College Degree Requirements

Hi I am a designer with 20 + years experience.
However I only have an Associates Degree in Fashion Design. How much do you think companies really care about degree. I notice most jobs these days requiring a Bachelors. Could this by why I’m not getting interviews?

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At this point in your career, your original degree is less important. Your portfolio and work history are what they are looking at. If they can’t get a sense of you from your recent work (or they are bad at interviewing and reading a career progression from a resume and portfolio), they might ask for a project, but after twenty years work experience, where you went to school isn’t the best indicator of current performance. Do you personally feel like you’d like to go back to school? Take some continuing ed classes and put them on your resume. It shows you are constantly learning and evolving.


I’m in the same boat. I read recently that automated application systems are often programmed to automatically throw out applications that don’t fit certain criteria; so if a company has told the system “ignore anyone who doesn’t check the college degree box” then you won’t even proceed to a human who can review your resume and see that you’re otherwise an appealing & qualified candidate.

Going forward, I’m going to just check the damn box that says I have a degree, don’t give a date of graduation, and approach the topic if I actually make it thru to an interview. If it forces me to put a date, or if I think they’re going to research without speaking with me first, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.


I have the same problem. I have an Associates in Buying & Merchandising. I have 30+ years’ experience in PD, only claim 20, and am convinced that HR bots are purging my resume or application because I don’t list a BA. I’ve checked the BA box on applications in the past to get through to an actual person, and explained myself at the interview. I no longer do that because I don’t want my file to be pulled down the road with a lie listed. I’m nervous it will work against me by giving them a reason to fire me.

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Honestly who’s going to check? If you only have 2 yrs just say you have 4 yrs. And after 5 plus yrs of working I would also say I graduated even if I didn’t. At that point you have enough working experience to negate the fact that you haven’t graduated. Sometimes you have to know when to lie. When I left school and started interviewing I kept wondering when will they ask to see my diploma or transcripts?? Do I slide it in my portfolio at the end?

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I just think in the age of start ups when a 20 YO can become CEO - “requiring” a degree has become a bit antiquated. Also, as I look back? Other than discipline itself and of course, focus of course study (Tech for tech, Math for teachers, Economics for financiers, etc.) college isn’t bring much to the table over experience, cultural fit, hard, ethical worker… I’m 20++ years in to my career and been a mid-level manager to head of department, C-suite today, and experience and character for me win over even Ivy education any day.

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