Overcoming Lack of Degree and Past High Salary

B.M. writes:
I am currently unemployed and looking for work on the Internet. I have years of experience in accounting work as well as 67 course credit hours completed at the local community college. Over the years I have managed to garner a wage that is higher than the industry standard and this is my problem. I am good at what I do and I’ve been doing it for a while but everyone (recruiters) keeps telling me that I’m not being realistic in what I can expect to ask for my salary without a degree. Can you help answer some of questions and allay some of my fears?

The Career Doctor responds:
It totally depends on your level of expertise the type of accounting work you perform and the companies you are targeting. As I have mentioned in previous columns some employers are much more degree-conscious than others so you need to find those who value work experience and expertise more than a degree. But I am also a little surprised that you have gotten as far in the accounting profession as you appear to have progressed without a degree but that may be my bias as a professor in a college of business where we have an extremely strong accounting program.

I would suggest working with these recruiters but if you sense a lack of confidence in them about you you should look for other recruiters because a recruiter who lacks confidence in you will have a hard time selling you to a client.

There are also places on the Web to look — for recruiters as well as jobs. Check out Oya’s Recruiter Directory for a list of recruiters in the accounting field. Oya’s is an amazing resource and a great tool for job-seekers.

Also consider visiting Quintessential Careers: Jobs in Business and Management which lists some of the top accounting career and job sites.