College Degrees Shouldn't Be Required for Tech Jobs

  • brad.mason5 - Saturday, September 8, 2018 3:02 PM

    One of the main reasons to attend college is knowing that you would be selected over someone that does not attend, paying a very high cost.   This might be a good thing where college tuition will decrease as it is extremely expensive to attend college here in US.   If things remain as they are, it could cost 500k or more to attend a well know school for 4 years.

    Indeed, this is still pretty true for today. A lot of people saying school doesn't matter as much are talking about experience versus school. Experience is higher value than school for many people and will likely not change. But, if you have zero experience, then having school is a good thing IMHO. It at least proves you completed something and can help separate you from the other entry level candidates who are also competing for the same job with zero experience.

    I personally have no schooling. I had to start from the bottom and work my way up on top of training myself and seeking out mentors. It likely would have been a bit easier following that same path with an education.

  • Sonya Slavina - Friday, September 7, 2018 9:02 AM

    I have BS in Engineering from another country and 20 years of experience in IT, however some hiring managers are not happy with that, since I don't have "american education".

    It sounds like this manager knows paperwork and policy but is ignorant about managing humans as a resource. This is why HR managers need to have a degree in Human Resources.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • I think the biggest thing I learned doing my entire undergrad engineering degree part time was how to pick myself up and dust myself off when I got knocked down. The stick to it mentality I developed has served me well. With that said I think that can be learned elsewhere and a degree isn't really necessary for a technical job although my advice to anyone completing or just out of high school is to just get a degree in something because you'll probably change fields at some point anyway. The requirement will still exist for a lot of jobs.

  • jgavin - Monday, September 10, 2018 8:09 AM

    I think the biggest thing I learned doing my entire undergrad engineering degree part time was how to pick myself up and dust myself off when I got knocked down. The stick to it mentality I developed has served me well. With that said I think that can be learned elsewhere and a degree isn't really necessary for a technical job although my advice to anyone completing or just out of high school is to just get a degree in something because you'll probably change fields at some point anyway. The requirement will still exist for a lot of jobs.

    Yep, whether it's a valid requirement or good indicator of a solid employee is moot if you can't get your resume in the door because you're missing one. Hence, my large student loan debt in order to ensure my future employability. After I was already working doing what I do now that I have one.

    And for anybody who thinks it's not a barrier, I've had several unsolicited recruiters approach me because of my experience, only to tell me that I couldn't proceed because they couldn't persuade the business to overlook the lack of a degree.

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  • I'm probably in favor of qualifications but not necessarily degrees. I like the MS certification path whereby the exams are really difficult but shouldn't cost the earth to sit and yet you need to be pretty hot to pass. How you get to the exam point is up to you self study / college courses / work experience is up to you.

    I find Oxbridge / Ivy League lacking in meritocracy

    MS have designed a certification process which seems good and has a decent level of consistency internationally. I would still like them to get the prices down to tens of dollars per exam.

  • Romac - Friday, September 7, 2018 4:57 AM

    Good article! I took the (UK) "day-release" route and studied for 10 years to get my degree-equivalent Chemical Engineering qualification (via NC, HNC, Endorsements, CEI part 1, 2, IChemE Design Project). Got made redundant 4 days after finishing 🙁 ... But, whilst doing the Design Project, I taught myself Fortran to help find the solutions. Discovered I had an aptitude for programming, took a 3-month COBOL course ... and have never looked back! Over 30 years later though, I sometimes still have to explain why I'm good enough despite not having a degree. :ermm:
    I do feel sorry for younger folk, because I know some feel forced into doing a degree just to be acceptable in the job market, when an apprenticeship / on-the-job training might suit them better.

    Wasn't a T.O.P.S. course by any chance?

  • Geoff.Sturdy - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 3:51 AM

    Romac - Friday, September 7, 2018 4:57 AM

    Good article! I took the (UK) "day-release" route and studied for 10 years to get my degree-equivalent Chemical Engineering qualification (via NC, HNC, Endorsements, CEI part 1, 2, IChemE Design Project). Got made redundant 4 days after finishing 🙁 ... But, whilst doing the Design Project, I taught myself Fortran to help find the solutions. Discovered I had an aptitude for programming, took a 3-month COBOL course ... and have never looked back! Over 30 years later though, I sometimes still have to explain why I'm good enough despite not having a degree. :ermm:
    I do feel sorry for younger folk, because I know some feel forced into doing a degree just to be acceptable in the job market, when an apprenticeship / on-the-job training might suit them better.

    Wasn't a T.O.P.S. course by any chance?

    Spot on! Run by Control Data Corp in Merrion Centre, Leeds 😉

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