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how to get into it without a degree

How To Land a Job in IT Without a Degree In 8 Steps 

8 minute read | April 7, 2024
Monica J. White

Written by:
Monica J. White

Ready to launch your career?

The tech industry’s lucrative salaries and endless opportunities are so well known now that most people have thought about breaking in at one point or another. However, one thing that stops many people before they’ve even started is the apparent importance of having a computer science-related degree. However, the need for degrees in the tech industry isn’t as absolute as it seems! 

More and more roles are being opened up to non-degree holders to diversify the workforce, which means you don’t need to give up just because you haven’t been to college! In this guide, we’ll show what’s really important when it comes to breaking into the IT field and introduce you to some of the most common roles people land without degrees. Let’s get started!

Can You Land a Job in IT Without a Degree?

Yes, it is entirely possible to land a job in IT without a bachelor’s degree. Many companies are removing degree requirements from various team roles due to the continuing importance of diversity and equality in the workplace. According to, 45% of companies asked in a recent poll plan to get rid of degree requirements for some of their roles in 2024. This helps diversify the talent pool, bringing in people who developed their skills through methods other than higher education. 

Of course, the skills themselves are still an absolute requirement! So, let’s have a look at the different ways you can study that don’t involve going to college. 

How To Land a Job in IT Without a Degree: 8-Step Guide

When you take degrees out of the equation, the available paths toward getting hired suddenly become much more varied! Here’s our 8-step guide that covers the most significant milestones you need to hit during your unique journey. 

  • Understand Different Specializations and Shortlist Your Own

  • Invest Time in Learning

  • Develop Your Skills and Toolkit

  • Practice Makes Perfect

  • Create a Strong Portfolio

  • Pursue an Internship or Traineeship

  • Networking Is Key to Unlocking Opportunities

  • Create Your Resume, Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile, and Start Applying

Understand Different Specializations and Shortlist Your Own

Before you jump into studying, take the time to research various fields such as software development, cybersecurity, data analysis, cloud computing, and network administration. Each of these specializations offers unique opportunities and demands a distinct skill set, so choosing something that matches your strengths and interests is essential. 

It’s also good to look into the current trends and job market demands to help you make informed decisions. Some specializations are more open to non-degree holders than others, and some have more online resources and studying opportunities than others. You can even seek advice from professionals working in different fields to gain insights into the day-to-day responsibilities and future prospects—online communities are a great way to find people to talk to. By understanding the landscape of IT specializations, you can align your ambitions with the right path and maximize your chances of success in the industry.

Invest Time in Learning

The most crucial step towards getting hired is gaining the skills your dream job requires. Thankfully, various avenues cater to different learning styles and schedules, making the journey accessible to all.

  • Bootcamps. Online coding bootcamps offer a flexible and efficient way to acquire new skills while balancing other commitments. Whether you’re a full-time professional or a part-time worker, these programs accommodate diverse schedules while still providing 1-to-1 support and communal learning. With structured curriculums and hands-on projects, bootcamps offer practical, industry-relevant knowledge essential for landing IT roles.
  • Self-Taught Route. For those who prefer self-paced learning, many free and paid resources are available online. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Codecademy offer courses spanning various tech disciplines, allowing individuals to tailor their learning experience according to their preferences and availability. There are even courses from university professors and esteemed authors—which essentially give you access to college-level education as long as you have the drive to complete it independently. 
  • Certification. Obtaining certifications in specific tech areas can significantly bolster your resume and validate your skills to potential employers. Whether it’s CompTIA, Cisco, or Microsoft certifications, these credentials prove your expertise and dedication. Investing in certification enhances your employability and opens doors to higher-paying job opportunities within the IT sector.

Develop Your Skills and Toolkit

IT is a quick-moving industry, and possessing a diverse skill set is essential for success. Understanding the different kinds of skills valued in the tech industry is crucial. For instance, proficiency in programming languages such as Python, Java, or JavaScript is highly sought after in software development roles. Additionally, expertise in data analysis using tools like SQL, R, or Python’s pandas library is invaluable in fields like data science and analytics.

Familiarity with popular tools and frameworks such as Docker, Kubernetes, Git, and JIRA can enhance your productivity and effectiveness in collaborative environments. While specializing in specific tools demonstrates depth of expertise, being well-versed in various tools showcases versatility and adaptability—a trait highly prized in today’s dynamic tech landscape. Staying on top of trends and emerging tech is essential too: valuable employees aren’t just good at using tools—they’re good at knowing which tools to use. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Turning theoretical knowledge into practical skills is essential for success in the tech industry. Here are some avenues for putting your learning into practice:

  • Explore Open-Source Projects: Engaging with open-source projects offers invaluable opportunities to gain hands-on experience with real-world applications. By contributing to open-source initiatives, you enhance your technical skills and collaborate with experienced developers, gaining insights into industry best practices and workflows.
  • Take Up Freelance Work: Freelancing provides a platform for beginners to apply their skills in real-world projects while earning valuable experience and income. Many organizations and individuals seek freelance tech professionals for tasks ranging from web development to database management. Leveraging platforms like Upwork and Freelancer can connect you with potential clients seeking expertise.
  • Participate in Hackathons and Competitions: Hackathons and tech competitions offer a dynamic environment for honing your skills, fostering creativity, and networking with like-minded individuals. These events challenge participants to solve real-world problems within a limited timeframe, promoting innovation and collaboration. Engaging in hackathons enhances your technical abilities and cultivates a passion for problem-solving and innovation.
  • Find a Mentor: Seeking guidance from experienced professionals can accelerate your learning and career growth. Online communities, industry events, and networking platforms provide avenues for connecting with seasoned experts who are willing to share their knowledge and insights. A mentor can offer valuable advice, critique your work, and provide guidance on navigating the complexities of the tech industry, ultimately helping you achieve your career goals.

Create a Strong Portfolio

Building a robust portfolio is essential for showcasing your skills and expertise to potential employers. It must encompass diverse projects that highlight your technical abilities, creativity, and problem-solving prowess. Include projects demonstrating proficiency in various programming languages, frameworks, and technologies relevant to your desired role in the IT industry. Whether it’s web applications, mobile apps, or data analysis projects, ensure each portfolio reflects your unique strengths and ideas.

Pursue an Internship or Traineeship

Internships and traineeships provide invaluable opportunities to gain practical experience and insights into the workings of the tech industry. While securing an internship may be competitive, regularly checking job boards and networking with industry professionals can increase your chances of finding suitable opportunities.

Internships offer a platform to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios, develop industry connections, and potentially secure full-time employment upon completion.

Networking Is Key to Unlocking Opportunities

Networking is pivotal in accessing job opportunities and expanding your professional circle. Attend industry meet-ups, conferences, and online communities to connect with like-minded individuals, industry experts, and potential employers. Actively engage in discussions, seek advice, and build meaningful relationships that can lead to valuable career opportunities in the IT field.

Create Your Resume, Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile, and Start Applying

Before you start applying, you must ensure you have a compelling resume that succinctly highlights your skills, experiences, and achievements relevant to the IT industry. Tailor your resume to each job application, emphasizing essential qualifications and accomplishments that align with the job requirements. 

Most hiring managers will search for you on LinkedIn as well, even if you don’t provide a link, so optimize your profile to showcase your professional brand, skills, and portfolio projects. Regularly update your resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect your latest experiences and achievements as you progress through your job search journey. 

IT Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree

In many companies, several IT roles are accessible without a formal degree. Here are some common examples, although it’s important to note that more and more companies are removing degree requirements from more and more roles yearly.

Examples To Inspire You: Landing an IT Job Without a Degree

If you ever start to feel discouraged about getting an IT job without a degree, just remember that it has been done before! Just a quick search will show you all sorts of people who successfully broke into the industry, and here are a couple of examples:

Tim Kim

Amazingly, Tim Kim taught himself to code and land a job all within four months! After dropping out of college and feeling stuck at his job, he decided to try something new. Now that he’s succeeded, he’s ready to show you how he managed it!

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In this video, Sahil shares the online courses and resources he used to become a self-taught programmer. At the end of his study, he was able to get hired at none other than Google!

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FAQs About Getting into IT without a Degree

Here are all the questions you need answers to if you’re considering getting an IT job without a college degree. 

What Is the Easiest Field in IT?

The ease of entry into different IT fields varies based on individual interests, aptitudes, and prior experience. However, fields like technical support, help desk, and entry-level web development are often considered relatively accessible for beginners.

Can You Start a Career in IT With No Experience?

Yes, starting a career in IT with no prior experience is possible. Entry-level roles such as IT support specialist, help desk technician, or junior web developer often require minimal experience and focus more on foundational skills and eagerness to learn. You can also start with an internship, where you’ll help IT professionals with the simplest parts of their tasks in exchange for training and experience. 

What Is the Highest-Paying IT Skill?

Cybersecurity, cloud computing, and data science are among the highest-paying IT skills due to their increasing demand and complexity. Professionals with expertise in these areas often command competitive salaries and lucrative job opportunities. 

What Is the Easiest Certificate To Get in IT?

The ease of obtaining IT certifications can vary based on individual preferences and prior knowledge. However, entry-level certifications such as CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+), Google IT Support Professional Certificate, and Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) are often considered relatively accessible for beginners.

What Are the Best Certifications in IT?

The best certifications in IT depend on career goals, industry trends, and personal interests. However, certifications from reputable organizations such as CompTIA (e.g., A+, Network+, Security+), Cisco (e.g., CCNA), and AWS (e.g., AWS Certified Solutions Architect) are highly valued by employers. They can significantly enhance career prospects in various IT domains.

Since you’re here…
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About Monica J. White

Monica is a journalist with a lifelong interest in technology, from PC hardware to software and programming. She first started writing over ten years ago and has made a career out of it. Now, her focus is centered around technology and explaining complex concepts to a broader audience.