Cory BlissitteΒ inΒ Β 
Software EngineerΒ a month ago

Am I screwed?

I am a 45 year old remote software engineer with nearly 20 years of experience. I got out of the Army, and went to ITT Tech with the intention of doing their bachelors software program. I did not realize what ITT was at the time.


They cut the software program the semester after I started, and like an idiot, I decided to push through and do the Computer Networking course of study. I tested out of a full semester of classes, but ended up becoming dissatisfied with ITT after getting the Associates degree. I found out shortly thereafter that no other colleges or universities wanted to take those credits because ITT was a nationally accredited school rather than a regionally accredited one.


So, I have loads of experience, but I have an associates degree from ITT tech that nobody really thinks much of, and I dont have the time or money currently to pursue a bachelors from a REAL college. I have not gotten a pay increase in the last ten years. I got laid off last Monday and so many of the job reqs that I have applied for (I am shooting for a specific compensation range) specify a bachelors degree. I apply anyway, but both phone interviews I have gotten were just to verify that I do not in fact have a bachelors degree.


Am I just out of luck now? Am I at the ceiling of what I can expect for a non-degreed software engineer?

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maverick233Software Engineering ManagerΒ 25 days ago
That must be incredibly frustrating for you. Sorry about the layoff.

I don't think you're screwed. If you're transparent up front about what your education is and steer the conversations toward your experience and what you've done, what your education isn't will be way less relevant.

Lots of people land SWE jobs without a bachelor's degree, even if the posting says they want one. At your stage of career your value is in the projects you've worked on, knowledge you've built and the decades of experience which is WAY more valuable than the delta between your piece of paper and a bachelor's degree piece of paper. πŸ’ͺ

Phone interviewers are either trying to tick a box, weed out bad apples/liars, or understand if you merit another interview.
"I have an associate's degree and twenty years of experience <insert thing they want here>"

If they're fixated on the degree delta, it's their loss πŸ™‚
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