Top Job Skills You Can Learn Without a College Degree

Top Job Skills Without College

As the economy diversifies, so do the choices you face when you're preparing to enter the workforce. A four-year degree is no longer a must for many lucrative positions, nor is it an automatic ticket to career success. And with the cost of a traditional college education continuing to rise, student loans are becoming more of a burden, as well.

In short, it pays to look around at the growing number of alternatives that can jump-start you on a career path. Specialized professions in the culinary arts, sewing, carpentry, and money management (everything from credit to budgeting to investing) offer a wealth of opportunities through affordable certificate programs and apprenticeships.

But nowhere are the opportunities greater than in the IT field, which is good news because you can pursue training and certification in much of this space online. This has become even more crucial during the pandemic, as distance learning has become the norm in many places.

And if you're trying to save money (and who isn't?), here's some good news: There are numerous free online courses to explore, and plenty of places to get started.

Follow these steps to gain real-world expertise without a college degree:

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The Best IT Certifications for Beginners

If you want to break into the technology field, proactive training and experience – validated by industry-recognized IT certifications – is a great way to begin. These certifications are the best for beginning IT pros looking to land an entry-level position.

best it certifications for beginners

The COVID-19 pandemic has cost millions of Americans their jobs and made it difficult for 2020 college graduates to find work. Additionally, the advent of a larger remote workforce means the state of jobs today looks pretty different than it did just one year ago. Perhaps you’re looking to change careers. Now may be the perfect time. If information technology is a field that interests you, here’s what you need to get your resume noticed and your foot in the proverbial door.

Train Before You Get the Job

Yes, IT skills are in-demand right now. If you’re researching a career in IT you’ve probably read about the IT skills gap. Essentially this means that there are more technology jobs available than qualified professionals to fill them. The good news is, there are plenty of resources out there to skill up to get one of these in-demand positions. One of the best ways to validate your knowledge in the technology industry is via IT certification.

Certifications aren’t just about adding a gold star to your resume. The skills and knowledge gained through proper certification training and exam prep is exactly what IT departments need. The skills gap is slowly hurting organizations and the best solution is upskilled employees. Preparing for, and earning, an IT certification(s) is one of the best ways to gain the critical skills employers need.

The Best Certs for IT Beginners

Before we get into the best IT certifications for beginners, let us first define “best.” It is, after all, a subjective term. Does best mean it will make you more money? Lead to more interviews? Or does best mean that employers are specifically looking for these credentials?

We have decided the “best” certifications for IT beginners are those that will help you get an entry-level job. To that end, we’ve matched desirable entry-level tech roles with the skills needed to land that job, then paired the most marketable certifications with those skills.

Here are the best IT certifications for beginners, segmented by 3 of the hottest technical domains:

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Should You Pursue an Online Degree?

Education vs. Experience: Many people find that their career reaches a plateau and that employers place greater value on workers with a higher level of education or a degree more relevant to the modern workplace. Anyone that has ever been passed over for promotion only to find a college graduate in the post will know how frustrating this can be. An online degree offers the perfect solution.

Online Degree Benefits

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Top 10 IT Skills in Demand for 2017

IT Skills In Demand 2017

The jobs you want; the skills you need.

“CompTIA projects global IT industry growth of 4.1 percent in 2017. If this growth materializes, it will push the $3.4 trillion global IT industry past the $3.5 trillion mark by year’s end,” according to the CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2017. A one-hundred-billion-dollar increase in one year in an already massive market, where sufficient candidates are already lacking, has to spell job openings, and it does.

ITCareerFinder targets the ten hottest IT jobs this year, based on market data, outlining the skills you need to step into these positions. (The Computerworld Forecast 2017 is the source for job demand statistics where not otherwise stated.)

Here are the top 10 IT skills and job roles that hiring managers need in 2017:

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IT Salaries 2013: Top 10 Jobs Earning the Biggest Raises

The new IT Salary Guide from technical staffing leader Robert Half Technology indicates the IT professionals who will enjoy the biggest pay raises in 2013.

IT Salaries 2013

The information technology job market will experience a 5.3% uptick in starting IT salaries in 2013, dwarfing the 2.9% average raise for all American workers. A clear skills gap in high-demand positions is the driving factor in IT salary hikes; cutting-edge fields like mobile app development, wireless networking and big data analytics currently have more job openings than qualified professionals to fill them.

Android and iOS application developers will score the biggest raise from 2012 to 2013, with a 9% increase in starting salaries, followed closely by network engineers and data scientists.

Here are the 10 IT job roles getting the biggest pay hikes in 2013:

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Personal Branding Part 1: How to Define Your Brand

Establishing a personal brand is now a crucial part of a successful job search. Since we think it’s such an important tool for job seekers to understand, and because the experts we spoke to had such good advice, we decided to divide our personal branding post into two parts. Read this then check out Personal Branding Part 2: Marketing Yourself.

Personal Branding for Job Search

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Tips from Recruiters to Land a Software Development Job

Software Development Job Tips

Did you know that on average, recruiters spend six seconds scanning a resume? When looking at candidates' CVs or online profiles, they mostly check for certain keywords that signal whether you may be a good fit for the position. This can be especially true for technical job roles where hiring managers scan for required technologies and IT certifications. This means you only have these few seconds to make the first cut.

Devskiller, an online platform that facilitates software developer job interviews and screening exams, compiled data from more than 112,000 tests taken by candidates worldwide to create the Devskiller Global Technical Hiring and Skills Report, offering a unique snapshot of the IT and development workforce. This article will present key findings from the report that will help you maximize your chances of passing the resume scan and getting hired.

Let's get started!

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How Important are IT Certifications for Landing that Dream Microsoft Tech Job?

Value of Microsoft Certifications

"Skills gap" is a phrase that anyone working in the digital skills arena will have heard a lot over the past couple of years. The information technology job market is booming right now, with open positions massively exceeding the number of qualified candidates available to fill them.

Job seekers have more choice, and more leverage, than ever before. But just because it’s a candidates’ market doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be pulling out all the stops to put yourself head and shoulders above your competition.

The growing talent shortage offers a tremendous opportunity to tech workers willing to throw themselves into that skills gap and fill it. Transforming yourself into the ideal candidate will not only put you ahead of others in the market, but it gives you leverage to land a higher salary and better benefits.

One of the best ways to bolster your skills and make your value abundantly clear is by earning certifications. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to give you the edge—a recent survey found that 54% of Microsoft tech professionals hold an official Microsoft certification, making it a smart move for those wishing to compete in the market.

Which certification is best for you depends on your career plans and what you’re looking to specialize in, but there’s no doubt that simply having an accreditation on your resume will boost your marketability. It could substantially improve your earning potential too; research by Microsoft found that 23% of Microsoft Certified technologists received a 20% salary increase after earning their certification.

Why do hiring managers value these certifications when considering candidates?

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Online Tech Schools

IT Boot Camps

Gain the skills to pursue sought-after IT careers in just 24 weeks. Available boot camp topics include Coding, Cybersecurity, UI/UX Design & Data Analytics.

These technical boot camps from top universities are offered as a combination of self-paced online content and live, instructor-led virtual classes.