Six high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree

Looking for career inspiration that doesn’t require three years at university and a huge debt? Here are six high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree.

With more and more students deciding that university is the next logical step in their higher education journey, its understandable that for people deciding not to make the leap, it can seem like youre somehow sabotaging your career choices.

But with one in five UK students deferring to 2021, a year could lead to a permanent decision not to pursue university.  50% of graduates who attended a university over the past five years claim they regret the decision to go, and 44% claiming that they don’t need their degree to do their current job.

GearHungry‘s resident career advisor, Charlotte Moore lists six well-paying roles that don’t require you to attend three years at university.

Six high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree

I don’t know many people who haven’t at one time in their life stressed out over the prospect of not working in a career they care about, or worse, one that will never pay them their true worth.

65% of young people feel pressured to go to university when completing school, and were convinced that to achieve a well-paying job that its the only way to go about it.

But 28% of graduates earn less than those who entered the workplace straight after college or with apprenticeships (via ONS), and it is possible to make a career without heading to uni.

To prove my point, here are six jobs that you can obtain via entry level, or work towards with a specific industry qualification and are likely to eventually pay a salary that doubles the national average of £30,420 per annum (office of national statistics). 

1) A job in marketing

Although marketing degrees do exist, the industry roles are so broad that one marketing position can be completely different from another. Because of this, marketing doesnt have to necessarily revolve around your knowledge of SEOs and margins, and more your understanding of how to promote a product to the correct audience.

It’s all about creativity, and if youre bursting with ideas then this could be the career for you. And everyone needs marketing! From cinemas to supermarkets, streaming services to drinks companies – every one of them has someone behind the scenes marketing the product.

Starting as a junior, assistant to researcher is a great way of getting your foot in the door, and with Marketing Managers positions averaging £45k a year in London, its well worth the time and effort to work your way up.

2) A job in the digital industry

New-collar jobs or middle-skill jobs is a relatively new way of describing roles that require a hard skill set, but not necessarily a 3 to 4-year university degree to obtain them.

Often you can find the skills needed for these roles through vocational training or apprenticeships. And the digital industry is full of these roles! Computer Support Specialists, Database Administrators, Server Technicians and Technical Sales Assistants are all roles that fall into the new-collar industry, and its constantly growing too.

Whether you want to provide security to companies, maintain and keep order on busy websites, or are fascinated by numbers and figures of a fully operational site, then a job in the digital sector may be for you. Positions wages vary, but across London theres an average yearly wage of £42k after three years.

3) A Jon in the creative side of the digital landscape

Not all parts of the digital industry revolve around coding and stopping hackers from stealing your colleagues information – theres also a world of creative jobs online waiting to be done.

The industry of social media and digital marketing moves so quickly that once you leave university, everything youve picked up over the past three years can feel totally out of date. 

A life in the digital market can begin with internships, so a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to learn are necessary when you’re first starting out, with wages hitting up to £50k once you’ve found you way in the industry.

And its a wide and varied market, with positions ranging from Head of SEO to Media Operations Assistant, as well as jobs where you work for yourself, such as a content writer.

4) An estate agent

As the nation binge watches Selling Sunset, its hard not to imagine yourself selling extravagant properties and catching drinks in the latest hot spots.   And, as with many roles in sales, a university degree is not needed to climb to the top of the real estate industry.

Working as an estate agent essentially means you help people buy and sale their homes and commercial properties. It can be deeply satisfying to guide someone to their perfect home, and the commissions for achieving this arent bad either.

Getting the qualifications to work in this industry can sometimes take as little as two weeks’ training. Salaries can start at £18k with commission bonuses, and quickly rise over two years to £30k.

If you feel you have the gift of the gab, are a people person who loves the challenge of competitive sales or just like the idea of working in a busy, thriving industry then this could be for you.

5) A job in the medical world

Just like the digital world, theres a long list of growing new-collar roles in the world of medicine and health.

Some of them, such as an Audiologist (specialists who work with adults and children who suffer from hearing loss) require you to gain a certificate to become a qualified practitioner, which is understandable, as youre working in health.

But because so many fields are lacking workers, the industries are fast-tracking people, with some courses only lasting 9 to 12 months. And it pays well too, as an audiologist can make up to £65k a year once becoming a senior specialist. 

Most medical technicians have an associate degree and these programs typically take 18 months to two years to complete. There are also certificate courses in healthcare that take one to two years. And the medical world is huge too, with positions in dentistry, hygiene and therapy, all desperate for new people to come on board.

6) HR Manager

At one time or another we’ve probably all had to deal with HR, whether its sorting out our tax codes, or chasing a P65. But unbeknown to a lot of people, its a great role that can turn into a stable career and pays well too.

HR positions tend to manage the organisation of company employees, and are typically responsible for hiring, payroll and company benefits. If you’re always complimented for your organization skills, are a great people person, and can steady the ship in difficult situations, then a career in HR may be the way for you. 

Joining the industry as an admin assistant will ensure that you have a foot in the door and there are various online courses that you can use to brush up on your knowledge. Make your way to a HR Manager and you could be earning up to £42k a year.

(All data is accurate at the time of publishing.)

Photo by Free To Use Sounds.