10 Technical Careers to Study at Night (or Any Time)

Written by Coursera • Updated on

There are several career options for people who want to learn new technical skills on their own schedule.

[Featured image] A web developer maps out the design for a new website on a white board using colorful markers and sticky notes.

Just as remote work has become more prevalent, so have flexible learning options, making it easier to learn new career skills at night, between other obligations, or even while waiting in line at the grocery store.

Whereas previously, night classes at your local community college or vocational school may have been your best option for studying a technical career at night, now you can choose from several certificate programs and bootcamps that offer virtual and asynchronous courses, available at any time, from anywhere with an internet connection.

Similar to technical vocational careers, such as electricians, mechanics, and plumbers, these careers often require problem-solving, troubleshooting, and specialized knowledge of systems. However, the nature of the work tends to be less physically demanding.

Here, we’ll detail ten careers in information technology (IT), data, and software development that emphasize technical skills and that you can learn on your own time. We also include US salary and job growth information, as determined by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1. IT support specialist

  • Median salary: $57,910

  • Job outlook: 6% (as fast as average)

An IT support specialist maintains computer systems and troubleshoots user issues. In addition to crucial technical knowledge, they also benefit from strong people skills, as they’ll be the ones people turn to for help resolving computer problems.

There’s no standard education requirement to become an IT support specialist, however, you will typically need to demonstrate competency in dealing with computer systems. You can do this through formal education or entry-level IT certification. According to Zippia, 51 percent of people with this job title hold a bachelor’s degree, and 33 percent have an associate degree, often in computer science, computer information systems, or business [1].

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Google IT Support

This is your path to a career in IT. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.

4.8

(152,429 ratings)

1,187,138 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Debugging, Encryption Algorithms and Techniques, Customer Service, Network Protocols, Cloud Computing, Binary Code, Customer Support, Linux, Troubleshooting, Domain Name System (DNS), Ipv4, Network Model, Powershell, Linux File Systems, Command-Line Interface, Directory Service, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Backup, Cybersecurity, Wireless Security, Cryptography, Network Security

2. IT project manager

  • Median salary: $94,500

  • Job outlook: 7% (as fast as average)

An IT project manager plans and executes an organization’s IT projects, such as introducing new software or developing new internal IT processes. They may manage budgets, maintain project schedules, and lead risk management and mitigation efforts.

To become an IT project manager, it can help to have knowledge of IT processes to effectively work with IT managers and communicate with outside vendors and company leadership. In some cases, you can boost your credentials with a project management certification. Among IT project managers, 68 percent have a bachelor’s degree, 18 percent have a master’s degree, and 10 percent have an associate degree, according to Zippia [2].

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Google Project Management:

Start your path to a career in project management. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than six months. No degree or experience is required.

4.8

(72,256 ratings)

962,902 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Organizational Culture, Career Development, Strategic Thinking, Change Management, Project Management, Stakeholder Management, Business Writing, Project Charter, Project Planning, Risk Management, Task Estimation, Procurement, Quality Management, Project Execution, Coaching, Influencing, Agile Management, Problem Solving, Scrum, Effective Communication

3. Cybersecurity analyst

  • Median salary: $102,600

  • Job outlook: 35% (much faster than average)

Cybersecurity analysts, and closely related information security analysts, keep computer systems safe from external threats such as cyberattacks and data breaches. They often work in industries where sensitive and classified information is key to operations, such as government, business, finance, or technology.

Many information security analysts have a bachelor’s degree—62 percent, according to Zippia—while 20 percent have an associate degree [3]. Additionally, there are plenty of cybersecurity career paths to advance toward, such as security engineering, incident response, or ethical hacking. Depending on your chosen path, you may eventually want to bolster your credentials with a certification.

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IBM Cybersecurity Analyst

Get ready to launch your career in cybersecurity. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand role in the field, no degree or prior experience required.

4.6

(8,783 ratings)

113,409 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 3 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

information security analyst, IT security analyst, security analyst, Junior cybersecurity analyst, Information Security (INFOSEC), IBM New Collar, Malware, Cybersecurity, Cyber Attacks, database vulnerabilities, Network Security, Sql Injection, networking basics, scripting, forensics, Penetration Test, Computer Security Incident Management, Application Security, threat intelligence, network defensive tactics, cyber attack, Breach (Security Exploit), professional certificate, cybersecurity analyst

4. Data analyst

  • Median salary: $82,360

  • Job outlook: 23% (much faster than average)

A data analyst uses data to answer questions and solve problems. Data analysis tends to have broad applications across many fields. For example, market research analysts may examine consumer behavior, while business data analysts may work to improve a company’s supply chain.

According to Zippia, 65 percent of data analysts have a bachelor’s degree, while 12 percent have an associate degree and 15 percent have a master’s degree [4]. However, becoming a data analyst without a degree is possible if you have foundational knowledge and technical skills like Python and SQL. Building a data analytics portfolio can be one way to demonstrate your skills early in your career.

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Google Data Analytics

This is your path to a career in data analytics. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.

4.8

(99,866 ratings)

1,389,431 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Spreadsheet, Data Cleansing, Data Analysis, Data Visualization (DataViz), SQL, Questioning, Decision-Making, Problem Solving, Metadata, Data Collection, Data Ethics, Sample Size Determination, Data Integrity, Data Calculations, Data Aggregation, Tableau Software, Presentation, R Programming, R Markdown, Rstudio, Job portfolio, case study

5. Data scientist

  • Median salary: $100,910

  • Job outlook: 36% (much faster than average)

Whereas data analysts use data to find answers, data scientists determine the questions worth asking and figure out how to answer those questions using data. Data scientists typically need more extensive technical knowledge to build predictive models and develop data systems.

Data science is typically seen as a more advanced position, with many data scientists coming into the role after some experience working with data or studying computer science. According to Zippia, 51 percent of data scientists have a bachelor’s degree, while 34 percent have a master’s degree [5]. However, like many technical roles, getting a job as a data scientist is possible if you can demonstrate your skills through other certifications and a solid portfolio.

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IBM Data Science

Kickstart your career in data science & ML. Build data science skills, learn Python & SQL, analyze & visualize data, build machine learning models. No degree or prior experience required.

4.6

(60,805 ratings)

157,497 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 5 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Data Science, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Big Data, Data Mining, Github, Python Programming, Jupyter notebooks, Rstudio, Methodology, CRISP-DM, Data Analysis, Pandas, Numpy, Cloud Databases, Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), SQL, Predictive Modelling, Data Visualization (DataViz), Model Selection, Dashboards and Charts, dash, Matplotlib, SciPy and scikit-learn, regression, classification, Hierarchical Clustering, Jupyter Notebook, Data Science Methodology, K-Means Clustering

6. Data engineer

  • Median salary: $101,000

  • Job outlook: 9% (faster than average)

Data engineers build systems that collect and store the information that data scientists and data analysts use. Their work is closely related to that of a data architect, who designs the frameworks that data engineers bring to life.

Since a data engineer’s role is highly technical, many people in this profession pursue a formal computer science or electrical engineering education. According to Zippia, 65 percent of data engineers have a bachelor’s degree, 22 percent have a master’s degree, and 7 percent have an associate degree [6]. Many people also build data engineering skills through certifications and other similar programs.

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IBM Data Engineering

Launch your new career in Data Engineering. Master SQL, RDBMS, ETL, Data Warehousing, NoSQL, Big Data and Spark with hands-on job-ready skills.

4.6

(2,530 ratings)

32,677 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 5 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Relational Database Management Syste (RDBMS), ETL & Data Pipelines, NoSQL and Big Data, Apache Spark, SQL, Data Science, Database (DBMS), NoSQL, Python Programming, Data Analysis, Pandas, Numpy, Information Engineering, Jupyter notebooks, Web Scraping, Extract Transform Load (ETL), Database (DB) Design, Database Architecture, Postgresql, MySQL, Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), Cloud Databases, Shell Script, Bash (Unix Shell), Linux, Database Servers, Relational Database, Database Security, database administration, Extraction, Transformation And Loading (ETL), Apache Kafka, Apache Airflow, Data Pipelines, Data Warehousing, Cube and Rollup, Business Intelligence (BI), Star and Snowflake Schema, cognos analytics, Mongodb, Cloud Database, Cloudant, Cassandra, Apache Hadoop, SparkSQL, SparkML, Big Data, Relational Databases

7. UX designer

  • Median salary: $79,890

  • Job outlook: 23% (much faster than average)

A user experience (UX) designer aims to make products easy and enjoyable to use. They typically do this by applying creative thinking and problem-solving skills to various stages of research, testing, and analysis. UX designers often work with a digital product—such as a website or an app—though UX designers may also work with physical products or services.

A majority of UX designers have a bachelor’s degree—71 percent, according to Zippia [7]—although not all companies require entry-level UX designers to have a degree if they demonstrate the necessary skills. Earning a UX credential and building a portfolio may be enough to land your first UX role.

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Google UX Design

This is your path to a career in UX design. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.

4.8

(57,269 ratings)

716,111 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

User Experience (UX), UX Research, Wireframe, Prototype, User Experience Design (UXD), Usability Testing, mockup, Figma, Adobe XD, UX design jobs

8. Web developer

  • Median salary: $77,030

  • Job outlook: 23% (much faster than average)

Web developers build and maintain websites. They may focus on front-end development (the way a website appears to a visitor), back-end development (the website’s internal structure and code), or full-stack development (both front-end and back-end).

According to Zippia, 71 percent of web developers have a bachelor’s degree, 14 percent have a master’s degree, and 11 percent have an associate degree [8]. However, with web development, attaining a specific education level may not be as important as demonstrating proficiency in key technical skills. Web development can also be a lucrative side hustle or freelance career.

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Meta Front-End Developer

Launch your career as a front-end developer. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand career and earn a credential from Meta. No degree or prior experience required to get started.

4.7

(5,608 ratings)

94,208 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), HTML, UI/UX design, React, JavaScript, Web Development Tools, User Interface, Front-End Web Development, HTML and CSS, Responsive Web Design, Test-Driven Development, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), Linux, Web Development, Bash (Unix Shell), Github, Version Control, Debugging, React (Web Framework), Web Application, Application development, Unit Testing, Web Design, User Experience (UX), Accessibility, Pseudocode, Algorithms, Communication, Data Structure, Computer Science

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Meta Back-End Developer

Launch your career as a back-end developer. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand career and earn a credential from Meta. No degree or prior experience required to get started.

4.7

(2,032 ratings)

8,739 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 8 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Cloud Hosting, Application Programming Interfaces (API), Python Programming, Computer Programming, Django (Web Framework), Linux, Web Development, Bash (Unix Shell), Github, Version Control, MySQL, Database (DBMS), database administration, Build a data model, Design a web application, Debugging, Authentication and authorization, REST APIs, Filtering and ordering, Serializers and deserializers, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), HTML, Production environments, JavaScript, API endpoints, Pseudocode, Algorithms, Communication, Data Structure, Computer Science

9. Application developer

  • Median salary: $109,020

  • Job outlook: 25% (much faster than average)

Application developers build the software that businesses and people use, either within computer systems or for mobile. They are technically skilled in programming languages like JavaScript, HTML, and Python and may have further specializations in cloud, Android, or iOS development.

Zippia estimates that 71 percent of app developers have a bachelor’s degree, 18 percent have a master’s degree, and 7 percent have an associate degree [9]. Since app development is an evolving field, people may pursue further education opportunities over the course of their careers through formal degrees, bootcamps, or certifications.

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IBM Full Stack Software Developer

Kickstart your career in application development. Master Cloud Native and Full Stack Development using hands-on projects involving HTML, JavaScript, Node.js, Python, Django, Containers, Microservices and more. No prior experience required.

4.5

(2,738 ratings)

9,989 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 4 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Cloud Native, Devops, Iaas PaaS Saas, Hybrid Multicloud, Cloud Computing, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), HTML, Git (Software), JavaScript, Cloud Applications, Distributed Version Control (DRCS), open source, Version Control Systems, Github, Web Development, User Interface, React (Web Framework), Front-end Development, back-end development, Server-side JavaScript, express, Computer Science, Data Science, Python Programming, Data Analysis, Pandas, Numpy, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Web Application, Application development, Flask, Django (Web Framework), Database (DBMS), SQL, Kubernetes, Docker, Containers, Openshift, Serverless Computing, Microservices, Function As A Service, Node.Js

10. DevOps engineer

  • Median salary: $109,020

  • Job outlook: 25% (much faster than average)

A DevOps engineer coordinates the development and maintenance of a company’s software. They work across teams to manage software development, quality assurance, security, and updates. (DevOps stands for “development operations.”)

DevOps engineers generally need strong coding and programming skills, as well as project management skills, so building these technical skills can be a good starting point. Many people—75 percent, according to Zippia—grow their skills through a bachelor’s degree program in computer science, engineering, or information technology. Another 20 percent of DevOps engineers have a master’s degree, while 2 percent have an associate degree [10].

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IBM DevOps and Software Engineering

Launch your DevOps and Software Engineering Career. Master DevOps, Agile, Scrum, CI/CD and Cloud Native with hands-on job-ready skills.

4.7

(1,464 ratings)

21,997 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 3 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Cloud Native, Devops, CI/CD, Application development, Software Engineering, Test-Driven Development, Behavior-Driven Development, Iaas PaaS Saas, Hybrid Multicloud, Cloud Computing, Agile Software Development, Scrum Methodology, Zenhub, Kanban, Sprint Planning, Shell Script, Bash (Unix Shell), Linux, Distributed Version Control (DRCS), open source, Version Control Systems, Github, Git (Software), Data Science, Python Programming, Data Analysis, Pandas, Numpy, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Web Application, Flask, Kubernetes, Docker, Containers, Openshift, Serverless Computing, Microservices, Function As A Service, Cloud Applications, Test Case, Software Testing, Automated Testing, Continuous Integration, Continuous Development, Automation, Infrastructure As Code, Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), Observability, security, Monitoring, logging, agile

Getting started with Coursera

Learn more about technical careers in IT, data, and software development with Career Academy on Coursera. Practice critical skills on your schedule with a professional certificate from industry leaders like Google, IBM, and Meta. With less than 10 hours of study per week, you can become job-ready in six to eight months—no prior knowledge or degree required. Register today for free to get started.

Article sources

1

Zippia. “Computer Support Specialist Education Requirements, https://www.zippia.com/computer-support-specialist-jobs/education/.” Accessed November 28, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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