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I have 3 years of working experience as a mainframe developer (COBOL, CICS, etc). But just started studying at University this year... So no degree nor near to get it yet. Should I apply for those job offers that require a degree or its just a waste of time for me and recruiters? are they actually that rigorous about it?

Thanks.

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    this is pretty opinion-based question. We don't know if "they actually that rigorous about it" or if "its just a waste of time for you". you can find similar questions here: workplace.stackexchange.com/search?q=degree+experience – aaaaa says reinstate Monica Sep 13 at 20:58
  • Impossible to know what they are looking for, but most job postings I see say something along the lines of "Requires degree, or equivalent experience". Three years experience is pretty good. – Seth R Sep 13 at 21:12
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    Tagging this with a country may be helpful. It would be unusual for a US company, for example, to pass on a good dev just because they didn't have a degree. Other countries, though, are much more concerned about credentials. If you're in a less developed country that developed countries outsource to, a lack of a degree can make getting visas much harder which can make the outsourcing companies pause. – Justin Cave Sep 13 at 22:07
  • to @Justin Cave, (sorry IDK how to quote), I guess you are very right there. Some countries may give credentials a lot more importance. I didnt add the country in the question because I think that adds an entire different dimension to the question. Im from Argentina, and currently thinking about working in other country, you know, emigrating. Maybe Canada, maybe Europe, maybe Singapore or Thailand. I know I have it easier in some countries compared others, but still curious and with many interrogations in my mind. – Francisco Arbizu Sep 14 at 1:24
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It's worth applying. The worst that can happen is they don't look at your CV, but without applying you definitely won't get the job.

Companies may put the degree requirement as a marker of "We expect you to be qualified to do X". Industry experience in the required area may be close enough for the job in question, that is up to the recruiter. Give yourself a chance to get in the door.

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Yes

I've been in software development for nearly 25 years, I left university (without a degree) as I got offered a graduate level job. I now have a senior leadership role in a blue chip.

After getting experience, and working on both contract and full time, my lack of degree has been a question maybe 3 times, and an issue once (an employer who approached me, then decided they only hired people with degrees).

Every job (contract and full time) that I applied to (and was recruited by) specified a degree in computing.

You have nothing to lose, especially on an area like mainframe where people are retiring and skills are being lost.

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If they want someone with COBOL, then apply - if they think you have what they want they will make exceptions...

And if you are good in COBOL and that is what they need you're at the top of the list, so apply. Compared to a freshly graduated degree holder who may or may not have heard of COBOL you have useful experience.

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I’m currently looking for a job and I do not have a degree. I’ve asked a recruiter to help me find a job. According to him, he introduced me at a few places, which said the degree is a requirement, but I got an interview at some other places that had vacancies out asking for degrees.

Will applying be a waste of time? Not always and you cannot know until you applied. So just apply.

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I'm surprised "or equivalent experience" isn't being used in the job posting, but the usual implication of "degree required" is that if you can demonstrate a significant amount of actual, and verifiable, work experience a degree isn't actually required.

Will you be at a disadvantage? Yes. You have 3 years of total learning and doing. A person with a degree and 3 years of experience has 4 or so years of learning, and 3 years of more learning and doing. Will you stay, forever, at a disadvantage? No. But you will be at a disadvantage for a while.

  • And what about a person with a degree and no experience? – Solar Mike Sep 17 at 19:46
  • A degree counts as experience ... getting a degree. Would you hire a random stranger from a local homeless shelter as a developer, or would you hire a random stranger with a degree? – Julie in Austin Sep 17 at 20:07
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    I've spoken to many managers in engineering that say a "fresh out of degree" employee makes expensive mistakes... They tend to make sure they are shadowed very thoroughly... – Solar Mike Sep 17 at 20:22
  • @Julie in Austin if the homeless developer has a strong past experience and did it well in it, with a nice reference from someone who worked with him already, I would go for him. – Francisco Arbizu Sep 19 at 17:55

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