Job hunting is hard enough without coming across endless requirements that read “must have five or more years’ relevant experience plus a Bachelor’s in a related discipline”, or “must have a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree and one to two years of experience”.
It’s even more frustrating if you know you can do what the role requires without the requisite qualification. Let’s take a sample ad for a Python developer looking for three years of experience developing in Python. You’ll need to be proficient in pytest, sqlalchemy, mypy, and have a good knowledge of databases, Git, Docker, bash, and regex.
While you have all the right work experience, you don’t have the degree, so you don’t apply. But this may be a mistake. A study of HR professionals found that 42% of resumes they received are from candidates who don’t meet job requirements. But 84% of the HR managers say that their company is open to hiring an employee whose skills can be developed through training.
This is echoed by large multinational tech companies such as the CRM giant Hubspot, which encourages applications with the following, “We know the confidence gap and imposter syndrome can get in the way of meeting spectacular candidates, so please don’t hesitate to apply — we’d love to hear from you.”
Encouragingly, many tech job postings are also now more frequently using language such as “Must have a Bachelor’s in a related discipline or equivalent relevant work experience” as a way to encourage great candidates who can do the job – and who just didn’t happen to come through an academic channel.
So, how else can you confidently apply for a tech job when you don’t have a degree? Here are three ways to make sure your application shines.
Showcase your technical skills
Make sure to place heavy emphasis on your hard skills in your resume. Developers and programmers are in high demand, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of software developers is projected to grow 25% by 2031.
Create a portfolio
Another great way to instantly showcase your hard skills is with a portfolio. GitHub is a really popular choice, as so many in the industry use its repositories to make software development easier and faster, so it’s instantly recognizable.
If you’re an app developer, don't forget to include links to any of your published apps in the App Store and Google Play Store too. Give the company you want to work for a live flavor of exactly what you can do for them.
Play up your differences
Your background may be non-traditional, but every job or role we do helps to inform our next one. What additional skills – soft or otherwise – can you bring to the table for this new role?
Are you a great communicator, have you got management or team leadership abilities, and are you confident getting up in front of a room full of people? Tech often values those with hybrid skills and if you’ve got that magic combination of technical ability combined with the softer skills necessary for collaboration and communication, those could be a great deciding factor in your favor.
If you are ready to go ahead and apply for a role in the tech sector, we’ve got you covered. We have three worth a look at below, as well as plenty more on the Hackr.io Job Board.
Android Developer, MoneyGram, Dallas
MoneyGram is seeking an Android Apps Developer to serve as one of the native scrum teams to develop new features and support native Android applications. You’ll be familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures, and will perform complex application development-related tasks without guidance.
Senior Software Engineer - Orchestration, Roblox, San Matteo
As a Senior Software Engineer on the Orchestration team, you will build out Roblox's Private Cloud. The team oversees the interface that allows thousands of Roblox engineers to deploy and orchestrate their services across the Roblox Private Cloud as well as the control plane that handles the entire fleet, and the software that runs on each host of the fleet. You’ll help create, support, and evolve the infrastructure that manages the millions of containers that serve hundreds of millions of requests per second that power Roblox.
UI Engineer, CrowdStrike, Remote
As a UI/UX Engineer at CrowdStrike, you will build and maintain the user interface for core systems that turn teams of analysts into a barrier to the actions of adversaries in the wild. You will work hand-in-hand with security analysts to improve existing tooling and develop novel solutions to improve the overall efficacy of the products as well as the efficiency of analysts.