Silhouette of students throwing graduation caps in the air.

After years of hard work and pulling all-nighters, nearly 4 million students are about to receive their college degrees.

Of those 4 million, around 65,000 will be walking across the graduation stage to receive their degree in Computer Science.

Years prior, these individuals identified a love and interest in computers and realized they wanted to make a career out of it.

A career in IT, however, doesn’t need to be decided upon during your teenage years. For those who wish to break into the industry, there are many ways to land a job in the field.

In this blog post, we explain how to break into IT, the jobs that are available, and why having a degree in another field may actually give you a leg up.

How to Get a Tech Job Without a Degree

Many top IT careers don’t actually require college degrees. What hiring managers are looking for are candidates that can get the job done. To get your foot in the door, though, consider enrolling in either bootcamps, online programs, or certification courses.

Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are intensive, short-term training programs in information technology fields. They’re designed to teach students how to code and apply code to workplace projects. These programs commonly cover programming languages like JavaScript, SQL, Python, and .NET among many others.

The top-ranked coding bootcamps include the Flatiron School, Coding Dojo, MIT xPRO, and General Assembly.

Online Coding Courses

Online coding courses are the training programs that enable you to learn the necessary programming skills that employers are searching for. These courses offer a convenient way to start your journey in coding and many of the courses are designed in partnership with a reputable institution like Harvard or MIT.

Though most courses charge a fee, in general they’re quite affordable (free courses also exist).

Some of the best include Coursera, Pluralsight, and Udemy.

Certification Courses

In the world of IT, certifications can hold nearly as much weight as degrees themselves – sometimes more. That’s because, by definition, they’re a designation demonstrating a professional’s competency in a certain aspect of technology.

For beginners, some of the best entry-level IT certifications are CompTIA A+, Google IT Support Professional Certificate, CompTIA ITF+, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), and Microsoft Fundamentals certifications.

IT Jobs You Can Land Without a Degree

The degree requirement for IT jobs is ultimately up to each individual employer.

In a historically tight IT job market, though, many companies are no longer insisting upon one.

Below, is a list of five IT positions that can be had without a formal four-year degree:

  • Software Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • Sales Engineer
  • Business Analyst
  • Web Developer

The Advantage of Not Having a Degree in IT

Diversity offers many benefits to companies as it promotes greater creativity and innovation. As IT employers are finding, one of the ways to spark innovation within their own companies is to look at candidates with non-traditional IT degrees.

Candidates with degrees in Communication, Marketing, and Psychology bring a different way of looking at problems. And with technology now being used to drive business, as opposed to simply supporting it, communication between the two sides is paramount.

That’s why your degree, however unrelated it may be, may be just what an employer is looking for in a new hire.

So, over the next month, while Computer Science majors receive their degrees to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” remember, that’s not the only path towards a job in IT.

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