Career Change without College Degree


Anonymous writes:
I am a middle-aged female who desires a career change. The problem is I have some college but did not finish. Going back is not possible at this point. Everyone wants a degree. Any suggestions?


The Career Doctor responds:
While I don’t have any idea of what you are currently doing or what career you want to get into I can say that we certainly seem to be moving toward a society that requires a college degree for almost any job much as the high-school diploma was required 20 to 30 years ago.

While you can’t go back to college now I strongly encourage you to try to find a way to complete the degree — even part-time at night or on weekends — or even via the Net with one of the growing number of universities that are offering courses via the explosion in distance learning.

Taking courses and finishing your degree is long-term. In the short-term what you need to do is design your resume to emphasize the transferable skills you have developed from your previous employment. Check out the article my partner wrote for Quintessential Careers: Transferable Skills. From there you can also find strategies for writing your resume.

The final step is finding those few enlightened employers who realize that experience is at least equally important with education. Even for positions that require a college degree these enlightened employers have a formula where “X” number of years’ experience is equivalent to a college degree; however you should know that these formulas usually end up requiring quite a few years of experience to compensate for the lack of a degree.

Thus focus on the short-term strategies but please consider going back and finishing your degree as soon as you can.

You might also check out this section of Quintessential Careers:
Job & Career Resources for Career Changers.