10 years of experience, but no degree?

Are you someone who’s taken plenty of classes or is self taught but struggles to get a job without a degree? Maybe you’d be perfectly qualified and the employer may love you, but can’t hire you without a degree.

Written by Katie Meyers, SEO Specialist at SEO Design Chicago.

Do you feel forced to make the decision whether or not to go back to school and get a degree so you can land a job? In this article we will explore the many job options and landing a good job without a degree.

Getting a job without a degree is possible but it does take some preparation. Here are some steps to help you get started.

  1. Update your social media profiles
  2. Pay attention to the people you follow
  3. Prove your passion
  4. Develop and display your skills

Update your social media profiles

Even before an interview, job recruiters and employers already know you. They’ve explored your social media profiles to get a glimpse into whether or not you may be a good fit.

Profile picture

Your profile picture should make a good first impression. Post a nice headshot of you in formal clothing. The photo should be well lit and the background should be clutter free. Your picture should be consistent across the different platforms.


Any work experience or job description posted on your social media accounts must match your resume. You should be honest and consistent so there’s no confusion.

Pay attention to the people you follow

We all follow a lot of people. It’s easy for employers to look you up just as easy as it is for you to follow and look their company up. Engage with company leaders by commenting, sharing thoughts, and asking questions on their posts. Doing your research before even applying for a job will show the company you were interested in them before even seeing the job posted.

Prove your passion

You may not have a college degree but showing your passion and your interest in the field is a way to get your foot in the door. Showing the hiring manager your personality and genuinely how you’d be an asset to the company could give you an in.

Develop and display your skills

Learn something new everyday. Take a class and stay current on industry trends. Jump on any learning opportunity that comes your way. Apply for internships and learn all you can from doing.

Choosing to work over a degree

Here are three reasons why working rather than college is appealing and a better option for some.

  1. University is expensive
  2. Vocational schools and training are more practical
  3. The availability of well paying jobs

University is expensive

University can be too expensive for some people. Tuition and fees are always increasing. Also, for students paying out of state tuition the cost is even higher. Room and board are also added to the overall cost.

Vocational schools and training are more practical

Vocational schools are more affordable for some students. Going this route also gives students a more defined career path in a shorter time period.

The availability of well paying jobs

A four year college degree doesn’t guarantee you the best well paying job. Truthfully, sometimes the best candidate is the one with more hands-on experience.

Sometimes companies choose to interview the candidates without a college degree to expand their applicant pool. The hiring manager may also be more impressed by their training. Some companies desire to provide more learning opportunities for their employees to grow in their knowledge and skill set.

Companies to work for without a degree

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Penguin Random House
  • Ernst and Young
  • Hilton
  • Costco Wholesale
  • Publix
  • Whole Foods
  • Starbucks
  • Nordstrom
  • IBM
  • Home Depot
  • Bank of America
  • Lowes
  • Chipotle

Careers without college

Over the past couple years, the work world has changed. Stress and anxiety has become a bigger problem within society. No job is stress free, but the less stress the better. Also, working from home has been good for some people and not so good for others.

Here is a list of high-paying, low-stress jobs, with no college degree required.

  1. Web developer
  2. Digital designer
  3. Lodging manager
  4. Computer support specialist
  5. Medical records specialist
  6. Massage therapist
  7. Travel agent
  8. Skincare specialist

Let’s take a closer look at the top four jobs in the list above and why they’re considered the best low-stress jobs that don’t require a degree.

Web developer

It is a web developer’s job to create and maintain websites. Web developers aren’t required to have a degree and can work remotely. One example is becoming a WordPress developer without learning how to code. Now that there are so many work-from-home jobs, and a need for web developers, there is job security and stability.

Digital designer

Digital designers are responsible for creating layouts, infographics, and graphic design. They also work with web developers. To be a digital designer, you need a high school diploma or GED. There are all sorts of free classes available to learn and hone your skills. This job is full of creative opportunities and can be done from home.

Lodging manager

Lodging managers make sure travellers are comfortable with their hotel and travel accommodations. This is a low-stress position. However, you may have to work a night shift sometimes. For people who love to travel, one exciting perk of being a lodging manager is that the job may include international travel opportunities.

Computer support specialist

Lastly, a computer support specialist is responsible for providing technical support services. It’s their job to troubleshoot computers for hardware and software problems. To qualify for this job, all you need is a high school diploma and informational technology or IT certifications requested by your employer.

Landing an entry-level job

Some skills to get an entry-level job include:

  • Transferable skills
  • Hybrid skills
  • Job specific skills

Transferable skills

Everyone already has some transferable skills. Some examples are written and verbal communication skills, active listening skills, leadership skills, teamwork, and dependability.

Hybrid skills

Jobs often require a combination of skill sets. For instance, as a computer software engineer you’ll need to have both technical skills and critical thinking skills, as well as teamwork skills.

Job specific skills

When you look at a job description there are going to be skills that are specific to the job. You can acquire these skills by taking a course, formal training, or on the job training.

Finally, there are many job opportunities and options whether or not you have a degree. Don’t be discouraged. We all have something to offer. Sometimes all it takes is hard work, perseverance, and patience as you wait for the perfect job.