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How do I overcome the barrier of not yet having a Bachelor's?


Dave Stauffacher Marietta, GA

I have 95 college credits and 1700 hours of advanced training, yet I cannot get an interview in my chosen field most of the time because I do not meet the MQs. My training, couple with my college credits, would far exceed those required of a Master's degree, but it seems to mean nothing and it's supremely frustrating.

8 October 2018 6 replies Interviews



Dave Stauffacher Marietta, GA

Thank you all for your excellent answers. I sincerely appreciate them all, and any future answers are certainly welcomed.


Frank Rizzo Staten Island, NY

Dave, These people are all being nice to you. Unless you are going for an operations job running an assembly line somewhere , or in the waste management industry, No Corporate HR will look at you without a bachelors. Even Masters Degrees are garbage in their eyes unless they come from high prestige schools. I know for a fact as a prior Marine that you, as a Marine leader, brings more to the table then 99% of Bachelors degree 23 year old kids. You need your bachelors and you need to network. The whole corporate HR system is set up to exclude us.


James Watters Norman, OK

You’re 25 hours away from many baccalaureate degrees. Have you talked to any colleges in GA? Some take into consideration your experience. Have you checked out “ on- line” college programs? If you can do 1,700 hours of advanced training, you can do two semesters. Lock and load.


Deborah Carter Owens Cross Roads, AL

Hi Dave,

You may increase your chances of being selected for an interview by applying for roles that state flexibility or allow a combination of education and experience. If a role doesn't allow for that type of flexibility the organization probably can't depart from it's stated minimum requirements.

Depending on your industry and interests, it may also be helpful to consider related professional organizations that offer networking and educational engagements in a less formal setting. I'm a member of two professional organizations that end each activity with time for organizations that are hiring to engage with members who are looking for a new challenge.

Good luck!


Nancy Quartey Palo Alto, CA

Hi Dave,
I'm not sure which field you're interested in, but have you considered taking your career into your own hands with business ownership? As a small business owner myself (and military spouse), I also found it frustrating to depend on someone else to believe in me when I whole-heartedly believed in myself. If you would like to talk to me about it, please do not hesitate to schedule some time on my calendar at


ACP AdvisorNet Staff New York, NY

Hi Dave,

Thank you for your service and for the question. Experience can be golden depending on the employer. So the question is are there any other factors that can separate you from the pack? A degree is more often then not required depending on the employer. However, there are a number of ways you can make yourself similarly marketable. This begins with networking with individuals who have already built a solid career in your field of interest. LinkedIn in this case proves to be especially helpful by allowing you to reach out to these folks. You can also begin to build you network through ACP Advisor Net by connecting with our thousands of Advisors throughout the nation.

Additionally, I would also encourage you to look into any certifications that you could purse to make you even more of an attractive candidate to employers. Finally, I would suggest having your resume reviewed by an HR personnel. Key words in your resume and minor tweaks can make a world of a difference in distinguishing your resume and how effective it can be in the job market.

Two great articles that talk more in depth about this are A Hiring Manager's Tips for Your Resume from ACP AdvisorNet and How to Write a Resume that Stands Out from Harvard Business Review

Finally, 185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome from the Muse is also a wonderful resource that could support you in further enhancing your resume and get it noticed by recruiters.

I hope this information was helpful.

ACP Staff

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