Nowadays, getting a job in the information technology (IT) field is easier than ever, especially with so many positions being experience-based instead of qualification-based. While some potential employers may prefer at least an associate degree, others are fine with computer science certificate programs as long as you have the skills they are looking for.
If you want to land computer science jobs without a degree, take a look at our comprehensive guide. In it, we will introduce you to the best high-paying options so you can enter the IT sector without a degree, as well as companies that hire for these types of roles.
What Is Computer Science?
Computer science is the study of both computer hardware and software. This field is quite diverse and is in high demand across all industries. As the world’s reliance on technology increases, the demand for professionals in this field will continue to increase.
Computer science is divided into sub-disciplines which are specialized as well. These include software systems, computer theory, hardware systems, and scientific computing, among others. In some cases, professionals may need to learn a bit from each of these core areas to land a computer science job.
What Do Computer Science Jobs Pay?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for people in the computer science field is $70,080 a year in the US. This means that they earn around $33.69 per hour, $1,348 per week, and $5,840 per month.
The field is quite broad, so some people may earn much more. Several factors may determine what each professional in the field can earn, including location, company, industry, and the specific responsibilities you take on in your role.
What Skills Do You Need to Land a Computer Science Job?
Programming and Mathematics Skills
Data Analysis and Visualization Skills
The key role data plays in advanced computer science practices requires computer scientists to have analytical skills. It is not restricted to predictive analysis and artificial intelligence but involves the ability to analyze data as well. It is also crucial to have data visualization skills to be able to present information to other non-scientific stakeholders. This includes presenting raw data using charts, graphs, and visual tools to ease their understanding.
Computer and Technology
It is important to have computer skills regardless of the sub-field you find yourself in. This is because you will be required to work with computers on a daily basis. This involves knowing how to operate hardware, software, and being able to work on different operating systems with equal efficiency.
This soft skill is important because it makes you versatile in the computer science field. It involves being able to give directions and explanations in different technical situations. Employers prefer to hire someone who does not only have skills and knowledge but can explain projects to others. This skill also shows employers that you can report and present technical ideas in a clear way.
One important hard skill for computer scientists is software development. You need a full understanding of software development and principles to make your resume attractive to recruiters. This skill shows that you can write code, test it, troubleshoot it, and create usable programs.
Having experience in software development will open up tech positions like software development engineer, software architect, software publisher, or a range of other software developer jobs.
What Education Do You Need to Get a Computer Science Job?
A high school diploma is often enough to get a computer science job. However, you may be required to get some specific training to prepare you for the job. In the past, employers used to require a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or other related disciplines. Some even wanted graduate degree holders.
Things have changed, and employers are willing to hire candidates without a bachelor’s degree. A training program, such as a coding bootcamp, can help you to get a job in the computer science field.
Why College Is Not for Everyone
College is no longer as attractive as it used to be because of the high costs involved. Students are left with heavy debts that they need to pay off after graduating. Since it is possible to still get jobs in the tech field without a degree, and with fewer expenses, college looks more unattractive to some.
Another reason why college is not for everyone is the fact that some disciplines do not require the traditional method of learning. They are more practical, meaning students will benefit more from attending a trade school or a coding bootcamp.
There are more affordable learning options than a four-year degree and they can also help you to enter your dream career. You can consider schools with programs of shorter durations such as community colleges, trade schools, and coding bootcamps. Bootcamps are ideal because they offer the training you would have gotten from a computer science four-year degree within a shorter time frame.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Computer Science Job?
Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you to get a computer science job. Bootcamps cover a wide range of computer science sub-disciplines such as cyber security, software engineering, UX design, and data science. You can choose the most suitable one and enroll in it.
One of the great benefits of attending a coding bootcamp is that it provides you with hands-on training. This helps you solidify your skills, as well as provide you with projects you can then add to your portfolio. In addition, students are offered career services to help them secure a job after graduation.
How to Get a Computer Science Job With a GED
Find Your Motivation
Transitioning into a new career can be tough. You need a lot of motivation to be able to see it through. This is why getting clear on your motivations is the first thing you should do. Make a plan on what you want and set clear goals you want to achieve. Do some research to determine possible issues you may encounter and prepare for them. On days that you feel low, refocusing on your goals can help you push forward.
Learn Basic Computer Science Skills
Choose Your Learning Method
There are a lot of ways to learn the skills needed to become a computer scientist. You can read books and resources by yourself, enroll in an online course, or attend an online coding bootcamp. These three options are far cheaper than going to college, however, coding bootcamps stand out among them. This is because they are ideal for complete beginners and offer career services to guide you after graduation.
Continue Building Projects
Regardless of your learning method, you need to continue to build projects. Work on developing websites and apps to hone your skills. Aside from helping you master the skill, you can build a portfolio for job searches. Employers may want someone with experience, and a portfolio shows that you have hands-on experience and that you know what you are doing.
Focus on Networking
While you gather enough knowledge and skills to venture into the field, make sure to devote some time to networking, which you can do by attending tech-based events and local meetups. Many great jobs are not formally advertised, and this is where networking comes in, as you might find opportunities through your relationships.
High-Paying Computer Science Jobs Without a College Degree
|Cyber Security Analyst||$99,815||33%|
*This statistic is grouped under Web Developers and Digital Designers on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Best Computer Science Jobs that Don’t Require a Degree: A Closer Look
Cyber Security Analyst
Cyber security analysts are responsible for IT and network infrastructure security. This expert understands malware, cyber-attacks, and cybercriminal behavior. They use the information to prevent attacks.
These professionals protect a company from cyber threats by developing protocols to respond to and prevent attacks. Cyber security analysts also help ensure that the computer hardware and network devices are secure. This prevents cybercriminals from exploiting vulnerabilities to steal sensitive information or cause damage.
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UX designers are responsible for making services and products more enjoyable, usable, and accessible. Their role focuses on digital design for apps and websites, and they help ensure that customers find digital products friendly and easy to use. They act as the advocates of the customer and find new ways to enhance the customer experience.
Network engineers are responsible for setting up, building, and maintaining computer networks. They may work for organizations or as general consultants for different tech companies. These experts also offer support to staff, customers, clients, and suppliers. They handle any network issues and troubleshoot them for customers. They may also be responsible for developing new networks.
Systems analysts are IT professionals that work to ensure that computer infrastructures and systems function efficiently in an organization. They research problems, find solutions, recommend actions, and coordinate meetings with stakeholders to meet requirements.
Systems analysts study computer systems, business processes, and procedures to come up with action plans. They are used to working on hardware configurations, operating systems, software and hardware platforms, and with different programming languages.
Web developers program the code that directs websites on how to function. These professionals build user-friendly websites to make them more accessible to the target audience. They are also responsible for building functions within the website, such as newsletters, forms for email capturing, a message to thank clients, and paywalls and payment processing systems.
Data analysts are responsible for collecting, cleaning, and interpreting datasets to solve problems or answer questions. Data analysts collect data through visitor tracking, surveys, and dataset purchase from other data collection specialists. They then clean the data to remove duplicates, outliers, and errors while maintaining the quality of the data.
These professionals work in many fields such as criminal justice, finance, business, government, and medicine. The data they work on helps organizations determine what kind of ad campaigns they should organize, the patterns and financial trends in their industry, or the evolving preferences of their target audiences.
Computer programmers are responsible for writing code, testing, debugging, and maintaining computer programs. They come up with program ideas, then design and test the software to solve computer issues.
These experts use programming languages such as Java, C, PHP, .NET, and C++. They convert programs built by system architects or software developers into simple instructions that computers can follow.
These professionals work on the visuals of websites. Web designers meet with clients to get a clear idea of what they need on the website. When this is done, web designers create designs, layouts, and other features according to their client’s needs and preferences.
Web designers focus on the aesthetic aspects of a website. This includes selecting the proper fonts, colors, images, and layout to create the personality of a site. Also, web designers can be responsible for the usability of a website.
Digital marketers promote services and products using digital channels such as mobile technology and the internet. They make use of push and pull marketing techniques to be able to target customers directly and indirectly.
As a digital marketer, your role involves developing the multichannel communication strategies of an organization. These experts work in different industries and help organizations land clients and save money on traditional marketing.
Graphic designers work as visual communicators. They create concepts using graphic design software or their own hands. These experts communicate ideas to inform, inspire, and captivate customers. They create virtual and physical art forms such as graphics, words, and images.
Graphic designers create bus wraps, posters, packaging, billboards, and logos. They often work in advertising agencies, magazines, and marketing agencies. Other important parts of their job include selecting typefaces, photos, and creating annual reports, advert layouts, magazines, and brochures.
Companies that Offer Entry-Level Computer Science Jobs
- Google. Google is well known for its search engine, but the company also offers online advertising and cloud computing. It offers a lot of entry-level developer roles for those in the IT field. It is also one of the largest employers in tech across the globe.
- Boeing. This American multinational company designs, sells, and manufactures rotorcraft, airplanes, telecommunication equipment, satellites, and missiles around the globe. The company has junior software engineer roles and other jobs for software developers.
- IBM. IBM is an American computer manufacturer that hires entry-level computer scientists. The company sells enterprise system software, IT services, and cloud services.
- Verizon. Verizon is a wireless network operator based in New York. It offers smartphone deals as well as wireless plans for its wide user base in the US.
- Nvidia. Nvidia designs different graphic processing units (GPUs) for professional markets and gaming. They also offer chip units for the automotive and mobile computing markets.
Where to Find Computer Science Jobs that Don’t Require a Degree
LinkedIn is a social media platform that allows professionals to connect with one another. It is an excellent place to find computer science jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree because it lists open jobs in different parts of the world. It also offers easier ways to apply for jobs without adding your resume to every single application.
Indeed is a job board and career guide service and you can use it to find computer science jobs. This website allows you to create an account and add your resume for easy application. You can also customize your search to save time.
Glassdoor doesn’t just post jobs, the website also covers company information, employee reviews, and personalized salary tools to help you to navigate the job search process.
Consider a Computer Science Degree Later in Your Career
Even if you have already found your dream career, there are still some benefits to getting a computer science degree. Don’t worry, you won’t need to run around campus or quit your job to do so. Remote learning has made it possible to get your degree without disrupting your life too much.
Online degrees are quite popular today. You can choose to get a degree in computer science or any of its sub-disciplines like data science, cyber security, or even software engineering. This option is a lot cheaper than traditional learning as well, as it doesn’t involve relocating and can be done part-time or with a flexible schedule.
Computer Science Jobs Without a Degree FAQ
Yes, it is possible to get a job in computer science without a degree. Employers today are more focused on hiring experienced and talented candidates regardless of their formal qualifications. With adequate training and some working experience, you should be able to secure a job in the field.
There are many computer science jobs you can apply for without having a college degree and they include data science, software engineering, system analysts, graphic designer, network engineers, cyber security professionals, and data analysts. The job growth and wage statistics from BLS show that these tech jobs typically have high average salaries.
Computer science skills can be learned online. There are hundreds of resources for that purpose. However, if you prefer a structured learning environment then you can enroll in a coding bootcamp. A bootcamp will help you to master in-demand skills within a short time.
Yes, a coding bootcamp can give you useful skills that prepare you for a career in information technology. The programs are short but come with intensive lessons and students get job support to help them to navigate the job market.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.