Long gone are the days where a good job requires a degree and a CV filled to the brim with voluntary roles and experience. With the rise of the internet and digital technologies, there’s nothing stopping people learning skills for their dream role outside of red-brick university buildings. But even though there are plenty of good-paying jobs that don’t require a degree, it can be difficult to know where to find them and how to structure your application. Read on to find out exactly what you can do to bag high paying careers without a degree.
“You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.” Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers.
How To Get A Job Without A Degree
Although there are many jobs you don’t need a degree for, you’ll need something on your application to set you apart from the rest. Experience is key, but this doesn’t have to be achieved in a work-placement framework. Instead, you can prove you have the skills for the role via personal projects, home-learning and apprenticeships. You can also get creative when it comes to job hunting.
1. Personal Projects and Home-Learning
Check AVADO’s award-winning online learning courses which include subjects such as accounting, digital marketing, and human resources.
“In time where small instructor-led classrooms tend to be the exception, electronic learning solutions can offer more collaboration and interaction with experts and peers, as well as a higher success rate than the live alternative.” Keith Bachman, Corporate eLearning Executive
Apprenticeships are an incredible way to get your foot in the door of a big company and often lead to some of the highest-paying jobs without a degree. That’s because they blend on-the-job experience with theoretical learning, giving you the best of both worlds. Upon completion of an apprenticeship, many apprentices stay on in the same company in a full-time role. However, if you look elsewhere, you can use your real job experience and industry knowledge to set you apart from graduates. Another key factor of apprenticeships is soft skills. These are transferrable skills related to the workplace, such as team-work, communication and leadership. Employers consider soft skills as highly-valuable so if you’re applying for a new role after an apprenticeship, think about how you can show examples of these.
“Unfortunately, some people believe that soft skills aren’t that important. However, almost every employer I’ve ever talked to about this disagrees. In a world where job roles are changing rapidly, soft skills will be one of the few constants […]” Chris Jones, Chief Executive at City & Guilds
3. Thinking Outside the Box
There are now more university graduates than ever, from a wide range of courses. This makes the standard degree less valuable and increases the success rate of innovative approaches to job applications. This article from Medium identifies how Derek Magill gained his first job after dropping out of university without a degree and very limited work experience. First, he saw an opening for a ‘graduate’ social media position he liked the look of. Then, he asked the founder of the company in question to lunch, to pick his brain about the industry. A few days later, he sent over a brief email with some suggestions on improvements for the company’s social media strategy. Within a week, he was offered a well-paid role. Based on this experience and Derek’s other learnings in the world of work, he now swears by two key rules:
- Most job “requirements” are negotiable and a degree isn’t necessarily the best way to show value.
- Traditional job-getting strategies are outdated.
Clearly, this is just one example, but it goes to show that a can-do attitude and a sprinkle of audacity can open up doors you never thought possible.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker, Author and Social Activist
Finding a job without a degree is possible. You’ll need to prove to potential employers why you are the right person for the job but this is more than achievable. Consider looking for online courses, apprenticeships, or work experience to bulk out your CV. And remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.