How to Change the Career Without a Degree? 4 Tips

Liv Butler
Authored by Liv Butler
Posted Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 6:23am

It's understandable to feel a lack of fulfillment in your job and wonder if it's the right path for you. You're not alone in this sentiment. Employee engagement levels in the U.S. have reached an 11-year low. It's disheartening to know that 17% of full- and part-time workers feel disengaged. If you're among them, know that your feelings are valid and that there are ways to address them.

The good news is, norms regarding job trajectories are changing. You no longer need a standard four-year degree to find fulfilling work. We will go over the main points of how to accomplish that in this article.

1. Identify and highlight your transferable skills

The most successful career transitions start with a strong sense of your core values, a clear picture of your skills and interests, and an inspiring vision for the future. They don't involve searching aimlessly or starting from scratch.

Your current skills are like a toolbox. Problem-solving, time management, and communication skills are all tools that can help you in your new career, even if you're moving from construction work to graphic design. Figure out your transferable skills and talk about them in terms that make sense for the job you want.

Instead of saying, "I was a really good waiter/waitress," you could say something like, "I'm awesome at dealing with customers and I work really well under pressure." This shows potential employers or coworkers that you have skills that would be really useful in your dream job.

2. Find the right online resources for strategic upskilling

Many online tools can help you get the skills and information you need to make a career change possible. So how do you pick the right ones?

First, match your goals to resources. Where do you see yourself heading? Does the idea of analyzing data, creating data pipelines, and shaping business strategies appeal to you? If so, you might be interested in data engineering. You can narrow your search once you know more about where you want to go.

Consider your learning style. Would you rather watch video classes or read books? Do you want very structured lessons that lead to certificates, or would you be happy with a less structured, self-guided approach?

Many platforms offer a huge collection of courses for a range of needs. Evaluate program quality. Check to see if the school has accreditation from reputable organizations, read reviews from past students, and look at the instructor's qualifications.

3. Change the way you connect with other professionals

When you were focused on your prior employment, networking might have seemed like a private club for high-ranking executives only. Now that you're changing careers, you need to change how you look at networking.

Don't see connecting to other people as scary or transactional; instead, see it as a way to make genuine relationships, only on a professional level. You can join virtual events, participate in discussions, and even learn more about other people in your industry. By using platforms like LinkedIn and forums related to your field of interest, you can add to relevant conversations and connect with others who share your passion online first.

4. Get real-world experience without a degree

Experience, not education, is the most significant consideration to 37% of employers when evaluating job applicants. So, it's important to put together a resume that shows off your skills.

Taking on freelance or project-based jobs from online job sites is a great way to start. You could also consider volunteering for non-profits to add some real-world experience to your resume. And showcase your skills by building a strong online presence with a website or online portfolio.


The absence of a degree should not be an obstacle. It's possible to get your dream job without one. Just be persistent in your learning, take advantage of opportunities, build connections, and you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish.

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