Today, in this blog, we want to abolish a major myth. It’s a question that comes up over and over again. It stops people who have the potential to pursue an IT career from actually doing so. And it’s this statement:
“Don’t I need a degree to work in IT?”
If an IT career is on your radar but you’re unsure of how to get started, you’ll be happy to know that you may not need another degree – or a university degree at all!
Firstly though, let’s reveal a few myths about getting into IT.
- You need a four-year degree in computer science or another IT related degree to get into IT
- You need a technical degree to get an IT job
- You can only learn the skills you need for a technology job at university
- IT Hiring Managers are more interested in your educational credentials than anything else
If you search for job postings in areas of IT like web development, cybersecurity, software development, help desk support on job boards such as: Reed, CV Library, Total Jobs and Indeed. You’ll soon notice that a large portion of jobs in IT don’t require a four-year degree or even a two-year degree, and many IT job postings prove this.
If not having a degree has held you back from pursuing an IT career, you should be aware that most tech positions simply require proof that you can do the job, through certifications and prior experience. Hiring Managers won’t ignore potential job candidates because they don’t have undergraduate degrees.
Job Stats for IT Professionals Without Degrees
- About one-quarter (25%) of IT workers across the globe do not hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- In a CompTIA survey of HR leaders, 85% support eliminating or relaxing degree requirements in hiring (Source: CompTIA Workforce and Learning Trends 2022).
Get Into IT with Transferable Skills
IT jobs aren’t reserved for geniuses or those who prefer to work alone in dark rooms. There’s often been a stigma which people have thought of, of those who work in IT but this could not be further from the truth. In fact, the skills that you already possess could help you get into IT.
There are a lot of soft skills which are often overlooked. One of the most important things you need is a growth mindset and the willingness to learn new things to help yourself and other people better harness the power of technology (we do believe that a career in IT is a commitment to learning – things are ever evolving and this is what makes it so exciting).
Also an advantage is being a people person. A big portion of tech jobs require you to work on teams or help colleagues figure out solutions to their technology problems. We should also highlight that communication, creativity, problem-solving and attention-to-detail are all skills you may already have and these really give you an edge if you’re switching careers into IT. As mentioned, most careers in information technology require you to work either on a team or with colleagues to tackle technology issues. This is where your transferable communication skill will make a difference.
- Creativity is essential in software and web developer roles, where you’ll be expected to come up with bright ideas to create and enhance new products. In other roles, your creativity will come in handy as you come up with innovative ways to address technology concerns.
- Problem-solving is the most important skill to have in tech. If you know you’re tenacious about figuring out solutions, you’ll excel in the field.
- Attention-to-detail is required if you’re trying to fix a line of code or identify a cybersecurity threat, and this skill will get you far in IT.
These are just some of the transferable skills that might make you an appealing and successful candidate for an IT job.
Certifications for Jobs When You Don’t Have a Degree
Let’s have a look at a couple of popular IT careers that you don’t need to have an IT degree for and generally what you would need to do to qualify for such a position:
IT HELP DESK TECHNICIAN
IT Helpdesk Technicians need to be able to troubleshoot and resolve hardware, software, and network issues. The CompTIA A+ IT certification qualifies you for most entry-level support jobs.
Often for such positions you will be asked to demonstrate experience in a technical support or networking role and complete cybersecurity training – to then go on and land a position in one of the most in demand sectors of IT today. It should be noted that employers often give preference to candidates with cybersecurity certifications like CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+). If you’re a beginner to IT but know you eventually want to land a cybersecurity job, start with CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+. Once you have a few years of hands-on cybersecurity experience, you can earn CySA+ to validate your skills.
If you would like to find out more about the certifications you require to help start a career in IT, please contact our team of Course and Career Advisors for a chat.