8 high-stakes tech jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree and pay extremely well

High-stakes tech jobs aren't just for MIT and Stanford grads.

In fact, there are a number of important cybersecurity roles that don't require a four-year degree at all.

There's also a ton of demand out there. According to a report from Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021.

"People interested in exploring or reinventing a career in security need to recognize any skills that could be applied," Heather Ricciuto, IBM Security's academic outreach leader, tells Business Insider. "For example, people who are constant learners, problem solvers, or even strong communicators are all great candidates to transition into various cybersecurity roles."

She adds that IBM has hired 2,000 cybersecurity experts since 2015. IBM has also pushed to establish more "new collar" jobs — which land somewhere in between trade and professional work, as Business Insider previously reported.

"The opportunities in cybersecurity are huge right now, and we're looking for people of all backgrounds, generations, and skill sets to come join us in the fight against cybercrime," Ricciuto says. "If you're looking for a career that is fast-paced, constantly changing, and where you can make a difference, start looking into the many different pathways into cybersecurity."

Here are eight jobs in cybersecuirty that don't require a four year degree and come with a median annual salary over $59,000:

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8 high-stakes tech jobs

8. Security awareness trainer

Security awareness trainers educate employees and customers about cyber security recommended practices.

Median annual salary, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics: $59,020  

Photo credit: Getty

7. Command and control threat hunters

C2 threat hunters scan datasets to identify undetected security threats.

Median annual salary, according to SimplyHired: $65,726

Photo credit: Getty

6. Technical writers

Technical writers study the technical subject matter and put together manuals on topics like security policies and response plans.

Median annual salary, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: $69,850 

Photo credit: Getty

5. Threat monitoring analysts

Threat monitoring analysts monitor suspicious activities on a company's network, to identify true security threats that require investigation.

Median annual salary, according to PayScale $70,096 

Photo credit: Getty

4. Security device analysts

Security device analysts test devices for compliance to various policies.

Median annual salary, according to PayScale: $70,611  

Photo credit: Getty

3. Ethical hackers

Also known as pen-testers, ethical hackers attempt to find security holes within a company's tech systems.

Median annual salary, according to InfoSec Institute: $71,331 

Photo credit: Getty

2. Cyber help desk analysts

Cyber help desk analysts provide support to users experiencing security threats, including incidents involving phishing attacks and ransomware.

Median annual salary, according to PayScale: $75,466

Photo credit: Getty

1. Cyber operations engineers

Cyber operations engineers run a company's cyber operations, including managing firewalls and configuring identity management repositories.

Median annual salary, according to PayScale: $83,900 

Photo credit: Getty

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