How do I list a necessary degree I don't have just yet?
September 13, 2012 9:45 AM   Subscribe

What is the best practice for listing a degree in progress on a resume? Specific details inside.

My late teens and all of my 20s were pretty much a debacle school wise. I managed to get about 2 years of college finished during this time period. Meanwhile, I landed in a field that I enjoy, and have accumulated a huge amount of experience over the last decade. I've never lied about the amount of education that I have, but as I've been hired in more senior positions, it's become much more of a hurdle to explain why my experience made me a safe bet without a bachelor's degree.

I finally got organized this year, and am on track to graduate in the next 18 months. How should I reflect this on my resume?
posted by Nimmie Amee to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you are actively pursuing a degree, you can say something like "BA (expected May 2014)," assuming that's true. That's basically what I did when I was looking for jobs in law school.
posted by valkyryn at 9:47 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I don't know about best practices but I've used:

DegreeX (Pending)
[datestarted] - [anticipated date of completion]
posted by Wretch729 at 9:49 AM on September 13, 2012

Yes, what valkyryn said. Assuming that you are on track to graduate, it's okay to reflect the projected degree date as such.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:49 AM on September 13, 2012

Thanks! I was having a hard time figuring this out, and seems like I might have just been overthinking.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 9:58 AM on September 13, 2012

Bachelor of Whatever in Stuff
University of Something, 19XX-19XX; 2012-2014 (Expected)

Or, for two institutions:

Bachelor of Whatever in Stuff
University of Something, 19XX-19XX
Example College, 2012-2014 (Expected)

The key here being focusing the section title and therefore the narrative on the degree, and less on the circumstances surrounding it.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 10:05 AM on September 13, 2012

I wouldn't put the first school on the resume at all, unless it's ridiculously prestigious. It's a waste of a line that could otherwise be used for something people will actually care about. I would write:

B.X., Department, 2014 (expected)
College That Will Issue the Diploma
posted by mskyle at 11:13 AM on September 13, 2012

I agree that you don't need to mention the school(s?) that aren't issuing the diploma. The school you're going to now accepts their credits as equivalent to its own. For example: you live in California, and the way public higher education here is structured a lot of people go to a community college for two years before going to a UC or CSU school; I don't think they'd list their CC on their resume.
posted by madcaptenor at 11:17 AM on September 13, 2012

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