Want to apply to jobs in SF but have no degree.

Photon / Eng
phxorbust

Photon Eng

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startups
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Nov 6, 2017 13 Comments

Hey guys. So I'm a lead Android engineer at a medical company. The job is okay, the pay is solid (100k/yr in Phoenix is definitely okay), but I'm both unsure of the company's leadership and unhappy living in Phoenix.

Ideally, I'd love to make the pilgrimage to the Coast (SF, LA, even east coast NYC, Boston, etc.) The problem is that I'm entirely self taught, and my 1 week of college experience won't count for much. I started learning how to code when I was 9, and just picked it up from there.

I've applied to some of the bigger name companies and they won't touch me without a degree. (Perhaps the last 2 years at my existing role would help with that.) What can I do to be competitive in the Bay area?

So TL;DR can I, a self taught Android engineer, make myself more competitive in my dream city markets?

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TOP 13 Comments
  • If you are good (and you have to be pretty darn good), I would actually turn that around and use no-degree as your leverage. Here's the pitch "look I'm completely self taught senior Android developer, disciplined myself to learn this skill out of nowhere, been coding since I was 9, hacker startup mentality"

    Don't try to run away from your lack of degree. Embrace it and use that as an advantage to show how you drive your own career without anyone telling you how
    Nov 6, 2017 3
    • Microsoft dyermaker
      That will NOT get you past the resume gaurd.
      Nov 6, 2017
    • Nintendo / IT . 🐈.
      Nope, that's what experience is for. Unless the company strictly wants degrees. Don't apply for those places, better to not waste your time or theirs.
      Nov 6, 2017
    • Education is a small section on resumes with significant experience. And OP says he's getting phone screens. What I'm saying is instead of trying to dodge the conversation with recruiters and be all awkward when they ask, structure the conversation to highlight the fact that he's self taught
      Nov 6, 2017
  • Square / Eng anon98163
    Big companies interview candidates out of a bootcamp. Plenty of self taught people too. It's not your lack of degree why companies aren't responding to your application.
    Nov 6, 2017 1
    • Photon / Eng
      phxorbust

      Photon Eng

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      phxorbustmore
      OP
      I get responses, though. It's usually when they learned I hadn't graduated yet that the process would end. This was also when majority of my resume was self taught and freelance experience, so I'm sure that contributed.
      Nov 6, 2017
  • Google liam
    Its always degree or experience. A lot of people without degrees at big companies.
    Nov 6, 2017 1
  • Microsoft dyermaker
    It is pretty sad, all these companies founded by drop outs, and they won't consider people without a degree. And yes I do have an engineering degree.
    Nov 6, 2017 0
  • New Lmal11
    You basically need a referral or know someone that can point you to HR to pass the resume screen threshold a.k.a. networking
    Nov 6, 2017 0
  • Microsoft dyermaker
    I have no idea what universe you live in if you don't think big tech firms demand degrees
    Nov 6, 2017 0
  • Cisco / Mgmt Changeling
    I don't think a degree is a big factor, I think it is a combination of skills/experience (medical, not a tech company), and being out of state. It is also important to understand how do you even get to talk about the degree. Do they ask "Why I don't see an education?" on your resume?
    Nov 6, 2017 0
  • Facebook public
    A lot of people do not have college degrees and a few do not even have homeschool. As long as you've built something this shouldn't be an issue.
    Nov 6, 2017 0