By now most people agree that you don’t need a college degree to generate high income. In today’s gig economy, many people in self-taught careers earn more money than people with a college degree. There are plenty of high-paying jobs you can get without a degree. But how do you decide what skill and what job are the right match for you?
Whatever you decide to do, the key is to make sure it’s what you actually want. Steve Jobs once said: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” In other words, don’t do something you don’t want to do (like go to college) just because someone else wants that path for you. Instead, you can choose to develop a monetary skill on your own time and craft a career that’s truly meant for you.
Some people simply have natural gifts, like a knack for writing or talent for interior design. While you might not be one of these people, you can easily acquire any skill you want. No matter what you do, you don’t need a college degree to start building a career off of your natural abilities.
Self Taught Careers Are Often More Lucrative Than Careers That Require a Degree
It’s a myth that self taught careers are any less lucrative than careers that require a college degree.
Many people quickly master a lucrative skill by taking a short online course. For example, copywriting is a popular self taught career, and a lawyer is a common career that requires a degree. However, many copywriters make more money in one hour than a lawyer does.
Below ,we’ve detailed 15 self taught careers that you can get as an entrepreneur without a college degree.
1. Social Media Strategist and Manager
Social media is one of the hottest industries to be involved in right now. According to a 2019 study by Emarsys, almost half of the world’s population uses social media on a regular basis. Instagram itself has over a billion monthly active users. Facebook has over 1.5 billion daily active users. So there are clearly many career opportunities in this field. Businesses are well aware that they’re losing money without outreach on social media.
That’s why many businesses and brands are often looking to hire a social media strategist. You could become a social media strategist by simply learning about best social media practices. You can help companies with brand strategies on various social platforms or monetize by running social media accounts for businesses. If you happen to have a highly successful social media page, you can use this asset to your advantage.
This shows that you practice what you preach and serves as a portfolio of your social media skills. If you have an impressive social media following, you can work as a brand ambassador.
2. Graphic Designer
Stable, creative jobs are difficult to come by. Luckily, graphic design is a perfect balance between artistic freedom and reliable work. Graphic designers are in high demand. All businesses need logos and graphics to market their brand.
Since this is more of a niche career, it’s likely that you can charge a premium price for your services. Graphic designers can also learn web design to easily boost their earnings. This is called skill stacking, and many graphic designers do it. You can learn graphic design through online courses and mentoring programs.
Many of the world’s best graphic designers don’t have college degrees. Graphic designers enjoy flexible hours. They have variety in their work, creative freedom, and the ability to control their own rates and fees. Most of the time, graphic designers are hired based on the quality of their work.
What truly matters are the samples of their work, and not their education or experience. You can build a sustainable graphic design career with an impressive portfolio.
Copywriting involves writing compelling descriptions of products or persuasive sales copy for businesses. You won’t need a degree to get started in this field. Many successful copywriters have a natural knack for writing engaging and persuasive content.
Copywriting is one of those skills that stands the test of time. The demand for copywriting services will never go away. Businesses will always need effective copy to draw in customers.
This career also appeals to workers seeking remote positions. You can establish a successful copywriting business regardless of where you are. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.
This is a lucrative skill that can be mastered with experience and an independent strive to succeed. You can take online courses (typically about 8 weeks long) to master the skill of copywriting on your time. The best part is – you can earn while you learn too. As a matter of fact, most Dan Lok’s students in the High Income Copywriter® Program started working before they even finished the course.
4. Freelance Writer
Freelance writers write content for media outlets, blogs, and for ghostwriting projects.
Through ghostwriting services, they write books, articles, and blog posts. They do this under someone else’s name. Many celebrities and public figures, for example, hire ghostwriters. The demand for well-written blog content is ongoing in our digital economy. Many business owners simply do not have the time to craft daily or weekly blog content. But they know that the need for it is high, which is why they hire writers.
Freelance writing is one of the self taught careers that is smart to pursue because of high demand. Another advantage is that you can work from anywhere.
5. YouTuber or Vlogger
This career path may take a bit longer to start. However, it certainly pays off in the long run if you’re consistent and dedicated. You can make a lot of money by becoming a YouTuber who provides tutorials. You can also be a vlogger, a video blogger who provides valuable insight on specific topics.
In your videos, you could sell a product or simply provide knowledge. You can combine vlogging with traditional blogging – with more content output are more chances for earning higher returns.
YouTube videos can potentially earn you steady passive income while you sleep. And just because you put out a new video, doesn’t mean you’ll stop earning money off of old ones. But it could also take just one highly poignant, viral video, to launch your career into outer space.
As you develop your skills and online presence, you can create videos for others. Many companies would like to maintain a consistent video output as it’s good for sales. However, they often don’t have the time or don’t know how to create great videos. This is where a good vlogger comes in.
Most videographers master their skill with time. This is a skill that tends to get better with practice.
6. Motivational Speaker
Do your friends constantly look to you for advice? Are you told that you’re wise beyond your years? Do you tend to captivate people who truly listen when you speak? If this is the case, you may make an excellent motivational speaker.
This job is not limited to those with a college degree. All you really need to succeed is charisma and expertise in a specific field.
Even if you feel as though you do not have the raw talent to become a motivational speaker, you can build your skills. Learn by yourself and through mentors. Practice constantly. Even the most talented speakers practice and build on their skills.
You can attend toastmasters to improve your public speaking skills. Rehearse your speech often in order to perfect it. There are many courses you can take as well as great coaches who can help you master your craft.
There are many things you can do with as a motivational speaker. You can earn money through live ticketed events for example. But you can also monetize online. How about recording a motivational speech and uploading it to YouTube? With consistent effort and commitment, you’ll be able to make money while helping others.
This is definitely one of the best career paths for passionate high-energy entrepreneurs.
7. Digital Marketing Specialist
Digital marketing jobs can be some of the most lucrative simply due to the high level of demand. Learning digital marketing can make you a valuable asset to any company or business.
There are many courses and resources available online. There are also plenty of companies hiring on-site or remote digital marketers.
You may start out by managing daily content generation, creating Facebook ads, or monitoring analytics. Eventually, you may be able to provide marketing strategy consulting for businesses.
Digital marketing is one of the self taught careers with an ongoing demand. There are plenty of different career opportunities to keep you thoroughly engaged.
8. Jewelry Designer
Becoming a jewelry designer has never been easier. Any supplies you might want are at your fingertips. You can order supplies from Amazon and Etsy, and simply Google how to make jewelry. Millions of YouTube videos and tutorials can guide you through different techniques. When you have the skill and style you want down, you can make anything you imagine.
This is a great career for a creative person who has an eye for design. You can create social media accounts and share your designs with others to sell your jewelry. You can make custom orders for your clients and friends. The opportunities are endless.
This too is a business you can run from home. If you dread social media, you can hire strategists and influencers to post photos for you. No college degree required, and you can still make six figures easily.
9. Interior Decorator
Interior decorating is another career that can be self-taught. Some people just have a natural talent for home decorating and interior design. But with some talent, research, and keeping up with current home decor trends, anyone can do it.
The best way to get hired as an interior decorator is photographic evidence. To attract clients, post photos of homes you’ve decorated across your social media. No amount of education or experience beats photographic evidence of beautiful homes.
Photography is a self-taught career that can be extremely lucrative. If you find a niche such as wedding photography, you can make a lot more money. You can easily find the best camera to buy online. It’s easy to teach yourself this skill online and through courses or apprenticeships.
You can also find a mentor who is a highly successful photographer and ask to shadow them while they work. You can easily build a portfolio that will bring attention to your work and attract clients.
Besides taking photos yourself, you can also teach others about photography. If this is your passion, then you can start your own course. This will allow you to monetize on sharing your knowledge and skills with others.
Warren Buffet once said: “Honesty is a very expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people.” That being said, your expert advice is honest advice that people will pay top dollar for. If you are an expert in a particular industry, you can offer your expertise to clients at a hefty hourly rate.
Consulting is one of the more desirable self taught careers. Why? Because as a consultant, you’re able to provide value with what you already know. There’s something very satisfying about giving advice and share your knowledge. It’s also a great way to stay connected with your industry while still generating income.
You don’t need a college degree to be a consultant. With extensive knowledge in a given field, you can build your consulting career. All you need is a good marketing strategy and exposure.
12. Web Designer
Web design is one of the most in-demand skills right now. Websites are the primary connection between a customer and product. Without websites, selling to a global audience would be nearly impossible. And without a good website, it’s difficult to convert website visitors into customers.
That’s why it’s so important that businesses invest in high-quality web design services. According to a study conducted by IronPaper, 8 out of 10 consumers disengage from content that doesn’t display well on their device. This is great news for prospective web designers. The demand for your skills is only expected to go up in the modern age.
Best of all, web design can be learnedentirely online. You can take courses or watch free videos any time.
If you have a good eye for design, you could monetize by creating and selling WordPress or blog themes. You could also focus on converting desktop websites into efficient, mobile versions.
The field of web design allows endless avenues of remote work. Best of all, you can earn without a college degree.
13. Online Educator
According to recent trends, the demand for online education is only set to increase. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a degree to excel in online education. You just need to have already established yourself as an expert.
An online educator can set up their business on Zoom or Skype and teach from the comfort of their own home.
You could also teach specialized skills such as guitar or jewelry-making virtually. One of the best parts of being an online educator is that you are in complete control of your business model. You can set hourly rates or flat rates per lesson. Plus, you’ll most likely have a dependable, weekly work schedule.
Online educators have the opportunity to profit doing something they care about.
14. Data Entry and Coding
If you have a meticulous eye and a drive to succeed, you can execute a successful data entry career. Data entry positions offer both in-person and remote job experiences. This means that you have lots of flexibility in that sense.
There aren’t really any prerequisites for data entry jobs. You can even opt to take on a remote data entry job while you work on developing a more niche skill.
Coding is a skill that is also in high demand, especially with such a large booming online market. Like data entry, you don’t need a degree to become a skilled coding expert. Coding can be learned through free online video tutorials via YouTube or Vimeo.
Best of all, coding can lend itself to a wide variety of high-earning jobs. You can specialize to build software, mobile apps, and websites.
If you’re a skilled communicator, have a way with people, and are great at sales, you’ll probably make a great closer. Closers tend to experience limitless potential in terms of their earning. Why? Because their income is largely based on how much effort they put into their work.
Moreover, closing is one of the best skills to cultivate if you’re an entrepreneur. Any entrepreneur will need killer proposals, perfected pitches, and closing skills to succeed. You don’t need a college degree to learn how to close.
Once you master the art of closing, you may be able to expand your business and increase your income.
There’s no doubt that becoming a great salesperson will lead to a higher income. As a matter of fact, even if you have a college degree, having strong closing skills will propel you further.
The Secret to Choosing the Self-Taught Career That is Best For You
Landing a high-paying career without a college degree is easier than you think. With any of these 15 excellent self taught careers, you simply need determination and a willingness to succeed. In time, you’ll find that you can earn even more than those with a four-year degree are earning. It all depends on how you market yourself and how much you grow. If you continuously upgrade your skills with online courses, that’s an added bonus.
But what is the secret to choosing the self taught career that is best-suited for you? The secret is to first decipher what your high-income skill is. Everyone has a natural ability, a gift, or a high-income skill – but not everyone knows what theirs is.
If you want to find your perfect high-income skill and build your dream career now, take our FREE high-income skills quiz here.
Dan Lok has been viewed more than 1.7+ billion times across social media for his expertise on how to achieve financial confidence. And is the author of over a dozen international bestselling books. Dan Lok is the founder of The Dan Lok Organization (which includes over two dozen companies) and is a venture capitalist currently evaluating acquisitions in markets such as education, new media, and software. Dan Lok trains as hard in the Dojo as he negotiates in the boardroom. And thus has earned himself the name; The Asian Dragon.