A four-year degree is not a viable option for everyone, aside from the cost, many of us have other responsibilities that won’t allow us to dedicate the time to study. Nowadays (and to some extent) there is less emphasis on degrees and more on skills and work experience.
The term for jobs that require hard skill but not a four-year degree is “new-collar jobs”, or “middle-skill jobs”. It is possible for candidates to begin an excellent career with two-year degrees, an apprenticeship, or vocational training. Here are 5 new-collar jobs to consider.
Computer Security Analyst
This role has excellent prospects with an expected growth of 32%, a lot higher than the average. A computer security analyst is in charge of providing security to computer networks and systems. While some companies will require a degree, there are also many that prefer to hire those with skills in computer science, development, and IT security. The average salary was $99,730 in 2019.
This role goes beyond managing a few Excel spreadsheets. A database manager will store and organize, often very large amounts of data, so that it is readily available for users. They will also need to ensure that databases are secure. Because of the need for data, a database manager can work in almost any industry but more commonly in computer systems design and support. If you don’t have a degree, a great skill to have is knowledge of database languages. In 2019, the average annual salary was $93,750.
With a solid background in computer languages such as Java and C++, computer programmers will develop and test code for computer programs and apps. It is an ideal job for people who are looking to remote work as most are based on a computer. Certifications to demonstrate skills and experience in coding will go a long way, other candidates attend boot camps. Considering you don’t need a degree and there is more flexibility, the average annual income of $86,550 is very attractive.
Network and Computer Systems Administrator
Another IT job that is needed from every industry from IT to education, network and computer systems administrators need to be able to install and manage computer systems and their networks. Today it is possible to start a job in this field with a postsecondary certificate and vigorous computer skills. You will be able to earn an average annual salary of $83,510 in this role.
Computer Support Specialist
When computers go wrong, we need assistance, whether we are an IT specialist or not. Computer support specialists will assist IT, users, with software and hardware issues. They might do this over the phone, online, and/or in person. The most important skill, except for excellent computer knowledge, is communication and people skills as they will need to explain technical terms to non-tech people. A strong candidate will have computer certifications. You can expect an average annual income of $56,433.
While new collar jobs don’t require a four-year degree, it is important that you work towards gaining education and certifications in your field of interest. There are plenty of other new-collar jobs that may spark an interest. So, if you can’t see yourself studying for a degree, there are plenty of other options.