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NEW YORK (MainStreet)—A new study points to certain jobs that pay handsomely without requiring an education. The Hidden STEM Economy report by the Brookings Institute focuses on workers in science, technology, engineering and math and found that half of all STEM knowledge-requiring jobs are available to individuals without four-year college degrees.

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"Employers and CIOs are not looking for a college degree,"said Janco Associates CEO Victor Janulaitis. "They are looking for someone with knowledge in technologies, such as wireless and java code."

The main focus of the Brookings Institution's report is the occupational requirements for STEM given that policymakers tend to overlook the strong potential workforce of individuals without a BA degree. According to the over professional definition of the high-tech job sector, the report concludes that there have been missed job opportunities for many ready, willing and able American workers without bachelor's degrees.

"If you are technically proficient with technical experience, you can be paid well over $100,000 a year without an associates or bachelor's degree," Janulaitis told MainStreet.

Of large metro areas, San Jose and Washington, D.C. have the most STEM-based economies, but Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Ala. and Wichita, Kan. have among the largest share of STEM jobs in fields that do not require four-year college degrees.

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"In Utah, gaming is a popular area right now with many gaming companies in development," said Janulaitis. "I suggest a part time job or contract work with a gaming company, getting experience and using it for visibility."

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TheStreet Recommends encourages individuals with bad credit and facing challenging fiscal predicaments to take a vested interest in enhancing their employability and earning potential, making clear the important link between income, security and wealth versus debt. "Increased earnings from a STEM career without a college degree can allow people with substantial debt to pay down their loans faster and save sooner," said Sam Malka, spokesperson for "Having a lower debt to equity ratio translates to a more positive credit score, which is a key factor that creditors consider when deciding to grant a credit application along more preferable terms and with lower interest rates."

There was an increase of 11,100 IT jobs in July 2013 and 89,600 IT jobs added in the last 12 months, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

"These jobs were added in major markets like Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago. New York and Boston have seen a bit of a downturn in jobs," said Janco.

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Half of all STEM jobs are in manufacturing, health care, or construction industries. Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations constitute 12% of all STEM jobs, according to the Brookings Institute study.

"Breaking into STEM jobs is easier in the contracting world, open source world and the healthcare industry," Janulaitis said. "The health care job market is a bright spot in the overall U.S. labor market because of the implementation of electronic patient records."

About 4,300 jobs were added in computer systems design and related services, and 3,600 jobs were added in data processing and hosting related services while telecommunications gained 3,500 jobs.

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet