4 Steps: How to Get a Job Without a Degree

Troy Buckholdt
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4 Steps: How to Get a Job Without a Degree

Many people seem to be confused about how to get a job without a degree.

Some people think they need to go to school to get a degree since employers want degrees. Others think they need to jump through a bunch of different hoops before they can get a job.

At the end of the day, most people don’t really know why it is they need that degree or why they have to jump through all these different hoops.

They are just guessing based on what they heard or have been told with the hope that it’s the best way to approach starting their careers.

1) Knowledge

The first fundamental requirement employers need from you before you’re able to get a job without a degree is knowledge.

This knowledge could be the ability to follow a process or use different technologies (hard skills). It could also be writing or communication skills (soft skills). This could also encompass being knowledgeable about a certain industry such as finance, housing, manufacturing, etc.

While this requirement seems to be well known, people get confused about the way you can go about acquiring this knowledge. Many of the older generations think college is the only way since that’s the way it was when they were growing up.

Nowadays, there are a variety of ways to acquire this knowledge. Everything from the standard college class to online courses, self-education, and boot camps. Here at CourseCareers, we teach people the knowledge they need to land a job in technology sales completely online.

Companies don’t care how you learned something as long as you know it. They just need someone who can do the job. It doesn’t matter if you learned it in a college classroom or in your basement.

The only exception is when the knowledge is regulated to require government-approved learning. This forces companies to only hire people that went through this approved learning process.

2) Proof

The second fundamental requirement employers need from you before you’ll be able to get a job without a degree is proof.

This proof could be anything that shows you’re actually knowledgeable and competent enough to do the job. This could be work experience, a college degree, a certificate, a test, a reference, etc.

Employers just need some kind of proof that you can actually do what you’re claiming before wasting their valuable time interviewing you. This is why this proof is mostly used by the human resources team to weed people out during the application process.

If you’ve ever heard that you can’t even get an interview without a degree, then they were talking about this lack of proof. If you don’t have a degree, then any other sort of proof such as work experience or a certification would likely suffice.

3) Likability

The third fundamental requirement employers need from you before you can get a job without a degree is being a likable person to that employer.

This likability is crucial for getting hired as people only want to work with others they would enjoy dealing with for eight-plus hours a day. This is also known as being a culture fit.

If all of the employers in a company act a certain way and have the same values, then they want to hire people who are like them. They want people who can relate to them by acting similarly.

This means that you would have to figure out how people in a certain industry or company act, what they value, and even what they’re hobbies are. You can then work towards becoming more like that to better fit in.

4) Opportunity

The final fundamental requirement that is needed to get a job without a degree is an opportunity.

This opportunity is the employer having a reason to hire you from your source of knowledge and proof.

If the only opportunity for employment is through traditional college campuses since employers can get all of the qualified talent they need from that source and have no reason to believe they’re missing out on better talent, then they will continue to only hire out of college campuses. This means you have to go that route if you want to get hired.

An example of this could be working in a high profile investment bank. These investment banks currently hire almost all of their employees out of Ivy League universities because they have no reason to hire elsewhere. They don’t have a shortage of candidates or believe they’re missing out on more talented individuals.

This means that for some careers the only opportunity to reliably get your foot in the door is by following the status quo. For most other careers though, there is no need to follow the status quo since employers do have a reason to hire people from all sources.

Many industries in tech have a shortage of qualified workers while also having many of the most gifted people learn outside of school. There are also lots of companies looking to increase their diversity by hiring outside the status quo.

This is why companies like IBM and Google have opened up their doors to hiring people from non-traditional educational backgrounds.

How to Get a Job Without a Degree Conclusion

Now you understand how to get a job without a degree. This allows you to work backward from the fundamentals to make educated decisions on the best way to start your career in whatever field it is you choose.

If you would like to start a business career, then I suggest you read The Lean Career book for free.

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