How to Build a Career in Tech without a Four-Year Degree


    Working in the technology field is lucrative and your skills will be in great demand. The career field makes a great choice for individuals who like to use a wide range of hard and soft skills and crave stability. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, but you are not ready or able to commit to an undergraduate degree, consider some of the options that allow you to gain employment by earning a certification.

    Build a Career in Tech without a Four-Year Degree

    Technology Careers in the IT Field

    One common job in the IT field that is a great entry point for beginners is the CompTIA A+ technician. You will learn how to handle the maintenance needs of personal computers, mobile devices, laptops, printers, and operating systems. After earning this certification, you will have the training required to work as a support or help desk technician. Certification as a Cisco Certified Network Associate, or CCNA, allows you to find work as a network administrator or engineer or systems administrator. Training for the CCNA certification includes learning enterprise-level skills such as installing and configuring routers and switches. You will also learn to diagnose and repair network problems.

    If you are interested in security, a CISSP certification may interest you. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional will work to protect organizations from cyberattacks. During training, you will learn to understand risk and security in regards to networks and software. Once certified, you may find employment as a security analyst. These are just some of the many IT certifications available that do not require a traditional undergraduate degree. If this sounds appealing to you, look at offerings at your local community college or technical school to see what is offered in your area.

    Paying for Your Training

    While these technical certifications do not take nearly as long to earn as an undergraduate degree, you can still pay for them with a student loan. As long as the goal of the program is certification to enter a specific career, you should qualify for loans. Depending on the exact program, you may not be able to use federal student loans, but private loans would be an option to invest in your future. Talk to the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend to learn about your various choices.

    Do You Have What It Takes?

    If you have never considered a job in a technical field, you may question whether you have the skills necessary to transition into that line of work. If you have strong organizational and communication skills, the ability to analyze things and look for solutions to problems, and are not easily frustrated, then IT can be an excellent choice. Depending on your position, you may spend a good deal of time working with others, or your job duties may keep you more isolated. Many IT careers are more hands-on and require more collaborative thinking than traditional coding jobs. When working in security or network solutions you must be able to see the big picture of what a business is trying to do, and ensure they can do that with minimal disruption to their daily work.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here