There’s a long-lived myth that Silicon Valley and the technology industry are meritocracies where all that matters is the caliber of your code. But it turns out that tech companies are more likely than other employers to require college degrees when hiring software developers. Seventy-five percent of job ads for those roles at technology companies specify an educational requirement, compared with 58% of openings posted by the full universe of employers that are hiring software developers, according to Burning Glass Technologies, a labor-market data firm that analyzed 1.6 million ads for software-developer jobs nationwide. And in 95% of the tech-sector job ads that list a minimum credential, the employer calls for a bachelor’s degree or higher, versus 92% of the ads from all employers seeking developers. Matt Sigelman, Burning Glass’s chief executive, said he was struck by “the extent of the discord between, on the one side, the meritocratic mystique and the lore of the Bill Gateses and Mark Zuckerbergs”—both Harvard University dropouts—“and on the other side, the reality of so many of the best kinds of jobs being closed to those who don’t have a college degree.” Nationally, 68% of adults over age 25 don’t have bachelor’s degrees. Burning Glass found employers in Silicon Valley were the most exacting in terms of credentials, listing education requirements in 77% of developer job postings, and in those ads, demanding a bachelor’s or advanced degree 98% of the time.