Sometimes it feels like there’s a whole lot of pressure to keep pushing through the academic pathway and landing yourself a good spot at a good university. You might even keep hearing (and believing) that the only way to a long-term career future is through securing a degree.
Look, we’re not going to tell you that having a degree isn’t going to help you on this journey, but we are going to tell you that a degree isn’t the only way into some pretty great careers!
We’ve done some digging and researching, and created our list of top jobs you can get into without needing a degree.
Take a look and see what you think:
It’s true; you don’t need a degree to become a commercial airline pilot. While some airlines might stipulate they want you to have a degree in their job ads, many don’t. What’s more important is the commitment and experience you develop for the role. You can begin flying lessons through a registered pilot training organisation, and many students qualify for their private licence after clocking 55-60hours of flight experience. You’ll need to pass several exams along the way and keep track of your flight hours and experience to apply for licences, but a four-year degree isn’t required.
Animators use their creative and digital skills to manipulate 2D and 3D images and develop moving pictures. They often work with design, film, and animation companies to help with media campaigns, television series and visual effects for TV and film. Proving you’ve got the skills to deliver is more crucial than having a degree, but many employers will want to see some relevant qualifications (such as certificates or diplomas in design or related software understanding!). It’s a competitive field, and you’ll be up against graduates, but focusing on experience and a killer portfolio will help you go far.
Marketing assistants work with companies to help develop their brand presence, whether online or in commercial print. They’re typically responsible for developing campaigns that will help a business connect, grow or engage with its target audience. It’s a fast-paced and varied role involving a little of everything creative, from design, to writing, to customer service. Marketing opportunities are available in every single industry, so whatever your passions are, there’s a chance to snap up a career in marketing. Many companies offer excellent entry pathways through apprenticeships, so you can get qualified while you learn on the job.
Early Years Educator
If you’ve got a creative mind, love inventing educational games, and adore young children, this could be the path for you! As an early years educator, you’ll help to care for, nurture, support and educate young children between the age of one and five years old. No two days will be the same, as you help little ones learn and grow. You can get started in the industry through a TAFE course or dive straight into an apprenticeship after high school. It’s a very supported career pathway, with lots of opportunities to keep building your qualifications and progress either within early years or move into youth work or social work roles. No degree needed!
Computer programmers create, write, and test code that allows computer programs and applications to function. They might work for a systems design company, software publishers, government organisations or financial companies, amongst others! As our digital needs grow, many organisations seek to hire in-house programmers instead of outsourcing the work. It can be a competitive field, and many individuals do obtain degrees to try and get ahead, but it’s not necessary. Again, building up experience in any way you can alongside getting certified in specific programming languages will set you up nicely for success.
Construction managers are responsible for overseeing building and construction projects from the early planning stages, right through to the implementation and final result. They manage onsite teams, determine what work needs to happen, keep everyone on track and handle problem-solving when things don’t quite go to plan. Many construction workers start as labourers or tradespeople and work their way up through experience. There are some certificates and training to complete along the way, which you can do through TAFE or an apprenticeship; no degree necessary!
If you’re good with computers but want to use your skills for more problem-solving, analytical purposes, look no further than a role as an ethical hacker. Sitting under the cyber-security part of the IT industry, ethical hackers work with large organisations to test security systems and make sure data and other sensitive information is adequately safeguarded. The role will require you to demonstrate you’ve got a strong foundation of knowledge in IT, programming and similar, but that doesn’t mean a degree. Diplomas in this area, coupled with a solid set of work experiences, will put you ahead of the pack cracking into this career.
A pharmacy technician assists pharmacists with dispensing medications to customers and/or health professionals. Most of them work in pharmacies and drug stores, but others work at hospitals or private practices. Pharmacy technicians learn through on-the-job training, and there are plenty of pathways into this career through apprenticeships and vocational courses at TAFEs; no degree required. It’s a well-paid, respected career path with opportunities for ongoing development and progression too!
What do you think? Any of these standing out for you?
Of course, we’ve only just scratched the surface here – we wanted to bring you a good mix of different careers and the types of professional roles you can happily pursue without landing a degree first!
To get a handle on what else is out there, check out our employer pages, where you’ll find heaps of resources and information about how the job market is looking!