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Major Companies That Don't Require a College Degree

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Positive woman video calling using laptop at home
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Skipping the Degree?

As the cost of higher education has skyrocketed in the United States, many people are priced out of a college degree. Even for people who can afford it, the question remains: Is a college degree worth it? Considering that many well-known billionaires like Bill Gates dropped out of college, the answer for some might be: maybe not. Add to that racial discrepancies in college graduation rates and student debt, and it becomes easy to see why some major companies are starting to consider it important to hire employees without that once-coveted bachelor’s degree. If you’re a self-starter who can develop the skills needed to do a job, check out these major companies that don’t require a college degree. 


Related: Big-Name Companies Paying at Least $15 an Hour

Bikes at Googleplex - Google Headquarters
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Google

People who work at Google are often the cream of the crop. However, a degree next to your name isn’t the only way to secure employment at Google. If you have the skills, you can work in most software engineering and project manager roles. The tech behemoth even offers free access to numerous courses and educational information to help you develop coding skills. Part of the hiring process is a comprehensive interview where you can prove you belong at Google.


Related: These Companies Offer Surf Breaks and Other Unusual Employee Perks

Tesla showroom in Amsterdam with a red Tesla Model S electric car on display inside
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Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently announced Tesla employees need not have a college degree. He went so far as to say that colleges are a place for having fun, not learning. Musk also tweeted in March that Tesla’s new facility near Austin, Texas, would hire 10,000 workers. There are currently numerous openings. A few require a college degree, but many have no degree requirements or say a degree or exceptional ability is required.


Related: Can You Guess the Minimum Wage the Year You Were Born?

Netflix
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Netflix

Netflix is another big-name company that doesn’t require a degree for some positions. It has even highlighted a handful of Netflix employees who don’t have a college degree, including senior-level employees like Ken Florance, who is vice president of content delivery. Netflix currently has job openings throughout the world. Some openings that don’t require a college degree include taxonomist, senior software engineer, administrative assistant, and more.


Related: 45 Job Search Tips From Experts

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IBM
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IBM

Another tech company that doesn’t require a college degree is IBM. In fact, IBM takes things a step further with its innovative apprenticeship program. Workers can complete a 12-month, paid apprenticeship where they learn the skills needed to fill higher-level positions within the company.


Related: 20 Secret Tips to Get Your Dream Job

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Dropbox

Dropbox co-founder Arash Ferdowsi doesn’t have a college degree, so it isn’t surprising there are some professions within the company that don’t require one. While some positions specify applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree, other job openings, like being a mobile software engineer, require a degree or equivalent technical experience. This flexibility seems to be becoming more and more common among tech companies. 


Related: These Companies Mastered Remote Work Long Before COVID-19

library
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Costco
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Costco

If you think a non-degree job at Costco means you’ll only be stocking shelves, think again. While these jobs are available, Costco also has jobs in IT, software engineering, and analytics. Many current Costco office employees (including those who can work from home) started out in stores or warehouses and worked their way up the company ladder as well. 


Related: 30 Most Satisfying Jobs That Also Pay Well

Don't Overlook Whole Foods
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Whole Foods

Whole Foods’ no-degree policy is just one way the company empowers workers. They also practice wage-transparency, which means everyone knows what everyone else makes. It's considered an important step towards equal pay for minorities and women. Whole Foods team leaders can even earn an average of $99,000, no degree needed. If that doesn’t sound like a good fit, corporate positions are also available (but some do require a degree). 


Related: 23 Entry-Level Jobs You Can Do From Home With No Experience

Exterior view of one Publix Super Markets.
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Publix

Grocery stores Whole Foods and Costco have many non-degree jobs, and so does yet another grocery chain: Publix. This Florida-headquartered grocery chain has various in-store and corporate positions that don’t require a college degree. Some require no experience, while others require a degree or equivalent experience. 


Related: What You Need to Know About Resumes Now

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Chipotle Mexican Grill
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Chipotle

Chipotle also doesn’t require a degree for higher-up positions like general managers. With an average salary of $57,950, there is a lot of potential here. One current general manager writes on Indeed that the job can be stressful, but it is fairly easy to move up when starting as a crew member. 

Lowe's store in Toronto, Canada.
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Lowe’s

You can get an in-store and some office jobs at Lowe’s without a college degree. Office positions like district quality coordinator or product researcher are options if you have the relevant experience. A degree could certainly help your odds, but may not be required. Lowe’s is also a proud supporter of veterans and employs over 20,000 people within the military community, including veterans and spouses of active-duty military members. 


Related: Remote Work and Other Job Benefits You Shouldn't Overlook

The Home Depot
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Home Depot

Another home improvement store, Home Depot, has various positions for non-college graduates. They have many on-the-floor positions as well as options for sales consulting, lead generation management, and remote jobs like cybersecurity engineering. Full-time associates can also receive up to $6,000 toward degree completion at Bellevue University. 

Nordstrom retail store
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Nordstrom

For the fashion experts out there, what better place to work than Nordstrom? There are many positions in the company that don’t require a degree, including visual merchandiser, beauty counter manager, product manager, and even principal engineer. Nordstrom currently has job openings in many cities across the country. 


Related: 10 Problems With Your Work-Life Balance and How to Solve Them

Cartagena, Colombia,  Hilton Hotel.
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Hilton

The hospitality industry isn’t for everyone, but if it is, Hilton is one standout place to search for jobs that don't require a college degree. Some corporate jobs that require experience but no degree include digital marketing manager, art director, and quality assurance analyst. There are also numerous hotel jobs available. 

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