October 11, 2023

Breaking the Degree Requirement Myth in Tech Jobs: Aligning Education and Employment Trends (DF#118)

Breaking the Degree Requirement Myth in Tech Jobs: Aligning Education and Employment Trends

Separating the Necessary from the Useless

This week we talk about the common misconception that certifications are necessary or recognized for work. We emphasize the importance of looking at job listings to determine if certifications are actually required, rather than assuming they’re needed.

We also caution against getting multiple certifications without actually applying for jobs, as this is a form of procrastination. Acquiring relevant skills and practical experience, as well as demonstrating competence in your field is way more important than most certifications. Drawing from our own experiences, we provide strategic advice for advancing careers.

We also cover:

  • The importance of certifications in technical interviews and job applications, emphasizing the value of reputable organizations and showcasing technical knowledge.
  • The caution against obtaining irrelevant or unknown certifications, as they hold no value for potential employers. Technical experience is more important than collecting certifications.
  • The challenges and motivations involved in making career changes, emphasizing the need for a strong why and avoiding analysis paralysis.
  • The experiences with different diet and exercise trends, highlighting the importance of choosing a path and learning from others' experiences.
  • The misconception that certain technical fields require a college degree, refuting this claim and encouraging listeners to pursue their interests without feeling limited by educational requirements.

Don't miss this episode of the Degree Free Podcast, where we challenge the traditional beliefs around certifications and educational requirements. Join us on this journey of discovering the true value of skills and practical experience in the job market.

If you're looking to advance your career or explore new opportunities, this episode is a must-listen!

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode


Episode Summary:

In this podcast episode, Ryan and Hannah discuss the misconception and fixation on certifications among job seekers in the tech industry. They argue that people should focus on improving their resumes and applying for jobs rather than wasting time and money on certifications that may have no value.

They advise job seekers to check actual job listings for mentioned certifications before pursuing them and highlight the importance of experience and relevant skills. The hosts suggest prioritizing valuable skills, applying for jobs, and continuously learning on the job.

They caution against procrastination and creating lengthy checklists of certifications without taking action. They mention that brand name certifications may be beneficial for those with no technical experience, but irrelevant certifications hold no value for employers.

The speaker also discusses the importance of motivation and clear goals when making career changes, the challenges faced by degree holders and non-degree holders alike, and the need for action and guidance from mentors or experts.

They challenge the belief that a college degree is necessary for technical fields and express frustration with the shifting narrative around education requirements. They express their interest in interviewing AI expert Chris Ola, mention their plan to read and summarize AI reports in future episodes, and invite listeners to sign up for their newsletter and connect on LinkedIn.

Connect with Ryan:

Connect With Hannah:

Action Steps & Recommendations:

  • Focus on improving your resume and applying for jobs rather than pursuing certifications without value.
  • Look at actual job listings to see if certifications are mentioned before pursuing them.
  • Prioritize the most valuable skills and continuously improve and learn on the job.
  • Avoid procrastination and the tendency to create lengthy checklists of certifications without taking action.
  • Consider brand name certifications for those without technical experience, but disregard irrelevant certifications.
  • Create content specifically for college degree holders who want to adopt a degree-free mindset.
  • Take action and avoid analysis paralysis by seeking guidance from mentors or listening to experts in relevant fields.


  • 00:02:13 - The importance of certifications in job search
  • 00:03:22 - The need for a strong resume and experience
  • 00:08:23 - The mistake of getting multiple certifications without applying for jobs
  • 00:15:30 - Importance of motivation and having a strong 'why'
  • 00:19:18 - Analysis paralysis and the overwhelming options for change
  • 00:22:27 - Taking action quickly after making a decision
  • 00:24:03 - The importance of choosing a path and sticking to it
  • 00:26:48 - The value of learning from other people's experiences
  • 00:28:50 - The misconception that a college degree is necessary for technical jobs
  • 00:34:13 - AI reports and breakdowns
  • 00:35:43 - Web 3 is not as popular as AI
  • 00:36:07 - The future of AI and the importance of AI reports

References, Resources Mentioned & Suggested Reading:

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Hannah Maruyama [00:00:00]:

Chris Ola, I've talked about him before. But according to Oxford, 80 1000 hours, you can look this up, the leading AI machine learning expert in the world right now is a teal fellow named Chris Ola, who does not have a college degree. He is 100% degree free. He is the cutting edge of this technology. He is completely degree free.

Ryan Maruyama [00:00:27]:

Aloha folks. Before we get into today's episode, I did want to mention that we had a slight malfunction with our primary audio. And so this episode is going to sound a lot different than the previous episodes, and it is Probably not what you are used to. It is definitely not the quality that we normally put out because we are on our backup audio. When we found the mistake, we thought about scrapping the whole episode and just throwing it out, but there is a Lot of good information in here that I think you're gonna get a lot of value out of, so we're keeping it. Just know that the audio isn't up to our usual standards, and we will get back to the nice, clean, fresh audio that you're hearing right now in next week's episode. And I apologize for this, and I am going to do better next time. Enjoy the show.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:22]:

Aloha, folks. And welcome back to Degree Free where we teach you how to get higher without College degree. We are your hosts, Ryan Hattamaryama. It is great to have you back.

Hannah Maruyama [00:01:31]:

Welcome back. Welcome back to the podcast, folks. Ryan and I are stoked to have you with us in the studio as always.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:36]:

Excellent. Excellent. We have a few things to go over today, so let's just jump right

Hannah Maruyama [00:01:40]:

into it. Okay. A few weeks ago, I was on the live webinar panel with Anthony Papillano, and we were talking to a group of people about how to get a job in Bitcoin and Crypto. Now here's the thing. There are were a wide range of people on this particular webinar. They were all looking to get a job. They're all looking to either get a job or changed jobs, like, if they already have a job, they're looking to retool and get into a different job. And one thing that continues to come up, I've been guest coaching their Crypto Academy for a few different cohorts now.

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:13]:

And one thing that always comes up in the cohorts and it came up in this webinar again is about certifications, and I would like to talk about it because this happens and continually people are fixated on this one thing, and I think we need to address it. Now these people could have 20 years of IT experience, 20 years of executive experience. It doesn't matter. They all get hung up and fixated on the certifications. And it's something that I feel like we really need to talk about because so many of them are wasting time and wasting money on no name certifications that nobody cares about. They are vanity certifications that have no currency in the industry that are not applicable, and they think that they need them in order to get work when really what they need to do is they need to fix their poor resumes. They're not gonna make it through ATS, and they need to just apply to a bunch of jobs. If you haven't already done this, if you are looking for a job, especially if you're looking to get into a technical industry that you're not in now and you think you need all these certifications and you're looking through the Internet and you're not sure how to proof, like, hey.

Hannah Maruyama [00:03:22]:

You know, what company is this? Company is this. Is this certification worth anything? Does anyone want this? Don't find certifications that way. 1, don't go to the certifying body and then say, oh, look. Bitcoin certification. Someone's gonna care about this. No. Probably not. You need to be looking at the actual jobs that people have posted and seeing if there is anyone that is mentioning these certifications.

Hannah Maruyama [00:03:47]:

If there are not, you have no business getting them. You don't need them. You shouldn't be wasting time burning energy getting these things. And so what people really need to do at the core of it is they need to make sure that their resume this is like resume 101 people. One page resume, 12 point Arial or Times New Roman font. You need to make sure that all of your experience is 3 to 5 bullet points. In the bullet points, they need to be numbers and statistics about results you have gotten at ass jobs. That's why no one's gonna hire you.

Hannah Maruyama [00:04:20]:

It's not because you don't have some random Bitcoin certification that no one cares about. And I'm gonna keep saying this until I'm blue in the face. Like, you can go and get context for the industry. You do not need to be certified. There is no standard certification for cryptocurrency or for Bitcoin. It doesn't exist. All of the things that they need you to know how to do to work at one of these Fintech, crypto, Bitcoin companies is use existing tools, existing coding languages, existing methodologies because that's what they're going to use to build these new tools. Anyone who's interested in that industry really needs to hear that because your no name certifications are not gonna get you anything.

Hannah Maruyama [00:05:04]:

The only time getting a certification makes sense is if there is a name brand tool that is being used by a company and they say they require it. Sometimes even then you do not need it. Sometimes even then you just need experience with that thing. But what you don't need to be doing is just running around gathering a basket of certifications that no one asked for because you're gonna get disheartened when you realize that no one actually cares and they're not gonna call you back over those certs. And then also, you're gonna spend time and money that you should be filling out your resume and sending it to a bunch of places and making sure that your existing skill set is clear and understandable to people that will want to hire you.

Ryan Maruyama [00:05:46]:

With the certifications, how can you tell which ones are BS and which ones

Hannah Maruyama [00:05:51]:

aren't? Yeah. So, like I said, the best way to figure that out is look at the job listings and see if they actually ask for it. Right now, what people are doing is they're doing the same thing that they did with their college degree. And that is they went, and they were like, well, I think this might be useful or required for this field. And they go get it, and then come to find out nobody cares. And they wasted a ton of time, energy, and money getting it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:12]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And I wanted to bring the same thing up because that is exactly what I was gonna say, which is lot of people are treating these certifications out there like college degrees. They're getting them in the same fashion in which they got their college degrees, which is they're like, Well, I think that I'm going to need this for this job role, and so, therefore, I'm going to get this. Otherwise, how is anybody going to think that I'm qualified to do this job in this industry, in this company Unless I have this certification, unless I have this degree. And I'm not throwing shade at anybody for doing this. I did this myself. This is what I did.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:54]:

But now you're doing the exact same thing. You're thinking to yourself, well, I don't wanna go to college. I don't wanna spend that $70 to get another secondary degree. That was me. But then now you're like, well, what certifications can I get to validate my experience, to validate my When you're done with how to find a job backwards, and for those that don't know on how to find a job backwards is, I will put links to different episodes and resources that you can use to Do this, how to find a job backwards, which is basically looking at the job description, figuring out what is actually we needed for that role and then going and getting those skills and then applying to those jobs? I will put links to the show notes, degreefree.coforward/podcast, Including a podcast episode and then our 7 day get higher challenge where we go over it. I think it's day 4 that we go over this rubric. But anyway, so you're what people are doing is how to find a job backwards thing. They have this laundry list of things that they need to learn.

Ryan Maruyama [00:08:02]:

They can prioritize it. They look at it. They're like, okay. Perfect. I need to learn these 10 different things. And then the biggest mistake that people make the number one mistake that people make at this point is that they go and then they get all 10 of those things without ever having applied for a job. That is exactly the opposite of what we wanna do. You get one of those things.

Ryan Maruyama [00:08:23]:

You get the one that you think is gonna take The least amount of time and have the most amount of value, you go and get that, and then you start applying for jobs. Because If you get that job with that certification or with that skill, if you didn't get a cert It was enough. It was enough. Exactly. You don't have to go and get the other 9 things. Getting the other 9 things is just another form of procrastination that you're using To not do what you say you want, which is to get out of your situation right

Hannah Maruyama [00:08:53]:

now. Yeah. And the people I find that usually fall prey to that are people who have already bought college degrees. And I've seen that trip people up. Before, I've had friends, acquaintances that I've tried to help. And I'll say, yeah. This is how you do it. Find a job backwards.

Hannah Maruyama [00:09:07]:

And, again, they'll do exactly what you said, which is they come up with this laundry list. And I can remember where at multiple points, they just fell off. They're like, oh, well, I didn't get you know, I'm still working on this. And that was, like, years ago. You know? And now they're still in the same job that they were in, and they're still stuck duck because they didn't check off this arbitrary checklist that was not what I told them to do, which is go get 1 skill. And instead, they're like, well, I have to do this, this, this, and this before I can and then they never change jobs. They never get better work. And that is something that I see a lot of people like you said, it's procrastination.

Hannah Maruyama [00:09:38]:

It's because they don't wanna actually make the leap, which is fine, you know. But for people who are actually trying to get a different job, if you really want to be effective, what you're not gonna do is you're not gonna buy first look later. That doesn't make any sense. I realize this can sound kind of contradictory because for people that know my past experience, which is the 1st tech job that I got, I got with the Salesforce admin certification, and that was the first thing I did. But the reason that I did that was because I had no experience with the pool. Now you and I have acquaintances and friends who have gotten experience, and then they just go get the job using that experience and saying, look, I can do this. I've done this. And they do well in technical interviews because they're able to showcase that they know how to do those concepts.

Hannah Maruyama [00:10:26]:

But if you don't, that's where a certification, a technical certification will come into play. But you are not getting no name certifications. That is different because it's a brand name certification that you're getting because you have 0 technical experience. It's a shoot your shot kind of thing. But going to these bodies that have no value to these companies that are hiring, like, you know, Bitcoin certification specialist .com. Nobody cares. Nobody knows what that is. If when they're reading your application, the person who's reading your application has no idea what that certification is, it means nothing to them.

Hannah Maruyama [00:11:02]:

They weren't looking for it. They don't care. It adds nothing to their understanding of who you are as a person, and it is not something that is going to tip the balance in your favor to get you an interview. It's just not.

Ryan Maruyama [00:11:15]:

I'm glad that you said something about the people that have degrees or the people that are falling prey to this marketing to these certifications and really to wasting their time and energy on it, right, which is really what we care about. Because the more time and energy that you Spend getting these certifications, the less time and energy you are spending on actually achieving the thing that you say that you want, which is a different job, which is a different Career. A career in x. A career in y. The more that we can educate people and Shorten that time from, you know, the impetus of that change to you getting in that career, you know, that the the better for everyone. So I've been thinking myself, I agree with you wholly about the market for it, Which is college degreed people. It's people like I used to be. I hold the opinion that you can be degree free and whole college degree.

Ryan Maruyama [00:12:17]:

But I've been thinking lately, they might be different people. And people that have degrees and people that don't have degrees, they face 90% of the same thing, but there is, like, a 10% difference in a lot of it. And so I've been thinking about making some content Specifically for people that have college degrees that wanna use this degree free mindset and everything that we do. So if that interests you, you know, let me know. Go to YouTube. Leave some comments. You can email us contact at degreefree.co as well. Let me know what you're thinking.

Ryan Maruyama [00:12:48]:

Let me know if that sounds good to you, and maybe I'll make some more content around that. But then also what you were saying, getting a job with the experience that you have, a lot of people aren't confident to do that when the reality of the situation is that you don't need all of those skills. Sure. Does understanding the implications of the technology make you a better candidate? Probably. Do you need to understand the inner workings of all of this if you are not in a technical role? Probably not. If they are having you be in, like, operations and that you are doing something that's completely Away from the actual functions of the product or fulfilling the service or anything like that, does it really matter? No. It doesn't. It doesn't.

Ryan Maruyama [00:13:35]:

They need an operations person to do exactly what you were doing in the noncrypto world and do that for the crypto world. The fact that you know everything about crypto is a cherry on top of the icing, but they still need ice cream, The sprinkles, the nuts, and the whipped cream.

Hannah Maruyama [00:13:54]:

Put cherries on icing. What kind of sundae is this anyway?

Ryan Maruyama [00:13:57]:

Yeah. Did I say icing? I said ice cream.

Hannah Maruyama [00:13:59]:

No. You did icing.

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:00]:

Well, I don't put icing. It's

Hannah Maruyama [00:14:02]:

like sugar sandwich.

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:03]:

I don't put icing on my sundaes.

Hannah Maruyama [00:14:04]:

Guys, I don't know what's going on.

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:05]:

I meant ice cream. But, yes, I have seen the exact same thing, which is, hey. I need to get a certification for this because now I wanna move into this role, but, like, no. You could probably get that job right now at a company that does that using your existing

Hannah Maruyama [00:14:21]:

skills. Yeah. I see people do this fairly often, and a lot of times, what they just need to be told is, no. You're fine. Stop buying certifications. Just go apply for things. And that's the biggest takeaway is stop worrying and obsessing about certifications that no one cares about, that no one asked

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:40]:

for. That point leads me into what I wanted to talk about this week, which is talking about change and why it takes so long to make change. I have been thinking about this a lot recently because we're thinking about making some major changes to degree free, to this podcast, And a bunch of other things. I was having a conversation with a friend about a change that he was going through, big life change. I've been talking to other people about changes for their Careers, what are they gonna do? And so I was thinking, man, why does it take so long to make change? And I think I was able to parse it down to a few things, which I wanna talk about here. And maybe people can agree or disagree. I'd love to know. Once again, go to the YouTube comments and let me know.

Ryan Maruyama [00:15:30]:

The number one thing that I see in people from helping them Get different jobs and changing their work and everything. The number one thing is just purely motivation, and it's really just the why, The why are you doing it? It's the most important thing. And if you've taken the job change accelerator, our course, you can go to degreefree.c04/jobchange. It's the first thing that we start with, which is why you have to be motivated enough to actually want To see the change in your life. In order to see the change, you're gonna have to make great changes and really make great sacrifices. That's at the end of the day, that's what it is. Because whatever it is you're you're doing now is not working, obviously, because you want change. And whatever it is, it's if it's your career, if you're overweight, you have a bad relationship with your mother, you have a bad relationship with your wife, Whatever it is, whatever you're doing right now is not working, and you just need a big enough why to make you change that.

Ryan Maruyama [00:16:31]:

So for me, I wanted to leave bartending Forever. I kept going in and out of bartending. I kept saying that I would leave bartending forever. I would leave bartending forever, and then I Jumped in and out of office jobs, but I never really quit bartending. It wasn't until I moved to a completely different state To do a completely different thing. I moved to North Carolina because I thought I I was gonna get a mechanical engineering degree. Right? I've told this story before because I didn't know what to do. Like a lot of people that are listening to this, I had a college degree.

Ryan Maruyama [00:17:06]:

I didn't know what to do. I thought that going back to school was the only way to do it. I was living in Hawaii. I picked up and moved all the way across the country to North Carolina because my buddy had a room there, and it it would only take me 2 years To get my mechanical engineering degree at the program that I was looking at, I was like, okay. Well, I'll go do that. But really, I didn't know what I wanted to do. But in the meantime, I moved during the summer before classes started. I needed to pay my bills.

Ryan Maruyama [00:17:33]:

I need to pay rent and everything like that, so I got a bartending job because it's all I knew. And then I went In Raleigh, North Carolina to this little bar that I was working at, and finally, maybe, like, 3 months into it, I'm just like, no. I'm done. Like, I'm done. I'm not downing that profession, totally fine profession and noble. Just for me at the time, I've been doing it for almost 10 years, At least working in the restaurant in some capacity for 10 years, I was like, I'm done. I don't wanna do this anymore. And that was the strong enough lie for me to, like, get off my butt And get out of the industry.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:06]:

And luckily, I didn't go back to school and waste $70 to do it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:18:10]:

You did find a way around that, which is a story for another time. But change of stuff though. Not to say something that everybody's heard before, but it is. It can be. And I think kind of like we were just talking about folks with the certifications right for this, but a lot of times you're just afraid of what taking the action to make a change is gonna imply that you have to do. And it just means that there's a lot of work on the other side, and that, I think, is tough. It's

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:36]:

tough. With all change comes sacrifice. Things that you wanna do, probably, things that you would rather be doing, but that's the name of the game. And that's why the why is the most important. So just having a really clear and strong why is the most important because if you don't have that, you're just gonna fall off the wagon. The second reason why I see this, and once again, this isn't myself but also the people that we help, is analysis paralysis. There are so many options out there for everything. Literally, Anything.

Ryan Maruyama [00:19:18]:

One of the best things about the Internet is that everyone can go and find anything in a moment's notice, But that's also a bad thing because if you're trying to accomplish a goal, you can read this blog article about it, Read this study about it. Read this study about it, and all 3 of those things say different things. And now you're like, I have no idea what to do, and now you're just stuck, and you're just stuck analyzing.

Hannah Maruyama [00:19:48]:

Yeah. Because they can all be equally true. And if you implement any of them, they could all work. And so now you have to decide.

Ryan Maruyama [00:19:54]:

Exactly. I mean, a good example that I think a lot of people have gone through, I mean, myself included, is, like, weight loss.

Hannah Maruyama [00:20:00]:

Yeah, getting in

Ryan Maruyama [00:20:01]:

shape. Yeah. So you have a big enough why. You're just, well, I'm prediabetic. Well, I get Winded when I go up the stairs, or I get winded when I play with my son. I can't throw a baseball. Whatever the why is, you have that now. And then, Okay.

Ryan Maruyama [00:20:17]:

You're moving on, and then you get to the weight loss portion or, like, okay. I'm willing to make the sacrifices. But then how do I get there? What are the options? I know what I have to sacrifice, or I think I know what I have to sacrifice, Or I'm willing to sacrifice a lot, but I just don't know how to do it. And then so you go to the Internet. Right? And you go to Chachip

Hannah Maruyama [00:20:37]:

Chino. Man.

Ryan Maruyama [00:20:39]:

And you're like, okay. Well, how do I lose 30 pounds by the end of the year? And you just get inundated with everything. It's like, oh, Ketogenic diet is the way to do it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:20:48]:

Is it. Only eat meat. Only eat vegetables. Only eat nothing. And

Ryan Maruyama [00:20:53]:

Yeah. Exactly. I oh, I gotta do keto. Oh, I gotta do carnivore. I gotta do calories in, calories out. Then I gotta make sure that I'm doing high intensity interval training.

Hannah Maruyama [00:21:04]:

Or wait. Don't do that because it hurts your metabolism and you can't. And now what do you do?

Ryan Maruyama [00:21:09]:

Yeah. Exactly. You gotta walk 17 miles 9 days a week, and you're just like, what are you talking about? Right? And

Hannah Maruyama [00:21:15]:

so this is really fresh for you. Yeah. You know what

Ryan Maruyama [00:21:17]:

I mean? Like, I have to have seven Ticks of butter in my morning coffee.

Hannah Maruyama [00:21:22]:

No. Not the butter. You Yeah. Showed me that TikTok. And it was like stick of butter in your coffee because you're an idiot.

Ryan Maruyama [00:21:34]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's like, It was like a TikTok or a YouTube short, and there was, like, no words or anything, but this guy preparing his coffee, And he puts it over by the sink, and he's like, you wanna know why everybody is putting butter in their coffee and all the benefits of it? And he's, like, Stirring the butter into his coffee, and he just tips it into the sink. He's like, because they're

Hannah Maruyama [00:22:00]:

all idiots. And we're laughing, folks that we've we've been through, the carnivore, keto, like, we cycle through it. So we're laughing in fun.

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:10]:

But with all of this stuff, the ironic part of it is that you're doing all of this research while you're sitting on the couch, stuffing your face, watching Netflix.

Hannah Maruyama [00:22:20]:

Doing the same thing that you're doing before.

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:22]:

Because you're paralyzed. Yeah. I am that person. Like, I am that person

Hannah Maruyama [00:22:26]:

You're all that person.

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:27]:

Literally. And so I'm not throwing shade at anybody. This is me. But when was the times that I made the most massive changes in my life? When have I gone from not being able to do something or not doing something to doing something really quickly? And Every single one of those times, it was I made a decision and then I acted upon it. I didn't think about, okay, what are the different ways to get there? And this is the argument for having what some would call a mentor. Right? Somebody that has been there and done that Or listening to podcasts for people that have been there and done whatever it is that you wanna do, that is the argument for those types of relationships and for those types of media. Because if you just outsource your thinking about this one thing to them, you're like, okay. Well, I obviously don't know how to get into shape.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:21]:

I'm 30 pounds overweight, and I don't know what to do or I thought I knew what to do, but, like, let's just throw all this out. And I'm talking about myself. I used to wrestle in high school, and so I'm very used to fluctuating weight. I'm very used to going up and going down. So I think for myself, I know how to lose weight. And then the next thing you know, 10 years later, 15 years later, outside of high school, I'm, like, 30 pounds overweight. And I'm, like, Well, you said that you knew how to lose weight. You said that you would do it, and then suddenly, when push comes to shove, it's like, not it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:54]:

Yeah. And so, anyway, I'm I'm on it now, but I'm starting to see progress because I chose 1

Hannah Maruyama [00:24:01]:

path. And you chucked your brain out.

Ryan Maruyama [00:24:03]:

And I chucked my brain out. I said, I'm gonna do this one thing, and I'm gonna stick to it. I'm gonna do it every single day, and I'm just gonna see if it bears me results, and it is bearing me results. The same thing happened to me. So I think back to when I took the project management professional, the PMP certification, I went From never knowing about the PMP to 21 days later getting it. And the way that I did that was chucking my brain out And looking up online, like, how do people say to get this thing? And then

Hannah Maruyama [00:24:34]:

Do exactly

Ryan Maruyama [00:24:34]:

what they said. Exactly what they said. And then I About, like, the 3rd day into studying in, I was able to synthesize the information and come up with a better plan because A lot of these people were telling me that it's gonna take, like, 3 months, 6 months, or whatever. And I was like, I think I could do it much quicker than this. So I made my own plan once I was a couple days into it, and then, boom, 18 days after that, I was able to sit for it and get it. And so I've noticed for myself and I've noticed for people that we've helped, I'm just trying to synthesize the people that have seen the best results, myself included, For making change, and this was always just not getting stopped in the analysis paralysis, choosing a path And then walking that path. You can always course correct along the way, which leads me to my final point on How to make change or how to do it quickly or the reason why we don't do it is wisdom. And wisdom, As I see it, is wisdom is experience, and you can gain experience.

Ryan Maruyama [00:25:40]:

Most people gain experience through Doing something and then experiencing it and then learning it. The longer that I live, the more that I think true wisdom is learning from other people. And it's so cliche when you think about it. Like, you probably heard it a 1000000 times. I know I Have heard it a 1000000 times growing up, like, just learn from our mistakes. Don't do that. Just learn from our mistakes. I am not one of those people.

Hannah Maruyama [00:26:09]:

I think that most people are not. I am not one of those people either.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:13]:

I don't know about most people. I'm not sure. I'm not sure, but I know that I'm not one of those people. If they're like, the quickest way to get there Is you make a left at the light, and then 3 streets down, you make a right, and then it'll be there. And I'm just like, I clearly see on Google Maps that that there's a quicker way. I'm gonna go do that. And then I get stuck in traffic, and they're like, I

Hannah Maruyama [00:26:39]:

told you.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:41]:

I told you how to get there. And then it's like, you did. Yeah. I know you're right.

Hannah Maruyama [00:26:47]:

This is true.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:48]:

You did. And now I know the next time I do this at 5 o'clock In the afternoon on a Friday, I'm gonna take a left at the light, and then 3 streets down, I'm gonna take a right, and it's gonna be right there. Now I know that Because I experienced it myself, but I have a problem with learning from other people's experiences and learning from other people's mistakes. But I'm convinced I'm convinced that the way to make change quickest is If you are able to internalize things that you have not experienced, if you are able to find a trusted source, whatever you think to be a trusted source and whatever it is that you're doing, source, whatever you think to be a trusted source and whatever it is that you're doing, if it's finding a different career, hopefully, it's us. Right? If it's finding college alternatives, It's us here at Degree of Free. But if it's doing weight loss, then it's somebody else. Right? If it's finances, it's somebody else. Finding a trusted source and then just listening to them and then doing

Hannah Maruyama [00:27:44]:

it. Yeah. I think it's tough because it's still unknown. It just because you're listening to someone else tell you what pitfalls to avoid. You still don't know. And if you are one of those people that has to know, the only way to know is to make the dumb mistake yourself to go at 5 o'clock in traffic and make the wrong turns, and then you know. But you save yourself a lot of time and a lot of pain if you will just listen to people who have been where you're trying to go. And when they say, hey.

Hannah Maruyama [00:28:12]:

Don't fall in that giant pit over there, and then you just step around the pit. Yeah. I I cannot agree with that more. The next thing I wanna talk about is the other day, I saw a TikTok creator who I really like actually. Posts a lot of good content, helps people get into cybersecurity. But this creator told people with 100% certainty that they are not able to get into AI or machine learning without a college degree. This just to no end irks me because, one, there are no technical fields that are off limits to degree free people. That just drives me up a wall.

Hannah Maruyama [00:28:50]:

End to Chris Ola. I've talked about him before. But according to Oxford, 80000 hours. You can look this up. The leading AI machine learning expert in the world right now is a teal fellow named Chris Ola who does not have a college degree. He is 100% degree free. He is the cutting edge of this technology. He is completely degree

Ryan Maruyama [00:29:13]:

free. Hey there. I hope that you're loving this episode of the degree free podcast. We spend a ton of time every week creating this content for you. So my only ask is you take a quick second To leave a review or thumbs up on whatever platform you're on. It's one of the best and easiest ways that you can support this podcast, and this simple action can help bring more people into the degree free community. At degree free, we wanna help as many people as we can thrive and succeed without needing a college Your review will be a step in that direction. If you could do this small favor right now, pause this and leave a review.

Ryan Maruyama [00:29:44]:

It would truly mean the world to us. Thank you, and back to the show.

Hannah Maruyama [00:29:47]:

And so I just like to use that as an example because I've noticed that there's this weird shift with tech recently, and maybe you've seen it too. I don't know if it was since COVID. I don't know when this happened, but it's in the last few years, I've noticed this. But before, people would definitively sit down and tell you, oh, no. You have to have a computer science degree to work in the technical. You have to. There's no way you can get into any of this stuff without having, you know, pass go and collected your $200. Like, you have to pay a college in order to play.

Hannah Maruyama [00:30:15]:

But that's just not true. And you and I both know it because we constantly get guests on the degree for podcasts that work for FAANG companies and have extremely technical jobs, and a lot of them are at least partially self taught, if not fully self taught and degree free. And so this was just something that I wanted to point out for two reasons. 1, you do not need a degree to get into any technical job in any technical field. I do not care what it is. I don't care. There is somebody in that field that has done it degree free. There just is.

Hannah Maruyama [00:30:48]:

I guarantee it. I would bet quite a large sum of money that in every single field, you will find somebody like that. 2. There are so many jobs around those types of companies. So not like like, let's not talk about devs. Let's not talk about engineers. Let's just talk about people at AI companies that are degree free because they're there. They exist.

Hannah Maruyama [00:31:12]:

I don't know where people get this strange notion that there are just entire companies that are just siphoned off from everything else and that they do not also reflect the employment numbers of the US where we know that 60% of people that are employed in the US workforce are degree free. And people just for some reason just think, oh, but not this company. Everybody at this company has a college that's just not how it works. That's just not how the world works. That's not how the workforce looks. That's not how companies look, even corporate companies, and especially these tech companies disproportionately hire people who are degree free. But like I said, in the last few years, I don't know if it's the shifting social narrative or what it is because now it's inconvenient and you can't use computer science, and you can't say, oh, well, people can't get into computer science jobs without college degrees. But now all of a sudden it's, oh, well, it's tech.

Hannah Maruyama [00:32:04]:

So it of course, like, you don't need a degree to work in tech. It's really weird, though. It's just completely flipped on its head. And you'll have people that before would just die hard tell you that you have to you have to have bought a degree in order to get into these fields. Now they'll say, oh, well, it's tech. So it doesn't matter. Nobody in those needs it. But everything else needs it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:32:22]:

It's such a strange flip. But anyway, you don't need a degree. You don't need a college degree to work at AI. I work at an AI company. And so that I just wanted to tell people, like, living, breathing proof that you do not need a college degree to work at technical companies. You do not need a college degree to work at AI companies. You do not need a college degree to work at crypto or fintech companies. You do not need a college degree to work at bio health tech companies.

Hannah Maruyama [00:32:50]:

You do not need a college degree to work anywhere.

Ryan Maruyama [00:32:52]:

Absolutely. I completely agree with you. Chris Ola, you have Been in contact with him before asking him to come on as a guest in the podcast.

Hannah Maruyama [00:33:00]:

I'm gonna keep asking him until we get him.

Ryan Maruyama [00:33:01]:

Right. Exactly. I think he reached out, like, a year ago or something like that, and he said that He couldn't.

Hannah Maruyama [00:33:06]:

I think he was working on a matchmaking an AI matchmaking

Ryan Maruyama [00:33:09]:

tool. Yeah. Cool. So for All of our listeners and all of our followers, if you could go to Twitter Or go to LinkedIn and find him and tag him and tell him to come on the degree free podcast.

Hannah Maruyama [00:33:25]:

Talk to us.

Ryan Maruyama [00:33:26]:

That would be great. And then we can interview him, And then he could tell us all about AI. But, yeah, I agree with you about the fence constantly moving Because that was absolutely the case. Right? They were saying, oh, you couldn't be a developer without a degree. And then now like, oh, well, that's a developer. You don't really need to agree to be a developer. And then it's going to be the same thing With AI. And it's the same thing with with all beliefs.

Ryan Maruyama [00:33:57]:

Right? Because that's what it is. It's just people believing that that is true. And they're gonna be like, okay. Well, you've proven that you don't need a degree to work in AI, but then that's just AI, and then they'll go on to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.

Hannah Maruyama [00:34:11]:

That they put a gate around.

Ryan Maruyama [00:34:13]:

Right. Exactly. That's just the nature of it. I'm glad that we talked about AI. I'm not sure if it's gonna be this week or next week, but I have a few resources, like AI reports that I've been wanting to get into, and this is a good excuse as any, to read them and break them down. So within the next few weeks, I'm gonna be doing a breakdown of at least 1 of these reports. It might be 2 depending on how hefty. One of these reports is, like, 70 pages.

Ryan Maruyama [00:34:44]:

Oh. But I'm not sure I'll read all of them and then Summarize it here for everybody. But I'm not sure how much information is gonna be in 70 pages, but I'll I'll read it and synthesize whatever information. So that was a good tease. Definitely subscribe. Make sure that you subscribe for that, and I will talk about on that episode what those reports say and how it looks In the career space because I know people were talking about, like, web 3 this and web 3 that. It's gonna be the future. See, you're gonna get these monkeys, and then they're gonna dance, and these monkeys are gonna have kids.

Ryan Maruyama [00:35:18]:

And then these kids are gonna be worth 1,000,000 of dollars, and you will be able to retire. Just buy this NFT For 25 grand right now.

Hannah Maruyama [00:35:26]:

Woah. Where are we right now? What year is it? Holy crap.

Ryan Maruyama [00:35:31]:

I know other people are saying that that is going to be the next thing. Web 3 is gonna be it. Every company's gonna be doing Web 3. And Now a bunch of years later or a few years later

Hannah Maruyama [00:35:43]:

No one's doing Web

Ryan Maruyama [00:35:43]:

3. Right. No one even knows what Web 3 means. Exactly. I know that there's always this fad that's Coming and going in tech, but I do believe, and I will say it right now, I do believe that AI is going to be everywhere. It is not like web 3, although web 3 might still be everywhere eventually. I'm not sure.

Hannah Maruyama [00:36:06]:

Who knows?

Ryan Maruyama [00:36:07]:

But I do know about AI, and I think that it's going to happen really, really, really quickly. It has already Happened really, really quickly. Right? November 2022, I believe, is when ChatGPT came out, and now Everyone, all of these huge tech companies are like, we have to get our own large language model. And then if they don't have your Microsoft, you just Buy OpenAI or you make a huge investment into OpenAI. So but then Google's barred. Right. And from what I've heard, I've never used it. But from what I've heard, Google Bard is, like, really, really good.

Ryan Maruyama [00:36:43]:

Not the one that you and I use, but, like, the one.

Hannah Maruyama [00:36:46]:

The real one?

Ryan Maruyama [00:36:46]:

Yeah. The real one that they have in Google without the bumpers on.

Hannah Maruyama [00:36:51]:

Wow. You get to bowl however you want. Yeah.

Ryan Maruyama [00:36:53]:

And then Llama at meta, I think that's supposed to be pretty good as well, but I don't know. I think that AI is going to be the future, and I am Excited to dig into those reports for y'all, and we will see what comes out of that.

Hannah Maruyama [00:37:12]:

Break it down.

Ryan Maruyama [00:37:12]:

Yeah. Definitely. And before you go, if you would like to receive a free weekly newsletter straight to your inbox every week, different degree free tips, Degree free ways that you can get a job without a college degree, go to degreefree.coforward/newsletter to sign up for our free weekly newsletter. If you would like to connect with Hannah and myself on LinkedIn, links to our LinkedIn and everything that we talked about will be in the show notes. Degreefree.c04/podcast. And that's pretty much it for this week, guys. Until next week.

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