The Information Technology (IT) field is constantly growing, which is great news for job seekers. But what if you didn’t attend college, or you majored in a subject unrelated to IT? There’s still good news for you! You can be a competitive candidate for multiple IT jobs, even without a degree.
Getting Into IT Without a Degree
The IT industry is broad, covering everything from digital product creation to technical support. If you’ve ever designed your own meme or helped a family member with their computer, you have dabbled in IT work. While that might be enough IT experience to land an entry-level job as a computer support specialist, you typically need additional IT experience or even IT certifications to find a high-paying tech job without a college degree.
Develop IT Experience
While you can get an IT job without a degree, you usually can’t get one without experience.
If you have learned technical skills on your own, use those to create a portfolio of work. If you need more examples of work, offer to do a project for a local nonprofit at a discounted rate. You can also take on freelance work.
If you still need to develop IT skills, you have multiple opportunities to learn. You can find many courses online, both paid and free, to learn about coding, graphic design, digital marketing, and more. If you prefer learning in a traditional classroom, look at the continuing education classes offered by your local community college.
You can also look for internships, apprenticeships, and even volunteer work to gain IT experience.
Don’t forget the value of soft skills! Skills like creativity, problem-solving, and communication can all help you in an IT job.
Finally, for some IT jobs, you might need to earn a certification first.
Earn IT Certifications
Many IT jobs don’t require a college degree, but they do require a specific certification. Here are just a few examples of popular IT certifications.
- Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Cloud Practitioner
- Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
- Certified Data Professional (CDP)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Comp TIA A+
- Google Cloud Professional – Cloud Architect
- Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
Each certification program varies. For some, you need experience before you can take the exam. Other programs offer entry-level courses for you to take prior to the exam. Some of these courses are even free!
Before you pursue an IT certification, look at job listings in your area. Determine which jobs interest you, and then figure out which IT certification will best help you get that job.
Top 13+ High-Paying Tech Jobs You Can Get Without a College Degree
As we’ve said, IT is a term that covers a wide-ranging field. This is just a very short list of some high-paying tech careers you can pursue, even if you didn’t attend college. Most of the top IT jobs on this list are not entry-level positions, but as you gain practical experience, you can move your way into those roles.
Note: We use Salary.com for most salary ranges. Whenever they use a specific job title and level for their salary information, we have used the same specific title.
Job Description: A mobile developer, or app developer, is someone who uses code to create mobile applications for smart phones, tablets, and other devices. Typical tasks include brainstorming app ideas and new features, designing wireframes, writing code, testing, debugging, and remaining up-to-date with the technology.
Skills: A mobile developer is both creative and analytical. They have in-depth knowledge of at least one programming language, familiarity with OOP design principles, and experience with third-party libraries and APIs.
Salary Range: The typical mobile developer salary range for 2022 is $85,655 to $112,848. A senior app developer has the potential to earn up to $137,066.
Job Description: A software engineer is someone involved with the entire software development lifecycle, from ideation to updates. Typical tasks include conducting user research, documenting requirements and features, writing code, testing, debugging and troubleshooting, gathering user feedback, implementing updates, and more.
Skills: A software engineer sees the big picture. They have experience with tools like modern programming languages, infrastructure automation technologies, and scripting languages. They should also have experience with test-driven development and Scrum/Agile development methodologies.
Salary Range: The typical Software Engineer I salary range for 2022 is $68,444 to $82,240. However, a Software Engineer II salary starts around $85,891, and the median salary for a Software Engineer V is $161,376.
Job Description: A DevOps (development operations) engineer is the liaison between the development team and the operations team, usually for a software company. They understand the entire software development lifecycle, which allows them to balance the needs between developing new features and maintaining stability of existing features.
Skills: A DevOps engineer is an IT generalist with extensive knowledge of both development and operations. They are a good communicator with strong interpersonal skills.
Salary Range: The typical DevOps Engineer I salary range for 2022 is $62,338 and $84,389. However, a DevOps Engineer II salary starts around $81,071, and the median salary for a DevOps Engineer V is $149,881.
Job Description: A cybersecurity specialist is responsible for monitoring, detecting, investigating, analyzing, containing, and responding to (IT) security threats. Typical tasks include implementing IT security solutions, writing IT security policies, and training employees on cybersecurity.
Skills: A cybersecurity specialist has a background in IT, with experience in antivirus and security software. They usually hold one or more specialized cybersecurity certifications, such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Comp TIA Network+.
Salary Range: The typical Cyber Incident Response Specialist I salary range for 2022 is $64,569 to $81,121. However, a Cyber Incident Response Specialist II starts around $76,184, and the median salary for a Cyber Incident Response Specialist III is $113,687.
Job Description: An IT manager oversees a company’s IT department. This includes all computer-related tasks, problems, and solutions within a business. Typical tasks include hiring and training IT staff, maintaining computer systems, and creating IT policies.
Skills: An IT manager has excellent analytical, technical, and communication skills, with extensive experience in IT.
Salary Range: The typical IT manager salary range for 2022 is $123,434 to $149,685.
Job Description: “Web designer” is a broad term that covers multiple specific roles, including user experience (UX) designer, user interface (UI) designer, animation designer, and motion graphics designer. Large companies are more likely to hire for a specific role while small companies are more likely to hire a general web designer.
Skills: Any type of web designer must have strong creative and communication skills, along with familiarity with different design programs.
Salary Range: Let’s break down the salary range by different types of web designer.
- The typical User Experience Digital Designer I salary range for 2022 is $70,990 to $83,690.
- The typical Web UI Designer I salary range for 2022 is $70,970 to $83,680.
- The typical Animation Designer I salary range for 2022 is $52,080 to $72,680.
- The typical Motion Graphic Design Specialist I salary range for 2022 is $52,018 to $72,634.
Job Description: Web developers build and maintain websites. Typical tasks include writing code and troubleshooting issues. Generally speaking, web developers specialize in front-end development, back-end development, or full-stack development.
Skills: A web developer knows at least one programming language, if not several. They are familiar with different content management systems like WordPress and Drupal. They understand details like page load time and responsive web design.
Salary Range: Let’s break down the salary range by different types of web developer.
- According to Payscale, the average front-end developer salary for 2022 is $80,140.
- According to Payscale, the average back-end developer salary for 2022 is $90,774.
- According to Payscale, the average full-stack software engineer salary for 2022 is $92,511.
IT Business Analyst
Job Description: An IT business analyst analyzes a company’s computers and programs to determine what upgrades and installations could make employees more productive. Typical tasks include consulting with executives and the IT department, looking for opportunities to upgrade technology, and running A/B tests on tools and processes for efficiency.
Skills: An IT business analyst has excellent analytical, technical, and creative skills. They also might hold a certification like the Agile Analysis Certification.
Salary Range: The typical IT Business Analyst salary range for 2022 is $78,190 to $102,799.
Job Description: A computer programmer is someone who creates the code for computer software and applications to function. Typical tasks include writing, testing, and modifying code.
Skills: Computer programmers must know a variety of computer languages, such as C++ and Python. They are good at solving problems and communicating with others.
Salary Range: The typical computer programmer salary range for 2022 is $57,308 to $73,066.
Tech Sales Representative
Job Description: A tech sales representative is someone who sells technical products like software, scientific equipment, or electronic devices. Typical tasks include analyzing client needs to recommend products, building client relationships, and meeting sales quotas.
Skills: A tech sales representative should have a background in both sales and IT. They are highly motivated with great interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
Salary Range: The typical tech sales representative salary range for 2022 is $71,134 to $98,510.
Job Description: A graphic designer creates visual content for marketing materials, signage, print publications like books and magazines, and more. Typical tasks include analyzing project needs, sketching concepts, making revisions, and retouching photos.
Skills: A graphic designer is highly creative and has experience using different design tools like Adobe Creative Cloud.
Salary Range: The typical Graphic Designer I salary range for 2022 is $51,051 to $65,473.
Social Media Coordinator
Job Description: A social media coordinator creates content for a company’s social media platforms, working with other digital marketing team members. Typical tasks include writing social media copy, attending local events to take photos and videos, and analyzing social media metrics.
Skills: A social media coordinator has experience with all social media platforms. They are both creative and analytical.
Salary Range: The typical social media coordinator salary range for 2022 is $38,707 to $49,884.
Help Desk Specialist
Job Description: A help desk specialist supports people with technical problems. If they support internal employees, they help co-workers with any computer or software problems. If they provide external support, they help clients with company technology. Typical tasks include troubleshooting problems and staying up-to-date with their technical skills.
Skills: A help desk specialist has general experience in IT and customer service. They have excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
Salary Range: The typical Help Desk Support Specialist I salary range for 2022 is $42,635 to $53,021.
Find Your Next IT Job with Insight Global
If you’re looking for a high-paying IT job, check out the IT job openings on our job board. As long as you have the right skills and experience, you don’t need a college degree to succeed in IT. Let this list of the best IT jobs without a degree inspire your next career move!