Leading Without a Degree

Aug 16 2019

For many women, a college degree provides the keys to a successful career. The educational opportunities, community, and contacts a college experience affords often makes for an easier career path with fewer limitations. Still, plenty of people find success in their field without a diploma, whether due to personal choice or extenuating circumstances.

Our mentor team shares tips for building skills and moving forward while you finish your degree, and for those who opt out of college entirely. 



Michelle Pribyl

A college degree is most useful immediately after graduation, but experience and attitude trump a degree as you age. – Michelle Pribyl

  • Network! Who you know is often as important as what you know
  • Create opportunities (in your position and/or freelance) where you can apply yourself and provide measurable outcomes of your success
  • Collect testimonials from clients happy with your work
  • Explore programs that offer students credit for prior learning to accelerate your degree, and save you time and money: The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) has a listing of partner institutions who will offer you the ability to earn credit for work you’ve already done

Learn While You Work

Building Brave Mentor Lu Borchardt Information Services Director

Lu Borchardt

I’m a single mom and taking classes online was the only way I could take courses. It allows you to go on your at your own pace. Even showing that your willing to always learn, adds to a resume. Managers really want to see that you’re forward thinking and willing to learn and expand your abilities. Some colleges will even allow you to test out of a course due to your years of experience.  It might be easier than you think. – Lu Borchardt

Download Building Brave’s Mobile Mentoring app for more advice from professional women at all ages and stages. Get guidance for your specific situation, or consider fresh voices and perspectives.



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About the Author

Meghan Wollack


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