The stories are almost legend. The barista who hustled his way into Uber, learning coding in quiet hours at the coffee shop, all without a college degree. The guy with a 2.5 high school GPA and a few college credits at a satellite campus who snagged himself an engineering job at Google.
The key to their success -- hustle -- won’t be surprising to you. Stories like these trade on hard work by people willing to find their own teachers to learn the trade.
But even hard workers need to throw their hat in the ring -- something that not all non-degreed workers feel comfortable doing. In fact, one third of Americans won’t apply for a job if they think it requires a degree.
According to new data, that’s a big mistake. A recent study from career site Comparably recently conducted a study of over 1,800 anonymous employees with high school diplomas or some college education to see which jobs in the tech industry pay the highest salaries to those workers without a college degree.
The data was collected between March 2016 and October 2017 from employees from a range of small, mid-size and large tech businesses that are venture capital-backed, public, and private as well as well-known companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Uber. The data surfaced roles in cities across the country finding people without degrees in six-figure roles -- many with ‘VP’ and ‘director’ in their titles.
To be sure, many companies will still require a bachelor’s or higher for such roles. And these numbers don't account for how long an employee worked at an organization, getting promoted through its rankes. And of course, those with degrees still fare better over time when it comes to earnings or weathering unemployment. Still, the survey shows that in certain specialties, know-how isn’t held back by the lack of a degree and in fast-growing industries like tech, hard-to-find skills are still paramount.
Take a look at the findings and remember to never hold yourself back.