Just a few years ago, anyone hoping to make high five figure or six figure salaries would have attended college. These days, high paying jobs rarely require a four year degree. What they do require instead is a little bit of hustling, hard work and often short, online education courses.
Instead of using a traditional diploma to prove you know what you are doing, many employers and industries in the digital age require actual proof that you can do what you say you can. Oftentimes, this is showcased in an online portfolio and through the personal brand that best represents who you are and what you want to do with your life.
This system works well because companies now care more about hiring self-motivated individuals. And who is more self-motivated than someone that will hustle their way to the finish line? For all those side hustlers out there, these advancements in the work field were designed for you.
How to Land High Paying Jobs in Digital Industries
Whether you are fresh out of high school, graduated from college or you are a seasoned veteran in a specific career, you can start earning a good salary in the digital space. The first step to marketing yourself here is to learn digital skills.
Because a degree itself does not matter as much in this career space anymore, it is vital to constantly hone and develop new digital skills. This will set you apart from your competition and keep employers and clients coming back for more of your expertise. There are a plethora of good online courses on the internet to help you get your feet wet in virtually any industry; utilizing these resources will help you to develop the skills necessary to market yourself as a competent professional.
The following high paying jobs can be learned from the comfort of your own home, at any time of the day. Some of the positions may lead to remote freelance work, while others will lead to a high paying in the job. Consider options that best fit what you are looking for. The only standard requirement to any of these positions is having enough self-motivation to stay on top of your learning and ultimately develop the skills necessary to succeed.
We go more in-depth on how to land your first job in tech. in our blog here.
Communications, Advertising & Marketing Jobs
1. Advertising Professional
Managing digital advertising campaigns is one of the fastest growing industries in the last 10 years. Find a platform you are most interested in working with, such as Facebook, Google, or Snapchat, and teach yourself how to advertise through those networks. To learn more about advertising on each of these platforms, search on their advertising platform websites to learn the basics. To be truly successful in this field, it would also be beneficial to study the basics of social media marketing, search engine optimization and social listening.
Great advertisers average around $70,000 per year in income, with the best reaching into six figures. If you work hard enough to hone in your skills, you can be one of these professionals.
Where to learn the necessary skills: Some of the greatest resources for teaching yourself how to use these platforms are YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, and through online digital advertising programs. Google provides a Google Skillshop, while Facebook offers a program called Facebook Blueprint; These are great resources as well as websites such as PPC Hero and Growth Academy.
2. Content Marketer
If you love to write, or graduated with a degree in English or Communications, becoming a content marketer might be right up your alley. Though blog writing and social media management may not bring home the big bucks, learning to create content that drives a return on investment certainly will lead to a high paying job in this industry.
Content marketers not only write articles and blog posts, but also optimize content to perform better than competitors’ content. These marketers work closely with SEO professionals and creative teams in order to accomplish their objectives; learning some of the basics behind these industries will help you to be a well-versed content marketer.
Where to learn the necessary skills: One of the first steps to becoming a content marketer is displaying your writing and work in a portfolio. If you do not already have any work, write some content for fun and use it in your portfolio. The University of Illinois and Northwestern University both run online programs that will help you develop better writing skills.
3. Market Research Analyst
Market Research Analysts own a skill that very few marketers and business professionals have—that is the skill to understand and interpret data about customers and competition. Therefore, this position is highly important and sought after; it does not hurt that the average salary for someone in this position is $67,000. If you enjoy the creative part of the marketing industry but also have a knack for data and numbers, this could be a great resources for you.
Where to learn the necessary skills: The International Institute of Market Research & Analytics offers online marketing analysis courses for free. Sign up for the 12 week course and learn through video content with 24/7 support. The University of Virginia also runs a marketing analytics course online through Coursera that would be a great starting point in this industry.
4. Additional Creative Roles
Other roles related to communications, advertising and marketing include becoming a PR specialist, a marketing manager, a user experience designer, a creative director or a graphic designer. None of these roles require having an actual degree in a creative field. All that counts here is finding resources that will help you develop a skill and working hard enough to make it happen for yourself.
Security, Development & Engineering Jobs
1. Blockchain Developer
Blockchain developers are typically responsible for creating the structure of blockchains, optimizing and improving blockchain processes and developing applications that use blockchain technologies.
The blockchain field is quickly growing and will continue to see a rise in importance. With that said, now is an excellent time to get involved in the field. As expected, becoming a blockchain developer relies on a strong foundation in coding languages such as python and C++, as well as an understanding in markup languages like HTML and CSS. Blockchain developers typically make between $150,000–$175,000. Though gaining a background in blockchain may take some time, the uphill battle is certainly worth the climb to make a high paying salary.
Where to learn the necessary skills: Some great starting points to become advanced in this field include Blockchain Specialization offered by the University of Buffalo and Blockchain for Business through the Linux foundation. Another resource to check out is the Complete Ethereum Blockchain Mastery Bundle.
2. Cybersecurity Professional
The introduction of an open internet presents many security issues as well. Because so much data is stored in the cloud, including government, personal and corporate data, it is extremely important that the cybersecurity industry stays up to date with its technology and innovation. Professionals in this industry are often expected to search for vulnerabilities within online systems and monitor attacks and illegal activity online. Cybersecurity professionals typically make anywhere from $100,000–$120,000.
Where to learn the necessary skills: The University of Colorado offers a Cloud Computing Security program to learn more about Amazon’s AWS cloud computing platform. They also offer programs in IBM’s IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization, as well as a program on Security in Google Cloud Platform Specialization for Google Cloud.
3. Web Developer
Web Developers are in high demand as the internet continues to become a central part of our lives. With that said, the fastest-growing web languages in 2020 are Gatsby.js, Next.js, SwiftUI and React. Learning one or multiple of these languages will give you an edge in one of the fastest growing positions of the decade. Web developers make a typical salary of anywhere between $45,000–$110,000 per year.
Where to learn the necessary skills: There are a variety of online resources in which you can learn web development. The University of Michigan offers a program called Web Design for Everybody (Basics of Web Development and Coding). This is a great place to start on your journey to becoming a web developer. If you have a background in coding already, using the Full Stack Web Development with React program through Hong Kong University is a great starting point. Khan Academy also offers a variety of free coding education for programmers and coders of all kinds.
4. Additional Security, Development & Engineering Roles
Other roles related to security, development and engineering include becoming a civil engineer, computer programmer, data scientist, information security analyst, Android/iOS app developer, IT manager, IT support professional, software developer or a mechanical engineer. Some of these positions may require some level of schooling; However, most of these roles only require enough education to be successful in the position.
Other Jobs & Careers to Learn Online
Cutting unnecessary costs and increasing profitability are two major concerns for virtually every business. Accountants often make improvements to provide positive impact for business. Accountants are needed in almost every single industry, including non-profit and for-profit businesses. Accountants make on average $65,000 per year; however, if you earn a Certified Public Accountant certification, you can make even more money in this field of work. If you love to crunch numbers and streamline spending processes, becoming an accountant is a great career to research.
Where to learn the necessary skills: The University of Virginia offers a Financial Accounting Fundamentals course, while the University of Pennsylvania provides a course titled Introduction to Financial Accounting.
Estheticians are licensed professionals in health and wellness. Estheticians are required to complete training and courses as well as pass a state examination in order to practice in the field. However, there are courses offered online to help individuals become certified in the field. A beginner in this field makes on average $40,000; however, estheticians have immense room to grow and make upwards of $100,000 per year.
Where to learn the necessary skills: One resource to consider is the ASFA Aesthetic Facial Courses, which cost less than $200 to register for.
3. HR Specialist
HR specialists are primarily responsible for hiring talent and as well as managing benefits packages for all individuals. Like some of the other roles above, HR specialists are needed at virtually every company—from small startups to Fortune 500 companies. If you enjoy working with people and being a point of contact for the employees within a company, HR is a great way to fulfill those desires. HR professionals also make an average of $50,000 a year with room to grow and make more money.
Where to learn the necessary skills: The University of Minnesota offers a great course titled Human Resources Management: HR for People Managers Specialization, as well as a Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding Employees Course.
4. Additional Miscellaneous Roles
Other high paying online careers include becoming an data analyst, administrative assistant, computer systems administrator, loan assistant, mobile developer, paralegal, real estate agent or speech pathologist. As with the jobs in each previous section, these roles require little formal education. Research educational opportunities through Coursera and other online learning platforms to become proficient in the job position you are most interested in.
Whether you are interested in developing creative skills or becoming a web developer, the digital age has opened up many online learning opportunities. Rarely do you actually need to attend college to get the education necessary for a high paying job. Do the necessary research to figure out what role you would be successful in, and try your hand at online education. The most important part of being successful in this process is to remain self-motivated and to work hard. You can find success in any of the above positions with a little grit and determination!