Top 10 Best Business Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree

Written by Troy Buckholdt

 

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Top 10 Best Business Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree

Most people assume that you need to go to college and get a degree if you want to work in a good business job. Perhaps this might have been true twenty or even ten years ago, but times are changing. The majority of business jobs don’t require a degree anymore.

This is mostly due to our economy becoming more complex and skill-focused. This, in turn, requires most business jobs to focus on a very specialized skillset. With this new need for business professionals to have a specialized skillset, colleges’ broad education no longer meets the needs of businesses.

This caused companies to look outside of college to find talented individuals trained in these skillsets. Whether that training comes from on the job learning, online courses & boot camps, or self-education. These types of specialized jobs often have more demand than there is qualified talent, causing them to have the best salary and career path.

Top 10 highest-paying business jobs that don’t require a degree

1. Sales Development

Average Salary: $72,000

Number of Open Jobs: 220,000

Description: A sales development rep is a business to business inside salesperson. They spend most of their day finding new customers for their products/services by contacting them through phone, email, and LinkedIn. Their job is to teach potential customers how their business would benefit by working with them and schedule an appointment with a more senior salesperson. These salespeople can work in a wide range of industries, from software to construction material. This is a great job for someone who enjoys talking and helping people solve their problems.

Career Path: A sales development rep has a great career path. They can get promoted to a senior sales rep called an account executive with just a couple of years of work experience. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year. They can then work their way up to VP of sales and ultimately CEO. The sales development career path can also be extremely diverse as it opens up many paths into other business roles such as marketing, human resources, and operations.

Learning: The way people learn sales development is primarily through on the job training as an intern or entry-level rep. The way they get in the door is primarily through previous sales experience or a sales training program.

2. Digital Marketing

Average Salary: $57,000

Number of Open Jobs: 57,000

Description: A digital marketing associate is in charge of getting their products/services in front of potential customers. They primarily do this through the use of online advertisements, content creation, and email. They often specialize in one of these areas known as SEO, SEM, SMM, email, or marketing automation. Most of their day is spent creating and optimizing their marketing material. This is a great job for someone who enjoys using technology programs and continuously improving things.

Career Path: A digital marketing associate has a great career path. They can get promoted to a manager of their specialization with a few years of great marketing results. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year. From there, they can work their way up to the Chief Marketing Officer and ultimately CEO. A digital marketing associate can also learn new marketing specializations and change their career.

Learning: People learn digital marketing primarily through on the job training as an intern or entry-level associate. They get in the door primarily through an online course/boot camp or self-education.

3. Web Developer

Average Salary: $68,000

Number of Open Jobs: 42,000

Description: A web developer is in charge of creating and managing websites. They use their engineering skills to architect and code websites from scratch or use platforms such as WordPress to develop them on. They often understand a wide array of programming languages to be able to develop any type of website that is needed. Outside of writing code, they also work with the marketing team to continuously improve the website. This is a great job for someone who enjoys working on a computer and problem-solving.

Career Path: A web developer is a very skill-intensive job that is always changing. This requires developers to always be learning new skills to stay current with technology. They can get promoted to a senior web developer as their skills become more refined. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year. They can then work there way up to a manager and technology leader.

Learning: The way people learn web development is primarily through creating websites whether that’s for a company or a personal project. They learn how to create websites through online courses/boot camps or self-education.

4. UX Designer

Average Salary: $79,000

Number of Open Jobs: 5,500

Description: A UX designer is in charge of the overall design of a website, app, or program. They use their design skills to create mock-ups of different designs that align with the company’s overall vision and objectives. Other than using programs to create these designs, much of their time will be spent meeting with the developers and marketing team. This is a great job for someone that wants to blend their design skills with technology.

Career Path: A UX designer is a very skill-intensive job that takes time to become great at. This requires UX designers to spend years becoming an expert in their field before they can get promoted to a senior UX designer who could supervise a team or head a department. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year.

Learning: People learn UX Design primarily through creating designs whether that’s for a company or a personal project. They learn how to create these designs through online courses/boot camps or self-education.

5. Software Developer 

Average Salary: $76,000

Number of Open Jobs: 296,000

Description: A software developer is in charge of creating, updating, and customizing software programs. They use their development skills to create software programs that companies sell or create internal software programs to help companies function. There are many different specializations for software developers depending on the languages they know and their expertise. This is a great job for someone that enjoys creating solutions and solving challenging technical problems. 

Career Path: A software developer is a very skill-intensive job that is always changing. This requires developers to always be learning new skills to stay current with technology. They can get promoted to a senior developer as their skills become more refined. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year. They can then work their way up to a manager or technology leader.

Learning: The way people learn software development is primarily through writing programs. They learn to be able to start writing programs through online courses/boot camps or self-education.

6. Data Analyst  

Average Salary: $62,000

Number of Open Jobs: 29,000 

Description: A data analyst is in charge of looking at data the company produces and creating valuable insights with it. They spend much of their day looking at raw data and performing statistical analysis. Other than doing their analysis, they also have to help executives make decisions based on their insights. This is a great job for someone that enjoys using math and analysis to identify problems and opportunities. 

Career Path: A data analyst is a very technical intensive job that requires the use of advanced math and statistics. The way they advance is by further improving their analysis skills while specializing further in data management or data engineering. They can work their way up to a senior data analyst or pivot slightly to another job in data. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year.

Learning: The way people learn data analysis is by having an advanced understanding of math and statistics, then being able to use technology to analyze data. This can be learned through online courses/boot camps or self-education.

7. Business Analyst  

Average Salary: $68,000

Number of Open Jobs: 29,000 

Description: A business analyst is in charge of looking at the company’s processes and systems to see how they can be improved. They spend much of their day researching problems in the organization and working with business unit leaders. Other than doing their analysis, they also help lead the implementation of the solutions for these problems. This is a great job for someone that enjoys process improvement and leading initiatives.

Career Path: A business analyst requires experience to become great. The way they advance their career to a senior business analyst is by helping the company solve problems that create large cost savings or more revenue. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year. From there, they can work their way to becoming a manager or department head. 

Learning: People primarily learn business analysis through experience as an intern or junior analyst. They can learn the basics that can get them in the door through online courses/boot camps or self-education.

8. Systems Administrator

Average Salary: $65,000

Number of Open Jobs: 20,500

Description: A systems administrator is in charge of installing applications and ensuring the company’s hardware-software is working effectively. A systems admin is also in charge of creating user accounts and performing system updates. In a small company, they might also be in charge of the network system with servers, switches, and routers. This is a great job for someone that enjoys using programs and playing with technology.

Career Path: A systems administrator will need to be proficient in everything computer wise. They will need to learn about development environments, database management, and ERP software to become a senior systems administrator. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year. From there, they can work to become the manager of the department.

Learning: The way people learn how to be a systems administrator is through a combination of certifications and on the job training. You will likely start out with a simple certification and as a help desk support or intern.

9. Security Engineer 

Average Salary: $100,000

Number of Open Jobs: 24,000

Description: A security engineer is in charge of screening and testing security software and monitoring networks and systems for breaches. They are relied on to resolve the causes of security threats and provide recommendations to prevent them. This is a great job for someone who enjoys fighting off criminals with their technical abilities. 

Career Path: A security engineer will need to be able to learn the most up to date security practices and test for threats. Once they master the basics, then the next step is a senior security engineer who will perform risk assessments for new projects and collaborate with management. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year. They then work their way up the ladder to the chief security officer.

Learning: The way people learn how to become a security engineer is by having knowledge of both IT and computer science, along with some entry-level experience in one or the other. They can learn this through online courses/boot camps or self-education.

10. Network Administrator

Average Salary: $63,000

Number of Open Jobs: 14,000

Description: A network administrator is in charge of managing the day-to-day operation of computer and network systems. They install hardware, software, and performing maintenance. They also troubleshoot problems with the network. This is a great job for someone who enjoys setting up physical hardware.

Career Path: A network administrator must master setting up new networks, doing upgrades, and troubleshooting problems. After a few years of experience they can move up to a senior network administrator. This easily puts them over $100,000 a year. 

Learning: The way people learn how to be a systems administrator is through a combination of certifications and on the job training. They will likely start out with a simple certification and as a help desk support or intern.

 

If you are stuck trying to figure out which career is right for you, then read the lean career for free, which will give you a model for finding the perfect career. It will also help you get your foot in the door for many of these jobs that don’t require a degree.

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