Stack Overflow reports that almost 70% of tech professionals from over 170 countries consider themselves at least partly self-taught (13% being completely self-taught), with only a third of those surveyed having received a BS in computer science or a related field. The diversity in technical training backgrounds in this industry just goes to show how attainable success is, if you’re willing to put in the effort.
Below, we’ve recapped Paysa’s report to show you which 6-figure salary tech jobs you can land without an advanced degree.
1. Web Developer
Engineers who specialize in developing websites and web applications are some of the most sought-after tech professionals today. With a national average salary of $80K to $87K a year (or an average $111K market salary, counting annual bonus and equity), web developers have the potential to move well into the six-figure range of salary depending on which company they work for. Top performers in senior level positions have been known to earn upwards of $200,000 annually.
2. Systems Administrator
Systems administrators earn a national average of anywhere between $75K and $89K (and up to around $113K market salary), with the potential to earn well into the six-figure range after a few years in the field. In fact, Cisco employees have documented an average Systems Admin salary of nearly $106,000 annually, and Oracle Systems Admins are just shy of $100,000 annually.
As reported by Paysa, only 64% of System Administrator job postings list a BS as a requirement. With the top desired skills in this field being databases, integration, and troubleshooting, you can easily self-teach and certify yourself to become a fully qualified and desirable candidate.
3. QA Engineer
Quality assurance is something that every tech-minded company needs, as they monitor almost all phases of the software development process in order to ensure all products are up to company standards. For this reason, QA Engineers are in high demand, and therefore very forgiving about applicants who lack advanced degrees. This is why roughly three of every four QA Engineer job listings require an advanced degree, but not all of them do. If you keep your eye out, you just might find a QA position that matches your experience and education level perfectly.
The average QA engineer makes $136K, which includes an annual bonus and equity. In order to be successful in this field, you should be an expert in agile methodologies, SQL, testing, test automation, and general QA technologies and practices.
4. UI Designer
User interface design is important for all customer-facing companies. With an average salary of $168K, this can be a lucrative career path to pursue, even if you lack a BS in an appropriate field. While 74% of UI Designer job listings define a degree as a requirement, there are still many positions out there that do not, as long as you have to knowledge and experience to back it up.
In order to be successful in this career, be prepared to become fully acquainted with web design, graphic design, interaction design, Photoshop, Illustrator, and CSS.
5. DevOps Engineer
DevOps Engineers have a lot of different duties, which requires them to be knowledgeable in a number of technologies. As this is a relatively new field in the tech world, this is the prime time to be hopping on this career path. The top skills that you should be familiar with in this field are Linux, Python, and Java, all of which have a number of certification opportunities.
The national average salary for a DevOps Engineer is around $100,000 (plus annual bonuses and equity), with those higher in their careers reaching well over $147,000 annually. Roughly a quarter of job openings do not list a BS as a requirement for consideration.
6. Mobile Developer
There are so many independently taught Mobile Developers out there, proving that this is not only a field that the average person can teach themselves, but also that this is a career in high demand. In fact, CNN named mobile development the “Best Job in America” in 2017, due to the average happiness and working conditions of people in this field.
Your formal education isn’t as important in the tech industry as it may be in other careers. What’s important is your ability to prove your skill set, be it with years of experience accurately defined on your tech resume, or a solid list of technical certifications under your belt.
Seen is another great (and free!) resource if you are looking for a career change and to make connections in a field that you may be new to. Here at Seen, we work to match each candidate with their perfect position based on company needs and candidate experience — and no, you don’t need an advanced degree to apply.
In fact, did you know that you can actually earn money through Seen by referring your friends to the platform? You can also help others in a similar situation as you get their foot in the door of the technical industry through Seen referrals. If you know someone who is looking for work in the tech industry, refer them to Seen and earn some extra cash.