Woman public speaking smiling confident work Jacob Lund Shutterstock

25 Jobs That Used to Require a College Degree But No Longer Do

Gone are the days when a college degree was the only way to secure a successful career. Today, many jobs that once required formal education can be accessed through alternative routes. Skills and experience are increasingly valued over academic credentials. Let’s look at how you can leverage new educational tools and resources to forge your own career path.

Computer Programmer

Woman Young Computer Programmer Work Jobs SeventyFour Shutterstock
image credit: SeventyFour/Shutterstock

Traditionally, becoming a computer programmer required a degree in computer science or a related field. However, today, many programmers are self-taught, using online courses to acquire necessary coding skills. The tech industry now often values practical experience and a portfolio of work over formal education.

Graphic Designer

Designer Art Digital Game Design Graphic Animation Pixel Shot Shutterstock
image credit: Pixel Shot/Shutterstock

Graphic design positions once typically required a bachelor’s degree. Nowadays, proficiency in design software and a strong portfolio can suffice, with many designers honing their skills through online tutorials and hands-on projects. Employers often look for creativity and experience over formal qualifications.

Web Developer

Male Computer Programmer Coding jobs Gorodenkoff Shutterstock
image credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Web development has shifted from requiring a computer science degree to being accessible through coding bootcamps and self-study via online platforms. This field emphasizes skill and ability to produce functional, well-designed websites and applications over traditional educational pathways.

Digital Marketer

Woman Working Young Computer Editor Writer DimaBerlin Shutterstock
image credit: DimaBerlin/Shutterstock

Previously, a marketing degree was essential to break into digital marketing. Today, digital marketing skills can be developed through specialized online courses, certifications, and practical experience. The fast-paced nature of digital marketing values up-to-date knowledge of trends and technologies more than a formal degree.


woman journalist reporter new camera BAZA Production shutterstock
image credit: BAZA Production/shutterstock

Today, many successful journalists begin their careers without formal education in the field, building reputations based on the quality and impact of their content. This shift reflects broader changes in media and information consumption.


Instant Polaroid Camera Photographer Travel Jacob Lund Shutterstock
image credit: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Professional photography no longer mandates a degree in photography. Many photographers are self-taught, using online resources to learn techniques and build a portfolio. Success in this field is often judged by the ability to capture compelling images and secure client work.

Real Estate Agent

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

While real estate agents must be licensed, the requirement for a college degree in this field has diminished over the years. Now, individuals can enter the profession after completing a certain number of hours in real estate courses and passing a licensing exam.

Human Resources Specialist

Woman Investor Boss Business Finance Big Shot Theory Shutterstock
image credit: Big-Shot-Theory/Shutterstock

Today, many positions in HR consider candidates with relevant experience or certificates obtained through online programs, valuing practical skills in managing personnel and workplace issues.

Public Relations Specialist

Male public speaking confident business Sergei Leto Shutterstock
image credit: Sergei-Leto/Shutterstock

Public relations once required a degree in communications or a related field, but now, the industry often values experience and proven skills more highly. Professionals can enter the field through internships, work experience, or by demonstrating strong communication skills.

Event Planner

gender reveal party baby shower women
image credit: PeopleImages-Yuri-A/shutterstock

Event planning is another career that has moved away from requiring a degree. Instead, successful event planners often start with entry-level positions and build experience through hands-on role performance.

Sales Representative

Business Meeting Investors Finance Handshake fizkes Shutterstock
image credit: fizkes/Shutterstock

Sales positions used to typically require a business degree. Currently, what matters more is one’s ability to sell, with many professionals thriving in this career through on-the-job training and strong interpersonal skills. Employers often provide their training programs.


handsome young business male in eyewear working with computer remotely social media work
image credit: fizkes/shutterstock

Today, many copywriters learn their trade through online courses, workshops, and constant practice. A strong portfolio has become the primary requirement for securing work, valued more than a degree.

Software Tester

Older father studying computer reading research
image credit: burlingham/shutterstock

Software testing was once a job expected to be done by computer science graduates. Now, many successful software testers come from non-technical backgrounds, using short courses and certifications to gain the necessary skills. This role requires meticulous attention to detail.

SEO Specialist

Woman Working Computer writer journalist editor social media job Rymden Shutterstock
image credit: Rymden/Shutterstock

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a field that has grown significantly with the expansion of the internet and does not require a specific degree. Specialists often learn through online resources, tutorials, and experience, staying current with the constantly changing algorithms and best practices. Employers look for proven SEO skills and successful track records.

Technical Writer

woman writer news journalist editor Roman Samborskyi shutterstock
image credit: Roman-Samborskyi/shutterstock

Technical writers were once expected to have degrees in fields like English or technical communications. However, professionals can now enter the field with experience and knowledge in specialized areas like engineering or computer science.


law concept lawyer judge court legal
image credit: esb-professional/shutterstock

While some form of certification is often necessary, the requirement for a law degree to work as a paralegal has lessened. Many paralegals start their careers with certifications or associate degrees, gaining experience on the job. This role requires strong research and writing skills, which can be developed through practical experience.

Social Media Manager

facebook meta mobile handheld Chinnapong shutterstock
image credit: Chinnapong/shutterstock

The role of a social media manager is relatively new and evolving, with no specific degree required to enter the field. Professionals in this area often come from a variety of backgrounds, using skills learned through self-directed study and hands-on experience. The key is an in-depth understanding of social media platforms and engaging communication.

Library Technician

Couple Library Bookstore Students Study NDAB Creativity Shutterstock
image credit: NDAB Creativity/Shutterstock

Library technicians typically require a degree in library science, but now, many roles can be entered with certifications or on-the-job training. These positions often require organizational skills and a love of books more than a specific degree. Many technicians learn cataloging, book management, and customer interaction through practical experience.

Multimedia Artist

Artist Woman creating painting sculpting hobby Geoff Goldswain Shutterstock
image credit: Geoff-Goldswain/Shutterstock

Degrees in fine arts or animation were once seen as essential for multimedia artists. Today, many are self-taught using online tutorials and software, or they attend short-term workshops that focus on specific skills like 3D animation or graphic design. This field values creativity and a strong portfolio over formal education.

Fitness Trainer

Outdoor Fitness Runner Track POC Male Inside Creative House Shutterstock
image credit: Inside Creative House/Shutterstock

Fitness trainers typically do not need a degree in exercise science as long as they have certification from a recognized fitness organization. The profession emphasizes practical knowledge, experience, and interpersonal skills to guide clients through fitness routines. Many trainers start their careers with personal passion and expertise in specific fitness areas.

Executive Assistant

Women investors finance ceo walking business GaudiLab Shutterstock
image credit: GaudiLab/Shutterstock

Executive assistant roles traditionally required degrees in business administration. Now, individuals can advance into these positions with relevant experience and strong organizational and communication skills. Many executive assistants develop their careers through a combination of short courses and on-the-job training.

Insurance Agent

finance business couple advisor markets stocks
image credit: goodluz/shutterstock

Becoming an insurance agent no longer strictly requires a degree in finance or business. Candidates must pass licensing exams, but many of the skills necessary for success in this field are developed through training programs offered by insurance companies. This profession values persuasive communication skills and a strong understanding of insurance products.

Travel Agent

Tourist Woman Zurich Switzerland travel RossHelen Shutterstock
image credit: RossHelen/Shutterstock

Travel agents do not need a specific degree but rather a strong knowledge of travel destinations, planning, and booking processes. This information is often gained through certification programs, specific travel-related training, or personal travel experience.


Woman Eat Carrot Vegetables Kitchen PeopleImages.com Yuri A Shutterstock
image credit: PeopleImages.com/Yuri A Shutterstock

In some regions, becoming a nutritionist does not require a full degree but rather a certification or diploma in nutrition, which can be obtained through specialized courses. These programs focus on diet planning, the science of food, and wellness strategies.

Personal Shopper

Woman fashion shopping maxbelchenko Shutterstock
image credit: maxbelchenko/Shutterstock


The role of a personal shopper has evolved with retail and fashion; it does not require a degree in fashion or marketing. Many in this profession have succeeded through a deep understanding of style, client needs, and product knowledge gained on the job or through short courses. The ability to anticipate and cater to client preferences is more valuable than formal education in this field.

Josh Dudick

Josh is a financial expert with over 15 years of experience on Wall Street as a senior market strategist and trader. His career has spanned from working on the New York Stock Exchange floor to investment management and portfolio trading at Citibank, Chicago Trading Company, and Flow Traders.

Josh graduated from Cornell University with a degree from the Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at the SC Johnson College of Business. He has held multiple professional licenses during his career, including FINRA Series 3, 7, 24, 55, Nasdaq OMX, Xetra & Eurex (German), and SIX (Swiss) trading licenses. Josh served as a senior trader and strategist, business partner, and head of futures in his former roles on Wall Street.

Josh's work and authoritative advice have appeared in major publications like Nasdaq, Forbes, The Sun, Yahoo! Finance, CBS News, Fortune, The Street, MSN Money, and Go Banking Rates. Josh currently holds areas of expertise in investing, wealth management, capital markets, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and personal finance.

Josh currently runs a wealth management business and investment firm. Additionally, he is the founder and CEO of Top Dollar, where he teaches others how to build 6-figure passive income with smart money strategies that he uses professionally.