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No degree? No problem.

Some 88% of UK employees have experienced burnout over the last two years, a third are unhappy in their current role and over 50% are open to a career change. For the most part, they’re chasing a higher salary, greater job satisfaction and the opportunity to explore a new field.

However, the prospect of spending several years pursuing a new degree, before working back up from the bottom on junior wages, offers little motivation. As such, many get stuck in jobs they hate, burning out long before they reach the pinnacle of their industries.

Fortunately, today, there are more opportunities than ever to upskill, land a better job and a payslip worthy of your time — or even switch careers entirely (without spending a lifetime and your life savings on a new degree). 

Knowing which skills are in-demand and which doors to knock on is often enough to land you a dream career in talent-deprived professions — even in times of economic uncertainty.

ELVTR analysed 2,000 vacancies in the UK for top industries to find the most well-paid jobs that, in most cases, don’t require a university degree (and some you likely haven’t heard of).

Best jobs in the IT sector that don’t require a degree (or coding skills) and pay up to £65,000

#1. Project manager

A project manager is responsible for planning and overseeing projects within an organisation, from the initial ideation process through to completion. They coordinate teams and oversee processes to ensure project outcomes and objectives align, and are delivered on time and within budget.

  • Vacancies that don’t require a degree: 91%
  • Requirements: business, management, budgeting and analysis skills; problem-solving aptitude; excellent communication skills; and the ability to multitask.
  • Average base salary: £52,421

#2. Business analyst 

Business analysts work to keep businesses running at optimal efficiency by evaluating processes, uncovering areas in need of improvement and offering guidance on growth opportunities. Their main tasks include performing detailed requirements analysis, documenting processes and performing occasional user acceptance testing.

  • Vacancies that don’t require a degree: 77%
  • Requirements: analytical and conceptual thinking skills; documentation skills; and planning, organisational and time management skills.
  • Average base salary: £48,821

#3. Product manager

Product manager is a professional who combines both product planning and marketing duties to support a product or service throughout its life cycle. Voted one of the UK’s best jobs in 2022, it’s an ideal choice for those with creative thinking, curiosity, problem-solving and leadership qualities. 

  • Vacancies that don’t require a degree: 72%
  • Requirements: time and task management; knowledge of business, marketing, data analysis and technology; and communication and organisational skills.
  • Average base salary: £63,414

Best jobs in marketing that don’t require a degree and pay up to £82,000

#4. Marketing strategist

Marketing strategies are responsible for researching, developing, and communicating strategic marketing plans to help their employer meet its goals. They lead and optimise marketing efforts for company and client campaigns, and collaborate with teams throughout the organisation to execute their vision.

  • Vacancies that don’t require a degree: 87%
  • Requirements: experiences in marketing, creative thinking, attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and the ability to lead.
  • Average base salary, Glassdoor: £81,223

#5. Brand strategist 

Brand strategists craft a personality for their organisation and ensure this is communicated effectively across all marketing materials. They’re tasked with commissioning market research to unearth and understand new audiences and sales channels, providing valuable insight to marketing teams to assist them in creating impactful campaigns that drive results.

  • Vacancies that don’t require a degree: 73%
  • Requirements: communication skills, both verbal and written; management skills; a client-oriented approach; a problem-solving mindset; creativity; and research skills.
  • Average base salary: £60,292

#6. Marketing analyst

Marketing analysts keep a close watch over the industry to help their employer stay one step ahead of their competition. As well as exploring market trends and identifying opportunities, they’re also tasked with researching consumer behaviour, tracking advertising costs, and offering insight on how to optimise.

  • Vacancies that don’t require a degree: 72%
  • Requirements: the ability to process and analyse marketing data, creativity, and strategic thinking.
  • Average base salary: £42,430 

Bonus: high-paying jobs that you probably haven’t heard of (and you can nab without a degree) 

#7. DEI manager

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) managers are responsible for the programmes, policies, strategies, and practices designed to create an environment that respects and accommodates every employee’s ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, religion, age, and more. 

Shown to drive better business performance, DEI roles have been growing exponentially in recent years. Yet, with most companies now implementing sweeping equality-boosting changes, there is a dire shortage of talent in the field. This means there’s a significant salary boost on offer for those that can fill the gap.

  • Vacancies that don’t require a degree: 58%
  • Requirements: Job requirements vary depending on organisation and market. However, most roles require HR experience, writing and editing skills, communication skills, and awareness of D&I and employee communication trends.
  • Average base salary: £53,128

#8. Sustainable innovation manager 

Sustainable innovation managers serve a similar purpose to business and marketing analysts. However, instead of driving commercial success, they’re tasked with identifying innovative ways to reduce the environmental and social impact of their employer’s products and processes. Responsibilities include market and competitor analysis; setting environmental targets; and identifying, supporting and monitoring the implementation of sustainable practices.

  • Vacancies that don’t require a degree: 54%
  • Requirements: project management, strategic thinking, leadership, and fostering individual and collective creativity. 
  • Average base salary: £61,652


To create this study, we examined 2,000 LinkedIn job listings advertised during February 2023. Roles analysed included junior and mid-weight vacancies in the most popular and in-demand fields.


#1. LinkedIn job search

#2. Glassdoor (average salaries)

*ELVTR is disrupting education by putting proven industry leaders in a virtual classroom with eager rising stars. ELVTR courses offer 100% instructor driven content designed to give you practical knowledge within a convenient time frame. Choose the right course for you!