Own Up Child V2When University isn’t for you, what are your options?

It isn’t uncommon to find yourself at the end of your first year of University questioning whether you made the right decision to continue studying into higher education. With more people choosing to go to University than ever before, the number of graduate scheme applications has increased, reducing the probability of success for a number of employable individuals. With this in mind, not continuing with your degree can feel like you’re setting yourself back and letting yourself down, however this is far from the truth. There are a variety of professions that you can enter without a degree and degree attainment on its own no longer guarantees success.

The average salary in the UK is £27,000. We have collated a list of jobs that you don’t need a degree to do, and that pay more than the national average. No matter what your reasons are for discontinuing with your degree , the fact is that it isn’t the right choice for everyone. So, we have featured below a few jobs for you to consider which may help you on your way to achieving career success without higher education.

Public Relations

Working in the industry of Public Relations demands that you use your initiative and authority to find opportunities which will aid your campaigns and benefit your clients. Being a team player is a must, as is the knowledge of the various methods to leverage your projects so that they gain success. The salary that you can expect will depend on your ability, skills and experience but you may be able to find roles that will pay more than £100,000 for your efforts.

Air Traffic Controller

You don’t need a degree to be an Air Traffic Controller, however you will need other training. National Air Traffic Services provide courses, and you can expect up to five months of training, plus up to four years of on the job training, before you are fully qualified. An understanding of maths, in addition to good reflexes, are essential qualities to have in this role. This is a job that is vital to keeping our transport networks running smoothly, and the importance of the job is reflected in the average salary, which can start from around £80,000.

Digital Marketing

The internet age has brought with it an abundance of jobs, including Search Engine Optimisation role and Pay Per Click work. You could also work in the field of email marketing, which targets people based on their preferences, in an attempt to encourage them to purchase from specific stores, or visit those websites. Experience for this field is crucial to progress up the ladder, but you can expect to earn more than £30,000 if you have the sharp and agile mind required for this role.

Recruitment Consultant

With more and more jobs appearing on the market every day, it’s important that there are individuals who have the ability to organise and interpret these positions to people who would best suit them. It is estimated that the recruitment industry is worth £30 billion, and this is only likely to increase.

Sales skills are a must for this role, along with a good attitude when dealing with customers. You may be required to work with a whole range of roles, from sourcing educational professionals from overseas to finding tradespeople for a certain project. If you have extensive knowledge about a specific career niche then you may be able to specialise in that area of recruitment. £38,000 is what you can expect to start with, with commission usually on top of that.

Police Constable

Being a Police Officer means that you will be one of the most valued and respected people in your local community, and with the role comes a huge responsibility to help people and keep the peace. If you enjoy listening to people, and are good at judging situations and acting upon instinct quickly and calmly, then a career in the police force might be perfect for you. Working up the ranks could allow you to earn more than £41,000. 


If you think that you can’t earn money from your hobby and passion for make-up, then think again. Careers in the beauty industry are becoming more prevalent than ever, and the availability of stronger advertising via a variety of social media channels has helped to propel this. By building up a portfolio and undergoing relevant training either at a college or on the job at your local salon, you can use your drive and love of beauty to create a career that you will excel in. You could earn more than £30,000 by opening your own salon, or setting up a freelance business.


Hairdressers are often sought after, because their skills are always needed and they attain the ability to make others look and feel good. There is an opportunity to develop skills in the industry to make you an even more desirable candidate. A senior stylist could earn more than £30,000, and if you choose to open your own salon or find work in the media industry, such as on TV and film sets, your earning potential is higher. You may need to build up your earnings slowly, but the potential is definitely there – and there is no degree needed.


In a world of non-stop media, there are more opportunities for journalists than ever before – not only in newspapers but also on the television and radio. You will need an NCTJ approved qualification, but if you have good reporting skills, along with a key knowledge of the area you’d like to write about, then you’re already half way there. Add to that a drive to succeed, a proactive nature and a hunger for a story and you may well be on your way to becoming a top journalist – who can expect to earn at least £38,000.

Computer Software Engineer & IT developer

A modern workplace revolves around technology, making the IT department and support one of the most important departments in keeping a company ticking over. Whilst there is going to be stiff competition for a place in an IT role without a degree, the positions for someone that can prove their salt as a computer whizz are in high demand.

Online courses or specific IT courses can be the first port of call for qualifications, or simply building a portfolio of personal projects will be enough to wow your potential employer. Once you’ve an interview arranged, use your portfolio and personality to show that you’re the right fit for the company. Also prepare to be tasked on your technical skills in the interview, practical knowledge as well as creative thinking is key in IT. Computer Software Engineers can earn a handsome sum upwards of £50,000 as a salary in top management positions.

Can’t make your mind up?

If you’re still not sure about the career that you would like to pursue, then don’t worry. There is something to suit everybody, even if you may not have found it in the list above. Instead, consider the following tips, which will help you in your search:

  • What are you interested in? What skills do you have? No matter what hobbies you enjoy, you will always be developing skills that can be transferred into the workplace, and you should never overlook these.
  • When you have identified your key skills, research, and see the kinds of jobs that people with your skills are able to do. Also see how much you might be able to earn, and the training that you would need to undertake to actually get the job.
  • -Remember that no matter which path you go down, it’s never too late to change your mind and take an entirely different path. No decision is final, and it may take time to finally find the job that is perfect for you as an individual.

To get a basic idea of what’s available for people with your interests and skills, a careers test could be a good option.

To start your research, the National Careers Service is a great website to use. Here, you can get CV and interview advice, and look at lots of different career profiles.

Once you’ve found the right career, it could change your life – so the decision shouldn’t be rushed.

Take your time to consider your options, and you will find that the outcome of your deliberations will bring you great rewards in the future.

Holly- guest blog

Welcome to the first guest blog from Holly Barry

Holly Barry is a Digital PR Executive working in Hertfordshire. A Journalism graduate from Brunel University in West London, Holly has embarked on many adventures within the magazine industry. Her most recent endeavour was spent at Condé Nast’s Brides magazine and previous to that her time was spent at Cosmopolitan and the UK’s leading brand agency – Four Marketing. Holly has written for many publications, some more profound than others, such as The Huffington Post and Countryfile magazine, but her favourite genres include a diverse selection such as; dating, automotive and interior design”.