Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The recent economy has led many companies to lay off long time employees in order to cut cost and keep their head above water. Now, employees who have been in the workforce for years are finding themselves with years of experience but no formal degree in education.

Years ago, a college degree was not a requirement to land a job. Many people who graduated from high school were able to land their dream job without benefit of a secondary degree, but times are definitely different today. Many who believed that lacking a secondary education would never hold them back are finding themselves fighting to prove that higher education is not more important than the hands-on experience they have gained over the years.

In this blog, let’s look at the best ways to market what you DO have if your educational background is lacking that higher education degree.

1) Show Off Your Experience: Your resume will demonstrate your skills and abilities as well as highlight your expertise in the field. The best thing to do is detail all professional accomplishments, technical skills, results of your work, and your industry knowledge on your resume. Draw attention to leadership positions you have held in your field or within your community or in organizations you have worked/ volunteered with.

2) Alternative Learning Shows Initiative:
Alternative learning can include certification in industry type programs or seminars you have attended and completed. These extra credentials show that you care about staying up-to-date with your skills and knowledge within your industry.

3) Association Activities Count Too:
Many companies offer career development programs through industry associations. Being active with these types of programs gives you additional skills and knowledge in your field. Highlight this type of experience; it will enhance your qualifications.

4) Experience to a Degree:
Research local colleges and universities for programs that fall in the line of work you do. Many secondary institutes will give you course credit as long as you can provide proof of proficiency in your field.

5) Go Get a Degree:
Finding yourself out of work could mean a new opportunity for you. Think about going back to school. There are a variety of programs that fit all different types of lifestyles. There are also fast track programs for adults that will help you earn a degree in half the time.

6) Show You are Earning a Degree:
Make sure to note that you are in the process of earning a degree somewhere on your resume and/ or application. This demonstrates your dedication to your career field as well as your dedication to education. It will also tell your prospective employers that you are adamant about staying current with new ideas and trends and staying fresh in your skills.

7) Great References Can Go a Long Way:
References from colleagues or high ranking industry professionals will say a lot about your personal character and professional standing.

Don’t let your lack of education stand in the way of you getting a job. Some companies require that you have a college degree but if you have years of real experience in the related field, APPLY ANYWAY! Sometimes, a company will give you a trial-based position to determine your aptitude and to ensure you actually do have the skills you say that you can do.


Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft), Michael Dell ( Founder of Dell Inc.), Richard Branson (Founder of the Virgin Brand- Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airways), and Steve Paul aka Steve Jobs ( co-founder of Apple Inc) Mary Kay Ash (Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc.) never received a college degree. Yet, for all intents and purposes, are some of the most successful people in business today.

Have any comments or suggestions for people in this situation. Leave them below so I can post them on the blog for others to read.
Carly Sabato

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