“We do not have a college diploma, too”, Apple and Google break the curse of “academic qualifications”

"We do not have a college diploma, too", Apple and Google break the curse of "academic qualifications"

In recent months, Apple and Google have made waves in the education field. Google has launched a series of new courses in the Vocational Certificate Program, which can be completed in only about six months and does not require a certain foundation.


At the same time, Apple announced the launch of a new program called “Ed Farm” in Alabama in February this year to help students, teachers and adults learn to program.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Ed Farm announcement event

In recent years, technology companies like Google and Apple hope to provide new courses to encourage students to learn various popular technologies outside of class, thereby changing the entire education landscape.

In other words, in fact, many large companies have less stringent requirements for academic qualifications. As long as they have sufficient capabilities, Apple and Google will open the door for you.

Apple Google: Without a college diploma, we have to

In recent years, Apple and Google have made great achievements in the field of education, launching many software development and other technical skills courses for students and adults. For certain types of jobs, both companies no longer require a university degree, and believe that the absence of a diploma will not affect recruitment.

The actions of these technology giants show that in addition to the traditional four-year university study, there are more opportunities to accumulate professional skills in the technology industry.

Apple CEO Tim Cook even stated in 2024 that about half of the company’s US positions in the past year did not have a college degree. According to Glassdoor (the workplace community), some positions at companies such as Google, Apple, and IBM do not require a college degree.

View the full list of companies: https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/no-degree-required/

Nevertheless, experts believe that a college degree is essential for most fields . However, as more and more technology companies accept alternative education or development training camps, even without a certificate or diploma, it is still possible to get a high-paying job.

In fact, Apple launched a “Everyone Can Code” (Everyone Can Code) course as early as 2016 to integrate more programming education with school education. In July of this year, Apple also released a new course to help teachers better use programming techniques to meet the needs of classroom education.


Executives from Apple and Google also talked about why not having a college degree will not affect job applicants’ applications.

In an interview with The New York Times in 2014, Lazlo Bock, the former senior vice president of human affairs who worked at Google for ten years, said: “Some people can stand out even though they haven’t gone to college. Such people are extraordinary people. We We should do everything we can to find them.”

Apple CEO Cook believes that there may be a gap between the knowledge students learn in school and the skills actually needed at work.

He said at the 2024 U.S. Workforce Policy Advisory Committee meeting: “Like many companies, we have studied the difference between the skills students acquire at university and the skills we think they will need in the future. In the final analysis, programming skills are very critical. .”

So how can I get to my favorite company without going to university? Take a look at the following example.

An OpenAI researcher who has only a high school degree said in person: Do you need to go to university?

Christopher Olah is a technical researcher at OpenAI and only has a high school degree. Although he did not have a bachelor’s degree and got a high-quality job, he told us from his own experience that he is not encouraged to take non-traditional paths because it is more risky and depends largely on personal conditions.

He gave a suggestion to compare universities with specific options. If your plan is to study independently or work on a project, this deserves special consideration. Olah said that he had worked on projects for three years and had grown a lot-but it was also easy to fail.

It is important to realize that not having a degree may have several negative long-term consequences. For example, at work, can you withstand the “special attention” of others to you, as well as those pressures from family and society.

But Olah used his actual experience to tell us that it is not impossible not to go to university. In his resume, you can see that he has a wealth of work experience. Not only did he work as a research assistant at the University of Toronto, he also had a year of internship experience at Google Brain, and then became an assistant researcher at Google Brain. Then from October 2018 until now, he has been a technical researcher of OpenAI.

So how did he let Google and OpenAI open the door for him? Olah introduced us to his learning resources, such as online classes, participating in some summer camps, online community exchange activities, and even paying attention to some big Vs in related fields. He also suggested that those who want to learn on their own will participate in some academic internships in research laboratories or internships in companies, which will greatly help their growth.

More about Olah can be found on his blog: http://colah.github.io/about.html

But don’t forget Olah’s first sentence, not going to college is relatively risky .

University degree is still the mainstream

Experts believe that the value of a university goes far beyond the academic knowledge learned . Marc Cenedella, the founder and CEO of Ladders Inc. (a career consulting and job search website with an annual salary of more than $100,000), said that a college degree can tell future employers that you have other advantages.

After all, four years of university means that you have been able to complete various homework under the guidance of the teacher. In addition, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a college degree or above tend to earn more than those without.

But Cenedella also said that large companies like Apple and Google that need a variety of talents may be an exception. They are looking for people with special skills.

When talking about Apple and Google, he said, “For Apple and Google, since a year ago, we no longer need to use the notification from the university admissions department to determine the pros and cons of a student. We can check and evaluate ourselves.”

But if you don’t want to go to college, you also need to know that these options may make you on a more difficult career path. Michael Horowitz, president of TCS Education System, said that even companies like Apple that have been advocating non-traditional education are more inclined to hire people with both a college degree and technical training.

This is not to say that you cannot choose a vocational school. Horowitz believes that even if a college degree has become a stepping stone to high-paying jobs, you can still choose vocational schools and coding training camps.

But the most important thing is to study hard and make sure that the courses you learn can really start your career.

Lynn Berger, a career coach and consultant in New York, said: “This (vocational school or course) is different from going to college. You may need to conduct more research before you start to understand what the degree or certificate you get is useful for you. .”

New online courses like coding bootcamp may one day really replace the traditional four-year university, but Cenedella said it is not possible yet.

“The question is, in the next ten years, will we see the rise of alternative education, so that people do not need to spend four years, and do not need to spend 400,000 US dollars to obtain the same competitiveness as university studies. I I think this is difficult because university education today still has a strong influence on most employers.”

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