In today’s digital landscape, computer science jobs are everywhere. Understandably, tech work isn’t easy—often requiring years of experience to perform. From entry level IT jobs to senior data analyst positions, formal education is an expected requirement. Fortunately, more than a few computer science jobs don’t require a degree at all!
Sure, some tech know-how is necessary to achieve an entry level position. And, indeed, pursuing a career in computer science requires tech education of some sort.
This said, your education doesn’t need to be formal. Experience tends to be the best teacher of all, and many hiring managers take this into consideration when seeking new employees.
Fact of the matter is, it’s easy to get the experience required to land a number of tech-related positions. A lot of us are enthusiastic about computer science in general—securing the know-how needed to qualify in the industry in passing.
This isn’t to say all computer science jobs can be approached without a degree, however. As with most industries, some positions require formal education to even approach as a job-seeker. And, as always, there are some positions which require extensive industry experience to secure. The tech world is, well, very technical!
Entry Level IT Jobs, Network Design Jobs and Programming
Fortunately, its complexity is a two-way street when job searches are considered: The ins and outs of different digital jobs are virtually limitless in scope. Because of this, even some of the most prestigious-sounding jobs can be landed without a degree.
Knowing which jobs to approach is important, of course. This is doubly true if you’re entering the computer science industry for the first time.
A good entry level position opens many doors of opportunity—as it’ll only grow your list of experience credentials. To jumpstart your career, take a look at the entry level jobs for IT below. You can get them without a degree, more often than not, making them excellent targets during your job search.
And some, indeed, just might surprise you.
1. Computer Programmer
What a better place to start than at the core of computer science, itself? You don’t need a degree to enter the digital workforce as a programmer, surprisingly enough.
In fact, a lot of programmers begin long, lucrative careers by landing entry-level jobs with life experience alone. In today’s job market, the most important way to boost your employability, and earning potential, is by breaking into a programing education by yourself.
This isn’t to say every programmer begins without a degree, of course. This said, a degree for computer programming doesn’t need to be in computer science, or CS. Because the computer programming career path is incredibly varied, job-wise, a lot of programmers have entered the workforce with degrees in seemingly unrelated areas.
Here are some example degrees that can count towards your entry-level credentials:
If you’re going the self-taught route, completing some online coursework—degree-pursued or not—can definitely boost your job-search odds.
There’s a somewhat long-standing rumor that self-taught programmers can’t ever aspire to be “real” programmers—but this isn’t the case. In fact, plenty of self-educated programmers go on to become highly effective software engineers.
It’s important to note, however, that a lot of degree-holding computer programmers do have CS degrees. Because of this, seeing such a credential for computer science jobs is pretty common.
Don’t worry, though, because there are definitely job openings that don’t require a degree at all! You might have to do some extra searching—but most entry-level jobs require some extra browsing as it is. As they say: Where there’s a will to learn, there’s a way to implement your knowledge.
2. Web Developer
Front-end web development happens to be a great entry point for self-taught software developers. It’s also a position that can stand on its own, offering lucrative opportunities, down the line, for those who’ve specialized in it.
Like computer programming, you don’t necessarily need a degree to enter this tech sphere. In fact, the skills required to fulfill many entry-level web development positions are pretty easy to learn. Without needing to invest in formal coursework materials and teaching, that is.
In general, most hiring managers look for a solid knowledge base founded on the following:
It’s certainly a short list, but these three skills, combined, make for a web developer with plenty of potential.
Some businesses look for some extra know-how in front-end frameworks, however. As such, having extra knowledge in frameworks like React and Angular will definitely aid your job hunt. The more you know, the better your chances.
Web development can be a little tougher than computer programming, which is important to note. This is mostly because web development requires a firm approach to tech security. It also requires a knack for understanding the latest web-based trends, innovations and improvements.
Even though this creates an extra entry-level barrier, it’s also beneficial to candidates who’re particularly passionate about web development.
If you fall into this group, there’s a good chance you’ve met these qualifications already. After all, a deep interest in anything tech-related tends to inspire a constant search for the latest industry news. In many cases, this alone can teach a candidate a lot. And it’s a pretty fun alternative to formal education.
When it comes to the best ‘crossover skills,’ industry experts suggest going with data analysis. Knowing how to examine, chart, analyze and implement network-extracted data can make you a vital asset to a company—and even its external stakeholders.
3. IT Technical Writer
An IT Technical Writer is someone who creates and maintains technical documents for computer software and hardware. They might also write or edit user manuals, online help files, or other documents that detail how to troubleshoot and configure products.
To become an IT Technical Writer without a degree or experience, one should start by gaining basic knowledge of the IT industry. This could include taking online courses or attending workshops to learn the basics of computer technology.
Additionally, it is important to have strong writing and communication skills to effectively explain technical concepts to an audience.
Finally, one should be proactive in seeking out IT-related freelance writing opportunities, which can help build their portfolio and help them secure more permanent employment opportunities.
4. IT Analyst
When we think of commercial IT department and low level IT jobs, we typically consider university degrees to be unconditional requirements.
This isn’t the case, however, as about 26 percent of IT professionals began their careers without having college degrees. IT analysis also has a lot of ‘crossover’ skills—so you’ll still land some credentials if you’ve learned other computer science approaches, along the way.
Similar to graphics design, and surprisingly so, IT analysts can also enter the workforce via more nebulous skills—like a growth-oriented mindset.
This is because IT analysts are often tasked with improving a business’s digital architecture on a day-to-day basis. So, even if you’re not a calculus whiz, you can still harness the power of technology alone as tools of success.
You’d be surprised how many IT professionals started off as simple tech solution workers. Creativity is absolutely essential to web development and software development—making innovation, itself, a leading quality for entry level IT jobs.
You’ll also need to foster a great attention to detail, as IT analysts must frequently fix errors in lines of code.
They also need to identify cybersecurity threats before they become dangerous—which is pretty tough to do within a custom-tailored commercial environment.
Some of the tech world’s greatest CEOs have a lot to say about computer science jobs and other industries. Frank J. Segarra, a drone services company CEO, is just one example: He entered the IT field without a degree, transitioning from U.S. Navy tasks into more tech-based roles. IT training, by and large, is frequently self-trained.
Similar to the other entry-level digital jobs mentioned, IT analysis, as per another industry pro, Tracy Pound, is about “embracing change and solving business problems” with tech and non-tech-based solutions alike.
5. Cybersecurity Analyst
Speaking of cybersecurity, did you know you can start this career sphere without formal education and experience?
It might be uncomfortable to think about, at first, as cybersecurity workers are responsible for our digital safety. This isn’t to imply, however, that the tech world’s digital defenders are anything less than effective providers.
Fact of the matter is, any form of prior IT experience is as good of a credential as any. Looking back to the IT analysis career path, military or law enforcement experience can be enough, too: Even if your previous work wasn’t primarily tech-based.
By its nature, the cybersecurity field doesn’t have a regulating structure. Unlike fields such as the medical field, a formal degree isn’t considered to be an ironclad requirement by most.
A lot of employers, reportedly, are more than willing to hire candidates with little to no formal education. This happens so often, in fact, that hiring managers frequently pursue self-taught candidates who’ve had less training than their own internal teams.
The cybersecurity job sphere is also growing—and rapidly so. Many individuals between ages 25 and 65 need computer access during their working hours.
Most companies need to train their employees, annually, in basic cybersecurity practices as a result. In a career area packed with great gaps of commercial digital defense, a specialized cybersecurity worker is incredibly valuable.
How do you get into IT industry with no experience?
It can be difficult to break into the IT sector without any prior expertise, but the most crucial thing to remember is to never give up. Start by learning as much as possible about the subject by conducting research.
Watch tutorials, read blogs, and participate in webinars and seminars. You can also contact industry experts and get their counsel.
To obtain experience, you can also hunt for internships or entry-level positions. Don’t forget to network and build relationships as well.
Finally, think about taking certification courses (such as from Codecademy, Khan Academy) as these can help you demonstrate your knowledge and skills. You can succeed in breaking into the IT sector without any experience if you put in the necessary effort, work hard, and have access to the correct tools.
What is the simplest IT position to begin with?
The easiest IT position to begin with is a help desk technician. Customers receive technical support from help desk staff by raising their queries, issues with hardware and software, and user account setup.
This position requires basic knowledge of IT systems, hardware and software troubleshooting, and customer service skills. Additionally, help desk technicians must be able to explain technical terms in a way that is easy to understand for non-technical customers.
This position is a great entry point into an IT career, as it allows individuals to gain experience in troubleshooting and working with customers. It is also a great way to learn more about different IT systems and can be an excellent foundation for a career in IT.
What is the most in-demand IT skill?
The IT sector is a rapidly changing industry, and the most in-demand IT skill is one that is constantly evolving. Currently, the most sought-after skills are related to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
As cloud computing becomes more popular and businesses adopt it, cloud engineers, consultants, and architects will be in high demand.
Artificial intelligence is also becoming increasingly popular, so software engineers and data scientists who specialize in AI will be highly sought after.
Finally, cybersecurity is an essential skill in the digital age, and demand for professionals who can protect data and networks will continue to grow.
With the right mix of technical and soft skills, IT professionals can stay ahead of the game and remain in high demand.
Do companies hire self-taught programmers?
Yes, many companies do hire self-taught programmers.
Self-taught programmers possess a strong work ethic and the ability to problem solve, two key benefits for any organization.
Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of hiring self-taught programmers by offering them roles that allow them to quickly demonstrate their technical acumen and their ability to think outside of the box. ‘
Self-taught programmers also bring a unique set of skills to the table that many companies are eager to tap into, such as the ability to quickly learn new languages and frameworks.
Self-taught programmers are an invaluable asset to any organization, and many companies are increasingly recognizing the value they bring.