Dear Sam: I attended college back in the early-to-mid 80s. Although I successfully completed 117 credit hours, I never actually graduated. Long story short, my last couple years at college were spent working full-time for an ad agency and attending school at night. With two classes to go to complete the requirements for a BSBA, the agency I was working for offered me a position in another city. My college, like most universities, requires that the last 18 hours be taken there. At the time online courses weren’t an option. I never completed the requirements for my degree, and was wondering if you have any suggestions as to how my “Education” should appear on my resume. – John
Dear John: Great question. As you completed so much of your degree I would list your college and underneath that state “Completed 117 hours toward BSBA degree.” I would even go so far as to present a little explanation underneath that so the reviewer knows this was not a situation where you just didn’t finish something. Simply italicize a sentence underneath your bolded “Completed…” statement that says, “Offered a promotion and relocated with [insert employer’s name] during senior year.” This will ensure the hiring manager knows that you not only possess the majority of undergraduate coursework most would with a degree, but also that you were in a situation where you were being rewarded at work for your value. Now of course, do not date your educational pursuits, as you will likely not be exploring your career back into the 80s. If you have any more recent professional development, feel free to list that in the education section also, just to jump over the hurdle of not having a full degree. I rarely find that the lack of a degree is the #1 deciding factor in a hiring process so I would not give it too much thought beyond this. Best to you.