6 IT Jobs You Can Get Without a College Degree

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Last updated on February 17, 2023

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Skills-based hiring is a growing trend in today’s tech job market — but what kinds of tech roles can you actually land without a college degree? Libby Edwards, the Head of Career Outcomes at Springboard, weighs in with 6 tech roles you can land without a degree. Learn three ways that folks without college degrees can learn IT skills, and how Springboard supports its non-degree students make a successful career change into tech.

Meet the Expert: Libby Edwards, Head of Career Outcomes at Springboard

  • Libby leads Springboard’s Career Outcomes team, which includes the Career Services team, the Partnerships team, and the Employer Partnerships team.
  • Libby’s work includes Work-Based Learning where students connect with real world work experience projects/opportunities.

Libby, can you actually land a tech job without a college degree? When it comes to tech roles, do today’s employers accept coding bootcamps on a resume in the same way as a college degree?

Yes! What employers value most is hunger and experience. A degree earned 10 years ago in today’s evolving technical landscape is not as attractive to employers as recent real world experience and a demonstrated ability and determination to learn and grow (such as recently acquired technical certifications).

Since the start of 2022 alone, 138 Springboard students without bachelor’s degrees have reported job offers to us! When Springboard students focus on rounding out their technical curriculum with real world experience – for example, building out a great Github or design portfolio, or taking on freelance or volunteer work for exposure and experience – we see those students step into their dream technical job very quickly.  

What skills are employers and tech recruiters looking for in today’s tech hires?

In addition to up-to-date technical skills, employers are looking for critical thinking, ability to collaborate and communicate effectively, and hunger to learn and grow. 

Many of our students who are breaking into the tech industry may be downplaying their nontechnical experience (for example, their retail experience). But the tech field is a customer service field in some sense, in that you will likely serve in an enablement function for the organization you end up working for, providing technical expertise to diverse stakeholders who may not possess a technical background. Therefore the ability to be a great listener with a strong sense of audience awareness, and the ability to communicate clearly and even influence is critical.  

Secondly, in a world where knowledge of content may become outdated fairly quickly, what is prized most is the ability and desire to be constantly learning. Completing a rigorous program like Springboard and earning supplemental technical certifications are both great ways to demonstrate this, but we encourage our students to be creative in thinking about examples they can talk about in an interview that demonstrate aptitude for learning, even outside of technical environments (e.g., learning a foreign language).  

Lastly, employers are looking for candidates who can work autonomously and demonstrate consistent initiative and adaptability.

6 Tech Jobs You Can Land Without a Degree

Some of the most common roles Springboard students without Bachelor’s degrees have earned after graduation are:

  1. Software Engineer
  2. Software Developer
  3. UX Designer
  4. UI Designer
  5. UX Researcher
  6. Data Analyst

1. Software Engineer / Junior Software Engineer 

Average salary: $106K-$150K
Typical duties include: 

  • Working with quality assurance to develop software test plans
  • Collaborating with hardware engineers to assess and test hardware and software interaction
  • Implementing a specific development methodology
  • Documenting software specifications

2. Software Developer / Junior Software Developer 

Average salary: $103K-$148K
Typical duties include:

  • Coding, testing, and debugging programs according to computer engineering specifications
  • Modifying, expanding, and updating applications
  • Communicating with a team that includes analysts, engineers, and quality assurance testers in order to coordinate and document application development and testing
  • Developing software prototypes

3. UX Designer 

Average salary: $111K-$171K
Typical duties include:

  • Monitoring user experience and ensuring that websites, software programs, apps, and products are those that users love to use
  • Reviewing user feedback to determine potential defects or areas for clarity, working closely with other IT professionals, customers, users, and company teams to design, mockup, test, and guide user experience changes
  • Identifying personas and performing usability tests when necessary, on software products or features to ensure functionality

4. UI Designer

Average salary: $96K-$148K
Typical duties include:

  • Executing in all visual design stages, including; initial concepts, user-flows, functional UI prototypes, and hand-off specifications to developers. 
  • Explaining complex UI concepts to non-designers, and demo-ing original UI designs to executive leadership and development teams. 
  • Creating storyboards, wireframes, user-flows, process-flows, site-maps, and layered visual designs to communicate interaction and UI design concepts. 
  • Presenting and defending designs and key deliverables to peers and executive level stakeholders. 
  • Establish and promote design guidelines, best practices and standards, while working within brand standards.  

5. UX Researcher 

Average salary: $111K-$164K
Typical duties include:

  • Exploring user behaviors and motivations through various research methods such as field studies, 1:1 interviews, diary studies, participatory workshops, ethnography, surveys, usability testing, and log analysis
  • Working with cross-functional teams, including UX Product Designers, Product Owners, and UX Engineers, to identify research opportunities and scope strategic research projects
  • Synthesizing research data, developing and refining metrics, and communicating research findings to diverse audiences through written reports and presentations. 

6. Data Analyst 

Average salary: $91K-$131K
Typical duties include:

  • Understanding, interpreting and applying business rules to ensure a high level of data integrity and consistency
  • Engaging and consulting with team members on new data, business needs and opportunities to improve system effectiveness
  • Navigating complex customer data sources to retrieve relevant business information and produce better client results

11 Companies That Hire Tech Job Applicants Without Degrees

In the last year, we’ve seen Springboard students without a Bachelor’s degree earn great roles at great companies like: 

  1. Accenture
  2. Bank of America
  3. FedEx
  4. Delta Airlines
  5. GoFundMe
  6. Infosys
  7. JPMorgan Chase
  8. Microsoft Dynamics 
  9. SiriusXM
  10. Nike
  11. Wells Fargo

Is this skills-based tech hiring trend catching on?

The trend is certainly catching on. We’ve seen recent news articles about Google, Bank of America, General Motors, IBM and Tesla all moving to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements from more roles.

It’s critical for company leadership to invest in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and looking at nontraditional paths to job readiness is key. If companies are requiring bachelor’s degrees as a rule, they’re automatically taking 70% of people of color out of the running. If companies want to diversify their workforce and gain the edge that is only available through creating an inclusive workforce that values diverse backgrounds, they need to consider dropping degree requirements.  

Are there certain types of jobs that will always require an advanced degree? 

Most entry-level technical roles are available to students without bachelor’s degrees, but students at some companies may find as they climb up the management ladder they encounter a ceiling as they’re approaching more senior leadership roles. This is not the case at all companies, though!

3 Ways to Learn Technical Skills Without Going to College

If you don’t have a college degree, there are many alternate routes to learning technical skills. 

The key ways, which are most effective used together, are:

  1. Enrolling in an alternate path to education, such as Springboard. 
  2. Learning in-demand coding languages like Python and Java or acquiring beginner certifications like the CompTIA A+ or Net+ certifications,. 
  3. Looking for real world experience opportunities to strengthen your skills, such as building out your GitHub portfolio, designing your friend’s website, or taking on volunteer tech work.

How does Springboard give its bootcamp students without a college degree a leg up in the tech job search?

All students in Springboard courses receive the exact same level of support and intervention whether they’re in our job guarantee program or not. All students receive:

  • World-class, self-paced career development curriculum that runs alongside the tech curriculum.
  • 1:1 career coach calls during the in-course experience that reinforce topics learned in the async career curriculum (e.g., resume, networking, LinkedIn).
  • 1:1 career coach support after program completion to help the student throughout their job search.
  • Access to our network of employer partners and Springboard alumni, resources such as tailored job boards, employer/industry events, and consideration for job opportunity shortlists.
  • Design students have the option to do the Industry Design Project where students get matched to a company looking for design work, getting the opportunity to get real world experience they can add to a resume and talk about in interviews.

Does Springboard extend its Job Guarantee to bootcamp students without college degrees?

Yes! Students without college degrees are eligible for Springboard’s Job Guarantee for both Foundations and Software Engineering and Cyber Security career tracks. 

What is your advice to technologists without degrees on how to move up the career ladder into mid- or senior-level positions?

Our students who do well are the hungriest! They go above and beyond the basic requirements and invest deeply in themselves. They surround themselves with a positive support environment and ask for help when they need it. 

Changing your career is hard and students do speed bumps like rejections, potential employers ghosting them after a job interview, etc. Students and graduates who do well and keep their career growing demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity. 

They also take networking seriously — bravely attending meetups and reaching out cold on LinkedIn. These successful students build authentic, collaborative relationships and help other people as they look to advance their own careers.  

Find out more and read Springboard reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Springboard.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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