Can you really skip college altogether and get right into your dream career? Yes, you can. But the path to this kind of a low stress job, or a job that you can work from home, involves thinking much differently than the average person. In this article, we cover multiple high paying jobs to help you find the best job for you even if you don’t have any experience or a degree.
How Can I Make Good Money Without A Degree?
One thing to understand is that not having a Bachelor’s Degree is no longer a big problem in the work force. The largest and most successful companies are eliminating degree requirements, as it has been clear for many years that the degree isn’t really a measure of someone’s value.
In fact Ernst & Young, a huge accounting firm based in the UK, went so far as to say that “there’s no evidence” that a degree equals success.
You don’t need a degree to make good money. But you do need to understand that nobody is going to just give you a high salary job unless you have something of great value to give them in return. The good news is that a Bachelor’s degree and years of job experience are not what employers and companies value you the most.
What do they value?
Skills. Being able to actually do the job.
Today’s colleges aren’t training students in any kind of practical or marketable skills, which is one of reason why so many smart companies are eliminating a degree requirements. This means that if you can get these skills – regardless of your years of job experience or having a degree, you’ll have a good shot of getting into a carer that can lead to a high income.
Digital Skillsets are the Most Powerful in the 21st Century
Many articles tell you about things like being an Air Traffic Controller, Electrician, Pilot, or Radiation Therapist. But these are not quick careers to get, and even if you do, these jobs may not be as stable as you think.
Many of these traditional jobs are risky and in jeopardy during Covid. (For example, how can you expect to have a high salary as an Air Traffic Controller if there are almost no flights?)
Another issue is that nearly every one of these other career paths still requires a lot of training. You don’t just waltz into a job interview and get a job as a Radiation Therapist, Electrician or Air Traffic Controller. Some of these jobs require a few years of specialized vocational school and thousands of dollars on non college education before you can be hired.
The quickest, most accessible, and most powerful skillsets in today’s modern Covid-19 influenced economy are the internet based skills of Digital Marketing.
Digital Marketing is a fancy name for running ads for companies on the biggest advertising platforms we’ve all heard of: primarily Facebook and Google. Unlike many other skillsets, you can learn how to do this from home, and you don’t need a degree to become very skilled and help companies get more customers and sales.
So stay focused on web based skills. Things like coding and web development are great skillsets as well, but have a much higher learning curve than Digital Marketing.
Digital Marketing Skills can be learned and acquired online relatively quickly and you don’t need a degree. They are in high demand. Every company on the planet needs to advertise their product or service, and the main venue for that is now the internet.
The field of Digital Marketing moves very quickly, but even the Bureau of Labor Statistics has finally realized that having Internet Based skills is the best investment to take advantage of this growing occupation.
In my online training program The Digital Marketing Career Blueprint, I show people how to learn Google Ads and SEO online from scratch, helping companies get more business and show up higher in Google Searches.
If they follow my instructions, most of my students start getting job interviews within one to three months of starting the program. That’s faster than any other skillset around. And I’ve helped a ton of people without a college degree.
I’ll be sharing some examples of real people in this article, and you are welcome to go over to Linkedin and hit them up, they will get back to you.
Here’s a great example. Carlos Lorio was studying to be an HVAC tech in 2018 and hating it when he found my course. He explains his story in this email. The long and short of it is that he was able to beat out hundreds of other applicants for an entry level job at a Colorado based Digital Marketing agency because of the skills he had learned, not nonsense theory taught in school. Carlos has no college degree. He started out making around $50K in 2019 and just recently moved to a new job during Covid.
The entry level position is just a starting point, as my students learn to leverage that entry level experience into higher pay within a short amount of time.
What are the Specific Jobs within Digital Marketing?
The specific job titles in Digital Marketing range from Paid Search Specialist, PPC Specialist, Digital Marketing Specialist, or Search Engine Optimization Specialist. But they all fall under the category of Digital Marketing, and there are over 30,000 job openings in the US on Linkedin every day, and more than 90,000+ worldwide.
A Paid Search Specialist is someone who manages a company’s ads on Google or Bing. It sounds fancy and maybe a bit intimidating, but it can be learned from home in a few weeks.
Over 90% of web searches are done on Google, which is billions and billions of people searching for things like diapers, digital cameras, oil changes, etc. every single day. A Paid Search Specialist learns how to make their client’s company show up when people type these kinds of things into Google?
Let me ask you something. If you were an Auto Mechanic who owned a Garage – and someone in your town got on Google and typed in “Transmission repair” – wouldn’t you want your Garage to show up right in front of that customer? That is what these jobs involve, and why companies will pay good money for people who have these skills even if they don’t have a degree.
This is also why this is one of the easiest high paying jobs to get without a degree or job experience.
The main reason why this job is easier to get than most is because just so few people know what a Paid Search Specialist or PPC (Pay Per Click Marketing) is at all. It’s not even taught in colleges, not even in marketing degree programs. And so companies will get hundreds of applicants for these jobs and not find even one person who they can train on how to do it.
That is how my students get jobs with no experience. I show them what to do and what to say to hiring managers to demonstrate their value to the company.
Now to be clear – there’s not a job in the entire world that will pay you six figures on your first day with no experience. But hundreds of my students have gone from having no degree and zero experience to starting at $45K or $50K a year in Digital Marketing. Here are some more examples.
My student Nicholas Battles was working at Metro PCS making $11/hr before he found my training program. He worked extremely hard, studying for hours every day and learning these new skills.
Nick didn’t have any experience in Digital Marketing, but like most of my successful students, I showed him how to generate his own experience. And within a few months he got his first agency job making $55K a year.
And with Digital Marketing, once you have built up 6 months to a year of experience, it is very easy to then leverage up to a higher salary.
And this is an in depth interview I did with Nick recently on my Youtube channel, where he shares his entire journey from working at Metro PCS to making $60K+ remotely and working with major brands (including Netlfix!), managing millions of dollars of ad spend.
Jobs That Pay 60k A Year
Once someone has gotten their entry level job in Digital Marketing and has begun working on real accounts with real money, it’s kind of like investing in a value stock. Every day at work or working on freelance client accounts you are learning more than you would ever learn in a college classroom, and you are getting more and more ammunition to put on your resume, which is better than a degree.
So most of my students, once they have 6 months to 1 year of experience they are then ready to move on to a high-paying job. My student Angel Nieves is a good example of this. His first agency job with no experience paid $40K+ but after he proved himself and was able to leverage up to a higher paying job.
How Can I Make $100 000 A Year Without A Degree?
From there, levelling up to $100K job is not difficult. In fact many of my students have made it to six figures within 3 years without a degree. My student Ash started from scratch like everyone else, and eventually got experience managing over $10 Million in ecommerce ads. He leveraged that experience into his first $80,000K/year job, which came out to more than $100K with bonuses and incentives.
In Digital Marketing, the base pay for most technical positions is below $100,000 even with a few years of experience. However most Digital Marketing companies have some kind of further incentives, either in the form of profit sharing, bonuses, or commissions.
Like I said in the beginning of the article, you have to think more intelligently than the average person when it comes to making a high salary. Don’t just limit yourself to a salary.
Lorena works in a commission based position. So she is compensated depending on the amount of money she is responsible for. I personally think that is a phenomenal way to pay people. Imagine how hard you would work at your job if you had a real financial stake in the workload you were taking on instead of just watching the company make all the profits.
This is the message Lorena sent me after she was hired.
There are many salaried positions within Digital Marketing that pay six figures or more, but they are typically Management positions, where you will be the lead marketer handling a team of junior analysts. It is possible to get into one of these positions within just a couple years once you have built up your own experience.
That’s what Athena did. She’s only 23 years old but she is making a $75K salary, managing an entire team of other professionals. Additionally, she has over $30,000 a year in freelance client billing, which pushes her over the six figure mark.
Athena also has no college degree. Like a lot of my students, she was about to cave into the pressure to go to college and study a lot of nonsense and build up debt, when she found my course. She began to take action and started getting clients , and later got hired at Directive Consulting, a B2B agency in Southern California. Once she realized this was a legitimate field and started getting results, she dropped out of college and has never felt she missed out on getting a degree.
You can see my entire interview with Athena after she made it to 6 figures (2020) here:
High-paying Jobs From Home
Covid-19 has changed the world. While jobs in most industries have suffered, Digital Marketing has actually become an even better opportunity to earn high pay because the job is done strictly from a computer, on the internet.
I got my first agency job in 2011 – and I always thought it was kind of funny that the company paid for office space and a conference room, etc. since all of the workers spent the entire day on the internet. I thought “Why can’t we just do this from home?”
Well now, as more and more companies adopt a work from home policy, more and more Digital Marketing roles are becoming remote. But there were great remote and work from home opportunities even before Covid.
Take Corey Hermanson, one of my students who makes $30 an hour managing Google ads for a variety of companies. Corey got his first job when he was just 19 and fresh out of high school, and now he has 3 years of experience and is an industry leader.
Corey chooses to only work part time, 20 hours a week, even though his boss would like him to work more. But Corey enjoys the flexibility of working from home and having a limited schedule so he can spend help out with his family.
This year I had the pleasure of interviewing Corey about his journey going from zero experience right out of high school to managing accounts with tens of thousands of dollars from home. You can watch the entire interview here:
Like I mentioned before, a lot of my students also have freelance clients.
A freelance client is someone you contacted directly to help with their ads or organic SEO. Since no company or agency got you this client, you bill them directly and make your own hours servicing their accounts. The typical fee for monthly ads management or SEO services ranges from $500 to $2000 a month. The average hourly salary is $40/hour.
The potential for Freelance clients in digital marketing are literally everywhere. It’s not like becoming a realtor or personal trainer and hoping people need your services or having to convince them. Pretty much every business in the world needs to engage in digital marketing these days. So in your daily life, when you go to the barber, buy groceries, go to the gym, talk to your relatives who are dentists, lawyers, plumbers, mechanics, etc. They ALL need help with Google and Facebook, and this is how so many of my students get their start.
There is also a huge online marketplace called Upwork.com that most people don’t know about that has thousands of companies who need help with this.
One of my students, Karen, was just 20 when she was working 20 hours a week making $40/hr for an insurance company. She was then hired by Glassdoor at a near six figure salary and kept her freelance client on reduced hours. She is able to work on her client’s accounts from her home or at a coffee shop.
I actually was able to interview Karen 3 different times throughout her 4 year trajectory from starting out to making over six figures. The first video is short, from when she was just 19 years old and had just started the course, which gave her the confidence to skip college. She was getting her Associates Degree and experiencing a ton of pressure from her family to get a BA, but she knew the skills she was getting in digital marketing were more valuable.
After Karen got her first internship and Agency gig in Ohio without a degree, she started freelancing for her own clients. She landed the long term gig with an insurance company, doing SEO for their various products in several countries. She was able to spend time with her family and make her own schedule while making more than twice what the average college graduate makes, working part time.
Finally, after she decided she wanted to have a more structured job with an engaging environment, Karen accepted an $80K salary to work at Glassdoor, and they helped her move across the country to work and live in San Francisco.
Are There Really Fun Jobs That Pay Well?
Finding a job that is both enjoyable, even fun, and also pays a lot of money is incredibly rare. There’s usually an inverse relationship between fun and pay, unless you are a famous actor or rock star.
For example, working at an Amusement Park and riding the go-karts every day can be a lot of fun, but it pays minimum wage. I used to live on Maui, and there were a lot of people teaching scuba diving and running outdoor tours that were a blast — but barely paid the rent.
On the flip side, you’ve got soul sucking corporate jobs like being an Accountant or Lawyer or working in Middle Management. These jobs have decent salaries but are absolutely no fun at all.
So is it possible to actually find a fun job that pays well?
What Are The Happiest Jobs?
Digital Marketing Jobs are the closest thing most people are going to a fun, high paying job that is also engaging and has room for major professional growth.
First off, understand this. Digital Marketing is a $100 Billion industry, so there is a lot of money being spent here. There is a shortage of skilled workers and a major need for people who can manage all these ads. Therefore, you are valuable and appreciated as an employee, which is a great and unusual experience for many people.
Agencies work very hard to make their work environment a place that is enjoyable, relaxed, and even fun to work. They want their employees to be happy, so they will be more productive.
We all know that Google is the King of the tech/digital lifestyle. Their Campuses and Cafeterias across the world are legendary. The modern, intelligent way of thinking is that instead of cramming your employees into cubicles where they feel miserable, give them creative and fun outlets during the day and they will perform better.
This means workplaces that often have ping pong tables, foosball tables, and video games. Such things are common in Silicon Valley, and at many Digital Marketing Agencies.
Google’s Tel Avid Campus even sports a cool slide you can ride from floor to floor.
Most agencies don’t have an actual slide in their office. But many do try to emulate the Google experience to make work fun.
What Are The Coolest Jobs To Have?
Digitopia, a Digital Marketing Agency in San Diego, is a great illustration of why these are some of the coolest jobs to have. This is from their “Careers” page.
That’s in addition to the main benefits, including competitive salary, one on one mentorship, medical and dental insurance, and paid time off. But a lot of agencies do have Ping Pong or Foosball tables and other video games or board games. This is a pic of the racing car simulator from Digitopia.
Remember Karen, my freelancing student from earlier in the article? Well after she got tired of Columbus Ohio, she got her first real salaried job making $80K+ in California working at Glassdoor. I interviewed her again about her job at that time, and at 12:00 into the video you can see their bar, video games, ping pong table, etc. Screenshots here (apologies they were taken though a Google Hangout):
Unfortunately, in many states because of Covid, digital marketing agencies have to work from home, and they are missing out on many of these perks. But it’s only temporary, and when things get back to normal these will still be some of the coolest jobs to have.
Beyond the lifestyle, culture, and work environment, the actual work of Digital Marketing is very cool. In fact most of my students are blown away at how much they enjoy the problem solving aspects of analyzing advertisements, websites, and coming up with creative strategies to get people’s attention.
Digital Marketing is a rare combination of left and right brain qualities. You have to be analytical and be able to understand data, but you also have to be creative every day. Many of my students say it’s like being a detective, and it’s like solving a puzzle each day.
Most people in other careers know the average job can get very tedious over time. Because Digital Marketers are working in real time on accounts and getting instant feedback, in an industry that is on the cutting edge of human engagement, it’s quite exciting. Everybody is on the internet, everyone is trying to reach and influence people on the internet. It’s not like sitting in an office filing invoices for 8 hours a day.
How to Make 500k A Year (Hint: It’s Not with a Job)
Anyone who really wants to level up their income has a lot of work to do. First off, if you’re trying to find a job that actually pays you half a million dollars, you are going to be disappointed. You have to stop only looking for “salaried” positions. In most fields, to get into the $500K and $1Million salary arena, you’re talking about CEOs and Vice President salaries, which come with seniority and lots of politics and years put into a company.
Nobody is ever hired off the street into making half a million or a million dollars a year. And very few people ever reach this level anyways.
But in Digital Marketing, this is possible. How?
By starting your own agency. Jess and Tyler Eisenhart are a Husband and Wife who took my course in 2017. After falling in love with Digital Marketing, Jess dropped out of college and got her first agency job making $36K a year, then after producing results for her clients, got bumped up to $42K. After a while at her first agency she got a new job making closer to $70K plus bonuses. Her husband Tyler was inspired by her success and followed her path, getting his own agency job as they moved from Arizona back to California.
After a couple years, this Gen Z couple was making $14,000 a month with no student loans.
But this year, after managing millions of dollars in ad spend, learning, and networking for 3 years, they decided to quit their jobs and start their own agency.
If you read her message closely, you’ll see Jess wanted to write a book on how to have success without college. She hasn’t gotten around to that, but that’s okay, because she’s leading by example. Just to emphasize the point, both Jessica and her husband skipped college into the careers they currently enjoy right now.
Even during Covid, they managed to sign about $38,000 in monthly billing. Starting their own agency means they are now the boss. They partnered with other digital media specialists like videographers and copywriters to provide complete client support for all their advertising needs. And now that they are the head of the company, they can sign as many clients as they can handle at higher prices.
So if they just continue at $38,000 a month in billing that is close to $400K gross revenue. They will continue to get more clients as they grow, and they are on their way to $500K.
You can watch them share their story here:
I hope this article has given you a new perspective on how to get a high paying job without a degree or experience. Digital Marketing is without a doubt the most powerful, quickest, and most accesible skillset you can get to change your life and get into a career with this kind of potential. If you’d like to learn more about how all these people started from zero knowledge and got digital marketing jobs, click here for my free mini course.
And whether you pursue Digital Marketing or not, understand that a college degree is not necessary for success. Get marketable skills, from digital marketing to coding or web development, and you will be able to offer value to companies and often make much more money than people with debt and a college degree.