My brother did private BA in mass communication. Doing a private degree in my country means doing the degree without going to any college. After that he did a two year Masters of Science in mass communication from a university. I have a strong feeling that this private BA has been hurting his chances for a job. He has a lot of difficulties finding work.

I proposed he does an MBA or MPhil in mass communication from a good university and only show the Masters of Science and MBA degrees/MPhil on his resume. Omit the Private BA, but be honest if someone asks.

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    "I have a strong feeling that this private BA has been hurting his chances for a job" What makes you believe this? Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 6:18
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    Mass communication is a degree that could be used to get into a career in advertising, public relations, journalism, publishing, etc. Do you need an advanced degree to be employed in these fields in your country?
    – jcmack
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 7:56
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    a 2 or 3 year gap in employment/academic history looks even worse imo.
    – Smock
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 8:35
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    "Doing a private degree in my country means doing the degree without going to any college." I've never heard of this before. Is this something that's regulated somehow, or can anyone just declare they have a private degree? Is it sponsored by a university, even if you don't attend classes? Most importantly, are private degrees commonly understood where your brother is applying for jobs?
    – David K
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 12:29
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    Doesn't a Masters of Science degree from an accredited University trump a BA, regardless of how the BA was achieved?
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


Well, he CAN, but I'm not sure why he would, it's still an achievement and if he omits it someone will ask "Why do you have X years where you did nothing?" and that's not a pretty look either.

I suspect however that it does not hurt his chances (Not more than not being there at least) and I think he/you need to go over his resume and brush it up.

Without any knowledge of the resume however it is difficult giving solid advice.


Even if you're right about it giving a bad impression, I wouldn't leave it off. "So, I notice you have an MS listed, but without any previous college education -- how did that happen?" every interviewer will ask, at which point your brother will have to choose between actively lying, or telling the truth and making it clear that he'd been trying to mislead by omission in the resume. Neither one's a good look.

It's possible to organize a resume to highlight certain aspects or achievements. Have a number of bullet points about the MS, and no bullet points about the BA; just mention the dates and move on. You're not trying to bury it in the fine print, just to deemphasize it. This way, the resume isn't dishonest in any way. Just the opposite: it's focusing on the aspects of your brother's history that your brother thinks are more important to understanding his experience and skill levels.


Keep in mind that the job market is very tough in some parts of the world, and even more so in certain fields.

I doubt that any degree would be seen as a negative, regardless of how it was obtained, provided it is an accredited degree.

It could be that he is applying for jobs that have way lower minimum requirements than his degree. Thus the companies ignore his applications because he is over qualified.

He might simply be applying for positions where his specific qualifications might not carry that much weight.

There are also other possibilities, it could be a bad reference, an unexplained gap in his resume, job hopping or simply a badly formatted resume or any combination of them. We simply don't know for sure.

Your best bet would be to take your resume to a professional such as an employment agent (or recruiter) and ask them to give some honest feedback on your resume and employment history. They have much better insight into what causes problems and what does not.

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