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5 careers where a degree is not needed

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According to one study 53% of workers with degrees felt that their career did not require a degree, I am one of them! My career is in marketing, and while the theory of how to pull together a marketing plan is a bonus, it is something that can be taught with on the job experience and an evening class at a local community college. I’ve drawn on my experiences from extensive travelling and years at a menial job in a hotel for my career far more than my degree. Grit, determination and a thirst for knowledge is something that a degree can’t give you and mostly I have seen it have the opposite effect.

Clearly, I am not alone, while to get into most careers you need a piece of paper, employers are increasingly opening up ‘fast-track’ schemes that accept ambitious individuals who have no desire to do a degree; giving new access to careers where a degree is neither important nor needed.


Coding is a skill that can be learnt off your own back, YouTube tutorials and evening classes will teach you the basics and the rest is up to you. Taking part in coding workshops and events will give you a network and technology companies sponsor competitors looking out for the latest talent; offering internships and permanent positions. Degrees are not required; your skill is the thing on display here and it is in high demand.

Social Media Specialist

Social media curation is a fine art, knowing how to grow followers and ride trends is something companies are recruiting externally for. You will have to show that you are adept at it, for example work experience and your own social media channels with high follower numbers. A degree is certainly not required, and the career growth can be fast. Many agencies based in large cities will put social specialists on their books despite having no degree, as long as you can show your portfolio.


Recruitment is big business at the moment, the emergence of using analytics and social media to recruit for job roles has opened the field up to ambitions individuals that are adept in this field. It is a amalgamation of HR and sales, but a career that doesn’t require you to have a degree. Internships can be gained at top agencies without a degree and then you can work your way up the ladder. It is a necessity to be social savvy and know how to build relationships.

Helicopter Pilot

This one is off the wall, but bear with me! Ever thought of becoming a helicopter pilot, or perhaps a pilot of a light aircraft? Well you can be, and all degree free too – it will cost you half of a degree cost and can be completed between one year and two. It offers travel too with secondments across the globe, helicopter pilot at the Grand Canyon anyone? As well as a competitive salary. I am considering retraining as I write this.


Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have no degree, many didn’t even finish school and went straight into their own ventures. If you are your own boss, you can dictate what level of education you need – and a degree is not one of them. Is there anything you love to do? Give it a go as your own business, there are amazing resources out there to coach entrepreneurs through their fledgling business, you should use all of them to get a head start.

Go for it! You don’t need a degree to get where you want in life – it will take a bit more navigation and motivation than if you did have a degree to ‘open the door’ but it will be worth it in the end. It’ll make you more resilient and confident than your peers, knowing you got to the proverbial table down to your skill and drive alone.



Catherine works in international marketing and events, she has a passion for sharing her knowledge to help others in their career. A keen traveler she has lived in New Zealand, China and England, and explored a lot more of the world; Catherine describes herself as a cup half full and embraces her busy life at 100mph.

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