Break into Tech Without a Degree

We've all heard that certifications and degrees are the main ways of getting into tech, especially in information technology. But that method is not always feasible for everyone. In this blog, I want to explore Four ways YOU can break into Tech without the traditional degree or certification route.

1. Get Educated

Tip number one is to get educated. Okay, before you accuse me of lying, I’m not referring to the traditional degree education or boot camps but rather programs that serve the specific purpose of bridging the education and opportunity gap. These are programs in the U.S. focused on lower-income people who haven’t gone through the traditional college education or haven’t had the means to gain the skills needed to land these jobs. The three programs that I am highlighting are:

All three programs are either free or very affordable which makes them more attainable. They are focused on providing access to education and job training. Their eligibilities and requirements are a bit different so I would implore you to check them out and find out if they meet your needs.

2. Get Experience

Tip number two is to gain experience. Obviously, this blog is about getting into tech so how can you gain experience prior to getting into tech? make it make sense! I do think it’s ridiculous how entry-level positions always ask for some years of experience when the jobs themselves are what you would do to gain those experiences. That being said, you’re not totally screwed. Here are some things you can do to get some experience.

A Job With No Experience.

There are very few jobs that require no experience but they are not impossible to find. Usually, they are apprenticeship programs or on-the-job training programs. The catch normally is that it is highly competitive, you might be underpaid and held to some kind of contract.

Tech Adjacent Roles.

Maybe you don’t have the required skills right now to apply for those tech positions but you might have the skills for positions that are pretty close to tech. In my line of field as a system administrator, there are non-technical or somewhat technical positions we work with quite a bit. Positions like project manager, operations manager, information security analyst, and much more. All of these jobs don’t necessarily need technical skills but will work closely with those in tech, so it’s a great way to get familiar with your goal while still being employed. You can slowly work on your skills on your own time or as part of your performance development if your company allows for it.


You can use sites like Upwork or Fiverr to provide some kind of IT or tech service. Things, like IT support, building computers, consulting, and part-time jobs, are great ways to build experience and beef up your resume.

3. Network and Find a Mentor

Tip number three is to network and find a mentor. Chances are you’re already working towards gaining those technical skills needed to get a tech job. Maybe you’re attending a Bootcamp or learning on your own but you're still unable to land that tech job. There could be numerous reasons unrelated to your skillset for why you’re failing to get the job. It could be that you’re not interviewing well, maybe you’re underqualified for the positions you’re applying to, maybe your resume isn’t that great and it can often be hard to identify these things when employers don’t provide feedback. What you can do is find people who are already in the field and get feedback from them. This could be an online community or it could be an individual you know that’s already in the field you’re interested in.

4. Find The Unique Way

The final and fourth tip is to find a unique path into tech. This requires getting a bit creative or going down a path that you might be uncomfortable with. Some examples of these are getting your clearance, making content, and attending networking events. For those who don’t know, a clearance allows for a US citizen to gain access to classified information. You can not get a clearance without a job first, but oftentimes times employers are willing to hire you with the contingency that you apply for your clearance upon hire. Another way would be to get hired for a tech-adjacent job with clearance and work on transitioning that to a more technical role. The second is to make content. This includes blogging, YouTube, LinkedIn, and just documenting what you’re learning. In doing so, not only are you gaining experience that you can show on your resume but you’re providing value to others, learning new skills, and the learning sticks better. The last one is to attend career fairs, tech events, and events that might help you connect with others. Again this is something that you can put on your resume and you’ll have the opportunity to network and connect with others.

Hope these tips help you with your transition into tech. It can be very difficult to find your way into tech but as long as you don't give up, there's always a way you can make the transition.