Resume With No College Degree But Lots of College Coursework

I know many successful professionals who don't have college degrees. So it didn't surprise me to get an email from a job seeker with the question about how to write her resume with no college degree. In her case she has lots of college coursework and wanted to know how to present that.

Here's the "no degree" question:
I have over 120 college credits (3.5 years) and no degree. During my career I have always been hired based on my experience. I want to update my resume, however, I'm not sure how to reflect my college education accurately. The last time I needed to update my resume, six years ago, I was instructed to list the dates I attended college. Is this right? Due to space, listing my coursework is not an option. It's important to me that this is represented correctly.

A Resume With No College Degree on It

No matter what your job objective, having college education -- even if you didn't earn a degree -- is valuable. Now let's figure out how you should state it on your resume. Here are some possibilities:

If you're still pursuing your degree, you know your major, you're currently enrolled in the college that will grant you the degree, and you anticipate finishing your degree program within a year, present it like this:

Business Management, BA anticipated 20xx
Austin College, City, State

Note: Even if you went to several colleges prior to your current one, you don't need to list the other schools. You only need to list the school that will grant you the degree.

Listing College Coursework

You may not be planning to get your college degree but still want to show that you're college educated. I agree, that's a good idea. Here are some ways to do that:

If the courses you took over the years were within a major, were all taken at the same school, but you don't intend to complete your degree program within the next two or three years, present it like this, without any dates:

Business Management coursework
Austin College, City, State

If the courses you took were not directed toward a particular major, were all taken at the same school, and you don't intend to complete your degree in the near future, present it like this, without any dates:

Austin College, City, State
Relevant coursework in: Accounting, Business Management, Human Resources

If the courses you took were at various schools over the years, and you don't know when or if you'll complete your degree, present it like this, without any dates:

Relevant Coursework:
Austin College, City, State
list only courses that are relevant to your job objective

Lyndon College, City, State
list only courses that are relevant to your job objective

Billings College, City, State
list only courses that are relevant to your job objective

Note: You don't have to list all the colleges you attended. Mention only the colleges where you took relevant classes.

If you took lots of courses at lots of schools over the years and none of the courses are relevant to your job objective (although I would find that hard to believe but I guess it's possible), list it like this:

College coursework included:
Austin College, City, State
list a few courses that might trigger interesting conversation at the interview, or show that you're a person with curiosity.

Lyndon College, City, State
list a few interesting courses

Billings College, City, State
list a few interesting courses

Note: In this case, be sure not to overwhelm the employer with too many schools or too many subjects that aren't relevant to your job objective. Too much variety might make you look scattered.

I hope one of these scenarios fits your situation. If not, leave a comment and I'll try again. Good luck!

2 thoughts on “Resume With No College Degree But Lots of College Coursework

  1. This is one of the most asked questions among the people who are looking for their first job and still haven’t finished the college. Once again – really straightforward and concrete advice!

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