11 companies you can get a job at without a degree

Dusty Baxter-Wright
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Public service announcement: you don't need a degree to get a well-paid job, or to work somewhere impressive. In fact, some big name companies are cottoning onto the fact that, actually, often work experience and passion are as important - if not more so - than a formal education, and that if you're willing to learn and are committed to working hard, you're as much of an attractive candidate as someone with a degree.

Here, Glassdoor have outlined 11 huge companies you can apply to without a degree - whether it's to get on an apprenticeship scheme, or onto the career ladder.

1. Google

Lots of Googles job openings ask for "BA/BS degree or equivalent practical experience", which suggests having relevant work experience or similar jobs on your CV is just as beneficial as having a degree. In every job description, the company outline how they celebrate difference and don't discriminate against people for their background or past, commenting:

"At Google, we don’t just accept difference - we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our products and our community. Google is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer"



2. Penguin Books Limited

In 2016, book publishers Penguin Random House UK removed the requirement for a degree in their job descriptions to "open up opportunities in publishing and attract a more varied candidate pool and future workforce", focussing instead on giving every applicant the opportunity to demonstrate their potential, creativity, strengths and ideas, regardless of their background.

3. Apple

While their are undoubtedly roles at Apple that do require a degree and certain skill sets that can only be proved by a formal education, others require candidates to have that specific 'Apple quality' that recruiters will be looking for, rather than a degree, such as Store Leaders or a Genius.

4. IBM

IBM's CEO Ginni Rometty told USA Today that unlike previously thought, not all tech jobs require a degree. "jobs are being created that demand new skills – which in turn requires new approaches to education, training and recruiting", he said, which is why about 15% of their employees (in the US) don't have formal education. Instead, they like seeing candidates that have been on vocational schemes or have work experience, for roles such as Workday HCM Engagement Manager, Privacy Consultant, CRM Architect, and Compliance Officer.

5. Virgin Media

Virgin Media's website states, "You don’t need a degree or PhD to make it at Virgin Media Business. If you’ve got plenty of common sense, a desire to succeed, you love putting customers first and you take pride in the quality of your work, you’ll go far." Jobs include everything from Sales Executives to Analysts and Account Managers, so if you have passion for business and want to make it, don't feel like you can't apply.

6. Intel

"Eighty percent of our positions are technical, and the majority of those require a degree, [but] we also look for talent in all areas including marketing, finance, and business", a regional manager for Intel's talent organisation told Cosmopolitan US. Like IBM, tech companies are beginning to look further than your paper qualifications to see how well you'd fit into the business, and what other skills you can offer.

7. Hilton

Glassdoor say Hilton give employees the "opportunity to learn [and] faster growth" in their career, and that you don't have to come from a formal education to land a role there. While some job roles outline how you'll need a "relevant degree, in a business discipline, from an academic institution", others favour industry experience and previous job roles.

8. UK Police Forces

There are a number of routes into the Force for people with or without a degree, with the application process to be a police officer specifying you must possess at least one qualification equivalent to A-level. The two entry routes are a three-year police constable degree apprenticeship paid for by the force or a specific policing degree at undergraduate level.

9. Starbucks

The Starbucks website outlines their commitment to diversity and inclusion, and states that "Over 50 per cent of our employees (partners) are under the age of 24, so we’re passionate about supporting the early careers of young people. We are committed to supporting a new generation of employees build their skills through Headstart or on our Level 2 – 6 Apprenticeship programme." So no degree necessary!

10. PWC

PWC announced in April 2017 that students could bypass university and begin working as accountants and risk management consultants straight after school with their "higher apprenticeship" programme, which encourages learning on the job and forging a career in finance from the bottom.

11. Ernst & Young

In 2015, EY was one of the first big accountancy firms to scrap its policy of requiring a 2:1 and the equivalent of three B grades at A-level in order to open opportunities for talented individuals "regardless of their background". They also offer the EY Business Apprenticeship across Assurance, Consulting, Tax and Transaction, which they saygives applicants a "chance to drive lasting change, take advantage of new technology and help build a better working world from day one."

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