In the past, breaking into tech wasn’t that easy for most people. With a few notable exceptions (Jobs and Zuckerberg), the most straightforward path into a tech career was through a four-year college program. It made a lot of sense in the past, especially when hardware was king of tech. Today, everybody already has the equipment—the industry is dominated by software companies and startups who don’t need a team of engineers to launch a successful product. Furthermore, most tech jobs are highly specialized and unique, so candidates with college degrees often aren’t the top choice for these learn-as-you-go positions. Some education will be necessary in most cases, but it doesn’t take require a four year degree to land a high-paying job in tech.
Instead, coding bootcamps can be an excellent alternative, and you’ll graduate with all the skills you need to land a tech job that doesn’t require a computer science degree. In this article, we’ll go over some of the best tech jobs you can land with a coding certificate instead of a college degree.
CS Degree vs. Coding Bootcamp
If you’re looking into tech, you’ve probably stumbled across an ad or forum about coding bootcamp. It seems too good to be true, doesn’t it—a short commitment, rigorous training, and then you’re done? Actually yes, coding bootcamps are legitimate, and graduates often land jobs at top tech companies. It’s no different from any other career and technical education program in that respect—you show up, learn how to do a specialized job, then market your skills and land a position at a company that needs your skills.
College, on the other hand, generally isn’t a career training program because it was never meant to be. College itself isn’t bad—it’s an excellent (and only) choice for a lot of people (think medicine and mechanical engineering) and provides a well-rounded education that can’t be found in many other programs. However, if you’re just looking to break into tech, a coding bootcamp is often a faster, (significantly) less expensive, and more direct choice. Let’s take a look at three awesome tech jobs that don’t require a degree in computer science.
Software engineering is unlike any other kind of engineering. Instead of building physical machines, software engineers build virtual programs that run them. That’s right—computers are everywhere these days, even in cars, airplanes, and power plants. Software engineers are vital contributors to the modern world, as they design and build the computer programs that keep the gears of the 21st century turning. Their work isn’t limited, as software engineers write code for virtually every industry and application. These programmers are in high demand and often take home six figures with some experience, so software engineering is an excellent career that generally doesn’t require a college degree of any kind.
Web developers run the Internet. These programmers design websites and write all the code that makes them work so well. And here’s the best part—this tech job doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Coding bootcamp students often choose web development due to its versatility, and there are plenty of job opportunities available in this field across the country. Web development is a rapidly growing career option, and you can choose to work as a freelancer as well.
Web development can be broken down into three main categories: front end (client side), backend (server side), and full stack. While front and back end developers specialize in one side of web development, full stack programmers do both. These professionals often earn impressive salaries, with many positions starting between $60,000 and $80,000 annually.
Cybersecurity professionals differ greatly from other tech positions, but their role is equally important in this rapidly developing world. Everything online can be stolen, regardless how secure it may seem. Cybersecurity professionals work with companies and governments to increase the security of information ranging from credit cards to social security numbers. These tech workers often utilize coding knowledge to expose and repair security flaws in systems and sometimes design entirely new programs to keep people’s private information secure. Cybersecurity professionals earn an average salary of $116,000 annually, and this tech job often doesn’t require a computer science degree!