Having a bachelor’s degree is something most people fancy for the numerous economic benefits to it. Many people view a degree as a ticket to securing a high paying job after graduation. However, several jobs do exist that do not require the extensive schooling and certification attached to an undergraduate degree programme.
These jobs, which may be alternatively described as ‘new-collar’ and ‘middle-skill’ jobs, offer the maximum financial compensation and are available across a number of industries, from service to healthcare, manufacturing and information technology. The topmost paying types of these jobs are discussed below.
1. Computer Security Analyst
A computer security analyst (or an information security analyst) fulfils one basic role, which is protecting institutional computer networks, systems and digital infrastructure. This job requires competency and skills in computer science, programming and information technology security rather than an undergraduate degree qualification.
The prerequisite skills for this job can be acquired from online courses. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook in 2019, the average pay of a computer security analyst is around $99,730.
2. Computer programmer
A computer programmer performs three basic functions: software development, design and testing. According to computerscience.org, computer programmers provide valuable services across economic sectors, creating code for software and computer applications and programmes.
Required programming language skills needed for the job of a computer programmer can be acquired from computer programming courses available at online platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, Youtube and edX. The average pay of a computer programmer is around $76,526 annually.
3. Cloud Administrators
Cloud administrators are basically responsible for cloud monitoring, configuration and management services. They work with an organisation’s information technology department to develop and provide technical support services for cloud-based computer infrastructure.
Within the compass of their responsibilities, cloud administrators collaborate with the information technology (it) unit of an organisation to troubleshoot and install cloud-based infrastructures, monitor and evaluate the performance and also have the capability to configure cloud-based systems as well as design and implement strategies, policies and procedures to secure cloud-based systems. Core skills required for the responsibilities and certifications of a cloud administrator can be acquired digitally. Recognised certifications include the following:
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
- Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Architect Associate Certification
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect
- IBM Certified Cloud Solution Architect v2
- Red Hat Certified System Administrator
- CompTIA Cloud Essentials
- VMware Certified Professional 6- Data Centre Virtualization Exam
According to Payscale, the average pay of a computer programmer is around $75,776 annually. ZipRecruiter estimates that the annual average salary of a cloud administrator can reach up to $120,000.
4. Website developer
A website developer (also known as a digital designer) is responsible for building and designing websites. Website developer roles are in demand within general service, management, publishing, consulting and advertising industries. Web developers oversee the development, creation and assessment of website components such as interface layout, functions and navigation. Website developers are also responsible for managing website speed and traffic.
They may also design web interfaces and navigation menus as well as create and test website applications; develop codes for website with the use of programming languages such as the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and the Extended Markup Language (XML); develop and moderate content for websites; engage in graphics design and development. Website developers may be generalists or specialists in one of the following categories: back-end web development, front-end web development, web and digital interface design, webmasters. Backend web developers oversee the technical aspects of website development pertaining to the basic site framework.
Frontend web developers oversee technical aspects pertaining to a website’s appearance, like site layout and design. Web and digital interface designers manage details pertaining to website appearance and style like multimedia content, font type and size and layout. Webmasters are responsible for maintaining and updating websites to ensure optimal performance and precision in functioning. The average pay of a computer programmer is around $77,200 annually.
5. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers create designs for a variety of products and purposes such as advertisements, magazines, brochures, reports etc. These designs are created using graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Inkscape, Canva, GIMP, CorelDraw, Adobe InDesign, Sketch, Affinity Designer, Vector graphics editor, Krita, Procreate, SketchUp etc. Individuals interested in pursuing a career as a graphic designer can acquire the required skills from online courses. The average pay of a graphic designer is around $45,677 per annum.
6. Database Manager
A database manager (also called database administrator) oversees the storage and organisation of data with the use of dedicated software. The job responsibilities generally include the development of database structures and features in line with an organisation’s needs; superintending the recruitment and mentorship of database development teams; the development and implementation of procedures, policies and controls for data security and restoration; the preparation and presentation of reports and the performance of database maintenance, migration and upgrades.
Consequently, individuals interested in pursuing a career as a database manager (or database administrator) must be competent and knowledgeable in the use of database management software like MySQL, Oracle Database, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB, SQLite, MariaDB, IBM Db2, Microsoft Access, Informix, Apache Cassandra, Teradata etc. Necessary skills can be acquired from online courses. A database manager earns an average of $93,750 a year.
7. Network and computer systems administrator
Network and computer systems administrators coordinate and oversee tasks pertaining to the daily functioning of networks and computer systems. Network and computer systems administrators perform installation, organisational and support functions for computer network systems, comprising local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets, etc.
Network and computer systems administrators typically ensure the optimal running and security of networks through repairs, upgrades, performance evaluation, problem-solving, network maintenance as well as software and hardware use training for network and computer users. Network and computer systems administrators manage wireless infrastructure, network configurations and cable layouts, server security etc. Necessary skills and knowledge required for this job can be acquired from online learning platforms and from software vendors like Cisco, Microsoft, Juniper etc. The average pay of a database manager is around $83,510 per annum.
8. Service Delivery Analyst
Service delivery analyst is a job role that entails interfacing with customers’ queries and problems. A service delivery analyst provides support to customers, resolution of issues and queries, engages with organisational teams to ensure the resolution of customer problems and facilitates the provision of outstanding customer service. The service delivery analyst engages in the analysis of service delivery, focusing on the method and ways of improvement. The job typically requires nothing apart from computer skills. The average pay of a service delivery analyst is around $62,280 per annum.
9. Computer Support Specialist
Computer support specialists offer support for individuals and organisations for problems pertaining to computer hardware and software. Computer support specialists primarily engage in troubleshooting, analysing and maintaining computer networks. Performing these roles characteristically entails executing the following tasks: network systems test and evaluation, regular network maintenance and troubleshooting local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and cognate internet facilities and infrastructure. Computer support specialists equally undertake problem-solving, hardware and software installation and training programmes for hardware and software users. Required skills for a computer support specialist job position tend to revolve around having adequate levels of computer knowledge as well as communication skills. The average pay of a computer support specialist is around $54,760 per annum.
10. Business Intelligence Analyst
A business intelligence analyst (also called a BI analyst) helps business organisations to improve the quality of business decision making by using data and other sources of information. A business intelligence analyst basically performs three core tasks: 1.
Collating, analysing and presenting data and information on revenue, sales, market trends and related metrics using programmes and models; 2. Interpreting data to extract trends and patterns that can be utilised for improved business performance; and 3. Making recommendations, with the aid of analysed and collated data, that will enhance business growth and optimal performance. According to statistical data from Glassdoor, the average pay of a business intelligence analyst is around $84,635 per annum.