High-Paying Tech Jobs Without a Degree

Graphic designers, programmers, and developers can all succeed without degrees. Learn more about what landing a high-paying tech job without a degree entails.
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  • Some tech jobs don't require a degree and offer competitive salaries.
  • Some high-paying, entry-level tech jobs include junior web developer and computer programmer.
  • Building a portfolio or attending a bootcamp can help you find high-paying tech jobs.

Contrary to popular belief, achieving your career goals in the technology field may not require a degree. Additionally, you may qualify for high-paying tech jobs with little experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median wage for computer and information technology professionals was $97,430 in May 2021. This is more than double the median for all other occupations.

Some employers may require a bachelor's degree for entry-level roles. However, you can still land a high-paying tech job without a degree. Coding bootcamps are just one of the pathways to help you enter the field. This guide highlights high-paying tech jobs and how to apply without a college degree.

Are Tech Jobs Without a Degree Any Good?

As with any job, you may find pros and cons to working in entry-level tech jobs. These positions often have the reputation of being a lot of work and offering little pay. However, vetting employers before accepting an offer can help you find a good fit. Reading reviews on Glassdoor often provides insight. Negotiating your salary before accepting an offer can also lead to an income that makes you feel valued for your hard work.

Typically, the easiest high-paying tech jobs give you experience with multiple technical skills. This allows you to gain expertise in different tech areas and figure out which one you like the best. After building your portfolio and resume in an entry-level job, you may qualify for a more specialized and high-paying role. While you can achieve the same results by freelancing, a salaried position provides a more stable income plus benefits.

How to Apply for an Entry-Level Tech Job

  1. To build a portfolio with no experience, you can offer services for free to nonprofit organizations.
  2. Internships can also help you build a portfolio. While not all internships are paid, they may lead to a salaried position at the company.
  3. Displaying your resume and portfolio on a website can help show off your technical skills. Some online portfolio-hosting sites allow users to access the back-end and customize their site with coding. So, your website can also double as part of your portfolio.

Useful Tech Skills for a Resume

  • List the skills you've gathered through your previous positions.
  • Note how your skills helped the company achieve goals.
  • Consider including hard and soft skills, including time management and strong attention to detail..
  • Note any computer programming languages you know, even if you only have basic proficiency.
  • List any relevant software you know how to use, like Adobe XD.

Find the Right Bootcamp For You

High-Paying Tech Jobs Without a Degree

Junior Web Developer

These professionals create new websites and applications using coding languages. Web developers can specialize in back-end or front-end development. Back-end developers work on the server side of a website, which users can't see. Front-end developers create the visual side of a website that users interact with. They create and test code for optimal user experience.

Average Annual Salary (2022): $53,800
Ideal Skills for this Job: Strategic thinking, coding, and analytical skills

Junior Web Designer

Junior web designers assist with creating new websites and applications. They also enhance existing ones. They use colors, fonts, and imagery to design the front ends of websites that are appealing and easy to navigate. Web designers must know how to read and write in scripting languages.

Average Annual Salary (2022): $40,000
Ideal Skills for this Job: Graphic design, detail-orientation, and problem-solving skills

Computer Programmer

These programmers work with computer languages like C++ and Java to fix errors and enhance existing programs. They develop and test code and scripts in software. They also use code libraries to enhance their workflow, and they may contribute code lines to libraries.

Median Annual Salary (2021): $93,000
Ideal Skills for this Job: Coding, testing, and analytical skills

Social Media Coordinator

These coordinators create strategic posts and campaigns on social media platforms and stay up to date on algorithm changes. They work with graphic designers and videographers to create posts, reels, and stories for engagement. Social media coordinators also respond to private messages and reply to comments.

Average Annual Salary (2022): $41,400
Ideal Skills for this Job: Strategic thinking, copywriting, video editing skills

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers use digital software to make labels, posters, and website material. They must know how to use software like Illustrator and Photoshop. Like the rest of the jobs on this list, many employers hire graphic design job candidates based on their abilities. This makes it an ideal job for people with little experience or no degree.

Median Annual Salary (2021): $50,710
Ideal Skills for this Job: Adobe software skills, color theory, and detail-oriented skills

Tech Sales Representative

Tech sales representatives answer customer questions about a product or service. They possess detailed knowledge of items the company sells. People with strong communication skills can quickly learn the specs of a tech product. For this reason, employees new the tech industry may find tech sales jobs to be good fits.

Average Annual Salary (2022): $63,060
Ideal Skills for this Job: Technical knowledge, interpersonal communication, and marketing skills

Digital Analyst

These professionals analyze the effectiveness of digital campaigns and assets. They present their findings to other tech professionals using graphs and reports. Their knowledge and findings contribute to digital campaign creation. Anyone can apply for digital analyst jobs if they have the required abilities, regardless of their degree status.

Average Annual Salary (2022): $62,840
Ideal Skills for this Job: Analytical, observational, and data software skills

Digital Strategist

Digital strategists combine advertising and technical knowledge to create overarching marketing plans. They utilize SEO, paid advertisements, and social media to get the word out about a product or service. These professionals often work closely with digital analysts to ensure campaign success.

Average Annual Salary (2022): $62,150
Ideal Skills for this Job: Strategic thinking, search engine optimization, and statistical skills

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Frequently Asked Questions About Entry-Level Tech Jobs

What is the easiest job to get in tech?

The easiest job to get in tech depends on your unique skill set and knowledge. However, certain jobs require fewer technical skills than others. Entry-level coding, graphic design, and technical sales jobs all feature attainable requirements. Sometimes attending a bootcamp or completing a certification is all it takes to earn one of these jobs.

Earning tech jobs without a degree may require doing some upfront work for free or a reduced price for portfolio purposes. You can also build a portfolio by doing freelance work. Once you have a portfolio to show employers, you can begin applying for entry-level jobs. Look for words like junior, specialist, assistant, or coordinator to identify high-paying tech jobs that require little to no experience.

What easy jobs make over six figures a year?

Computer network architects earned a median income of $120,520 in May 2021, according to the BLS. Information security analysts earned a median annual salary of $102,600. Some of these professionals need just a high school diploma and relevant experience.

The BLS projects the need for information security analysts to grow faster than average at 35% between 2021 and 2031. These professionals plan and implement technical security measures for a company. The BLS projects the need for computer network architects to grow slower than average during the same timeframe at just 5%. Computer network architects design and build computer communication networks.

Can I make money in tech without a degree?

Yes, you can make money in tech without a formal college degree. Some high-paying tech jobs only require a high school diploma or equivalent when it comes to formal education. Learners who want to acquire enough knowledge to land a tech job can do so in other ways. They can take online courses, join professional organizations, or gain on-the-job experience.

Making money without a tech degree still requires knowledge and skills. During a job interview, do your best to demonstrate or explain how your abilities qualify you for the job.

Feature Image: Morsa Images / DigitalVision / Getty Images