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What happens if you don’t have a degree?

December 8, 2009

What happens if you are applying for a job that has a certain educational requirement but you don’t have it?  In this article, author Phyllis Korkki explains some possible ways to get around this obstacle and still find a good job.

Right away, Korkki states that these are not people who did not go to college at all who can’t find jobs.  They are people who went to college but never got a degree.  Some decided that college wasn’t for them, others will take longer than six years to graduate, and finally sometimes life intervenes.  Korkki gives a fact from the Education Department that more than 40% of those who started at a four-year institution have not finished after six years.  But after so many years, what does that piece of paper mean to someone that has had a good job and now doesn’t because of the recession? If we weren’t in a recession, it would not mean a lot but since the unemployment rate is so high, many employers are now listing a bachelor’s degree as a requirement on a job application just to whittle down resumes into a manageable pile.

Even though more employers are requiring a bachelor’s degree to apply for a job, Korkki has given some suggestions on how to communicate with those employers your skills.  First, don’t lie on your resume.  Don’t put that you have a bachelor’s degree and you really don’t.  If you have spent some time in college, she suggests writing down “bachelor’s studies” at blank university or college.  Secondly, she said if you have a connection and can convince them at least for an interview, there is your time to communicate your skills, qualities, and experience that makes you right for the job.  Lastly, don’t wear your lack of degree as if it is a scarlet letter.  There is no need to mention that you don’t have a degree unless you are asked and you’ve correctly cited it on your resume.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. johnconway7 permalink
    December 8, 2009 4:13 pm

    This piece appealed to me because it is something new and really will help a lot of people. 40% is a pretty large number, and all these people who do not complete college will still be looking for a job. I enjoyed how it emphasized really portraying yourself well in the interview. Lying or exaggerating is not the way to impress people, but finding the right technique to accurately represent your talents is key for people with or without the degree. Interesting article!

    • ryanliskey permalink
      December 8, 2009 10:15 pm

      I also found this article to be a valuable read, especially for the members of our class. It presented universal ways in which people applying for jobs ought to showcase their abilities. This proves especially useful because young professionals may not have the same advanced degrees as other more experienced candidates, and the difference between securing a job or not can lie in how closely a person is able to match their skills and experience to the position they are applying for.

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