While colleges like to tell you that the future is STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and that you need a four-year or higher degree to compete, that simply isn’t true. Here are six great tech-related jobs that don’t require a degree. Furthermore, all of them have strong upside potential and let you earn a decent living.
The Web and Mobile Programmer
While computer science is offered through many engineering schools, the reality is that you don’t have to have a four-year degree to work as a programmer. If you have programming skills in Drupal, Ruby on Rails or another widely used language, you are eligible for a job in programming. The Web and mobile programming are more open to those without a four-year degree because of the higher demand and relative lack of people who can program quality apps and custom functionality for websites. What matters most is having personal or professional experience and demonstrated skills, such as a high-quality website or app.
A few years ago, internet marketers joked that posting links on sites like Digg was enough to call yourself an internet marketer. Internet and online marketing does not require a bachelor’s degree. It requires an understanding of what practices will get your content banned and which practices raise the prominence of a brand in the awareness of its target demographic. You should know how to generate reports to measure the key terms and demographics of a site’s audience. Customers need internet marketers to be able to provide clear data to measure the success of the marketing effort like return on investment and increases in the conversion rate.
Video marketing is receiving far more investment than TV ads, and spending on video content is growing faster than content marketing because of its high return on investment relative to its typically low cost. Becoming a content creator does not require a college degree, as many young YouTube channel creators demonstrate. You’ll thrive if you can consistently create viral content, whether for your own channel or paying customers.
A tech receptionist is not the same thing as a customer service representative, resolving basic tech support problems and routing advanced problems to the IT experts. Instead, a tech receptionist works for an IT executive or the IT department as a whole. They handle standard issues like ordering supplies for the office and specialized matters like renewing software licenses. They usually handle task assignments for the department.
Tech receptionists may make changes to documentation, but they are more likely to capture the requested changes submitted by managers or customers and relay them to a technical writer. IT / tech receptionist jobs pay the same or better wages than the average receptionist position.
Technical writers don’t need a four-year English degree and often get by with only a one-year professional certificate. Their work centers around creating and revising software manuals, how-to guides, training documentation and web content.
Telecommunications Equipment Installer
After a few weeks to a few months at most of the training, you could earn a decent living installing satellite dishes, DVRs, cable boxes and other telecommunications equipment. The median salary for this profession is £54,000 per year. You’ll be paid more if you are certified to safely scale towers to install cell site equipment or have the skills to repair telecom equipment.
Computer programming from the Dot Com bubble of the 1990s to today doesn’t require a formal four-year degree to land work, but the web and mobile programming are more open to self-taught professionals than software application development. Internet and online marketing is open to creative people who can demonstrate their skills along with content creation. Technical writers and telecom installers must know the requirements of the job but can typically work with only professional certificates. IT department receptionists do not require any specific training, though companies prefer those who have experience with the software applications used as part of their jobs.