How to get a Job in Tech Without a Degree
July 14th, 2023
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If you’re hoping to get a job in tech without a degree, you’re not alone. Today, companies around the world are facing a significant skills shortage in the technology landscape.
While the technology industry is growing at an incredible pace, there are only a handful of professionals with the right background knowledge to thrive in this space. Although this presents a significant issue for business leaders, it means opportunities are everywhere for ambitious individuals.
Today, if you’re wondering how to get hired by a tech company, you don’t necessarily require a degree to get started. In fact, a LinkedIn study found 72% of employers may value soft skills and bootcamp knowledge just as much as a traditional college degree.
Here’s everything you need to know to launch your career in tech.
How to Get a Job in Tech: What do You Need?
Although there are plenty of tech companies that still value degrees when searching for new employees, there are various skills and characteristics that also matter to employers. Some organizations will even pay for additional training on your behalf.
If you’re looking for an entry-level career in tech, or a role that involves things like sales and customer service, then you may be able to improve your chances of success with:
- Soft skills: In the tech industry, certain soft skills can be just as valuable as technical skills. You’ll need initiative to work in a fast-paced environment, an ability to adapt to changes quickly, and excellent communication and problem solving skills.
- Technical knowledge: A degree isn’t the only way to demonstrate tech skills to potential employers. You can earn a job without a degree by completing a coding bootcamp, taking online courses, or building a portfolio showcasing your work.
- A growth mindset: Demonstrating a willingness to learn and grow is crucial in the tech industry. You should be able to show a commitment to constantly expanding your knowledge of the tech industry or the sector you want to work in.
Roles You Can Get without a Degree
While some high-level technical jobs may require a degree, others are open to all kinds of applicants, regardless of their educational background. You could pursue roles like:
- Software development: There are plenty of online courses that will teach you everything you need to know about programming languages, front-end and back-end design, and development, so you can branch out into the software space.
- Tech sales: If you already have skills in the sales landscape, you can pursue a career path related to selling technology, without a traditional degree. You’ll just need to demonstrate your understanding of the sales and technology space.
- Digital marketing: Digital marketing specialists don’t necessarily need a degree to thrive in the tech space. However, you will need an extensive knowledge of marketing strategies like PPC, social media campaigns, SEO, and content marketing.
- Data analysts: Data analysts, capable of transforming raw data into insights for business leaders, are some of the most in-demand professionals in the technical landscape. If you can work with numbers and assess metrics, you could thrive in this space.
- Junior roles: Junior roles, such as junior web developer, user experience designer, or junior software engineer are excellent for those without degrees. In these entry-level positions, you’ll typically learn the skills you need on the job.
How to Get a Job in Tech without a Degree
Getting hired by a tech company without a degree relies on your ability to build your knowledge and skills in less traditional environments. Before you start your job search, here are some of the steps you can take to appeal to more employers.
Step 1: Build your knowledge with online resources
The online world is an exceptional space to learn everything you need to know about your new career path, and the skills required in the technology industry. You can join Facebook groups, online communities, and coding websites to learn from your peers.
There are also plenty of great articles, eBooks, blogs, and videos that can guide you through the educational process. Aside from developing your knowledge online, you can also use the online world to research job descriptions and determine which roles might be suitable for you.
Ask yourself which roles are beginner friendly, whether you have transferrable skills you can use in those jobs, and how you can develop the key skills required for the new role. You might even search for a mentor who can help you find new employment opportunities.
Step 2: Join a bootcamp
As mentioned above, tech-focused bootcamps are some of the best resources for beginners hoping to get a job in tech without a degree. These fast-paced courses give you all the tools you need to develop technical skills. Plus, you’ll be able to enhance your soft skills by interacting with other learners.
Usually, attending online and in-person bootcamps is less time-consuming and expensive than getting a degree. However, it can be a stressful process for beginners. Make sure you research the most credible bootcamps in your space before you dive in.
There are plenty of resources out there that can help you to choose the best coding bootcamps, programming courses and similar solutions.
Step 3: Earn a certification
Getting a certification can be an excellent way to make your resume stand out to potential employers, without having to take a traditional degree. Certifications demonstrate your skills and knowledge in the tech industry, making you more appealing to employers.
The key to success is making sure you choose a certification that’s relevant to the role you want to apply for. For instance, a CompTIA certification can help you to apply for entry-level positions in technical roles like system administrator or cybersecurity.
The more relevant certifications you can earn, the more likely you are to stand out from the crowd when you start applying for tech roles.
Step 4: Leverage transferrable skills
When figuring out how to get hired by a tech company, a lot of people assume niche technical skills like coding and programming are essential. However, there are no-code and low-code jobs out there that can still benefit from your transferrable skills.
Some high-paying IT and tech jobs, such as technical writer, tech salesperson, graphic designer, and UI specialist require less coding, and more analytical, or creative knowledge.
Develop soft skills that will help you to thrive in any role, such as communication and problem solving skills, analysis and mathematical skills, and team work.
Step 5: Apply for the right roles
Ultimately, there are going to be a lot of tech-related roles in the world today that require you to have some kind of degree. Applying for a role that asks for a degree when you don’t have one could mean you fail to impress your hiring manager.
However, you can still look for roles that don’t require a degree. LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, and many other job sites will allow you to filter through roles, based on their requirements.
You can also boost your chances of success by creating an eye-catching portfolio, showcasing how you can improve user experiences with design, or analyze crucial data.
Step 6: Develop your interviewing skills
Making the right impression during an interview is one of the most important and valuable ways to improve your chances of getting a job offer in the technology landscape. Even people with degrees and years of experience can fall at this hurdle.
There are plenty of websites out there that include step-by-step guidance on how to improve your interviewing skills, develop your confidence, and answer questions effectively.
You can also practice both online (video-based) and in-person interviewing with people you trust. Make sure you know how to showcase your abilities effectively, and how to demonstrate confidence during an interview.
Step 7: Be prepared to start small
If you’re trying to get a tech role without a degree, you’ll need to be prepared to start relatively slowly. Don’t expect to instantly jump into a leadership position. If you have no experience in the tech landscape, you’ll need to start developing experience as quickly as possible.
Think about signing up for internships where you can develop some of the knowledge and attributes hiring managers are looking for. In some cases, it may even be worth looking at volunteering positions, as this will develop your experience too.
If you want to opt for a paid role, look for positions listed as “entry level”, and ask your hiring manager if there will be able opportunities to learn on the job.
Getting a Job in Tech Without a Degree
Figuring out how to get hired by a tech company without a degree can seem like a complex process. However, there are still plenty of roles out there that don’t require a traditional degree. The steps above will allow you to develop the skills and experience potential hiring managers are looking for, so you can dive into an entry level role.
As you continue your career path, you can always decide whether you want to pursue a degree at a later stage, to open the door to additional high-paying roles.
Remember, if you need help strengthening your chances of employment, there are various communities out there that can help you. At the Hard Skill Exchange, you can develop both the technical and soft skills you need to start a role in Tech sales, without a degree.
Join the Hard Skill Exchange today to start your new career path.
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