College Degree: The one factor that is still relevant

Some people say that college degrees don’t matter. I somewhat agree, with one exception.

I will admit, when I look at candidates, I rarely look at their education as a factor in hiring. I consider them on the basis of knowledge, aptitude, energy and accomplishments (if not entry level). There is something to say about putting in the effort for college. Specifically the time management, the studying, the balancing of different classes and prioritization of fun and work. To me, that is very relevant to the people I hire. It says, “I know I have to put in the work to get a desired result.” In my opinion, most college degrees are useless from an education perspective. There are many exceptions to this, specifically in the math and technical fields.

As an engineer, I came up before there were schools for engineering. I was a graphic designer that learned to code and that on the job training was crucial to my success. I also had really good leaders to learn from. Over time, I realized that software engineering is about initiative and having the drive to try something you don’t know. Also, as you gain experience, many issues or solutions are derivatives of things you have done previously.

I keep reading that people are saying, college degrees don’t matter and I think that is the wrong way to look at it. Overall, the outcomes and accomplishments are the most important. But, a college degree could be a deciding factor between 2 candidates, not for what it is but for the fact that someone put in the effort. I do love people without the degree that show they put in a ton of work to learn their skill and they are open to learning more. That is also a deciding factor in hiring (for me).

There is no formula that shows you how to hire the right candidates. These are more my guidelines than anything else. Ive hired people with little experience over other candidates with experience, simply because of how excited they were for the work. I knew they would grab the role and run with it. Some are now in the Austin tech scene and senior level engineers. So rewarding.