Job seekers with technology skills have promising opportunities — even those without a degree. That’s because digital transformation and a shortage of job applicants haven’t just changed the way businesses operate; it’s also changed the kinds of jobs that companies need to fill. The current employment environment allows candidates to get an IT job without a degree. 

Get an IT Job Without a Degree

Comparably, a workplace culture and compensation monitoring website, projects 12.4 million net tech employment in the U.S. and about 245,500 projected net new tech jobs in 2021. While a college degree still holds weight among management and executive ranks, a shortage of IT workers is making many firms less choosy over educational formalities. 

Good Financial Cents concurs that many IT career paths do not require a degree, such as IT technician. “As your skills progress and you get more experience, you can easily make $50,000 to $70,000 per year as you get into systems administration and network engineering,” the article said.

Highest-Paying IT Jobs Without a Degree

There is a wide selection of well-paying IT jobs suitable for different skill sets. Comparably listed the highest-paying IT jobs making a minimum of US $80,000 or more for workers without degrees: 

  • Software Architect – Software development experts make high-level design choices and enforce technical standards. The average salary is $93,368 without a degree, and $97,490 with a degree.
  • Dev/Ops Engineer – These professionals use technologies to automate systems and oversee software development, maintenance, and updates. They have coding language, software engineering, and security system experience. The average salary is $92,644 without a degree, and $93,095 with a degree.
  • Developer – Also known as computer programmers or coders, they design, program, and test software. The average salary is $92,145 without a degree, and $96,550 with a degree.
  •  IT Manager – These are skilled IT security professionals charged with keeping sensitive data and systems safe. The average salary is $92,045 without a degree, and $85,519 with a degree.
  •  Data Scientist – This role is rising in prominence in the IT world. Data scientists use predictive models, algorithms, and other tools to design and build new data modeling and production processes. Knowing programming languages and machine learning is valuable. The average salary is $92,000 without a degree, and $93,713 with a degree.
  • Product Manager – They develop a strategy and roadmap for software engineers’ products. The average salary is $88,716 without a degree, and $102,156 with a degree.
  • Mobile Developer – These professionals create apps for iOS and Android platforms. The average salary is $84,204 without a degree, and $95,004 with a degree.
  • UI/UX Designer – User Interface (UI) designers and User Experience (UX) designers create interfaces that help users understand how to use products. The average salary is $80,500 without a degree, and $83,486 with a degree.
  • QA analyst – Quality assurance analysts test for problems or issues in a software product before it is introduced to the market. The average salary is $68,212 without a degree, and $66,821 with a degree.
  • Business analyst – These professionals use data analytics to chart the best IT strategy. The average salary is $65,449 without a degree, and $69,673 with a degree. 

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Best Jobs in IT Without Programming

Not all IT jobs require programming eComparably’sere are Comparably’s list of jobs not requiring a degree or programming skills. 

  • Sales engineer – These professionals use their technical and engineering backgrounds to sell tech products and services to companies. The average salary is $79,880 without a degree, and $94,478 with a degree. 
  • Product marketing associate – They develop marketing plans for products and produce supporting materials. The average salary is $76,233 without a degree, and $74,954 with a degree.
  • Web/visual designer – Develops the layout, content, and design of web pages. The average salary is $62,969 without a degree, and $65,492 with a degree.
  • Sales rep/associate – Sells a product or service. The average salary is $60,684 without a degree, and $68,122 with a degree.
  • Social media/community manager – They work through various online outlets and platforms to build a positive online brand reputation, disseminate company news, and promote a product or service. The average salary is $58,899 without a degree, and $48,994 with a degree. 

Women’s Salaries Compare Favorably

Comparably found that women earned higher salaries in seven of the 15 positions even without college degrees: developer, IT manager, data scientist, product marketing, QA analysis, sales representative, and social media management. 

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The Big Picture

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment in computer and information technology occupations to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.This means the addition of 667,600 new jobs. The demand is fueled by cloud computing, big data, and the growing need for and information security. The bureau’s latest Occupational Outlook Handbook lists the fastest-growing computing, and IT careers, but many require a college degree.

Preparing for Your IT Job Without a Degree 

However, even job seekers without a degree can vault themselves ahead of the competition with practical experience and solid upskilling through flexible, online learning bootcamps such as Simplilearn. It’s worth noting that Simplilearn was just named Digital Business Education Product of the Year at the Digital Education Awards 2021 (see the 2:54-minute mark).  

Consider Taking the Following Steps to Launch Your Career in IT:

Use applied learning. A training program based on an applied learning methodology complements live, instructor-led classroom training with Simplilearn’s content. Simplilearn’s online courses combine the convenience of self-paced online training, the personal attention of instructor-led live virtual classroom instruction, and gained experience of hands-on projects and labs. 

Simplilearn’s courses include:

Get certified. Whether you have a degree or not, a certification from an industry authoritative body or a software provider can help launch your tech career by providing independent proof that you have obtained the required training. 

Develop projects. Hands-on practice is not just a superb way to reinforce learning; it also provides you with tasks, use cases, and applications that can show employers examples of your development skills. Mike Tamir, Ph.D., ranked number one globally as an influencer for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence by Onalytica, advises, 

“For someone starting out, doing a lot of projects that you’re working on can help greatly in preparation for a role.” He says it should become pretty evident where you can apply your training to solve real-world problems. “Then it’s just a matter of building something,” he says, “And then just put it up on GitHub for the world and employers to see.”

For more information about gaining the skills, certifications, and even practice projects needed to make one of these promising careers yours, regardless of a technology degree, visit Simplilearn now.

About the Author

Karin KelleyKarin Kelley

Karin has spent more than a decade writing about emerging enterprise and cloud technologies. A passionate and lifelong researcher, learner, and writer, Karin is also a big fan of the outdoors, music, literature, and environmental and social sustainability.

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