CDI Corporation

Spike seen in tech jobs not requiring bachelor’s degrees

Tech is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy, and also traditionally ranks high atop the list of professions requiring a considerable amount of education and training. However, a recent report by the Brookings Institution found that there are a wide variety of tech jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree but are nonetheless important. Some are beginning to call these roles “mid-tech” jobs.

Researchers at Brookings found that about 30 percent of those in mid- and high-tech computer positions do not hold bachelor’s degrees. In the former category, computer network architects and computer network support specialists showed the biggest shares of sub-BA workers, with those lacking such degrees occupying 52.2 percent and 49.7 percent of the jobs, respectively.

High-tech professions, in niches like database administration and software development, were much less likely to be populated by those who hadn’t earned diplomas from four-year colleges. However, 22.2 percent of computer programmers in the U.S. don’t have BAs.

Mark Muro, who helped author the Brookings report, explained in an e-mail interview with VentureBeat that college towns like Bloomington, Indiana, and other cities not traditionally known as tech hubs had large shares of mid-tech IT jobs because such places were “using tech networks as opposed to creating them.” Nevertheless, these findings could bode well for aspiring tech workers who are willing to learn necessary skills even if they can’t attend a four-year college.