July 13, 2021

College Degree NOT Required - Ep. 2

Ryan and Hannah on Why College Degrees are Not Actually Required, Self Eliminating from Jobs, and the Average Amount of Applications it Takes to Get 1 Interview

College degrees NOT required.

In today's episode, we talk about how Hannah found Salesforce, studied for and got certified in 31 days for $362.

Hannah gives tips on what she discovered:

  • looking for jobs
  • interviewing with honesty and excitement
  • leveraging unrelated experience to show value to employers

We sort through how to read a job description, and explain how a degree requirement makes up a tiny piece of what the employer is looking for.

Ryan shares his experience self eliminating from jobs, and why you should always apply to any job you want.

Enjoy the episode!

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Want to hear what we discussed on the very first episode? Listen as we explain what degree free is, what we think the future of work and education looks like, and what degree free means for you and your work right now!

Links and Notes from the Episode

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!

Ryan: Aloha guys, welcome back to degree free. We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama. And today we're just going to be doing a quick episode about something that we see a lot when we were trying to help people find jobs that don't have college degrees. I think the title is going to be college degree not required.

And that's just in homage, to the fact that so many people, come up to us and say I can't apply to that job. It says college degree required. And it's like, wait a minute. Of course you can. Click a button. But a lot of people, as you've said, they don't know that they think it's not allowed.

Hannah: Yeah. It really speaks. It really speaks to the strength of college marketing, which you and I have recognized is it's hardcore sales selling. And the way that college has sold to K through 12 kids is it's hardcore sale. These are hardcore sales tactics.

Something that colleges have done is they have made it, they have linked it so much so to job applications that people who do not have college degrees will eliminate themselves from applying to jobs if they don't have a college degree.

I would say, I don't know, but I'd love to see, I'd love to see what the numbers are on how many people help reinforce the fact that you need college degrees because they won't apply for jobs that say that. It's probably a lot. It's probably a lot.

Ryan: What's so funny about that actually, now that I'm like, I don't think we've ever talked about this before, but

Hannah: Really?

Ryan: I know we've talked a lot, I used to be one of those people. Like, I'm thinking back on my I'm thinking back on. So, I have a college degree, right? I have a degree in economics, big hypocrite. That being said, I remember when I was in college before college, while I was still thinking about whether or not I wanted to keep going to college or whether or not I wanted to enter the workforce.

My first couple of years, I just messed around and did the typical college thing. I worked full time.

Hannah: I was going to say you worked really hard. It wasn't like you were not doing anything.

Ryan: I worked full time. And then I went to school full time, but, and then I partied full-time too.

I worked half the time, went to school half the time and then partied half the time and that math doesn't work out. So I'm one of those had to go to school.

Hannah: Right, sure.

Ryan: And so around my second year, around my second year of college, I had to I had like a, coming to Jesus moment, not just I have to either I have to shit or get off the pot.

You know what I mean? Like I'm either going to turn my I'm either going to turn my grades around, turn my attitude around or I'm going to quit. Because I didn't know what I was going to do, I started looking at jobs. I started looking at careers cause I was working in the restaurant industry at the time.

And I was busing tables or waiting tables. I forget what I was doing at that time. I think I might've been doing both. But, I remember that I was looking for jobs. And when I was looking for

Hannah: This is while you were in school?

Ryan:  While I was in school.

Hannah:  And you never told me this.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. I know. I just thought of it right now.

Hannah: This is so interesting.

Ryan: Yeah. So when I was in school, I,cause I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue going, I started to look for jobs and almost everything that I was looking at had said college degree required. And I think it was looking at, I was looking at so many different things, but I think especially I was probably looking at probably some, for some form of white collar work that I wanted to do.

Hannah: You weren't looking at bank jobs yet? Were you?

Ryan: Yeah, I think I was looking at some sort of think about it. Might've been look at like financial advising or sales jobs or something like that. But anyway, but I saw those. One line. It was literally just, it's literally just one line on the qualifications of an application.

And usually for me, I'm just thinking back on it. Usually it was right at the very bottom of it and I just like college degree required. And I was like that's not me. So I gotta look.

Hannah: You eliminate yourself.

Ryan: And so I don't think I ever applied. I don't think I've ever applied for any job. So I'm being a really big hypocrite.

Now that I think about this, I don't think I've applied to any job before I had a college degree that said college degree required.

Hannah: So you're not a hypocrite for now realizing that is not necessary. You know what I mean? That you're not inhibit that kind of a hypocrite.

Ryan: That's kind of a hypocrite.

Hannah: You didn't, you came to that realization after you had a degree, so it's different and your job now doesn't require it.

Ryan: Right, right.

Hannah: Yeah, no, you're not a hypocrite at all.

Ryan:  I would say now.

Hannah:  Your money is where your mouth is now.

Ryan: Typical. A typical thing. Not that I would ever want to be work one of these jobs. Maybe I would, and we never know what the future holds, but I would say now that if the jobs had master's degree required, I would feel confident in applying for that job. If it's a PhD required.


Hannah:  Depends what it is.

Ryan: Obviously. It depends on what it is.

Hannah: There's people right now who are like, ahhh.

Ryan: Yeah, no.

Hannah: Keep listening.

Ryan: Yeah, obviously, if you want to be something that actually required one of those things. I don't know what that would be like a doctor, you know what I feel like if you want to be like a doctor of psychiatry or something like that, or I, I don't know.

Hannah: So those are medical, those would definitely qualify.

Ryan: Or PhDs though.

Hannah: Right.

Ryan: Some of those are PhDs and not MDs.

Hannah: And interesting.

Ryan: Yeah. And yeah. I'm not saying that, but let's say so something in the realm of what I wouldn't, most, I feel confident in saying this since I am an entrepreneur now, and since I, I do business I feel like I, small business, I get it.

Hannah: Yeah. We have people that work for us, so now we know what it's like and what you're looking for in those people.

Ryan: And so I would say that, for the most part. Depending on what it was. If I felt, I feel, if I felt that I was qualified for the job, if I saw, if I felt that I met every single one of those qualifications or at least most of them, or at least some of them.

Hannah:  50%.

Ryan: And I had an interest in doing it, but then the bottom line said master's degree required. MBA required. I would probably just apply.

Hannah: You wrote a gangster cover letter that would say, Hey, I really want this job. Here's why.

Ryan: I would just and formulate it so that I have that. The skills that I do have.

Hannah: Are more of an asset than a master's degree.

Ryan: I communicate that in some way to them, through a cover letter, through our resume, through a call, through a meeting, however, walking in there, whatever, I don't know.

Hannah:  The power of doing that is really underrated. A lot of people, even in COVID times and everything like that, the power of handing physically your resume to somebody. If everybody else is only emailing, it is only applying via ZipRecruiter. There is a power to being the only candidate for a job that walks in and hands your resume to the receptionist or to the person themselves.

There is still power to that. The reason is because you might be the only one who did that. So if you're competing with a hundred other candidates for that job, and you're the only one that physically walked your little self in there, and you took a box of donuts and your resume and said, thank you so much for taking this resume for me.

Thank you. I'm very excited for the interview process, look forward to hearing from you folks. There's power to that. The idea that people don't understand that is clearly a failure on the colleges' part to prepare them for applying for jobs, because they should have learned that in school, that when you're applying for a job, that's what you do.

You, if you want the job act like you want the job. And put in more effort than everybody else who's applying for the job. So I think that's another aspect of it. Is there, there is something to be said for people thinking that jobs come easier than they do. You have to try to get it.

You can't just lean back. And also a lot of people I've realized only apply for a few jobs and then they're like, there's no jobs. Dude. You have to apply to a hundred places. I know it's not fun, but until you have a job, applying is your job.

Ryan: You know what, now that you're, now that you're saying something about working harder or at least that's what I heard.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: In order to prove that you do have the skills in order to fulfill that job. One of the things that I didn't realize on the flip side of this, once I did have my degree, I started applying for jobs and I started applying for, you name it. You know what I mean? You name it. I applied and I was not one of those people that applied to two jobs and said, there are no jobs. I applied to a lot.

Hannah: I think you're unusual though.

Ryan: I applied to a lot of jobs. So I would, I said, I graduated college. I was still working at the restaurant. I would work at the restaurant at night. And then I would, I woke up late probably bar hours. So I woke up late, but then for a good four hours. Every day I would apply to jobs.

Hannah: People don't do that. I didn't do that.

Ryan: I would apply to jobs and I would apply to jobs. I  would apply to jobs and then I would go to work.

Hannah: But you treated, applying like a job?

Ryan: Yeah. Cause I knew that I wanted the job. I needed a job, so I needed to, so I was applying to everything under the sun.

That being said, I felt that once I did have my degree and I felt like I was more confident in the fact that I did meet more of these qualifications. And even though it was only like one qualification, I only fulfilled with that piece of paper that I actually don't even have. I literally never picked it up.

Hannah: We joke about this kind of a lot, but Ryan doesn't have his college degree. He has a college degree, but he doesn't have a college degree.

I have no proof that I went to college. None in my possession.

The irony being that no one's ever asked him for it. He doesn't have it because no one's ever asked.

Ryan: Nobody's ever asked nobody's ever.

Hannah: No one's ever asked.

Ryan: I don't think so. And because I felt like, because I had that piece of paper and because it felt a little more empowered because of it, I felt oh man, I fit so much more of this job description because I have this, even though it only meant one line, just one line. And so the feeling of entitlement shot through the roof.

It's interesting. Like I felt man, I'm not getting any of these jobs. Like, why not? Let me tell you why not? Because you still you're still just as an inexperienced as you were last week when you didn't,

Hannah: Skillless.

Ryan: When you didn't have a degree, you're the same person, but now you have a really expensive piece of paper that you paid for.

Yeah. And I was just like, man, I don't think that I've, I don't think that I came to that realization till much later. Like I don't think I came to that realization too much.

Hannah: Well, you figured it out on your own.

Ryan: Till much later that yeah, I felt that.

Hannah:  You weren't allowed to.

Ryan: I felt that I felt like that because I fit the job description now, or at least much better because I had my college degree. I felt that they owed me that job.

Hannah: What's interesting too, is if you were looking at percentage wise, so if there's eight lines on this job description of requirements, right? You now have one.

Ryan:  Right.

Hannah:  Or let's say for easy math, you have there's 10 requirements on this job description and you have now fulfilled one.

So, you really only qualify 10% for this job, you have none of the other skills. The job is not going to have to teach you all of those skills because college is not job training. And that is interesting too, right? Because before you could have taught yourself 50% of those skills probably on Youtube.

Or using some sort of research you could have even used your college library to teach yourself one of the five skills that they wanted you to be familiar with with Excel, or they wanted you to be familiar with Tableau or 'r', some sort of data analytics software or something like that, or they wanted you to know they wanted you to know how to read charts or something.

You could have taught yourself that on the internet for $0 and you would have fulfilled more percentages of the requirements of the job than just the one of the college degree. But until you had that 10% of their, of the total requirements, you didn't feel like you were allowed to. That's crazy.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: That's freaking, the colleges are amazing at marketing. They are amazing at selling really expensive things.

Ryan: Now, so I guess one of the, one of the, one of the things that I run into a lot, when I talk, when I'm talking to people about this, is that they know somebody in HR or they are in HR and they're like if I if a job posting is says, college degree required and you apply to my job without a college degree, If I'm just not even gonna look at your application and okay.

Yeah, sure. That's true because there are companies that pre-filter.  That if you do not put in.

So when you go through the job, when you go through the job the job application you put in your, you put in your schooling, your high school, your associates degree, your bachelor's degree, your master's degree, whatever.

And if they, if it doesn't say bachelor's degree, then they just presort you. And then they filter you out. That being said, okay, that's fine. You, it's a game of numbers. You gotta. Those are just some companies and that's.

Hannah: Extremely large ones too, because it's expensive to pay for the software that they use to do that.

It is, it's a huge cost. They have to pay either subscription or they have to buy some sort of software that filters all their resumes. They have to have a system set up that does that. That's very expensive. It's different with smaller companies because they have a small hiring team. And the reason they have an HR team in large part, is to post job descriptions and manually go through resumes.

Ryan: And then that being said too, another thing that I hear is that then you're not okay. Applying to this job without a college degree, when it says call this year, you're required. You're not following directions.

You're not following the directions of the job.

Hannah: Oh, sure.

Ryan: So they're not going to look at you because you are not following directions.

Hannah: Okay.

Ryan: What I find.

Hannah: Are you going eliminate yourself because of that. Really right now?

Ryan: Yeah. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Hannah: Do you want the job? Do you not want job?

Ryan:  You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don't take.

Hannah: Wayne Gretzky. Michael Scott.

Ryan: Yeah, exactly.

Hannah: But you're definitely not going to get that job. That's for sure.

Ryan: You're definitely not going to get the job because you'd never applied to it.

Hannah: Yep.

Ryan: Just apply to it. And if they use it and if they use a pre-filter, if they pre-filter your application out,

Hannah: So what?

Ryan: Guess what?

You're not working there. Okay.

Hannah: Alright. Onto the next. You weren't working there before.

Ryan:  You're still not working there.

Hannah: Yep. There was 0% chance you were going to work there when you didn't apply. And now, for a fact there's a 0% chance you're going to work there, so apply somewhere else. You can eliminate that company but if they call you back, there is if they call you back in the interview, when they hire you, there's a hundred percent chance you didn't need a college degree for that college degree required job.

Ryan: Yes.

100% chance. I'm very comfortable saying that happens a lot. It happens way more than people think it does. It happens all the time.

And so that goes back into the whole, what a lot of that goes back into the marketing message that colleges have portrayed. And that goes into the things, that the personal feelings that the emotions and the feelings the job applicant feels and I'll say, I'll use me as a that I felt that I felt before I had a college degree.

Yeah. I felt, I was like, you're an idiot.

Hannah: You're not qualified, how dare you? Who do you think you are applying for this job?

Ryan: College graduates, man college graduates are so smart. Those guys, those guys really know what they're doing.

I was like, but then I became a college graduate. I was like, God, this guy's an idiot. And I was still just as dumb as I was still just as dumb as I was.

Hannah: That's good. Self-awareness.

Ryan: I was like, what do you mean college degree?

Hannah: What's the difference? It's before paper and after paper, that's the difference?

Ryan: That's it.

Hannah:  You are, there is nothing. There's nothing between, there's nothing between before graduating and after graduating. And let's talk about, let's leave and look at somebody who's been in college, right? They've been in college for four years and they grow, they quit before they graduate. So they don't have, they don't have a degree.

They do not have a degree. They did go to college, but they don't have a degree. You still count as not having a degree. If you're talking about these pre-filter softwares, especially you either have a degree or you don't have a degree and that's it. That's all there is. So this person, what is the difference?

Between somebody who has gone to college for four years and drops out before the last week before graduation and somebody that does graduate, the answer is a piece of paper. That is the answer. As much as people like, I know people are going to rail against that. They're not going to like that, but that's just true.

It is a piece of paper that you purchased. And that's fine, but to allow that piece of paper to stand between you and clicking a button that could potentially get you a job is ludicrous and you should not let colleges do that to you because you are letting college marketing and sales tactics keep you from being employed.

And that is not a good idea because who are colleges to decide where you apply to jobs? That's nonsense.

Ryan: Yeah. I think that's one of the biggest things that we've had to do when we're, I think it's one of the biggest things that we've had to do when we're talking to people about this is

Hannah: You have to rebuild their entire perception.

Ryan: Of empowering them to and empowering them to feel okay. To feel.

Hannah: Not ashamed.

Ryan:  Not ashamed of not having a college degree feeling, letting them know hey, like it's okay. It's fine. A lot of, so a lot of what we found with this is empowering the job applicant and the people in order to be okay with not having a college degree because they're ashamed.

Hannah: Ashamed.

Ryan: They're ashamed that they don't have it. And it's dude, it's fine. It's totally fine. You have your skills and your strengths. You have your weaknesses as well.

Hannah: So does everyone else.

Ryan: And then so does this person with a college degree, this person with a college degree, has their strengths, they have their weaknesses.

But they just have a college degree, which doesn't mean anything.

Hannah: This is a papered person. This is a non paper person. The difference between them doing a job is zero.

Ryan: And what businesses care about, for the most part is whether or not you can do the job that they need done. That's it.

Hannah: And even more than that, they care that you want to do the job.

That's the other thing that I think that people who are, degree free people, when they apply to jobs, a lot of times I think that they actually want the job more than people who apply with college degrees. They're more motivated to get that job. They care a lot about it a lot more because they're like, man, they feel they, it took a lot for them to get past that feeling, to get to to the like, you know what? I really want this job I'm gonna apply.

Ryan: Yeah, I think I think I don't know about other people, but I will say for me, I think that's right. I think that as somebody who's.

Hannah: You overcompensate.

Ryan: I think for me, as I was saying earlier is I felt once I had my degree. I felt like I entitled. Yeah. I felt entitled.

Hannah: Like you expected to get calls.

Ryan: Yeah. I expected to get the job. Yeah. I fit the requirements. What the hell? You know what I mean? Or at least what I thought, at least

Hannah: You fit 10% .

Ryan: At least. Yeah, exactly. At least what I thought very important requirement.

I thought that was a very important requirement. I thought it was so important that I didn't apply to any jobs that say college degree required before I got a degree. And then now I got a degree. And then now I felt okay, I got my degree. Give me the job. And then, I never got the job. Well, I ended up eventually getting a job.

Hannah: I think that what you just touched on before I lose this thought, I think that's actually a huge aspect of it. Is that looking at it as a, because what that implies, if that's how you felt, it implies that you viewed college as the entire job description.

The only requirement really. And the other requirements of the job didn't matter because you were, you had a degree.

And so I think what people need to do too, is just look when they're looking at job descriptions, look at that job description and see how much of it you meet because a college is a college degree is a fraction of the qualifications or requirements for a job description. It is not the whole, it is not the whole, it is a tiny part, especially if it's in combination, when there's a requirement section for a job listing, there's a bunch of things on there.

See how many of those things you meet. If you have to take a piece of paper, write them down and go, yep this one. Put, check marks by the ones that you fit. And if you realize that you fit 50 to 70% of those things, and on the list of things that you don't fit is a college degree, who cares? Apply for that job.

You are a good fit. You're at least half of it. Cause the requirement section is a wishlist. It's if a company had every person who mitigated every risk that they had that had every type of training that they want, that person walked in the door, they've never met that person. That person doesn't exist.

But what they can hope for is half. At least.

Ryan: I like that. I've never heard you say that before.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: There were job requirements being a wishlist. I like that.

Hannah: Think of it like a pie chart, right? So if you close your eyes and you picture a pie chart with requirements on each section, the college degree requirement is one part of that pie.

It's not the entire pie.

Ryan: So about empowering people when it says to apply, even though it says college degree required, I know that you have some firsthand experience in there.

Hannah: I, yeah.

Ryan: Your job right now.

Hannah: I'm not qualified.

Ryan: You're not qualified for your job.

Hannah: But I am obviously cause I have it.

Ryan: Wait til they find out.

Hannah: So yeah. Oh no, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. So I think when unpacking this concept and this is actually, as we're talking about this too, I realized how important this is, because basically what this is, is, we're, it's almost there's a wall. There's a wall in between people that want jobs and the wall was put there by colleges saying that there is only one requirement for these jobs and you cannot pass go.

You cannot collect $200. You have to, you have to pay to get past this wall and you don't. And people are truly resistant to that idea, which is interesting because you would think that would be a freeing thing, right? To hear, no, actually, this one, don't worry about this one. There's a bunch of them.

And if you fit, some of them go right, go right on through. But something that I have noticed that people feel so first, you almost have to deconstruct what they believe about that and then almost rebuild it to empower them. So, first you have to explain that it's not illegal, unethical, or not allowed to apply for a job that says college degree required if you don't have a college degree.

Anyone has told anyone who has told you that is selling you a college degree. That is not true. That is a lie. That is just not factually true. It is not. You are not going to be stopped from clicking apply. You are not going to be stopped from walking into a place and handing your resume.

You are not going to be stopped from FedExing your resume to these people. There's a really good story about Sara Blakely. The founder of Spanx, who's a super smart lady. When she wanted a job, sometimes the job, she was not qualified for on paper. And she would send, a she. To apply in a way that'd make her, that made her stand out from the other candidates, she would actually FedEx one shoe to the company that she wanted to apply for at this job.

And just have a note in the thing that's just said, trying to get my foot in the door. If you think that an HR department, even at a big company that filters people out, is not walking around HR going look at this lady she sent in a shoe, let's give her a call.

Absolutely, they did. I think that that's also true for smaller companies with food. Are you going to call the candidate who brought in a box of donuts with their resume? Probably. I think first you have to deconstruct. So, basically just to go back over the concept you first have to deconstruct and tell people and inform them and educate them basically.

No, that not having a college degree cannot stop you from applying to jobs that say college degree required in the job description. They cannot stop you from doing that. And in a lot of cases I believe you can in fact, get those jobs the way that I know that is because I've done it,  several times.

And not only did, was I not filtered out. Not only was I not filtered out, not only did they not ask me about my college experience in any of those interviews, but they also hired me, which means that obviously I did not. A college degree was, in fact, not required for those jobs.

The one I applied for most recently is the most interesting because it's a tech job and it says that it requires a four year stem degree and I don't have a degree in anything.

So, that was extremely interesting. And that kind of really drove home, the fact too, that it's what, if you're, if you fit some of the qualifications for the job, cause that's what I did.

I used that method. I looked at the requirements and I was like, I fit most of these. I fit most of the, I fit most of these requirements.

I'm not familiar with this type of software. I don't have this degree and I don't know how to do this thing, but the rest of it, I fit. It was probably about 60% that I fit of the, of the requirements for that description. And when I applied, I got a call the next day. And then I had an interview the day after that, and then they hired me within, I dunno, it was a week, something like that super fast.

And part of it was when I originally found the job description, and this is a good thing for people who are looking for jobs. But when I found that job description originally, I looked at it and the things that I saw on there that were achievable, I went and got. I applied for a Salesforce job.

So for people who don't know, Salesforce is a software as a service company. And basically what they do is they help companies keep track of their leads or customers and orders. So information about their customers and sales, and it's used for a wide variety of things. Sometimes the government uses it.

It's, it's software, but basically what I did was instead of getting a four year stem degree, I looked at, I looked at the description. I was like that's, that is a, that is a cert, that's a certification. Salesforce offers the certification.

I bought a course that caught the cost $50.

I bought another, Udemy course that costs, I think $19.

Then I took a practice exam that cost a hundred dollars.

And then I took the actual exam that costs $200.

And I ended up with a Salesforce certification. I, it was not fun. I studied for 31 days.

You were there the whole time. I studied for 31 days. Basically, just it's a concept that Ryan and I call button chair, but basically put your butt in a chair until you accomplish a task.

And I basically just studied for 31 days. Did thousands of flashcards and then took the test and I passed. And when I passed, they gave me a piece of paper, the same way that a college gives you a piece of paper.

The difference is that mine took me one month and it costs me $362.

And it got me a job that on paper, as per the company, I did not meet all the requirements for the biggest one being the college degree, which as we can now tell it was not the biggest one on the list.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. That's exactly what happened.

Hannah: And I think I was shocked.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah:  It was just a theory, we were testing it.

Ryan:  I was too.

Hannah: Like, I think I can. I think if I get this, I can get this job

Ryan: Just from my experience of applying to jobs. I would have thought that the most important thing was having to degree, but obviously not.

The most important thing that they needed was the certification. The most important thing they needed was, was to be confident in the fact that you can do the job. Yep. So one of the things that I know people can push back on here is that they'll look at, they'll look at you and there'll be like you were already so accomplished when you got there, when you got your job.

Hannah: I guess that is something. I have an interesting resume. I wouldn't, I don't know that I'd call it accomplished.

Ryan: You were already running a successful business.

Hannah: That's true.

Ryan: You are, successful is relative, but you were running a business that made money. So I think that's successful, right? So you were already running a business that. You didn't have a college degree, but you were in sales,

Hannah: Right. I did have. I did very much harp on that, I had high dollar sales experience and so I'm good with customers.

Ryan: Right. So you had sales experience and you ran a business.

And I think that there are people out there that are like, that's not me. You know what I mean? I don't have those skills.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan:  I don't have those skills. And you got that job because you got that certification and that's good for you, but then you had all these other skills and I don't have, and so I'm not going to do what you did because I can't do what you did because I don't have those skills.

That being said, you don't focus on the skills that you don't have, but you do focus on the skills you do have. And I think one of the biggest things that job applicants can do is take a very accurate, honest is the key word, because

Hannah:  Look inward.

Ryan: And it's tough. It's tough, but do an honest and accurate inventory of the skills that you have.

Hannah:  What can you do?

Ryan: What can you do and how can you provide value to the company that you're applying for? And how can you provide value in the position that you're going to be filling. And that I think is difficult for a lot of people. Sure. But it just takes practice.

Hannah: It takes a lot of it. Sometimes you're going to have to interview a lot.

Ryan: It takes practice. It takes learning, interviewing. Yep. If you don't have, I know that I know for a lot of young people, they're going to look at that job description and they're not going to fit a hundred percent of it. They're not going to have the experience in all of it, but they could have an interest in some of it. They could be interested in all of it.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: And as long as you are able to. Effectively, communicate that to your interviewer.

Hannah: It's a novelty too. You're young, you're excited. You want to learn. That is music to a hiring person's ears.

That is not how people interview for jobs. I don't think people understand that. There are a lot of people if you're on LinkedIn and you look at jobs, you're like, oh wow, like 62 applicants for this job, I kept going up against 62 people. 30, 40 of those people don't even want the job.

Of the, of that. They say that even it's they do say that quite a few people don't even respond when they're called back for the job, because either they already got another job or they just don't care, or they just don't want to do it anymore or whatever. And so I think that people underrate the value too, of like sincere excitement. A thing that you can do to help yourself is apply for jobs you actually want and figure out why you want them.

And then tell the company why you want to work for them. People don't come in all excited and go, wow. Like I saw that you guys just started, go to the company's website and read about the company a little bit and then just say, wow, I didn't realize that you guys started a hundred years ago. Wow. I didn't realize that you guys do this really cool, like green initiative where you plant trees.

I think that's awesome. I'd love to work for a company that does things like that. They want to hear that. When I started working for my company, I went on their website and I read. But they have this really cool nonprofit side that works with local kids to teach them valuable skills. That is super cool to me. Obviously. That's really cool to me.

And so I mentioned that in the interview, I said, I think this has a lot about your company that you guys do this. This is an amazing thing. I want to work for a company that has this type of culture. If you say that in an interview, especially if you're some 18 year old kid, 19 year old kid, that's impressive.

That's an impressive thing to say to a hiring manager, they are going to be impressed because that is not the typical flavor of interviews that they have. So just something that's worth noting, I think. But come up with a reason why you want the job and then just be honest and tell that to the company, to the hiring manager, they want to know that.

Ryan: So I think what a lot of people think of as a negative, which is that they don't have experience and they don't have the skills. You can also spin that as a positive because you can say, look, I'm a blank slate. Yep. I understand that. I don't have the skills and the knowledge that you are seeking right now, but you can teach me.

I, but I am very teachable. I'm willing to learn. I learn quickly. These are the things that have shown that I do work, that I do learn quickly, that I can adapt. And that's what employers want to know. That's what employers want to know. They need you. They need you to, they need you to be able to learn your job.

They, a lot of jobs. You don't go in there being 100% fully trained at your job.

Hannah: You don't know what you're doing.

Ryan: You have to train at the job, even if you've done it for another company there's systems and there's there's systems and processes in place that are completely different. And so they understand that you have, or they understand that there's a, that there's a training period that there's a learning.

And as long as you can turn a negative into a positive and by addressing it, don't be afraid of it. They know they brought you in, they brought you into it.

Hannah: They called you, they read your resume and said, I want to talk to this person.

Ryan: So instead of shying away from it, just be like, yeah, I don't ha, I don't have any experience.

But what I do have is a willingness to learn and that I can do this job. I have a great interest in it, and here's the reason why I think that I can learn this job quickly and I can be an asset to your company.

Hannah: And that's also just setting their expectations too. You're, you're basically saying yes, I'm very new.

I'm shiny new penny. I don't know. I don't know anything about this yet, but I did read and I did learn, and I do see this about your company and I would love to blah, blah, blah. I would, I'm excited to blah, blah, blah. That is music to their ears. They don't hear that kind of enthusiasm. But going in with enthusiasm is underrated.

If you're excited to be there, they're going to be excited to have you there.

Ryan: So one of the things I want to talk about is, so one of the things I want to talk about was the certifications. Like, it's one of the things that we tell, we tell a lot of people to do. We think it's the future of how qualifications are going to be.

Hannah: Companies are going to go around colleges and they're going to certify. The reason we know that is because they're already doing it.

Ryan: Right. And so just give a brief, just give a brief overview of what are like, for people that don't know what those are. And even that's a thing, like what is, what are certifications, what.

Hannah: Okay. So basically what a certification is it's very similar to a college. It is a course or a method of learning.

Usually there is an examination also, and what you do is you're essentially studying and taking a test that proves that you have adeptness at a certain skillset, or at least that you've learned enough about it to pass a test. It is the exact same thing as a college degree, it's just cheaper, faster, and now they're branded.

And by that, what I mean by branded is a great example is Google. Google has, in an effort, I think to get more qualified workers who are more satisfied with their job. And also I think who are not as entitled and also to get them faster, what they're doing is they have created their own courses that teach you Google methodologies. That teach you Google technology. That certify you.

You will be a certified ex professional. So you're a certified. You're a certified Google ads professional. You're a certified Google ads, product manager. You're a certified Google ads at you're, a certified Google UX designer. And a lot of companies, especially tech companies to start to do this because they don't really care if you have a college degree, because that means nothing because the college is not teaching you about to be an expert in that software.

They're not teaching you to be an expert at that company. They're teaching you a bunch of general knowledge, that in a lot of ways is not applicable to current business because colleges have curriculums that have a hard time keeping up with current knowledge because they're not using it to make money the way that Google is or the way that Amazon is or the way that it Atlassian is.

And so what's happening is in an effort I think, to. Better quality, more actionable information that actually helps them grow their business and actually make money. They've created the boiled down version of what you need to know. And it will teach you, it will teach you to be adept at using whatever that is.

So there's a wide variety of these things. You can get them. Salesforce, the certification. One of the certifications that I have quite a few more now than I did. And we'll go into that in another episode, but basically once you get one cert and you can get a job and a lot of cases, you can get the company to pay for further certs.

And basically it's like cert stacking where you can. Add certifications on top of yourself. And it's very similar to adding degrees, but these are really specific, right? So there are certain proficiencies in certain types of software or certain types of development work. And they're, pretty fast. If you have the ability to study, if you can just make yourself sit down and study, you can get these certifications.

I, as I am not a particularly good student. I never have been, I have a hard time sitting in one place for very long and focusing, and I'm not a very good at studying or taking tests. I'm just not, that's not a, that's not an adeptness that I have. I think talking about the cert too, is in order to make it a little bit more approachable.

I am not a very technically savvy. And and I'm not a good student. So for me, it was really difficult to do that. But, it only took me 31 days. So for somebody who's already technically savvy, like for some kid who's already in the middle of a computer science degree and there, and they're going, I don't really want to do this, I don't really see the point of this. Get yourself a cert while you're still in school and apply for jobs.

And if somebody hires you then drop out cause you're getting paid. You don't need to finish your degree, just go get a job. And if you're in, if you're already in that environment where you're competent at studying, and you're competent at sitting down and making yourself learn concepts, you're not familiar with, that's a great way to just roll in something that's actually useful in the job market right now.

And if you're planning to still graduate and you have a cert, now you have. You've gone around that whole thing that a lot of college students deal with, which is they graduate and they're like, I don't have any experience. And they, then they still, they self eliminate again from jobs because they're like, oh, I have a degree now, but they're looking at the requirements and they still have no experience.

Ryan: Along with that one of the things that people say is that, oh that's basically it's npot free. You still gotta pay for it. So why am I going to do that?

Hannah: And a thousand dollars for any one of those certs and you pay, how much are you paying for your college degree? Did you ask your, did you ask your college about how much you were going to get paid after you graduated?

You can look up how much these certs will pay you. You can actually look it up. You can see the going rate because the companies that make certs will tell you what the average value for one of those certifications are on the job market.

Ryan: It's a worthwhile, so it's a worthwhile investment. So I think, and it's for a lot of people it's immediately actionable. You can.

Hannah: Try it.

Ryan: Go ahead. You can do it. You don't have to wait four semesters. You don't have to wait. You don't have to wait for the school year to start or enrollment period or anything like that. You go online, you look up the certification that you're looking for, whether or not it's AWS whether or not.

Hannah: Amazon.

Ryan:  You're trying, to you'r e working on Google UX, as you said, Salesforce anything, any of those certs project management, any of those certs?

A lot of those, you can just take an online course.

Hannah: All of them.

Ryan: And then you take. There's no enrollment period. You can start that today. Whenever you're finished with it, you would take the test. And if you take the test, now you have this piece of paper that says that you're ready to go, which is exactly what I think college was supposed to be.

And possibly what it was it was originally. But it's gotten so watered down that's not the case anymore. Yeah. And it's not giving you the actual skills that you need and then also it is prohibitively expensive.

Hannah: It just, it's just ridiculous.

Ryan: And so instead of, and so instead of paying in the five figures to go to go to school for a semester, You can go and take a, you can go ahead and take a certification course and you can go ahead and get and go ahead and get certified and then go get that job.

Hannah: My, my advice for or I guess my, my as a thing that I would advise people to consider specifically this group, but if you're the parent of somebody, if you're the parent of a kid who's about to go to college, or you were a kid who's about to go to college, I'm talking to you're 17, 18 years old and you haven't gone yet.

You have not paid and you have any doubt. Or you just don't want to go, or you just want to save your parents the money. And this goes to the parents as well. Is it not worth it to you to spend a grand and that I'm talking max? I think most of the, most of these certs as I've priced them out, because I do have quite a few of them now.

You can get for less than $500, less than $500. 30 to 60 days.

If this, especially if it, if this kid doesn't have a job and they can actually sit down and they can actually sit down and study for 31 days because that's a huge privilege. Adults for adults is harder because you actually have to make the time to sit down and study for 30 days.

That's a long time. But if you're a college, if you're a kid who hasn't gone to college yet, why would you not, why would you not try to accomplish the same salary goal that you're trying to accomplish for four years? Which for most people it's not four years, it's actually five to six. But if you're trying, if you're, if you can accomplish the same, if you can get the same job for a thousand dollars and 30 to 60 days, that you would for a four year degree, that costs how many times that, why would you not try that first?

The college will always take your money. Why? Because the college is a business and they will always take your money. They want your money. That's all they want. And so the idea that people and that's, what's interesting is I've noticed that people view that as really risky.

And I'm like, it's crazy that they think it's risky to spend 500 to a thousand dollars on a piece of paper when they're about to spend a hundred thousand dollars on a piece of paper and it's going to take them four years of their life to get it. That's crazy to me. I'm like, you are looking at this and that's why too. It's something.

Ryan: What I think it is so well.

Hannah: It's emotional.

Ryan:  It's just the fact that what I think it is. So a lot of it seems to be that people are used to spending that amount of money and not amount of time. It's part of the culture. It's what people do.

That's what people do at 17 years of age at 18 years of age, is that they sign on with their parents for a lot of debt and then they go to school and then they go to school for four years, four to five years, and then they get a piece of paper and then they go out into the job market.

It's this, it's different now. It's this, what we're talking about is, effectively the same thing, but in a shorter amount of time and now look certifications. That's not every job, right? We're mostly, we're just talking about the jobs that have certifications. Mostly tech, project management.

Hannah: Tech is moving that way because there's a lot of there's explosive demand and there's not enough qualified talent.

And also I think that a lot of, I think what I think is happening is a lot of people with college degrees are eliminating themselves from the jobs. They are not applying because they don't have experience.

Ryan: Or make what makes, and it makes a lot of sense that these big companies would make courses for themselves because they want

Hannah: They are creating ambassadors for their own products.

Ryan: They need people to keep working on these products in order for these products to stay relevant in order for them to continue making money, it's with it's in their best interest to train people to.

Hannah: In their methodology.

Ryan: Yeah. It is in their best interest to do so.

Hannah:  It's like a degree. It's exactly what it is.

It is a degree. That's what an actual degree is. That's what it is. It's you're trained to do whatever this is in this field. In this case, this field would be Google or Atlassian or Salesforce, but you're trained. And not only are you not only you're trained now in specifically what Google wants you to know about product management, for instance, or project management too.

But you now espouse the values of Google's project management, right? So everywhere you go, you evangelize for using Google's project management tools, right? You evangelize for using their software and the same thing for Amazon, everywhere you go you evangelize using Amazon for things, you evangelize using Salesforce for things.

So you become basically a brand ambassador or an, a professional influencer basically now in the job market for that brand.

Ryan: So this is getting a little long-winded. So college degree not required. What are the basics? What do we need to know? How can we get over? Get in the door or get around all of those job listings that do say college degree.

Hannah: Okay. So I guess if we were summing this up, the first thing is that you need to understand that it, they can't stop you from applying for a job that says college degree required. If you don't have a college degree to understanding what your skills are and what your value is.

Why you would be a good fit for that company, because if you want to work there, then there's something that makes you think you'd be a good fit. Figure out what that is. And then tell the company, if in the job description, there is something that you can, self-educate like Excel competency, or like you can learn Excel or you can use something that's in the job requirement section.

Teach it to yourself and then tell the company that you taught it to yourself and wrap that into your value and why you're valuable. The fourth thing is just, it just don't be ashamed. Don't let colleges shame you for not having a degree. That's just, it's just unacceptable that's allowed.

That they're, that they do that to people. And it's really sad because they eliminate. What they do is they hurt people and they hurt companies. Because they hurt people because they've convinced people that they're not competent or valuable enough to apply for jobs. And they hurt businesses who literally just need a person who wants to be there and wants to learn a job.

And now the companies don't have the person they need and the people don't have the jobs that they need. And then colleges are just here putting themselves in the middle in between trying to get the people who need jobs money before they can even work.

And so I think just reminding yourself that there are some skills that you have that make you valuable in the job market. I don't know what they are, but you need to write them. Maybe get out a piece of paper and write down what you think makes you a good employee. Like you show up on time. You're cheerful. You work good on a team. I don't know.

It could be skills. It could be traits, anything that makes you a good asset to a team and then tell the company why you're a good fit. You can also, when you're looking at a description, break the description down and see how many requirements they are and see how many of them you already fit. And treat the college degree as treat the college degree requirement as equal to the other ones.

Don't treat it as though it's 90% and the others are 10. That's an inaccurate. It's an equal percentage as the other ones just treat it that way.

Also keep in mind the HR people aren't malicious people who are looking down in judging you from the other side. They want to hire somebody. And if you're glad to be there, they probably want to hire you.

So don't look at HR people as your enemy too. Like they're there to hire a person who's going to be a good fit for the job. And if it's you. They want to hire you. So basically just don't be discouraged and approach the breakdown of the requirements in an unemotional way. Don't let the college degree requirement carry that much weight because it really doesn't.

And yeah, just, don't be afraid to apply to jobs. There's companies that want you and you want them, so just cut the colleges out of the middle and apply anyway.

Ryan: Yeah, perfect. Right on. And I think for myself, I think that's a great wrap up. I think for myself, the biggest thing is. Don't do what I did and don't self eliminate.

Before I had to call this degree, I didn't apply to any jobs that said college degree required. And that was really foolish. Maybe if I did, maybe I wouldn't have finished and maybe I would be better financially because of it.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Cause I wouldn't have had to pay for those last two years of college.

You never know maybe it'd be financially worse.

Hannah: Yeah. You never know.

Ryan:  You never know. Anyway. Yeah, I think that's the biggest thing for me is just don't self eliminate. If it says college degree required and you feel like you fit it and you feel like you can make a difference to this company and you feel like you can fill that role, plus throw your name in there.

Hannah: Yeah. Just do it. Yeah. Worst case scenario, they don't call you back. Best case scenario, they hire you.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: And also if you're a college kid or parent, that's looking at the cost of college and just being, and is just a little unsure, try a cert first.

Ryan: The risk reward of throwing your name in the hat is massive. There's absolutely no risk. It's all reward. Yep. That's it.

All right, guys. Thank you so much for listening. That is all for today. If you guys liked today's episode if you guys enjoyed, hopefully you guys learned something from today's episodes. If you guy could subscrib, that'd be great.

If you guys could leave a review so that other people can learn more about us and so other people can l earn about our podcasts that would be, that'd be awesome.

Until next time guys thank you so much!

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