Jobs for Older People With No Experience or No Degree
It can be intimidating to apply for a job when you feel like the other candidates are all younger than you. You might also feel behind on the current technology, or feel that your skill set is outdated. Maybe you don’t have a traditional college degree. These things shouldn’t keep you from getting a job you love.
In this article, we’re providing lists of potential career paths that frequently hire older workers, and don’t always require a degree or past experience to be considered a qualified candidate. Don’t let your age or background keep you back. Let’s jump in and find your next career adventure!
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Jobs for People Over 50 With No Degree
You may feel like you’re at a disadvantage applying for a job without having a degree to list under your education. However, there are plenty of high-paying and satisfying jobs that don’t actually require a degree. Years of experience can help you land a position higher up on the ladder (and pay scale), especially if you’ve worked in the same field over the years. Here are a number of jobs for people over 50, even if you don’t have a degree:
- Sales manager
- HR manager
- Fitness trainer or class instructor
- Independent contractor
- Freelance writer
- Library assistant
- Executive assistant
- Nonprofit fundraiser
- Event planner
- Office clerk
As you can see, there are a ton of jobs that don’t necessarily require a degree to enter. Leverage your experience in your interviews and consider taking online classes or returning to school if you need to build some new skills.
Best Jobs for Women Over 50
Applying for a new job and interviewing is hard enough, but let’s be honest, women over 50 are facing another set of hurdles. Unfortunately, sexism and ageism are still present in many workplaces, making many women choose to work independently or avoid applying for their dream job altogether.
First, don’t ever let workplace discrimination go unchecked. If you encounter or even suspect hostility, bias, harassment, or any discriminatory practices, be sure to file a claim with a qualified attorney or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) field office.
You might consider seeking a position in a company that’s owned and ran by other women. Or, consider independent work if you thrive in this kind of environment. Working as an interpreter if you’re fluent in a second language, or becoming a freelance writer, are both career paths that don’t require a degree.
Jobs for Older People With No Experience
Are you hoping to jump into a new career, but fearing your lack of experience will hold you back? Maybe you’ve already had a long and fulfilling career, but you jumped from one job to another and haven’t built up any consistent experience. Keep in mind that any experience is still valid, and you don’t always need a paying job to gain skills.
What have you been doing for the past few years? Do you write, fix up old furniture, or enjoy gardening? Any hobby can add up to a substantial skill set that will help you get the job you want. Some companies need a fresh perspective that’s hard to find in people who’ve worked in the same industry all their adult lives. Your lack of “experience” in some areas might actually help you get your dream job.
Remember, experience and skills don’t have to come from a paying job, so don’t discount yourself in your interviews. Focus on what you can do and what you’re passionate about. Here are a few ideas for jobs or industries hiring workers over 50 that don’t require previous on-the-job experience:
- Sales, retail, or customer service representatives
- Bus drivers or delivery drivers
- Seasonal work in retail or landscaping
- Security guard
- Convention and events worker
- Travel agent
- Medical assistant
- Coach, referee, or umpire
- Tour guide
- Tutor or teacher’s assistant
Best Jobs for Women With No Experience
Re-entering the workforce is daunting enough, but if you have little to no work experience because, for example, you’ve been a stay-at-home-mom (or for any other number reasons), it can feel like the odds are stacked against you.
Not only are you entering a different work environment from the one you might have left in your 20s, technology used on a daily basis has completely changed. This might feel overwhelming, but don’t worry. Keep a positive attitude and play to your strengths.
Even if you’ve been out of the workforce for many years, a degree can be your ticket to a job you enjoy, so make sure it’s listed on your resume if you have one. Talk about what you already know you can bring to the table and what you’re excited to learn. Don’t dwell on what might be a steep learning curve for you. Here are a few job ideas to consider:
- Sales or retail associate
- Office work in administration or reception
- Tax preparation
- Senior care
- Or start your own small business
Do you have experience filing taxes for your family? Think you could help others with their tax preparation? Or maybe you’ve raised your children but miss the chaos of having little ones around? Are you looking to get back into the business world? Remember, just because you haven’t had a traditional job in a while doesn’t mean you haven’t worked or built up enough skills to make yourself a valuable asset to any employer.
Keep in mind, any job listed in this article has potential for you, so don’t be afraid to apply for the jobs you might be a little unqualified for if you know you have the passion and drive to fulfill the work.
Going Back to School at 50
Many seniors and retirees are returning to school to earn the degree they always wanted to get. Or, people in their 50s are returning to learn a new skill and reenter the workforce as a qualified candidate for their dream job. If you’re on the fence, here are some common reasons you might choose to return to school later in life:
- The feeling of accomplishment
- To earn your master’s degree
- To enter the field you’ve always wanted to work in
- To have better job prospects
- To increase your pay
- Personal growth
Of course, returning to school means you’ll be taking on financial obligations as well. A degree doesn’t guarantee higher income, so be sure to research the field you’re looking to enter before you start school and see whether or not a degree is required and if the average income will allow you to pay back any student loans you have to take on.
Also, take into consideration how many years you plan to remain in the workforce. Depending on what age you plan to retire, it may not be worth the time or the debt to return to school if you’re just going to retire shortly after. But it’s all up to you and your personal situation. If you’ve always dreamed of earning that degree — maybe now is the perfect time!
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Tylene is a freelancer in Boise, Idaho. She's a self-taught personal finance hacker with zero debt. She eats avocado toast for breakfast.
This post was updated February 28, 2019. It was originally published June 5, 2018.