Why should tech recruiters be open to talent without a relevant degree?

3 mins

With the rise of cloud computing and the increasing importance of data security, there is a ...

With the rise of cloud computing and the increasing importance of data security, there is a growing demand for skilled candidates that can build and maintain complex tech roles.

Of course, there are many ways to find talent in the tech industry, depending on the specific needs of your organisation, but broadening your reach to candidates without a relevant degree can help companies find suitable employees, increase diversity, and bring new perspectives to a team.

Tech recruiters and hiring managers should endeavour to remain open to talent without a degree because there are many skilled individuals who may not have pursued formal education in the field but have acquired the necessary knowledge and experience through other means or, crucially, have the necessary attitude and work-ethic to be a real asset to an organisation. Here are some reasons why recruiters should consider candidates without relevant degrees:

Transferable skills

Candidates who have gained practical experience in a professional role may have developed skills and knowledge that are just as valuable as those obtained through formal education. For example, someone who has spent several years working on software development projects or contributing to open-source projects may have developed a deep understanding of programming languages, software architecture, and problem-solving that are equally as beneficial as someone with a computer science degree.

Alternatively, if someone has an understanding of and genuine interest in the industry, they have the potential to offer an invaluable outside perspective to tech focussed roles.

Diversity and inclusion

It’s well known that hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds, with differing experiences, can bring fresh perspectives and ideas to a team, enhancing its diversity of thought and improving decision making. Someone who has pursued an alternative academic path or has experience in a different industry will be able to bring unique insights and problem-solving skills to a tech team. Adding to this, focusing solely on candidates with traditional degrees can lead to a lack of diversity and exclude individuals from underrepresented communities who may have faced barriers to higher education, in other words, narrowing the talent pool substantially.

Evolving industry

The tech industry is constantly evolving, and many of the skills and technologies that are in demand today may not have been taught in traditional degree programs. Being open to candidates without a relevant degree can help companies find individuals who have experience with newer technologies or skills that are in high demand. Those who are already in roles need to be continually learning and evolving to keep up with innovations, and new joiners could assist them in learning new industry trends. It may be a way to keep employers accountable for adequate training amongst teams and therefore reach greater success in the industry.

The importance of soft skills

Soft skills are a key part of tech roles and they’re becoming more critical than ever before given the developments of AI. Platforms such as Chat GTP can configure and manage resources without any kind of human intervention, so it’s important to focus on the traditional benefits of communication to ensure it remains the preferable option to automation.

Years ago, people working in tech roles rarely needed to be client or people facing, therefore the need for soft skills was not essential. Systems are increasingly complicated and teams must work to be fully integrated and collaborative to ensure they communicate effectively for overall success, meaning teamwork is mandatory.

Soft skills for technical jobs include communication, creativity, organisation, leadership, and adaptability which can be found in a wide range of professionals. Often, technical skills are easier to learn than soft skills which confirms the call to consider candidates that don’t have the relevant technical degree. Research states real-world experience is valid experience and that although university can be an incredibly enriching experience, the barrier to entry is high and with so many alternatives out there, it’s just no longer necessary.

Accessibility to learn:

Those who have a desire to learn technical skills can do so through an abundance of courses available online, see a full list here. Credible courses include Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Networking in Google Cloud to name a few and they provide content to help you learn fundamental industry knowledge.

Whether people want to focus on something new or learn a new challenging concept, there are many opportunities for you to upskill your professional profile and therefore open doors to new avenues in the tech sector.

If you need support in your job search or are looking for your next dream role in Network Engineering, get in touch with the team today.