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February 25, 2022

Male It Specialist Holds Laptop And Discusses Work With Female Server Technician. They're Standing In Data Center, Rack Server Cabinet With Cloud Server Icon And Visualization.

With the pandemic changing the way most of us work, many people are looking to change careers and transition to industries that allow for more remote work. Many technology roles offer more flexible working conditions and competitive salaries above minimum wage, often without requiring a four-year degree.  

If you’re looking to enter the tech industry, it helps to know what position you want so you can build the skills, usually by earning an industry-recognized certificate, you need to land your first job in the field. Below are the five fastest-growing tech careers in San Diego that do not require a four-year degree: 

1. Network support technicians & field systems technicians 

  • 47% of job postings require either a high school diploma or an associate degree 

Network support technicians are IT professionals who help with the maintenance and troubleshooting of computer network hardware. They specialize in areas such as information systems, data recovery, network management or system administration.  

2. IT specialists & help desk technicians 

  • 50% of job postings require either a high school diploma or an associate degree 

Help desk technicians are a company’s go-to employees for providing technical assistance and support related to computer systems, hardware and software. They are responsible for answering queries and addressing system and user issues in a timely and professional manner. They are typically part of the IT team within an organization and will often interact with system and computer users across the company.  

3. Cybersecurity specialist/analyst 

  • 33% of job postings require either a high school diploma or an associate degree 

Cybersecurity specialists are responsible for providing security to software systems, networks and data centers. They search for vulnerabilities and risks in both hardware and software. They also manage and monitor systems and networks for any cyber-attacks and intrusions. The security specialist is responsible for identifying these potential threats or attempted breaches before closing off the security vulnerability. This job requires applicants to have a strong understanding of IT infrastructure as well as an understanding of how to secure those systems.  

4. Software programmers/developers 

  • 25% of job postings require either a high school diploma or an associate degree 

Software programmers design, develop and test software and applications for computer systems. The main duties and responsibilities of software engineers include developing software, monitoring, and evaluating system performance, and designing and implementing new programs and features. People interested in this career path need to have strong development skills in at least one coding language. 

5. Web developers 

  • 24% of job postings require either a high school diploma or an associates degree 

Web developers create and maintain websites. Digital designers develop, create and test website or interface layouts, and functions and navigation for usability. Some web developers and digital designers work in the computer systems designed and related to the services industry. Web developers have strong front-end development skills and many understand the basics of back-end programming as well. Most are fluent in JavaScript and are comfortable using a range of different content management systems. 

How to Get a Job in Tech Without a Four-Year Degree 

Tech relies heavily on certifications to demonstrate skills fit for these positions and more. Certificates are earned through classroom and/or hands-on training, usually in 4–18 months. Choosing an industry-recognized certificate and education provider is key to success. 

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) offers certifications for multiple skillsets and positions, including network support technicians & field systems technicians, IT specialists & help desk technicians and cybersecurity specialist/analyst mentioned above. The San Diego Workforce Partnership’s CyberHire program provides the education and support to learn these skills and pays for the CompTIA certification, all at no cost to you. Sign up to receive more information and updates

Our Income Share Agreement program provides access to accelerated UC San Diego Extension certificate courses in skills to enter high-demand occupations like software programming and web development with no up-front costs. Sign up to receive more information and updates

All data in this article is provided by Emsi Burning Glass, 2022, 

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