Now Hiring: 5 Entry-Level Tech Jobs for 2-Year Degree Holders

After years of working odd jobs to keep your family afloat, you’ve finally reached the point where you’re craving something more. You don’t want to cringe every time your alarm clock sounds. You don’t want a job — you want a career.

Wouldn’t it be nice to actually enjoy going to work for once? If only it were as easy as quitting your current job and strolling right into the tech job of your dreams!

Instead, your mind is flooded with questions: Do I need a degree? How long will it take? How will I pay for school? Will my salary be enough to provide for my family? Will there even be a job for me when I graduate?

Before you let the potential hurdles scare you from pursuing a meaningful career, take a deep breath and take comfort in the following information: There are entry-level tech jobs out there and you could land one without a four-year degree!

Prepare yourself for success

It’s true that certain tech jobs don’t require a degree at all and many skills can be self-taught. But the fact is, technology job opportunities and salaries increase based on education level.

Not only will your prospects improve with a degree, but a classroom setting can provide you with the structure and discipline needed to build a foundation of skills and knowledge that can prepare you for success in the field. A formal education will also provide you with the chance to learn from experienced faculty and interact with and learn from other students who are in the same position as you.

While there are benefits to earning a degree, you don’t necessarily have to spend four years preparing for a fulfilling tech job. Below, you’ll find five of the most prevalent entry-level technology positions that require an associate degree.* All five careers have growing job openings, above-average annual salaries and — best of all — they could be yours in just two short years!

Entry-Tech Jobs For 2-Year Degree Holders

Explore your opportunities

Now that you’re aware of the opportunities available, take a closer look at each field and learn about job duties, career outlooks, median annual salaries and the degrees needed for each.** As you read, picture yourself taking the next step toward pursuing one of these exciting new careers.

1. Computer user support specialist

Overview: As a computer user support specialist, you’ll be on the front lines of IT tech support. This role will have you diving deep into finding fixes for users’ technical problems. You’ll need to be more than just technically proficient though; as a support specialist you will be interacting both with power users and novices, so strong communication skills are a must. A two-year degree combined with relevant certifications will allow you to stand out when applying for these positions.

2. Software developer

Overview: You’re in luck. Not many people have the ability to develop software, and even fewer have the ability to do it well. Because of this, demand for developers remains strong. This is a “show me” job; if you’re technically proficient and can demonstrate your abilities, you may be able to get by without a bachelor’s degree.

3. Computer systems analysts

Overview: Efficiency is the name of the game for computer systems analysts. These analysts work with information systems to ensure they meet the various needs of an organization. Their knowledge of these systems allows for the implementation of process improvements. Candidates for these positions will need strong technical skills and good interpersonal skills — if you’re trying to automate or improve a system, you’re going to need to know how the system is currently used and which questions to ask in order to improve it.

4. Network administrator

Overview: Network administrators are responsible for the setup and maintenance of an organization’s computer network. This role is crucial — if the network goes down, every employee’s productivity grinds to a halt. As you might expect, this can result in long hours during times of crisis, but the compensation may make for a fair trade-off.

5. Web developer

Overview: Web developers have become a key cog in the operations of nearly any organization. Websites are an incredibly important part of any company — they’re the virtual storefront, so it only makes sense for businesses to invest heavily in their upkeep and design. The duties of web developers may vary depending on the size and needs of the organization, so it is important to understand the distinction between front-end and back-end development before applying.

Be confident in your decision

There are no two ways around it — it’s a big decision to go back to school, and committing to a bachelor’s degree just might be too much for you right now. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. As you can see, there are several intriguing tech careers you can launch with a two-year degree or less.

It’s important to remember, however, that many of these are “show me” jobs; it’ll likely take more than just education to truly stand out. Seek out any opportunity you can to work on tangible projects related to your desired positions. Any so-called “real life” applications of the skills you’ve learned can help close the perception gap between you and candidates with more time spent in the classroom.

If you think one of the jobs listed above would be a good fit for you, don’t let education be what holds you back. Check out the Rasmussen College School of Technology degree page to find a program that can help you take the next step toward a promising future.

Just imagine — two years from now, you could be preparing for the first day of your new career!


*Source: (Analysis of 3,443 information technology jobs which require an associate degree and 0 to 2 years of experience, 05/21/2015 – 05/17/2016).
**All salary and job outlook information was acquired from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published in May 2013. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2016.

Will Erstad

Will is a Sr. Content Specialist at Collegis Education. He researches and writes student-focused articles on a variety of topics for Rasmussen College. He is passionate about learning and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.


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