You Can Get a Great Job with No College Degree (Here’s How)
For many years the job market favored applicants who had a college degree. Those with a college degree were typically the fortunate ones who were able to land the better paying and higher status jobs.
Times are changing.
Today, people are now questioning the value of a college degree. Many people do not want to go into exorbitant debt just to be able to say they have a college degree, then go into adulthood with a huge debt to pay back.
This is why today only one-third of Americans 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
What people are discovering is that not having a college degree does not automatically mean you cannot find a good paying, rewarding career. Many people have dropped out of college and forged ahead to find good paying jobs they are proud to work in.
Some of the best paying jobs that don’t require a college degree include…
- Administrative Assistant
- Appliance Repair
- Computer Support Specialist
- Web Developer
- Dental Hygienist
- Medical Records
- Respiratory Therapist
- Real Estate Agent
- Personal Trainer
- These jobs are possible even when your resume does not include a bachelor's degree. If you have the experience, you shouldn’t rule out any job, actually. When you can demonstrate your experience has given you the knowledge and ability to do the job, many employers will still consider you and forget about the initial “requirement” of a degree.
So don’t let a lack of a college degree hold you back. Time to jump in the job market and confidently apply for jobs you know you can do well. Go for it and see what happens.
To help your chances, here are some tips you can use in your job search that will help you get a good job without a college degree.
Honestly Evaluate Your Abilities
When you find an opportunity, read the job requirements carefully. Go over the job description and see how your skills fit with the position. If you think your experience has equipped you to do the job, then apply!
Your chances are better when you see “recommended” or “desired” next to the degree than if it says “required.” But even when it does say required, you should still apply for the job when your experience and skills make you a great candidate.
Apply Your Skills to the Job Listing
When your education isn’t what they prefer, that is when you want to show how your skills and experiences apply strongly to a job.
Network as Much as Possible
The connections you make in the industry are crucial to getting an opportunity for an interview when you don’t have a degree. These contacts you make while networking can help your chances. For example, if you apply for a position in IT and you know someone in the company working in the marketing department, or ask your contact to write you a recommendation or mention you to the hiring manager.
Shoot emails to those you network with from time to time. Stay in touch with them and they may let you know about a job opening at some point.
When you write a cover letter, don’t draw attention to your lack of a degree. Avoid writing stuff like, “even though I don’t have a degree, I still…” This only draws attention to something that the person may not even think about.
Once you get the job interview, be sure to project confidence, focus on your skills and experience in all your communications and point out how you can add value to the company.
One Last Tip: Be Prepared for This Question
“I see your highest level of education is a high school diploma… why do you think you can fill this role with no college degree?”
If you prepare ahead of time, your interview answer could get you this job. In your answer to this question, reiterate your experience and qualifications and don’t spend any time trying to justify not having a degree. You don’t have to get defensive about the question. Focus their attention on what you bring to the table.