Last year I graduated with BA in one of the humanities. However, I started programming in my second year as a hobby and supplement to my area of study. I am probably not a senior or mid level coder, but I am confident that I have a good entry level skill set.

I want to know, should I mention my unrelated degree in my resume when applying?

  • 1
    Why would you not include the degree? Aug 14, 2017 at 12:44
  • IMHO the only thing a degree proves is you can sit down, hit the books and focus on a objective: pass the exams. Not surprising many recruiters are looking for people can focus on achieving objectives
    – jean
    Aug 14, 2017 at 12:58
  • @jean What it proves is that you can follow something to completion long-term. It's insulting to everyone with a degree to say what you did. There's much more to it than just "sitting down". And FWIW, I don't have a degree so I'm not defending myself either.
    – Chris E
    Aug 14, 2017 at 14:39
  • @ChristopherEstep I apologize, not my intent to insult anyone. I have a degree but I fell that don't tells everything I can do as a professional. My comment intent was to hint OP a degree, even not a IT related one, can tell recruiters he can achieve long-term goals not what he actually knows
    – jean
    Aug 14, 2017 at 16:11
  • @jean no worries, and I agree that a degree doesn't tell everything, and it doesn't even tell much, to be honest. But it does tell something, which is why there are employers who won't even look at people who don't have a degree of some kind. They see it as a base line of a person's ability to complete something (not that I agree with that assessment).
    – Chris E
    Aug 14, 2017 at 16:16

6 Answers 6


There is absolutely no problem listing your humanities degree on your CV/Resume. I also have an humanities undergraduate degree, as well as a masters in historical research; yet my field of work is in software development.

I personally choose to have my educational achievements prominently displayed on my CV. Consider it logically, even at the very least they show that you've been able to commit to a steady workload for a period of time and are capable of taking on the kind of pressures that you would expect from any kind of university degree.

Almost every employer in the field of development that I've interviewed with has asked me about my degrees, and why my career path has been so different. I like to use this opportunity to show them that the underlying skill-sets in the field of humanities can be re-applied quite adequately to development. This allows me to discuss things like, time management, careful assessment of facts, understanding the importance of briefs etc. Obviously I have a robust history of practical development thanks to previous years within the industry. That said, I think you should not undervalue your own achievements even if they are not related to the fields you apply to. They form a part of who you are as an employable individual. They can help demonstrate various traits that may be an ideal fit for the company you seek to work for.


Many jobs postings I have worked with mention the need to have a college degree. Sometimes they want a specific degree, or use the phrase technical degree, or just a degree level (Bachelor, Masters...)

The more flexible the requirements are the more your BA in Humanities will be considered. I would never suggest not including a college degree. It does show you have a college education. But if they want a specific degree and are making that a strict requirement, then it is not likely that your application will result in an interview.

So include it in the CV/Resume and put the degree information onto the application. Having a degree in something is better then giving the impression that you don't have a degree.


Just list it in your education section as normal - many people are in careers that aren't directly related to their degree subject so it shouldn't look odd. The fact that the subject isn't directly related isn't a reason not to include it - many employers will take it as a positive, i.e. it indicates that you have the requisite intelligence, commitment and work ethic to complete a degree.

Obviously a more directly related degree is more of a positive to have on the resume but other than the outside chance that they might assume you are only applying to the job because you can't get one in your degree area (and you're using the rest of your resume and cover letter to demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for coding presumably?) I highly doubt it will be taken negatively.


You could mention it in a passions/hobbies section. Just to indicate that you have an interest in programming.

Companies looking into hiring you could see this as a good sign, that you can learn things which interest you by yourself.

Especially in a world where programming is becoming more important, this could be a nice addition to your resume.

  • 3
    I interpreted the question as asking whether to include the humanities degree while applying for entry level programming jobs. You seem to have interpreted it as whether to include the programming hobby while applying for jobs based on the humanities degree. Aug 14, 2017 at 12:43

If your humanities degree is your only degree, methinks yes, because it spells out that you're smart enough to get a degree and didn't merely drop out.

If you eventually get a CS degree and apply for a new position in CS, then think of it as optional.

  • I wouldn't ever consider it as optional, just not as important as the CS degree. It still shows you have a skill set most CS people wont have and that you have no problem doing the hard work required for a degree twice. Aug 14, 2017 at 13:06
  • @ayrtonclark I dunno, tbh. Long years ago, I'd probably have suggested yes of course, in that it suggests that you've an open mindset and bonus skills. But since then, I've read too many soul draining CVs with laundry lists of irrelevant experience, skills, and degrees, to suggest that adding it is always a good thing. Aug 14, 2017 at 13:13

I have mentioned this on a number of questions about programming. The best programmers that I have ever worked with had a music degree, a maths degree and no degree at all. These were all better than the comp sci graduates that I have worked with. They all had the passion and attention to detail that made them excellent.

You really must include your degree on your CV. It is completely relevant.

p.s. My qualification is an MA and BA in Electrical Science - a recipe for confusion if ever there was one!

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