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High Paying Tech Jobs that Don’t Require a CS Degree

Stack Overflow reports that almost 70% of tech professionals from over 170 countries consider themselves at least partly self-taught (13% being completely self-taught), with only a third of those surveyed having received a BS in computer science or a related field. The diversity in technical training backgrounds in this industry just goes to show how attainable success is, if you’re willing to put in the effort. Indeed Prime has recapped Paysa’s report to show you which 6-figure salary tech jobs you can land without an advanced degree.


1. Web Developer

 

Engineers who specialize in developing websites and web applications are some of the most sought-after tech professionals today. With a national average salary of $80K to $87K a year (or an average $111K market salary, counting annual bonus and equity), web developers have the potential to move well into the six-figure range of salary depending on which company they work for. Top performers in senior level positions have been known to earn upwards of $200,000 annually.

 

Web developers do not always require an advanced degree, but there are a couple of skills that you need to know if you want to see success in this field. Web developers should be proficient in Python, SQL, JavaScript, PHP, jQuery, and HTML, all of which you can teach yourself and earn certifications in.


2. Systems Administrator

 

Systems administrators earn a national average of anywhere between $75K and $89K (and up to around $113K market salary), with the potential to earn well into the six-figure range after a few years in the field. In fact, Cisco employees have documented an average Systems Admin salary of nearly $106,000 annually, and Oracle Systems Admins are just shy of $100,000 annually.

 

As reported by Paysa, only 64% of System Administrator job postings list a BS as a requirement. With the top desired skills in this field being databases, integration, and troubleshooting, you can easily self-teach and certify yourself to become a fully qualified and desirable candidate.


3. QA Engineer

 

Quality assurance is something that every tech-minded company needs, as they monitor almost all phases of the software development process in order to ensure all products are up to company standards. For this reason, QA Engineers are in high demand, and therefore very forgiving about applicants who lack advanced degrees. This is why roughly three of every four QA Engineer job listings require an advanced degree, but not all of them do. If you keep your eye out, you just might find a QA position that matches your experience and education level perfectly.

 

The average QA engineer makes $136K, which includes an annual bonus and equity. In order to be successful in this field, you should be an expert in agile methodologies, SQL, testing, test automation, and general QA technologies and practices.


4. UI Designer

 

User interface design is important for all customer-facing companies. With an average salary of $168K, this can be a lucrative career path to pursue, even if you lack a BS in an appropriate field. While 74% of UI Designer job listings define a degree as a requirement, there are still many positions out there that do not, as long as you have to knowledge and experience to back it up.

 

In order to be successful in this career, be prepared to become fully acquainted with web design, graphic design, interaction design, Photoshop, Illustrator, and CSS.


5. DevOps Engineer

 

DevOps Engineers have a lot of different duties, which requires them to be knowledgeable in a number of technologies. As this is a relatively new field in the tech world, this is the prime time to be hopping on this career path. The top skills that you should be familiar with in this field are Linux, Python, and Java, all of which have a number of certification opportunities.

 

The national average salary for a DevOps Engineer is around $100,000 (plus annual bonuses and equity), with those higher in their careers reaching well over $147,000 annually. Roughly a quarter of job openings do not list a BS as a requirement for consideration.


6. Mobile Developer

 

There are so many independently taught Mobile Developers out there, proving that this is not only a field that the average person can teach themselves, but also that this is a career in high demand. In fact, CNN named mobile development the “Best Job in America” in 2017, due to the average happiness and working conditions of people in this field.

 

Mobile Developers earn on average anywhere between $75K and $100K, with top performers earning around $121,000. While the majority of employed Mobile Developers do have advanced degrees, many have found success in creating apps in their very own homes without any special training. Once you have experience to prove your skills in mobile development, you’ll more easily be able to find a position at an actual company. Just be sure you are knowledgeable in Objective-C, Android and iOS development, Java, JavaScript, C#, MySQL, Swift, and Xcode.


What’s next?

 

Your formal education isn’t as important in the tech industry as it may be in other careers. What’s important is your ability to prove your skill set, be it with years of experience accurately defined on your tech resume, or a solid list of technical certifications under your belt.

 

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on an advanced degree in order to get thousands of dollars in your professional career — that is, if you know how to market yourself and make the most of cheaper resources. Certifications are significantly cheaper and require less time to achieve while still serving as a significant boon to your tech career. You can become certified in almost anything, from JavaScript development to machine learning technologies to Scrum Master training, all for significantly cheaper than any advanced degree will cost you.

 

Indeed Prime is another great (and free!) resource if you are looking for a career change and to make connections in a field that you may be new to. Here at Indeed Prime, we work to match each candidate with their perfect position based on company needs and candidate experience — and no, you don’t need an advanced degree to apply.

 

In fact, did you know that you can actually earn money through Indeed Prime by referring your friends to the platform? You can also help others in a similar situation as you get their foot in the door of the technical industry through Indeed Prime referrals. If you know someone who is looking for work in the tech industry, refer them to Indeed Prime and earn some extra cash.


Erin Doman is a member of the content development team for Indeed Prime, the best job search tool for tech talent.

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