A formal education is always an added bonus when looking for a job. Many fields are open to self-taught individuals. These jobs may require a high school diploma and experience working in the industry. Others may demand portfolios demonstrating job-seekers' work histories or resumes delineating the job-seekers' skills relative to the jobs they're applying for. Some good examples of jobs for the self-taught include Web design, Web developer, sales agent and grant writer.
World Wide Web
One of the more popular fields for the self-taught is the Web. Anyone interested in the Internet can learn to become a Web designer or developer. To become a Web designer, you must be familiar with HTML, a language used to create Web pages; basic Web design; programming; XML, which stands for the extensible markup language that helps store and carry data on Web pages; graphics; and other common information relative to Web design. Once you're a self-taught expert at Web development, you can start your own business or get a job as an entry-level designer. Some of the best developers learn coding, platforms, CSS, which is a programming language, Java Script (also a programming language) and all of the features of a system in order to do their jobs well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual salary for Web developers, security analysts and computer network architects as of May 2010 was $75,660.
A self-taught sales agent that can perform public relations duties will do well in today’s job market. Good relationship skills are a key requirement for most sales positions. Most jobs require a high school diploma, and many people teach themselves how to be good sales agents through the course of doing daily business or promoting their own business, creating advertisements on their own or through small fundraising campaigns. Sales agents and specialists strive to promote the companies they work for or to sell advertising, products or services. They might also raise funds for an organization. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for advertising sales agents as of May 2010 was $45,350.
Grant writing is another excellent field for self-taught individuals. A background in research and proposal writing is helpful, as is a foundation in research and creativity. Many nonprofit and government agencies require grant writers. To gain experience, self-taught individuals can volunteer to do grant writing for nonprofit agencies. The pay for grant writing varies per job and per proposal. Some grant writers charge per hour, while others may charge a flat fee per project. The BLS doesn't collect data on grant writing salaries, but according to Entrepreneur.com, some grant writers report making from $50,000 to $300,000 per year.
Keys to Success
Self-taught individuals need to keep their skills sharp to compete in a world of college-educated competitors. This is particularly true in industries where business models are constantly changing. Web designers and developers should stay abreast of the latest technological changes. Most organizations will offer training to new hires. Take advantage of courses an organization may offer and always do your best to shine once hired. A self-taught individual may have to seek diligently for work but with effort and dedication will have good odds for finding a job in the employment fields described above.
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