Licensee Badge
Submitted by Wadel on


 Hello Manager-Tools Community,

Should I consider attending university and getting a degree with a major in business?
I am currently 31 and living in Perth, Western Australia. I have worked for the same company for 7 years going from a work experience position and working my way up to team leader of our small help desk team (3 people).
I have a diploma of Network Engineering from a trade college (TAFE). This took 2.5 years and is not a degree from a university. 
Recently I replaced my boss as IT Manager while she was on extended leave (3 Months). I have decided I want to move into a management role and have the opportunity to take over from her permanently as IT Manager next year. She is taking a lateral step sideways into a newly created position to allow me to expand while remaining at the company.
I want to continue my way up in management. I would like to become a director or VP of IT for a large company one day.
I have read Wendii's advice on MBAs. Thank you. But I have not seen anything relevant to not having a university degree at all.
Most jobs for director or higher on job boards don't mention a university degree. I am afraid that is because it is assumed that you have one.
Should I invest time and money now in getting a degree? 
Thank you in advance for your responses and help with this decision.

cynaus's picture
Training Badge

Hi Wade - I'm in Adelaide (SA) and read your post after I'd been screening applicants for a senior management position today.  I wondered how much weight it is given by recruiters and hiring managers elsewhere and what their reasons would be....  Personally, I'm looking for results. A degree is nice - it might show at the very least, the individual can stick to study for a number of years but in reality. One only needs to pass, so someone who scrapes by with a pass compared to someone who has a better transcript result is not so obvious on a resume when listing the qualification they received. 

For a successful hire, I'm really looking to see (besides the technical requirements) achievements, results, leadership and motivation to keep learning - with evidence of that (enough in their cover letter and resume to get me to ask them in to interview). At the end of the day; the qualification is not a deal breaker though sadly I think there are many hiring managers out there who put a great deal of stock in it. If someone can demonstrate that they are always learning, is self motivated to do so and can illustrate those learnings within the interview, that is worth more than a qualification from a university.

If you put into practice what you learn here at MT, you will blitz the competition and have an added advantage. Others will notice results which will speak volumes toward gaining promotions in the future. And read. A lot. And network.

Also, though you mentioned there is scope within your current organisation, remember to be open to opportunities. You can gain additional learning from different organisations or industries if the move is right.

Good luck!!! 





flexiblefine's picture

I was in the same position for a long time -- no degree, but doing plenty of work that had people presuming I had one.

I got some advice many years ago from a co-worker which eventually sank in: at some point in your career, you may find a position or organization that simply will not consider you if you do not have a degree. It's not fair, but it's reality.

So, years later, I did the work and got a degree online. My diploma came to me some months before I turned 40. I haven't changed jobs since then, but now I know I have that box checked off on the next hypothetical application.

Don't let the lack of a degree get in the way of your advancement -- but I don't know how much of an obstacle that would be for you in Australia.

Houston, Texas, USA
DiSC: 1476

kevinsutherland's picture

 You should go for business management degree. Furthermore, if you are looking forward towards developing and initiating better career prospects in the Gulf market, then it is advisable that you enroll in MBA in Dubai with majors in fields such as marketing, management, accounting and finance. By enrolling in these degree programs related to online MBA  you can definitely explore new avenues and frontiers that can help in your upward mobility in the organizational environment.