Some time ago I was offered an interview by a company, and they sent me the details of the position (a link to the job description). The position required a master's degree, while I'm still finishing my bachelors. I pointed this out to the recruiter, and no contact ever since. I thought this was an honest mistake by the recruiter, and I made an effort to make it more (very) obvious on my LinkedIn that I'm a BSc student.

Recently I've been approached by another recruiter of the same company, again offering a (well not the same) position that requires a Master's degree. Given that I made it very obvious that I'm a bachelor student, should I just shrug off the master's requirement? Should I point this out again to the recruiter? (I'm genuinely interested about the job though)

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    A job order is a wish-list. Several of my jobs required degrees which I do not have. Feb 23, 2022 at 5:16
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    @Old_Lamplighter The problem is some employers actually really do mean it when they say certain things are requirements. It's impossible to know for sure whether a job listing is being honest about the requirements list without either asking or applying.
    – BSMP
    Feb 23, 2022 at 5:26
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    Just use these interview for you benefit. If you attend more interviews, you will get better at it and this can help you to get what you want in the end.
    – Mr Zach
    Feb 23, 2022 at 7:13
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    @nick012000 talent acquisition specialist at [...] via [...], so I guess from a recruitment company. Feb 23, 2022 at 11:51
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    @BSMP And many of them don't. It's a wish list, and any employer who would have a hard requirement for a degree would not have been able to hire Bill Gates or Steve Jobs Feb 23, 2022 at 12:49

9 Answers 9


Generally having a certain degree is seen as desirable for a company that are recruiting, very seldom is it absolutely essential. Companies are pretty poor at properly segmenting their list of attributes into 'neccessary' and 'desirable'. The odds of getting someone with everything they want are slim so recruiters will send in CVs of people who have a reasonable amount of matching abilities/experiences.

Bottom line - don't let the degree level put you off, if you think the job seems a reasonable fit and you're interested then go for it!

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    Goes the same for overstated years: "seeking junior developer with +5 years experience" Feb 23, 2022 at 13:47
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    @coll also "Required 10 years experience in (insert technology that has only existed for 5 years)"
    – Seth R
    Feb 23, 2022 at 15:04
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    Rule of thumb: If you match the requirements at about 70%, you're a good candidate. Feb 25, 2022 at 21:16
  • @SethR intermediate Blazor dev required (3 - 5 years experience) MS committing to LTS for the tech in June 2021 is a rather ridiculous job listings that I will never forget.
    – Neil Meyer
    Mar 23, 2022 at 20:00

Unfortunately many recruiters are lazy and/or bad at their job. These are quite likely just scattershots on LinkedIn.

If you feel the job is interesting, there is no harm in replying (although it's unlikely you will hear back). Otherwise just ignore it.

Should I point this out again to the recruiter?

No. If it's in your resume/profile and the recruiter decides to proceed, assume that they are aware of it.

I thought this was an honest mistake by the recruiter,

It's probably just a poorly designed search query on LinkedIn


Linkedin recruiters are basically spammers nowadays. I.E., I'm a backend developer and I routinely get offers for frontend positions, even senior ones. They probably sent the same message you got to other 1000 profiles. Just ignore them and move on.

  • LinkedIn recruiters generally get paid by results, like any industry some are better than others. "Spammers" is a very loose and basically inaccurate term to throw at them.
    – deep64blue
    Feb 23, 2022 at 14:37
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    @AlanDev sorry but to me, someone who sends the same exact message to hundreds or thousands of contacts (whether they might be interested in it or not) in hope of some replies is the exact definition of a spammer.
    – mrodo
    Feb 23, 2022 at 15:56
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    @AlanDev In my experience, they are generally spammers. Feb 23, 2022 at 16:10
  • Although there are job listings from tosh recruitment agencies that are just phishing scams for resumes there is a fair amount of direct interaction with hr personnel at companies to. It is not a perfect platform but it has its perks.
    – Neil Meyer
    Mar 23, 2022 at 19:56

I wouldn't put it like Tiger Guy, but there is a difference between meeting all the stated requirements, and being capable of doing the job. And there are jobs where a company could consider hiring someone who would be really good for a high salary, and someone who can do a decent job at a slightly lower salary. (I think that as a company you need one person who is really good at what they are doing, and then you can have others at various levels).

So just because a Master's degree is "required", that doesn't mean you're not qualified, and it doesn't mean you can't do a useful job. So if you are interested in the job, go and apply for it. Worst case you don't get an interview. Second worst case you get some valuable interview experience. Best case you get the job.


If you have no interest in the position, you can say just that.

If you do, the following would work:

Dear RecruiterName,
Thanks for approaching me with this position. It looks like one I would be interested in taking, and I would love to discuss it more. One doubt: I realized that a Master's Degree is listed as a requirement, while - as my profile suggests - I'm only expected to finish my Master's next year. Nevertheless, I feel qualified to take this position and I would be glad to discuss the details of my application.

Just point out that there's a discrepancy, but you don't expect it to cause any issues.


I take those degree requirements for jobs with a grain of salt. If the recruiter can get you an interview with a hiring manager in many private companies, the manager has the discretion of being able to hire you or not, and the degrees mentioned may be preferable for sake of finding applications but not a hard requirement. If you want to try out for the job and you think you can handle the responsibilities, let the recruiter help you.

I specifically mentioned that this is the case with private companies whereas in government the rules are generally going to be more strict.

  • As a general rules I have found on the LinkedIn job market the dev jobs that require degrees have significantly higher salaries then those that don't. Degrees only tend to become a prerequisite when you have ascended a couple of notches on the seniority totem-pole.
    – Neil Meyer
    Mar 23, 2022 at 19:52

Stop Thinking You are Unqualified

Maybe you are, maybe you aren't, but taking yourself out of the running ensures you don't get the job. Look at a recent President of the United States and it's obvious that one can do a job that they aren't qualified for if people are willing to give them the job. Virtually every business has loads of people doing jobs they aren't good at, so why put a barrier in front of yourself?

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    “Listen. It’s a good joke, it’s a great joke even but I need you to stop anyway.” Feb 25, 2022 at 21:17

I'm very qualified to answer this because I have had several contracts through several different recruiting agencies for several jobs.

Most of the time these recruiters have no idea what you are and are not qualified for. They haven't worked in your field, they aren't familiar with the technical terminology in a job description or your resume. They will throw anything against the wall and see what sticks.

Recruiting is a lot like sales, a lot of young people try it and don't stay in it long. The people who are good at it usually get promoted to relationship manager roles. Often times job descriptions are reused from old roles and don't reflect what they are actually hiring for. Often recruiters have said "Oh, they said 'X' skill isn't important at all, so don't worry about that". Unless the hiring manager specifically told them the skill you are unsure of is not important, you are probably right that you may not be a good fit for the role. It took a year or two for me to realize this.

Sometimes you can go into a interview and tell them "I'm very interested in this role. I can do X, Y, but to be honest Z would be a new challenge for me that I'd work very hard at being competent at." If you are solid on everything else. It's a good idea to focus on your skill set and be a little bit selective in the roles you choose to pursue.

Edit: Once you get your bachelors, if you are in business you can ignore the masters degree requirement. Business is about showing that you can solve problems, and you can do that with a bachelors.


Also worth noting is you don't need to be the best possible candidate for the job. You actually only need to be the best possible candidate out of the pool of candidates who applied for the job. Most employers may choose not to go forward with any employment if nobody suitably qualified can be found but in the IT world I have found this unlikely.

The developer market is red hot now. The industry has never been more prosperous and you would be amazed how companies are willing to take a chance on young devs.

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