No degree? No problem: 5 tech jobs you can do without a diploma
Finding a technical job without a degree may seem difficult, but it is very possible. You don’t need a degree to find a rewarding and lucrative career with opportunities for growth and advancement.
Tech jobs without a required degree exist across the workforce, mostly in entry-level positions. If you are ready to learn on the job, study on your own, or take advantage of relevant experience, you can find opportunities in many industries.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than a third IT support specialists do not hold any diploma. Read on to find out about other top paying tech jobs you might be able to get without a degree.
Five well-paying tech jobs you can land without a degree
The technical positions available without a university degree vary by location, your education and experience, among other factors. Many positions and employers require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
However, getting your foot in the door as a tech worker new to information technology, engineering, or business can lead to career development without ever earning a college degree.
Median salary 2020: $ 110,140
Average salary without a diploma: $ 92,145
Important qualities: Creativity, mastery of the programming language, individual and teamwork skills, analytical mind and attention to detail
Software developers create and develop computer applications and programs. They also maintain, troubleshoot and test existing programs. These professionals can work independently or with clients and colleagues to create databases, games and programs for operating systems.
Median salary 2020: $ 98,230
Average salary without a diploma: $ 92,000
Important qualities: Analytical, curious, enjoys collecting and evaluating data, strong math and statistical skills, works independently
Data scientists discover trends and patterns in data using computer science, statistics and mathematics. They also validate their findings to ensure accuracy. By converting raw data into a format that professionals can use, data scientists help solve problems and make projections for the future.
Degree requirements are common for data scientist roles, but completing a data science bootcamp can help you attract employers.
Median salary 2020: $ 108,830
Average salary without a diploma: $ 79,880
Important qualities: Innovative, outgoing, science and business minded, team player
Sales engineers represent sellers of technological and scientific equipment and services. Sales engineers organize demonstrations, answer questions, and meet the needs and expectations of sellers and buyers. They need a thorough understanding of the specifications and intricacies of each product.
Some sales engineers may work as part of a sales team, while others research and develop new products and services.
Average salary 2021: $ 70,129
Average salary without a diploma: $ 65,449
Important qualities: Curious, enjoys math and statistics, tech savvy, problem solver, strong communication skills
Business analysts use data to solve business problems and make decisions. By examining the data, business analysts identify ways to optimize business operations, improve efficiency, and create pathways for change.
Business analysts can work in-house or as external consultants. They collaborate with colleagues and clients to gather information before making recommendations through presentations and reports.
Median salary 2020: $ 77,200
Average salary without a diploma: $ 62,969
Important qualities: Creative, detail-oriented, technically savvy, knows HTML programming and other programming languages
Web developers design, develop and maintain websites for clients in all industries. Web developers can oversee UX design, back-end development, and front-end development.
They consult with clients and colleagues on the technical needs of a website, implement measures to ensure speed and performance, and create digital designs. As webmasters, web developers update and maintain websites.
Advance your tech career without a degree
You can advance your tech career even without going back to college. By increasing your expertise through coding bootcamps and training programs, you can increase your value to employers. Obtaining technology certifications demonstrates your knowledge.
ZDNet’s Top Bootcamp Picks
Self-study, active engagement with colleagues, and exercises to develop communication and critical thinking skills can give you a competitive advantage.
Even if a college degree isn’t for you, a tech job is still an option. Finding a technical position in business, engineering, manufacturing, and information technology without a degree is not as impossible as it sounds.
Gear up with the right skills and you are on your way to a successful tech career.