Q: I have been applying for many jobs in the computer/IT field. I have decent experience and do consider myself a good fit for many of the jobs. I have my associate's degree in IT and am currently enrolled in a bachelor's program. My question is, how do I address the fact that I do not meet the requirement of having my bachelor's but think that I still could do the job?
A: You are smart to ask this question. Enrolling in a bachelor's degree program is also a wise investment in your career.
Many companies will request a bachelor's degree, especially for technical roles. Often times a bachelor's degree may be preferred but technical skills are far more important. Make sure that your resume (especially the top half of your resume) includes all of your technical skills. Many recruiters sort through piles of resumes and you want to make sure that you feature your technical skills prominently. A recruiter should not have to “dig” for these skills.
Additionally, it is important to be candid about your educational achievements. You should certainly include that you have earned an associate's degree. However, it is important to accurately describe that you have not completed a bachelor's degree but you are currently enrolled in a bachelor's degree program.
One option is to consider the following:
Community College - Associate's, Information Technology Boston, MA
University - Bachelor's, Computer Science - expected May, 2013 Boston, MA
The format I have used above informs the reader that you have completed an associate's degree but you are enrolled in a bachelor's degree program. It clearly states that you expect to complete your bachelor’s degree in May of 2013 but you have not completed it as of yet.
A bachelor's degree is important in the field of information technology. For more information about the link between earning and education, read Megan Woolhouse's article from October 11, 2012 - http://www.boston.com/news/nation/2012/10/11/report-links-earning-power-college-degree-engineers-top-list/JY9ft22NbkppcgoFOHhPYK/story.html.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
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