These days, many people have an interest in working and traveling overseas, especially if they grew up in North America and never have had a chance to see the world. Moving abroad for work is a big step, and there are a lot of logistics to navigate. Nevertheless, it’s absolutely possible, even without a formal education. You may not have a degree, but your skills and professional experience can open doors to many career fields overseas. So to answer your question…
Which job can you get overseas without a degree:
- Teaching English
- Hospitality and tourism jobs
- Jobs for expats
- Digital nomad jobs
Working abroad is a great way to explore new cultures while also gaining work experience. There are a variety of overseas jobs you can pursue without a university degree, many of which don’t require you to have professional experience either.
In this article, we lay out all the job opportunities abroad for someone without a degree.
Moving abroad without a degree: is it even possible?
Getting a job overseas with no degree is indeed possible, and so many people do it. There are plenty of employers that don’t require a formal education, including those who provide seasonal jobs that rely on manual labor or customer service.
Depending on your preferences and previous work experience, you can be sure that finding a job abroad is more feasible than you might think. In fact, around 8,313,000 Americans are currently expats living and working in 175 other destinations. Many of them moved abroad to get a job, while others started their own business.
If you want to join them, you should first consider your nationality and the rules that come along with it. Some places, for example, don’t grant visas to someone with no formal training, whether it’s university or vocational level. Some countries have special programs allowing non-qualified people to get a job and a visa.
Secondly, we recommend that you ask yourself the following questions before proceeding to any other steps:
- What country or region interests me most?
- What skills are people willing to pay me for?
- What careers sound interesting to me?
- How long do I want to be abroad?
- Who am I bringing with me?
Evaluate your chances of employment overseas by looking at those aspects, as well as the two below:
- Your skills
If your current set of skills isn’t sufficient for getting a job overseas, you should learn some new skills. You might already possess some desirable skills that can come in handy, including:
- Speaking a second language
- Strong communication skills
- Attention to detail
Those skills bring high value everywhere in the world.
- Your experience
Do you have any niche work experience? Could it be applied to a potential job opportunity overseas?
What are your options for working abroad?
One of the easiest ways to work abroad is to find a job in your country of residency that will allow you to travel or work internationally.
How to find an international job
If you’re not able to move overseas with your current company, work as a freelancer or get recruited internationally, you can try to find a new job overseas on your own.
Today, more and more people are turning to remote jobs that aren’t location-dependent. 78% of American expats say they can work remotely in their current jobs abroad, and roughly half telework full-time.
Yet, keep in mind that a remote job isn’t always a work-from-anywhere job. Due to tax and labor laws, an employer could be restricted from hiring someone who lives in the same state or city as their company headquarters, and crossing international boundaries makes things even more complicated.
So, if you’re looking for a remote international job, be sure to refine your search to a company that’s based in, or has a presence where you want to move. You can also join a fully remote employer that complies with hiring from anywhere in the world, such as our company Support Adventure.
If that option doesn’t work, here are the most popular jobs to work abroad without a degree:
- Hotel staff member
- Construction worker
- Kitchen staff
- Babysitter or Au Pair
- Fruit picker
- Supermarket or restaurant cashier
- Bag packer
- Delivery man
- Shelf stocker in a supermarket
- Tutor, e.g., English teacher
- Tour guide
What types of jobs can you get abroad with no degree?
We have divided all job opportunities overseas into five main categories:
- Teaching English
- Hospitality and tourism
- Expats working and traveling abroad
- Digital nomad jobs
All of these jobs differ in their conditions, flexibility and level of expertise. But most importantly, they don’t require a degree.
Teaching English overseas
Teaching English in another country, especially in Asia, has always been one of the best jobs for living abroad. However, it does require you to have a formal English teaching certification, which is rather easy to obtain.
You will just need to invest some of your time into getting a TEFL license. There are great programs that will help you get the TEFL and set you up with a teaching job right out of the gate.
Hence, one doesn’t need a degree to teach English overseas. With a TEFL certification, you can teach almost anywhere in the world while earning a good paycheck and making friends. Furthermore, this job doesn’t require experience either. The only requirement for these positions is that English is your native language.
Every country has a different monthly wage for teaching English, but it’s usually more than enough to live in that country and save money while you are working. Plus, English teachers work flexible hours and explore places in their time off.
For example, in South Korea, you can expect to earn between $2,000-3,000 USD per month, but you will be expected to work hard for that salary. On the other hand, in Latin America, salaries for teaching English are considerably less at around the $1,000 mark. But the expectations are also lower.
Therefore, it’s important to research different countries before deciding on where you would like to teach English abroad.
Hospitality and tourism jobs
Next on the list are service-based jobs in hospitality and tourism, which are often seasonal. These are also very common for working overseas without a degree, and they include jobs like being a bartender, scuba instructor, ski instructor, ship, yacht or cruise worker, massage therapist, etc.
The tourism sector in general is one of the largest providers of jobs for people with international backgrounds. Many of these jobs will provide you with free accommodations together with a moderate paycheck. Some hospitality work even comes with free food and drink. It’s also a great way to meet lots of other young people from around the world.
Furthermore, if you are an active person who loves the outdoors, resorts are always looking for international travelers to work as restaurant staff, hotel staff, instructors or animators.
Generally, seasonal jobs in tourism offer many opportunities–from working in restaurants, teaching ski or snowboarding lessons, scuba diving and even being a lift operator.
Common jobs in hospitality and tourism include:
- front desk clerk
- hostel worker
- ski/surfing/yoga instructor
- breakfast attendant
- food service
You can also work as a tour guide overseas. No qualification is needed.
Become an expat
Expat stands for “expatriate,” which means that while you are a citizen of one country, you choose to live and/or work in a foreign country, usually by obtaining a job overseas. You may live in a country for months or years at a time, possibly on a work or a remote work visa.
Become an expat with a remote IT job
Today, people with basic IT skills can easily move abroad or travel by working a remote job on their computer because the IT industry is growing quickly. The need for staff is increasing day by day, and in almost every country on the planet. It’s a great time to consider starting a tech career.
Furthermore, an IT job is one of the easiest positions to get as a remote working expat. Many computer jobs don’t require an official degree, but simply technical skills. We at Support Adventure specialize in providing remote IT jobs, so don’t forget to apply with us if you are in this field.
There’s an abundance in tech support roles because basic knowledge of computer technology and how things function to assist clients can be done remotely. Duties of this role often include troubleshooting, creating work orders and updating computers.
Nevertheless, the best way to get a job in IT without a traditional college education or experience is to start out in an entry-level help desk position. During time on the help desk, you will learn the inner workings of the IT support industry and its expectations.
Hiring managers are looking for candidates who can get the job done, regardless of their academic achievements. Self-education, experimentation, training programs and certifications could be your ticket to a rewarding location-independent tech job.
The most common position in IT is a technician, and this job doesn’t require you to have a degree. You can increase your chances of getting hired as a tech by:
- having an interest in IT
- immersing yourself in prominent technology and software
- practicing computer troubleshooting
- learning best practices of customer support and documentation
Here are some more specific skills overseas employers look for in IT candidates:
- Understanding relevant technologies
- Having hands-on experience with computers and software
- Ability to learn quickly
- Analytical thinking
- Ability to understand users’ needs and problems
- Ability to follow procedures
- Understanding how to help people with computer issues
Learn more about how to become an IT technician in this article.
Remote customer service jobs
You can also become an expat by working in customer service. These jobs are always in high demand and available in two forms: on the ground in your destination country or online. Nowadays, remote work in the customer service industry is widespread.
Most customer service agents’ duties are performed remotely from a home office. As a customer service professional, you are the first point of contact for customers.
Usually, you will need to provide information or answer questions about products or services and handle and resolve complaints to provide a positive customer service experience.
Most customer service jobs don’t require a degree. In fact, the work is quite straightforward–assist clients with their problems on the phone, via email or chat. It’s a great way to work remotely or in the country you want to live in. Furthermore, native English speakers are always a target for customer support recruiters.
Since 2021, freelancing has by far become the most popular way to work abroad, even without a degree. Freelancers are able to work from anywhere in the world as they are mostly doing their job via the internet.
Freelancing is possible across many industries and job titles, such as writers, coders, photographers, PR specialists, graphic designers, marketers, social media managers and virtual assistants. …Basically, anyone who works 99% of their time in front of a computer.
Common freelancing jobs include:
- digital marketers, including SEO experts
- information technology professionals
- graphic designers
- online virtual assistants
In fact, one in four freelancers works in education, including teaching English. Other top industries for working abroad include IT, marketing, advertising and communications, which lend well to the so-called digital nomad lifestyle of working from anywhere. While working as a freelancer, you are in charge of your schedule, work hours and location.
Upwork is the most popular site designed to provide freelancers with regular work. There, you can find companies and small businesses to work on short or long-term projects as a contractor.
However, you might struggle to land lucrative work on those platforms in the beginning. The market is saturated. Hence, it’s a good idea to accept lower-paid jobs to build up a portfolio and a feedback score on the platform. Eventually, you will gain experience and earn more.
Moreover, some countries even started offering special residence programs for all remote workers, including freelancers and digital nomads. Some of them include Bermuda, Croatia, Malta, Germany, Costa Rica, Portugal and Estonia.
Website and graphic design
If you are willing to learn how to do web or graphic design, or already have this skill, then you will be part of one of the most lucrative professions among location-independent freelancers. There is so much demand for this across the world.
It’s also one of the most common travel careers for digital nomads. All you need is your computer, an eye for design, and knowledge of specific software programs and online platforms, like Photoshop, WordPress, Illustrator, etc.
Talent for writing code helps too — specifically HTML, PHP, and CSS. Building websites is one of the most wanted services nowadays no matter where you are in the world. And the best part of this job – with a little bit of persistence and desire it can be 100% self-taught.
Become a digital nomad
Digital nomads are people who travel while working online, and this lifestyle is by far one of the best ways to work abroad without a formal education.
Generally, digital nomads work from their computers. That’s why they are digital. These are location-independent folks roaming the world or staying in one country for an extended period of time. Hence, digital nomad jobs provide an enormous amount of flexibility and independence when traveling and living abroad.
Digital nomads have various professions. Some are online business owners, while others might work as freelancers for private clients or companies.
Digital nomadism also includes professions like:
- Architects, designers, copywriters, computer professionals, photo and video editors, webmasters, bloggers, translators, writers, photographers, online tutors, IT technicians. In a nutshell, all possible jobs that can be performed online.
These jobs will allow you to work from anywhere in the world and travel if you wish. Yet, you have to be a dedicated and disciplined person not to spend the whole day just traveling. You have to take full responsibility for the online work you do.
Similar to freelancers, you can offer your services on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. There, you can advertise your services to people worldwide and profit from freelance jobs from wherever you are.
How to get a job in tech abroad?
Is a remote tech job something for you? So how can you get one?
Learn basic technology and tools
One of the keys to success in the IT industry is knowing and mastering the right technology. Yet, knowing just Microsoft and Office 365 already will help you to get a head start in the IT support industry.
If you are starting with a help desk job, we recommend getting familiar with the most common software in the IT environment, including:
- Microsoft Office 365
- Connectwise, Autotask
- RMM systems (such as Ninja RMM)
- Ticketing systems (FreshDesk, Zendesk)
- Network systems (Sonicwall, Cisco)
- Documentation Software (ITglue)
Most IT companies want to hire people with experience troubleshooting Windows, Cisco Networking, Office 365, and other cloud services. You can get a basic understanding of databases to increase your chances, such as MySQL.
Getting certifications for working abroad without a degree
The right certification can be helpful when getting a job abroad without a degree. You can get a certificate in almost any industry and for any particular job. For instance, getting RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certification will allow you to work in the hospitality sector in Australia.
These certifications give you the one up over everyone else, and oftentimes they don’t take much effort to get. Even if your qualification isn’t accepted in the country you’re traveling to, it proves that you have some idea about what you’re doing. Furthermore, trade certificates for professions such as plumbers, carpenters, and electricians are often mandatory.
Nonetheless, some certifications are useful overseas while others are not. Research your specific situation to know where you stand.
IT/Technical certifications and training
Training isn’t the most essential element for your career switch to IT, but it definitely can be helpful. Yet, you also might be able to self-study in your spare time and pick up some relevant skills using resources like Udemy.com, Teachable.com, Lynda.com, and others.
Nonetheless, getting the right certification can significantly improve your position in the international tech job market. Ultimately, one of the best ways to develop IT skills without a college degree is to gain an industry-accredited certification such as CompTIA, one of the leaders of tech certifications.
Depending on the job and company requirements, you can choose between various certifications for all purposes, knowledge levels, and technologies. Some certifications focus on networking technologies, such as Cisco and VMware.
To work as an English teacher overseas, you don’t need a degree, but a language certificate is necessary in most cases. Hence, the most important thing to do before you start looking for a teaching job abroad is to obtain a TEFL or CELTA:
- TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate
- CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults)
A 120-hour Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is an internationally recognized certificate. Many countries accept teachers certified with TEFL. Ultimately, the TEFL course will give you a good idea of what to expect as an English teacher working abroad.
Main benefits of getting TEFL include:
- get a work visa overseas
- accepted worldwide
- improves your CV
- gives access to higher quality and better-paid jobs
Getting a job overseas with no degree and no experience
What if, in addition to the absence of a university degree, you also don’t have any work experience? How can you get a job abroad in this case? Luckily, some overseas jobs don’t need any experience in their respective industry.
However, these jobs may require applicants to complete onsite job training or internships in order to succeed in the role. International corporations and working abroad programs typically provide work opportunities for Americans who want to travel overseas while gaining valuable work experience.
For example, a firm could hire a motivated and able-to-learn person, even without prior experience. In the end, finding quick answers on Google is a very valuable asset to have.
When it comes to the tech world, many small IT business owners confirm that they are willing to hire an inexperienced applicant with the right personality and motivation. However, keep in mind that priority is given to candidates with a background in IT.
Without any experience in IT, you should search for entry-level help desk jobs and try to work your way up. Once you know the internal processes, procedures, and technologies, you might have a chance to grow within a company.
Don’t hesitate if the hiring firm requires a questionnaire or skills assessment, make sure to take it. In the end, a candidate should always be upfront about their experience, knowledge, and capabilities.
Action list for getting a job overseas without a degree or no experience:
- Set your goals and priorities
- Learn new skills
- Apply for an internship
- Consider special training
- Consider getting a certification
- Get practical experience
- Make right connections on social media
- Do your research and leverage self-education