Dear Sam: I can’t decide if I should return to school to complete my 4-year degree in Business Administration. I had to leave school in my early 20s and now, as an accountant in my mid 40s, I am concerned my upward trajectory will be hindered by the lack of a degree. It would take me about 2 years to finish a Bachelor’s degree program and I just don’t know whether it would be worth it. Any insight based on what you see in the job market? – Jim
Dear Jim: If I had to pinpoint one area in my client base where I see the fewest degrees it would be
Dear Sam: I am a self-taught artist and feel the lack of a degree is preventing me from getting a good job. I know as much as a college graduate about art and design, but don’t know how to communicate that. Also, what do I list in the education section? – S.G.
Dear S.G.: I can feel the frustration in your words, and while there is little you can do when a degree is a staunch requirement for a position, there is a lot you can do on your resume to ensure you are the candidate that stands out regardless of your academic background.
First, I hope your resume looks fantastic, meaning you designed something
In regard to your question of what to include in the education section, change this section to a “Strengths & Style” section and use it to note all of the programs and techniques you have taught yourself. Don’t include anything about not having a degree; it is entirely likely the reader may not realize a degree is missing when presented with a great-looking, well-written resume. By following this strategy, you will only present reasons to bring you in for an interview, not reasons to disqualify you from going further in the process. I wish you great success.