Getting an Interview without a Degree

Anonymous writes:
I do not have a degree; however I have 10 years experience in the electro/mechanical
field. I attended a technical school that is no longer in existence and all the classes I
attended are directly comparable to all the technical requirements in an ASEE in any
state college but the school cannot be found in accreditation records. I’m having to
start school all over again to get credits toward an AS degree. How do I
get a prospective employer to interview me in the mean time without a degree?

The Career Doctor responds:
At this stage in your career it’s probably important but not necessary to complete
a degree. Do you hold any licenses? Have you taken any continuing ed/professional development courses? Depending on exactly the type and level of job you are seeking
I would focus on employers that value the 10+ years of experience — and I would
make sure your resume plays up your experience. Don’t dwell on the lack of a
degree; sometimes job-seekers unintentionally sabotage their job-search when they
become too preoccupied on a perceived flaw in their qualifications.
However I also know that some employers are sticklers for degrees — and many
want at least a bachelor’s degree — especially for higher-level positions in your field.
A client of mine has actually been told by his employer that he will never get promoted
unless he finishes his degree — and he is the “go-to” guy in his department with
extremely high performance evaluations.
So if possible start working on the degree again. See if you can find an educational
institution that may be willing to accept some of the credits from the defunct technical
school and/or give you some credits for your work experience. And don’t feel limited to
use local schools and colleges; there are a host of online/distance learning providers
that offer electrical engineering courses and degrees.
Go to this section of Quintessential Careers to find some great
distance learning resources.
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