10 industries you don't really need a diploma for

Rachel Evanson 3 August 2021
10 industries you don't really need a diploma for

Not every skilled job requires a degree. Find out which impressive roles you can land without enrolling at a university.

Not everyone needs a degree to have a fulfilling career. Many industries employ people based on their skills and potential before training them further. A lot of entry-level career positions are available even for people who didn’t finish college.

The current job market is open for anyone, and that includes applicants who don’t want to commit to studying a degree for three or more years. With on-the-job training, life experience, or, an alternative certification, one can become a well-paid professional. All you need is a well-crafted CV and a confident approach.

If you’re wondering how to produce a great CV, organisations like SkillHub can provide expert advice. It could be the difference-maker when it comes to making a positive first impression on your prospective employer. Here are some growing, well-paid industries you can enter without a diploma.


Companies in every industry will have a sales team. They operate in B2C (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business) markets, and many opportunities won’t require a degree qualification. To work in sales, the main things you need are great communication skills and a desire to work with people.

Sales jobs can be very well-paid. Commission from successful deals can add a lot to your salary, meaning your earning potential is potentially boundless.


Horeca stands for hotels, restaurants, and catering. It’s an industry that provides many entry-level occupations.

Companies in this sector are usually ready to hire pretty fast and even without experience. Usually, employees get on-site training. Progression opportunities are there too; if you start out as a kitchen porter, it might not be long before you can start working as a chef.


There are many fulfilling jobs in the construction industry. From labouring, to operating large machinery, there are opportunities aplenty.

Through apprenticeships you can specialise in a number of skills, such as flooring, plastering, or woodwork. If you like being outdoors, you could even try landscaping. This industry has room for professional growth, with the potential to earn a good salary with experience.

Real estate

You can sign up to be an estate agent straight out of school. Salary rates often depend on performance, with agents earning a percentage of closed deals. This industry requires communication skills and a desire to stay in one city for extended periods (although with experience, you can always join another firm if you relocate.

Software development

You may think developers need qualifications, but this isn’t always the case. If you can demonstrate coding skills in your CV, many companies will leap at the opportunity to hire you.

It depends on the employer, but many entry-level jobs are offered to people based on their hard skills. Even Google and Apple hire non-graduates, so there are plenty of opportunities out there.

Digital marketing and social media

Digital marketing is a dynamic and developing industry with lots to offer. You can find work as a social media manager, specialising on one platform or several. You could also work as a digital marketer and be in charge of content strategy, creation, and promotion.

The industry doesn’t always require a degree. Some people prefer to get a digital certification, but most employers are simply looking for experience and measurable results, such as account followers or conversions for previous projects.


Manufacturing provides a huge array of positions for people without a diploma. From general labourers to power plant operators, the range of careers is limitless. Where positions require on-job training, most companies are willing to provide it.

Manufacturing usually involves physical labor, including the operation of machinery and tools. There are career growth prospects and opportunities to earn well.


Aviation positions are available for anyone who wants to go into industry-specific training right after high school. To become a pilot, you’ll attend a flight school with a comprehensive training plan.

Air traffic controllers work on the ground in communication. It is quite a demanding position that entails a lot of responsibility, but it is paid well and an interesting career path.

Banking and finance

Applicants who are comfortable with numbers and office space can work in financial or banking institutions. The acceptance rate for those without a college degree is higher than you’d expect and there are plenty of positions to choose from, such as administration or working as a loan officer.

Skilled trades

Handy individuals can become skilled professionals, training into useful roles such as locksmiths, electricians, or mechanics. These positions seldom require a degree and many are open to those who haven’t finished school. Through apprenticeships, you can learn the trade while working.

Final thoughts

Here are just ten sectors you can enter without a degree. All of them offer progression opportunities, on-the-job training, and decent salaries. They cover a broad range of working conditions too, from office work to physical labor, or mastering a craft. There’s something for everyone out there, regardless of your circumstances

Rachel Evanson 3 August 2021