Apple HR couldn’t care less if you have a college degree

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Blind survey
You can get hired at Apple even without a fancy piece of paper telling people you got a lot of book learning.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

The traditional life plan includes four years of college then a good job. But not everyone takes this path, and sometimes the lack of a college degree keeps some people from getting a job they are otherwise qualified for. But not at Apple.

Following a non-traditional career path is no problem getting hired at Apple. And that goes for positions beyond working at its retail stores.

Job-listing site Glassdoor compiled 15 well-known companies that don’t require a college degree, and Apple made the list.

Getting hired at Apple requires experience

The company’s job listings reflect this policy. For example, an opening — picked at random — for a Software Engineer developing iOS applications for Apple Music requires “BS/MS EE/CS/CE or equivalent work experience.”

In other words, if you can do the work, you can get hired at Apple. The company doesn’t care where you got the skills. It could be at an institute of higher learning or by on-the-job training.

And, really, handling it any other way would be the height of hypocrisy: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs never graduated from college. The other co-founder Steve Wozniak didn’t get his his degree in Electrical engineering until a decade after he and Jobs had made Apple a huge success.

Not just Apple

Apple isn’t the only high-tech firm who doesn’t require a degree. The same goes for Google and IBM.

Last year, Laszlo Bock, who was then the SVP of people operations for Google, told The New York Times, “GPA’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. We found that they don’t predict anything.”

An ability to code is necessary for many jobs at Google — and Apple too — but beyond that Bock says “For every job, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not IQ. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.”

The company is also looking for leadership ability and a sense of responsibility.

Once you’re acquired coding skills, maybe you don’t need to get hired at Apple. You can work lots of places, and it really pays to be an iOS developer.