8 Tech Jobs That Don’t Require a High School Diploma
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- Working in tech without a high school degree is challenging but not impossible.
- Do your research and resume prep before you start applying for jobs.
- Free tech classes and relevant work experience can take you a long way in tech.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10% of American adults (age 25 and older) in 2017 did not hold a high school or GED diploma. While this number is lower than previous years (e.g., 16% in 2000), it still represents approximately 23 million people.
You might assume someone without a high school degree would struggle to find a well-paying job in tech. However, the tech industry is known for placing high value on its employees' skills and experiences — for example, if you can show that you're a skilled coder, a diploma may not be necessary. Therefore, this field could be a great option for those without a high school or GED diploma. Keep in mind that tech jobs may still feel inaccessible if you don't have personal connections or tech experience.
This article explores various employment opportunities for people without a high school diploma who are looking to work in tech.
How to Find Jobs That Don't Require a High School Diploma
At the beginning of any job search, you should create (or update) your resume and line up your references. Because many companies use applicant tracking systems for the initial screening process, format your resume simply and use clear language.
Next, set up alerts on a few reliable job boards. Using LinkedIn is a great way to start your search. You can use it for networking and job searches. If you're looking to work in tech, you might use job-alert parameters like "entry-level" and "tech."
Tech Jobs That Don't Require a High School Diploma
All of the fields described in the following table may have entry-level jobs that don't require a high school diploma. However, keep in mind that it can be challenging to find tech jobs that don't require a high school education. Your search may take quite a while.
|YouTube Vlogger||The good news is there are no education requirements to vlog. However, a 2018 study conducted by the analytics firm Pex found that 88% of YouTube videos generate less than 1,000 views. Making a living on YouTube may prove challenging.|
|Professional Video Gamer||This position requires no formal degree, but it does require a lot of time. Many aspiring gamers practice and stream for at least 60 hours a week.|
|Online Entrepreneur||Online entrepreneurs need passion, persistence, and a product or service people want to purchase. You could make sales through your own website or take advantage of sites like Etsy and Amazon.|
|Tech Salesperson||Attitude is everything in sales. Employers look for workers with strong communication and problem-solving skills. Prior sales experience also helps.|
|Computer Support Specialist||Although an associate degree may be preferred for many computer support positions, a relevant certification may be enough. Knowledge of networking, server administration, and information security may also be critical.|
|Game Tester||A high school or GED diploma may be preferred for game testers, but a testing certification may serve as a substitute. Testers must have a strong eye for detail and good communication skills.|
According to the BLS, some of these positions, such as computer support specialists, pay fairly lucrative wages; workers in this area earn median salaries of nearly $58,000 in 2021. Additionally, the BLS projects that many tech jobs, such as those in web development and design, will grow faster than average between 2020 and 2030.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Get You a Job?
Coding bootcamps aim to provide relevant tech skills to motivated students eager to advance within or transition into tech. Coding bootcamps are a relatively new industry, and each bootcamp operates differently.
Some bootcamps may recommend or require a bachelor's degree, like Springboard, while others may only require a high school degree or GED diploma. However, some bootcamps don't have any education or experience requirements.
Top coding bootcamps should provide transparency about their admissions requirements, course content, and student outcomes. Many coding bootcamps have blogs sharing alumni stories or day-in-the-life features about students or employees.
Unlike four-year colleges, bootcamps do not have general education courses. Instead, bootcamp coursework covers practical skills directly related to tech careers. Additionally, many bootcamps offer career support services to help students prepare for their job search.
Every bootcamp approaches job placement differently. Many employ career counselors who help students with resumes, interview practice, and salary negotiations. And some bootcamps offer payment options that don't require students to pay tuition until they graduate and find a qualifying job.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tech Jobs That Don't Require a High School Diploma
Do trade schools require a high school diploma?
Trade schools generally require a high school diploma, although some may accept students who have passed the GED test.
Even if you don't need to graduate high school to attend a trade school, you may need to be a certain age (e.g., at least 17 years old). However, some coding bootcamps may cater to younger learners.
What are some tech jobs that don't require a college degree?
Tech jobs that don't require a college degree do exist. For example, aspiring programmers and developers can work hard on their own to develop the tech skills needed to get a job by completing projects and building a portfolio of work. Degree requirements are more likely to be consistent across a company rather than across a specific tech field.
Additionally, enrolling in a coding bootcamp may be worth it, depending on your situation. These have emerged as an alternative education method to help people from different backgrounds prepare for work in the tech industry.
What are some tech skills to put on a resume?
The best skills to feature on your resume depend on the job you're applying for. However, any coding skills or languages that you know should go on your resume. It's preferable to list them with your level of knowledge (e.g., beginner, proficient, mastery, etc.).
Today, most people possess basic knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, etc.). If you have more advanced skills, such as the ability to use mail merges and pivot tables, you should also list those on your tech resume.
Additionally, there are several soft skills that appeal to tech employers, including strong teamwork skills and the ability to be flexible and adapt to changes. These can also be added to your resume.
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