#1 Success Principle: How Lack of Education Affects your Career

Is Education Affecting My Career?
Is Education A Problem?

This series is devoted to those who want to learn the principles required for success in Information Technology (IT) Careers.

While the IT Industry is a goldmine for those who have learnt to navigate it, it is a maze for others trapped by myths, half-truths, outright lies and misconceptions.

Not to worry, in this series, I will uncover the myths and presents the principles required for success in every situation.

Get a Job Regardless of your Educational Qualifications

So, one principle is this: don’t let your formal education or the lack of it, stop you from pursuing your dream IT career.

For some, the thought that they have already invested so much time or money in their current career, stops them from pursuing a better, more fulfilling, rewarding career.

For others, the fact that they don’t have formal educational qualifications makes them conclude that they are unattractive to employers and helpless about their situation.

Both positions are extreme. They come from a fundamental lack of understanding of the IT job market. Folks that think like that, have no clue that the IT Industry is driven by functional skills and hands-on experience rather than formal educational qualifications!

Don’t worry about the time or money invested in your current career because it’s a sunk cost.

And don’t obsess over your lack of formal educational qualifications because that’s not the reason why you can’t get an IT job!

Remember that while one employer may not hire you for lack of formal educational qualifications, many more employers will hire you for having the right skillsets or hands-on experience!

6 Responses to "#1 Success Principle: How Lack of Education Affects your Career"

  1. Benjamin Jnr.   September 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

    My toughest challenge so far is deciding which courses or certificates I can add to my CV to help boost my appeal as I did not study an IT based degree but am good at computers.

    Which ones are respected in the business world?

    • IT Career Coach   September 4, 2010 at 7:13 pm

      #certificates #courses Certificationsdo not get you a job. Become marketable or get a job by following these principles:

      1. Find a marketable career or skill that you really like. Don’t just learn a skill because someone recomends it. Look for stats on the marketability of the skill on Dice.com

      2. Choose skills with shorter learning curves. If the marketability of two skills is the same, choose the skills with a shorter learning curve beacuse that will get you to market faster.

      3. Become an expert at your new career. Your first goal is to learn everything possible about the new skill or career and become an expert. That way, you will be seen as an attractive hire to employers.

      4. Learn to market your skills aggressively. What you know is not enough … how well you market it is even better. Learn how to market your expertise using Social Media and Blogs

  2. Joan   December 5, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Hi, IT Career Coach Team,

    I have a degree and experience in education and after some courses, subsequently became a programmer/analyst, systems analyst and database administrator from 1985 to 2002, some of that time as an independent consultant.

    The languages I used include:
    COBOL, Fortran, Pascal, Clipper, dBASE, Paradox for Windows, FoxPro for DOS [with
    SQL]. Win XP to MS-DOS 6.x, some UNIX I took all the prerequisites for a Masters Degree in Computer Science and was accepted into the Masters Degree program at a local university.

    I did not pursue the degree because my supervisor said since I had just gotten a job as a programmer, I did not need the degree.

    I have been doing internet research for the most part since 2002 and like it.

    I have been studying internet marketing for the last two years and have been
    doing independent research and taking free online classes on this topic.

    Two weeks ago I applied for a Search Marketing Analyst paid internship position and have not heard from the company. I have called the hiring manager and always get voicemail.

    I would be using SQL for this position. I like technical work.
    Their ad was geared toward students, saying if they had good grades, were strong with numbers, had good writing and people skills, and planned on staying in town after graduation, the company would like to speak to them.

    I sent an email to the company and asked if they were interested only in recent graduates, or could other people apply?

    They replied and said that anyone could apply.

    The position would include PPC advertising, building keyword lists, writing ad copy and testing landing pages.

    I’m very good at trouble shooting and detail oriented tasks.

    I am not in a position to take any of yourcourses at this time.

    Do you know of any paid internships that I could apply for and have a good chance
    of getting hired?


    • IT Career Coach   September 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm

      With your skills and background, you shouldn’t find it hard to get an internship.

      The question is how much are you asking for? If what you are asking for is reasonable, and you have good writing skills, good people skills and you can hit the ground running on PPC, Search Marketing, Social Media … I might even hire you!

      The biggest challenge with interns is that they sometimes ask for too much and are willing to invest too little …

      So, if you are really serious, take all your internet marketing skills to the highest level that you can possibly take them and then, approach potential employers like me (with a serious plan) for helping them … then mention what you want and the end of the conversation and that would not be a road block!

  3. Roser   November 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for all those article u sent

    Kingley I’m a high school student and am wondering if its worth going to college for a computer science degree or not.

    What your opinion on college?

    • IT Career Coach   November 27, 2009 at 6:37 pm


      Being a High School Student interested in the Computer Science profession, I would suggest that you go to college … and YES, study Computer Science, especially if you can afford it.

      Just remember to work on your Functional Computer Programming / Software Development / Business Analysis / Database Skills depending on your area of interest.

      Don’t wait to graduate from college before you start getting your hands dirty and don’t forgo college if you have a chance …

      The problem is that some students feel that they have to complete their computer science education before they can be relevant to the industry … nothing is further from the truth than that.

      Others, feel that they can’t have a career in information technology or work in the computer science industry because they lack or are unable to get a college education … which is unfortunately not true.

      Go to College and work on your studies, also work on real-world projects for real-world clients while you are in school … you dont have to forgo one for the other!


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