Top 10 High-Paying IT Jobs You Can Get Without a Degree
By Jamie Birt
Updated September 29, 2022 | Published February 4, 2020
Updated September 29, 2022
Published February 4, 2020
Jamie Birt is a career coach with 4+ years of experience helping job seekers navigate the job search through one-to-one coaching, webinars and events. She’s motivated by the mission to help people find fulfillment and belonging in their careers.
Related: Top 10 Jobs in Tech
Are you interested in a career in tech, but are not sure which job is best for you, or how to start preparing for it? We have you covered!
The information technology field is filled with largely experience-based positions. Many of these jobs require minimal education, such as certificate programs or an associate's degree. If you can demonstrate your ability to perform the duties, you can get a well-paying job without a degree.
In this article, we discuss the top ten IT jobs you can get without a degree and we offer average salaries and job duties.
10 IT jobs you can get without a degree
Many IT professionals start self-taught and then gain education along the way. They usually seek this education when they are ready for a promotion or an adjacent career path that may be a better match for their skills and personal interests. They continue learning via certificate programs, a traditional degree or taking courses in areas they wish to gain extra knowledge in.
Here are 10 IT jobs you can get with no degree:
Computer support specialist
Junior data analyst
Help desk analyst
Computer software engineer
National average salary: $36,192 per year
Primary duties: Computer support specialists help with troubleshooting computers as well as monitoring the networks. A remote specialist asks a series of questions to gain clarity on a customer issue then walks them through the fix. They also work directly with the customer to install and use new hardware and software. A specialist may also perform computer repairs. This position requires that you have experience troubleshooting common issues with computers. Knowledge of coding languages and operating systems is a plus.
National average salary: $45,094 per year
Primary duties: As a junior data analysis your primary responsibility will be assisting the upper-level analysts with retrieving, cleaning and organizing data. Junior analysts also perform data entry activities in databases and help with processing data for customers. To begin work as a data analyst without a degree you will need to seek self-education. For example, data scientists should understand at least one programming language, be able to understand how data differs in each industry and be willing to take courses in data science. So, while you don't need a college degree, you will still need to be educated in the field.
National average salary: $46,059 per year
Primary duties: A help desk analyst provides technical support over the phone or via email to end-users. They maintain records of common issues and develop directions to help users resolve them quickly. They also collaborate with senior staff and IT support on installations and implementing technical solutions. The help desk position is present in most industries, from software to home security troubleshooting.
National average salary: $49,525 per year
Primary duties: Computer programmers are responsible for using various computer languages to write, update and troubleshoot existing programs. Other duties include debugging code, developing computer infrastructure and maintaining operating systems. Programmers can have a long, lucrative career the more they are willing to learn and develop their skillset.
National average salary: $72,220 per year
Primary duties: There are three types of web developers, frontend, backend and full-stack. A front end developer designs the part of the website that users will see. They work with a graphic designer, a template or do the design work themselves, afterward they code everything to make it functional. A backend designer makes sure that all the aspects of the site's infrastructure work well together. This includes application function and integration, maintaining databases and troubleshooting the part of the website users don't see.
A full-stack developer does both of these. Web developers have college degrees but many take courses online, practice self-study and are largely self-taught. The more skills you have as a developer, the more services you can offer customers.
6. IT manager
National average salary: $88,959 per year
Primary duties: IT managers oversee the operations of IT staff and the technology of a business as a whole. They maintain an organization's software and hardware and evaluate their needs for electronic infrastructure. IT managers may analyze and install computing networks. Becoming an IT manager requires at least 5 years of experience in the field with proven knowledge of your skillset. While holding an associate's or bachelor's degree will improve your chances, you can have a great career without one.
National average salary: $106,435 per year
Primary duties: A software engineer develops software solutions for organizational functionality in finance, marketing, customer relationship management and more. They also design software solutions for various industries. Software engineers document their software through flowcharts, layouts, instructions and coding. Learn computer software engineering through dedicated practice, attending local and online courses and seeking a mentor.
National average salary: $114,143 per year
Primary duties: Cybersecurity specialists monitor networks for any vulnerabilities or potential threats to the organization's data. They build firewalls and manage any attacks on the network infrastructures. As a cybersecurity specialist, you'll develop and implement strategies for data protection. Many cyber professionals don't have degrees. To learn cybersecurity, you'll have to invest in a course online or offline.
National average salary: $125,214 per year
Primary duties: DevOps engineers are responsible for developing, upgrading and implementing software solutions for internal systems. They monitor the health of servers and work with software developers, IT professionals and system operators to implement new code and identify opportunities for improvement. DevOps engineers require five or more years of experience in a hands-on position developing software and overseeing the operations of business infrastructure.
National average salary: $138,943 per year
Primary duties: Software architects use their technical and analytical skills to design whole systems based on client requirements. People in this position routinely collaborate with business leaders, engineers and other developers to ensure that the customized software is clear and intuitive to non-tech users. They oversee the code, create development standards and keep the project moving along on-time among other duties. Software architects are very skilled in programming languages and operating systems. Taking courses and seeking a mentor is a great way to take logical steps toward becoming a software architect.
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