as someone with a college degree (but from @ASU instead of "MIT" lol)
Y’all really think a couple of IT certifications is going to compete with a degree from MIT in software/computer engineering? You really think Google hiring you by the masses for $200K for completing a twitter course 😭
So, 200k is closer to entry-level pay in FAANG nowadays (see http://levels.fyi) but I guess G specifically has been underpaying / underleveling people recently (probably because "prestige" lol) so it might be closer to mid level.
Lots of people already replied but yes, it's extremely common for high level / skilled software engineers to be paid a lot (500k+) while having no college degree. Tech is where "certifications" doesn't matter as much as work you've done (including side projects on your own time).
OP tried to move the goalpost to "day one" but that's misleading. Bootcamp takes ~6 months while degree takes ~4 years (with <=3 internships). Of course they are different but for equal footing, comparison should be a 2-3 yoe bootcamp grad vs 3x intern fresh grad. 3 yoe > degree
As others have mentioned, this is not to say that degrees are worthless. A degree is a program designed to teach you certain things but it's not exclusive to the program, you can learn them on your own time as well (with discipline).
It's also important when it comes to immigration purpose since it's an easier way for your immigration lawyer to make out your "expertise" with a degree. But on the job, the tech landscape changes so much that your ability to learn is more important than what you already know.
Also IT and software engineering are 2 rather different field. While people do move from one to the other, they are quite different. It's like doctors and nurses are both in healthcare but they have different responsibilities and do different things.
Anyway, that's all I have to say. Getting the first job will always be hard (especially without prior internship) but definitely doable. Follow people like @DThompsonDev and @shashiwhocodes because they constantly share amazing content in that space.
I knew I missed something. Luck plays a huge role in getting into tech (regardless of degree). I wrote this back at my first job. (I'll fix the image url someday.)
Also, follow @cherthedev for the less sexy side of big tech.
This is a pretty important point.
People tend to point to me as someone who has a lucrative career and no formal education past the 11th grade.
I am exceptionally lucky. I taught myself to code and it was the only skill I had. I had strong HTML/CSS at a time when few did.