Do You Need a Degree to Get an IT Job?
You probably don’t need a degree to do a job you could train a monkey to do, though you might need one to train a monkey. We’ve found there is an increasing body of evidence from candidates to hiring managers that suggests having a degree isn’t always a pre-requisite of getting a job.
So why did you go to university, was it to get a job or perhaps a really good job? It certainly wasn’t to get into the amount of debt common to students nowadays, some unlikely to ever pay it back.
Should You Go To University?
Most of us go to university to get a degree, often in a field that interests us. Usually, it’s a degree that at least prepares us for the job we’ve always dreamed of or just enable us a head start over those without one. Yet those without one might well be gaining valuable experience elsewhere.
In the eyes of a potential employer, a degree proves only that the candidate spent three or four years fending for themselves, spending someone else’s money, attending an undetermined amount of lectures and enjoying an unknown quantity of time down the pub. But more importantly, they might ask, is what relevant experience do they have?
In IT a degree is great, but what else have you done? Employers want to see more than just a degree, like having practical experience or demonstrating the right approach.
In reality, anyone can complete a degree living with mummy and daddy, and many in IT certainly do. Yet above all else showing evidence of effort over and above, and often in lieu, of a degree is the more important. Engaging in open forums, LinkedIn groups, being involved in open source projects and having a portfolio of work will all come across favourably in front of an employer.
We have placed many candidates, some had first class degrees, some had 2:1s, but frequently clients were more concerned with levels of passion, commitment, social visibility and presence.
There are still companies that stipulate top level degrees, but they are becoming fewer. Higher education fees will make students, and potential students, think twice about full-time university education, but it might also provide a generation of doers that might follow in the footsteps of a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates.