The highest-paying tech jobs you can get in SA without a degree

Not everyone has the opportunity to go to university and get a degree, but the good news is that it’s not always needed to land a high-paying job.

Many companies value skills and experience higher than a tertiary qualification, and are willing to employ people without a degree.

DVT CEO Jaco van der Merwe told MyBroadband that the major shortage of skills in some areas mean that unqualified professionals with solid experience can land a high-paying job.

Internet Solutions concurred, saying there are some fields where the right skills, experience, and certifications can land a candidate a lucrative position.

Showmax CTO Mike Raath said that for a software engineer, he would like to see a degree in computer science, or an appropriate engineering discipline.

“However, in a scarce-skills market as we have, someone who can demonstrate their ability through their achievements, such as applications they have developed and successfully submitted to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, can count for a lot,” said Raath.

Derivco said they prefer developers who have a BSc Computer Science or Information Systems degree, or an IT Diploma.

If you have a proven track record, though, and if you are a guru in .NET but have no qualifications, the company is keen to meet you.

Well-paying IT jobs where you don’t need a degree

Below are some of the high-paying tech jobs which you can get without a degree.

The salaries provided are based on senior-level salaries from CareerJunction’s April 2015 Salary Review.

Online job advertisement data was used when the profession was not available in the CareerJunction report.

Senior Java and Microsoft developers – R43,965 per month

Software developers remain sought after in South Africa, with senior Java and Microsoft developers ranking high on the list of desired skills.

Recommended certifications: Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer; Microsoft Certified Professional Developer.


Mobile App Developer – R41,092 per month

Android and iOS developers are in high demand, as many companies are looking for applications aimed at mobile devices.

Mobile app development

Test automation specialist – R43,000 per month

Test automation specialists are responsible for testing the automation of systems.

This includes performance testing, load testing, test management, test automation support, and code level test automation.

Recommended certification: Certified Software Test Automation Specialist.

Software testing

Security testing specialist – R41,083 per month

A security testing specialist must ensure that IT systems are secure. This can include ethical hacking, network security compliance, penetration testing, and more.

Recommended certification: Certified Application Security Specialist; Certified Application Security Tester.

Security testing

Senior Agile coach – R47,040 per month

An Agile coach is responsible for helping people adopt the Agile mindset in their jobs. Their skills include team coordination, requirement analysis, planning, development, testing, and project knowledge.

Recommended certification: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner.

IT management

Scrum Master – R47,040 per month

A scrum master is the facilitator of a product development team that uses scrum, a rugby analogy for a development methodology that allows a team to self-organise and make changes quickly.

The scrum master manages the process of how information is exchanged.

Recommended certification: Certified Scrum Coach.

Scrum master

Hadoop specialist – (recommended by companies)

A Hadoop specialist has extensive knowledge of Apache Hadoop – an open-source software framework written in Java for distributed storage and distributed processing of large data sets on computer clusters.

Recommended certification: HDP Certified Developer; HDP Certified Administrator.


Python developer – R43,965 per month

Python developers use Python – an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics – to develop applications.


Puppet Labs specialist – (recommended by companies)

Puppet Labs offers automation software to the market. Its primary product, Puppet Enterprise, comprises of a commercially-supported version of its open-source configuration management tool: Puppet.

Recommended certification: Puppet Professional; Puppet Developer.

Puppet Labs

Open-source specialist – R37,593 per month

Open-source specialists are skilled and experienced in the use and implementation of open-source software.

Open source

Cisco, Huawei, and EMC certified developers – R43,965 per month

A wide range of developers are on the skills shortage list, including Cisco, Huawei, EMC, and Microsoft certified developers.

Recommended certification: CCENT, CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, EMC Proven Professional Program, HCNA, HCNP, HCDP, and HCIE.


Systems Administrator – R35,667 per month

A system administrator manages the operation of a computer system or electronic communication service.

Recommended certification: Microsoft Certified IT Professional; Linux Professional Institute Certification.

Systems administrator

NOC Administrator – R35,667 per month

A network operations centre administrator supervises, monitors, and maintains a telecommunications network.

Recommended certification: Microsoft Certified IT Professional; Linux Professional Institute Certification.


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The highest-paying tech jobs you can get in SA without a degree