10 High Paying Tech Jobs Without a Degree in 2013

Ever wonder what kind of jobs without a degree are out there? I’ve compiled a list of 10 jobs that pay over $70,000 on average and do not require any formal education.

Note: none of the jobs below require a college degree, but this is not to say employers do not prefer a degree. In most cases, experience and proficiency is all that is required to get these jobs. In some of these, certifications are must-have prerequisites, however many of these certifications can be obtained without going to college.

10 Jobs Without a College Degree that Pay over $70k

1.  Ruby on Rails programmer$120,000At least 2 years of experience. Adequate proficiency.
2. Marketing Manager$75,000 - 120,000Experience (Usually 3 years or more) and adequate proficiency.
3. Web Developer$76,000 - 90,000Experience and proficiency.
4.   Mobile Application Developer$90,000Experience and proficiency.
5.  Software Engineer$89,000Experience and proficiency.
6.   Database Administrator$82,000Microsoft certifications, MySQL certification.
7.  Video Game Designer$80,000Experience and proficiency.
8.  User Interface Designer$79,000Marketing experience, best practices knowledge and graphic software knowledge.
9.  Computer Systems Analyst$79,000Experience, certifications (CISSP, MCTS, MCSD).
10.  Network Administrator$76,000Experience, certifications (Microsoft's MCSA, Cisco's CCNA, CCNP, CCIE)

You may notice that Ruby on Rails programmer is technically a web developer or can be better classified under a broader “programmer” category. However, I thought it would be best to list it separately as there is an incredible demand out there for programmers who specialize in Ruby specifically. The job is incredibly rewarding for those willing to learn the ropes and pretty much guarantees employment as long as you know what you’re doing.

Between the ten, there are four particular jobs that can be obtained through self-education and practice:

  1. RoR Programmer
  2. Marketing Manager
  3. Web Developer
  4. User Interface Designer

The others can be quite challenging and require extensive learning to pass difficult certifications. The good news is, some places do not require you to be certified. It all depends on the area and the type of market you’re looking to get a job in. Though, majority do look for certified professionals, and the difficult of certifications often drives people to go to school rather than study on their own.

Personal Preference

I would personally love to learn the Ruby programming language and become a Ruby on Rails (RoR) programmer. The low barrier to entry (compared to others) and a nice salary are  very attractive factors. Who wouldn’t want to make more money without going back to school?!

My biggest obstacle so far is … *drum roll* … myself! I’ve been making excuses to find time to learn even though there are plenty of tutorials and learning materials out there, including the premium course I purchased a few months ago and have yet to touch.

Would you consider pursuing one of these careers? If so, which one and why?

10 Fastest Growing Jobs in 2013

When I saw the headline “Fastest-growing jobs” with Home Care Nurse right under it on CNN Money, I wasn’t surprised. But, what did surprise me is the amount of growth this profession is anticipated to experience in the next 10 years – an enormous 70.5 percent!

Best Employment Opportunities

JobGrowth %PayEducation Requirements
1.  Home Care Nurse70.5$61,000Bachelor's degree (minimum)
2.  Medical Device Clinical Engineer61.7$80,400Bachelor's + Certification or Master's
3.  Meeting / Convention Planner43.7$56,000Prefer Bachelor's, experience is a must
4.   Marketing Consultant41.2$92,100Prefer Bachelor's, MBA (optional), experience is a must
5.  Marriage/Family Therapist41.2$56,800Master's degree
6.   Physical Therapist39$76,700Doctoral or professional degree
7.  Audiologist36.8$71,400Doctoral or professional degree
8.  Cost Engineer36.4$96,500Bachelor's degree + Certification
9.  Clinical Research Associate36.4$90,700Bachelor's degree, CRA certification (sometimes)
10.  Veterinarian35.9$81,300Bachelors + Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Growth % is based on projected growth between 2010-2020. Sources: CNN MoneyEducation-Portal.comBureau of Labor Statistics.

With baby boomers aging, more nurses will be needed. I recently did some research to find out what is happening in the nursing field. The reason behind this significant growth in home care nurses is not only due to the simple fact that baby boomers are approaching that age, but also because of our current economic stance on Medicare.

Healthcare Reform

Obama has been pushing to reform healthcare to include provisions for affordable nursing care. The so called CLASS Act was supposed to provide a voluntary program in which people could participate to set aside money for nursing care. Under the current Medicare policies, nursing facility stay is very limited. I can’t remember the exact figure but something like 100 days for a qualifying condition are covered by Medicare, the rest isn’t.

The CLASS Act was insolvent and Congress gave it the boot. With the rest of the law still hanging in threads to survive tonight’s election, it is not exactly clear how baby boomers will pay for care, but what is clear is that they’ll have to do it one way or the other.

Good Pay

Nevertheless, a real opportunity exists for those pursuing nursing careers. Currently, the median household income in the United States is $50,054 according to Huffington Post, a number much lower than the median salary for a nurse. With great pay, high personal satisfaction rewards and incredible benefit to society, what’s not to like about nursing?

NurseIt goes without saying that the job is not without stress. Nurses often work long hours in hospitals and have little or no flexibility in hours. However, according to a discussion on a popular nursing website, continuous care nurses who provide assistance at home experience much less stress and more flexible work hours.

I personally believe Nursing to be one of the best employment opportunities in 2013 and many years to come. Some of the other jobs in the chart look very promising as well, and perhaps a bit less stressful.

Are you currently working in any of these fields? What’s your take on nursing prospects for current nursing students?