/ Asked by Tanya
If I don’t go to a four year college, what do I need to do to get a good entry-level job with a good employer?
Answered by Tara, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Hello!
Earning a 4 year degree and using it as a catalyst into the work force is more common than it's ever been, but this does not mean it is the only way to propel yourself into an exciting career! Make a list of things you love doing and your natural skills/abilities. When applying for roles, make sure your resume highlights those skills and that you are able to talk to them in an interview. Many businesses will post their educational requirements within the job description but do not let this deter you! Many times the hiring manager may make exceptions if you have the same skills and knowledge required in the role, along with a positive outlook and can-do attitude! Best of luck to you on you job search!
Tara Podlesny, HR Representative
Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on Friday, October 2, 2015
This is a question that doesn't have one set answer. It really depends on what you want to do. If you have experience from volunteering or other jobs you have held that is relevant to a job you are interested in, then a company may very well overlook the fact that you don't have a 4 year degree. The best advice would be to be active in organizations where you can network with people who have roles that would interest you, or are in an industry you want to break into. Often times, networking can open doors to you and help establish connections which will help you in a job search more than a degree. Once you can get your foot in the door and secure an interview, you can provide insight into why you feel you are a good fit for the position and address any concerns that the interviewer might have. Realistically, there are going to be jobs that have a strict 4 year degree requirement, but don't let that bring you down. Good luck!
Answered by Nell, Hiring Expert at Pitney Bowes, on Friday, October 2, 2015
Great question! I have a few ideas for you below:
Sales: Many sales positions do not require a specific pedigree/degree. They are typically open to many types of backgrounds. Above this sales positions can be very diverse, so you can go after areas that may suit you best. If you are more of an office person, you can seek out a position calling people. If you are a techy person, you can do tech sales/software sales. If you are more out and about person, you could do a sales position that is more person to person. Sales jobs can often give you solid experience to grow off of.
Retail: I am bias to retail, probably because my first professional job was in retail. The benefits are great! They are open to different backgrounds. They have flexible scheduling, a clear growth path, and you can specialize in an industry that suits your personal interests.
Banking: A job at a bank as a bank teller is another great Segway into an entry level position to start your career. They also have very structured training programs and clear growth paths.
Hotel Management and Hospitality: This industry is filled with opportunities! Fun ones at that! Who wouldn’t want to work where people are always vacationing! Check out some of your local hotels and resorts for some entry level positions.
I wish you all the best as you start off your career!
-Nell
Answered by Meredith, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Sunday, November 1, 2015
In addition to the great suggestions already mentioned, you might want to look into free training programs that will give you the skills necessary to compete with college graduates. These programs will not only provide you with software training, potential college credits, but also give you the soft skills you need such as interviewing, how to dress for a job, how to conduct yourself according to the culture or environment of your particular field of interest, etc.
Most programs will also place you on site with a corporate internship for 3-6 months+ where you learn applicable skills to hit the ground running in an entry level opportunity! Often getting your foot in the door with an employer can be outstanding because you are learning on the job and often times, larger companies provide tuition reimbursement if you are looking to pursue additional education or training certifications.
One such organization that I would recommend is called YearUp (www.yearup.org), but there are tons of options out there that will come up with a Google search local to your area. You can even search by subject area that you would like to pursue, whether it be a corporate or a trade industry track of study.
Some companies will require a degree for certain roles, but often times employers will substitute years of experience relevant to the position, so stay positive- it never hurts to clearly illustrate how you can leverage your skills/expertise into a role you will be passionate about!
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