How To List Education In Progress On Your Resume
6 min read
Are you unsure about how to list your in-progress education on your resume? Many people are, including current students, students taking online classes, and people taking a break from their degree programs.
Is it acceptable to include unfinished degrees on a resume?
ZipJobâs career experts agree that education in progress should usually be included on a resume. A degree in progress is still important to employers, as well as a degree that was started and holds relevance to a position. However, it needs to be included in an honest way so itâs an accurate reflection of your learning and accomplishments.
Â;If youâre currently pursuing a degree, here is how you can include it on your resume .
But Just How Much Of Your Education Needs To Actually Make It Onto Your Resume
Only your most recent and relevant education should go on your resume that means your degrees and any specific schooling you’ve done in your field. If you’re wondering, ‘do I need to put my high school on my resume?’ The typical answer is no, unless high school is the most schooling that you’ve had.
How To List Education On Resume For A Degree In Progress
If you are still in high school/or pursuing a degree, write:
Expected to graduate in 2021
You can use the following phrases to describe education in high school resume:
- In progress
- If you did not graduate high school, write the name of your school and the years you attended as: Attended school from 2013 – 2015
- If you did not finish a college or university level degree, write the credits you managed to get as: Completed 63 credits toward MA in Physics
Awards, publications and training
- If you want to show off your skills and achievements, add honors, awards, trainings, certifications, licenses, extracurricular activities you did during high school.
- Pick activities that illustrate the keyword skills listed
- Mention all the honors program like graduated with Spanish honors , if any
- Acceptance into campus, national or international honors societies
- List your publications under your degree
- Include a coursework description, add classes that are relevant to job profile.
- A course of study that has a particular skill set
- List your recent extracurricular roles/ positions of responsibility
- Avoid adding controversial activities
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Things Not To Include In Your Resume And Why
When it comes to Resumes what NOT to include is almost as important as the information thats in there. Your Resume needs to give the recruiter a great first impression but it will probably be one of many received. Its therefore important to use the space and words wisely and ditch the unnecessary clutter.
Its never been more important to get your Resume and job application 100% right the first time. Since it will most likely be one of many received, you need to give yourself the best chance at getting noticed. As Resume Writers, we often get asked why certain information hasnt been included.
Heres a list of five things we avoid and why:
1.; Career Objective: Dont waste words stating what you want. Put yourself in the employers shoes. They need to understand immediately Whats in it for me? not what youre searching for in life. Instead of your own personal career objective, we suggest including a career overview that provides a snapshot of who you are, your relevant qualifications, skills and experience and the overall value you could bring to the role.
3.; Personal Information: It is not necessary to include age, height, weight, marital status, health, children, hobbies, religious, cultural or political associations so dont waste space by doing so.
What If You Went Back To School To Get A New Degree
Are you changing careers? If you got a new degree becauseyou want to pursue another type of work, then its vital that you include yournew degree on your resume. Put it on top of your previous college degree.
When you switch roles, most of your previous work experiencewill be considered irrelevant. Lets say you want to switch from nursing toselling life insurance or IT to managing a restaurant. In those cases, the majority of yourprevious qualificationseducation, skills, achievementswill be inapplicable.
Thats where your new degree comes in. Youre like a freshgraduate in your new field, but a tad better. Your formal education willsatisfy the job requirements of most employers, and your transferrable skillswill boost your qualifications a bit more, so youre not seen as a totalnewbie.
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What To Leave Out
Your resume is meant to give a summary of your skills and experience so theres no need to include every detail. Some information isnt necessary in a resume:
- Leave out personal details such as your home address, religion, age or marital status
- Theres no need to list every job youve ever had especially if a job isnt relevant to the role youre applying for now.
- Dont include your salary expectations or previous salaries youve received you can list this information in your SEEK Profile.
Still not sure where to start? Download our free resume template and make it your own.
Certifications In A Minor Section On Your Resume
Do you need more space on your resume, like people with a lot of work experience? Another resume format that works great is a a small dedicated certificates section. This smart resume space-saving tactic is especially effective when the section is placed in the smaller column of a 2-column resume template.
Putting certifications in a side section is highly recommended for certificates that youâve classified as optional. Or if you can fill major space on your resume with relevant experiences.
This data analyst resume example shows how strategic placement of a small dedicated Certifications section creates more room for the experience section.
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Use What You’ve Learned To Your Advantage Learn How And Where To Include Your Education On Your Resume
Include your education background on your resume.
Your resume education section seems like it should be the easiest thing to writejust list your school, program of study, degree, and date, and youre done. However, its not so straightforward for many job seekers. Unsure about the best way to present your education? On resume templates, youll find a few ways to best display your credentials. We laid out;some common scenarios, examples, and strategies below to help you determine the best way to look smart.
How To List Education On Resume For Working Professionals
If you are a working professional, your resume education section is just an evidence of your degrees.
- Your resume education section should be placed below the Professional Experience section
- Be straightforward, do not include unnecessary details
- State your educational degree with your field of study and best achievements
- Try to avoid positions of responsibility, awards, recognitions
- Try to include a vast skill set, list your trainings, certifications
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Where Is The Best Place For Education In Progress In A Resume
College and university students usually post an education section at the beginning of their resumes. This is because young people do not yet have work experience that they can demonstrate to the employer. Therefore, they rely entirely on their knowledge and achievements. In this way, students emphasize their academic success.
Those who have some work experience or those who do not plan to continue their studies represent data about education in the middle or at the end of the document. In this way, they demonstrate that they have good work experience and are ready to work attentively.
Education For A Recent Graduate
If you graduated less than five years ago, put your education section below or in line with work experience. Give your work experience a prominent position on the resume to show your readiness for the demands of a professional environment. Include your schools, attendance dates, awards and honors, and your GPA , but keep it short.
Example of the education section for a recent graduate:
Michigan State University, Michigan 2012-2017
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics
Statistical Analysis Certificate
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When Should I Leave Education Off A Resume
Most people list the highest level of education relevant for the job, even if they are experienced candidates. But the more relevant work experience you have, the less important the education section becomes.
Always read the job description carefully to identify whether the employer requires specific education qualifications. Add that education to your resume if you have completed it.
You Didn’t Attend Or Finish College
If you didn’t go to college and the jobs you’re applying for specifically list a high school diploma or equivalent as one of the job requirements, be sure to include that accomplishment on your resume.
If you attended college but didn’t graduate, you may want to list the relevant courses you took, especially if you made it to some of the higher-level classes, to demonstrate the skills you built or the disciplines you were exposed to during your coursework.
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If Youre Still Studying
If youre still in education, or youre developing your knowledge by taking an additional qualification, information on your current area of study is likely to be the most relevant.
Include any predicted grades, if you have them, and dates for when youre likely to complete your studies. You may also choose to add in more information about the modules youve covered so far, especially if theyre directly related to the role.
This way, employers can identify any specific knowledge youve already gained in the industry, and wont be in the dark about completion dates when it comes to offering you the role.
Education For A Working Professional
If you are a working professional with up to 5 years of experience, place your education section below your professional experience section. In your case, the function of the education section is to show employers you meet the academic requirements for the role.
Recruiters are more interested in your recent achievements at work, not educational accomplishments. If you gained higher academic qualifications recently, place the education section at the top of your resume if it applies to the role. Rank advanced degrees from the most recent.
Example of the education section for a working professional:
Georgetown University Graduate School of Physics | Washington DC
Master of Science in Fluid Dynamics
University of Baltimore | Baltimore, Maryland
Bachelor of Science in Geophysics Studies
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Resume With No College Degree Example
Emphasize skills, experience, and soft skills when you did not attend college. Place your work history section after your professional summary and stress the following:
- Make sure the hiring manager understands all of your career achievements.
- Include statistics to show how your actions turned into measurable results. As an example, a new business account manager needs to bring in new clients to generate revenue. In your professional summary, you could say, Results-driven new business account manager responsible for growing businesses by 25%. Then, include the amount of revenue you generated at your places of employment.
- Sprinkle your measurable actions throughout your resume. Word your job duties as accomplishments.
If you never attended a community college or four-year university, but you have , licenses, or other training, use them as your education.;
Many nonprofits offer free courses. A popular choice is freeCodeCamp ; a nonprofit that provides no-cost certifications and courses.
Coding extends across industries anyone from a marketing professional to a content manager will have a better resume when learning applicable code.
Without a degree, certification, or license, your Education and Training lists completed coursework or courses in progress. That section looks as follows:
Introduction to Basic HTML and HTML5|freeCodeCamp|April 2019
Items To Include For Education In Resume
The top 4 items are must-haves. The rest will give you an edge over other candidates.
However, if you’ve got X years of experience, mentioning those extra items will look awkward as your experience is what matters to employers .
And, dont weaken your resume education section with these:
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Should I Include My Gpa
If you’re wondering when should you put your GPA on a resume, you shouldn’t typically include it unless you’ve just recently graduated and don’t have much experience to show. ;
“If you earned your degree twenty years ago, it’s expected that you’ve done plenty in the meantime to demonstrate your relevance in the workplace and that your GPA is pretty much a defunct measure of your abilities. If you earned your degree recently, however, including your GPA can be a great move, but only if it is 3.0 or higher. You also can put down your major specific GPA if that was higher than you overall GPA . A lot of employers don’t actually care about your GPA, though there are some who will only consider you if you exceeded a certain level.”
How To Present Your Online Degree To Employers
If you earned a degree online, you may be wondering how best to present it to potential employers when looking for a job. And with a record number of students attending college and due to enter the job market this year, the competition is stiffer than ever for many professions. That’s why it’s important to craft an effective resume and cover letter that maximize your opportunities to explain your education and how it makes you a unique and valuable candidate.
There are a couple strategies you can use when presenting your online education on your resume and cover letter.
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You Recently Graduated From College
Once you graduate from college and start searching for your first entry-level position, it’s assumed that you’ll remove any information that refers to your high school activities and focus on your new undergrad degree.
If you’re new to the workforce and your new degree is your best selling point, the Education section should appear toward the top of your resume. This is because you most likely have limited professional experience and your education is the core competency that you wish to highlight for an employer. After you have a few years of relevant experience under your belt, the education section gets shifted to the bottom of your resume, and your work history will get pushed farther up on the page.
How Continuing Education On A Resume Helps With Career Advancement
While continuing education is required for many industries -Â;Some continuing education is voluntary and could help give youÂ;a leg up on other candidates when apply for a job.
Continuing education can even include online courses. Just make sure it’s relevant to whatever position you’re applying for before listing it on your resume.
It can also allow you to get promoted faster or even a fatter salary. Professional development of any kind will help you progress in your career. Employers love to see a candidate who is committed to learning and progressing within their industry or role.
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Education On Resumerelevant Coursework
City University of New York, New York, NY
Relevant Coursework: network & security applications, internet-of-things, cloud foundations.
- Museum of Science Student Guild
Some even suggest adding your thesis as an educational element. You may want to include a separate Thesis subsection under the appropriate educational degree and indicate the title of your thesis in italics,states Harvard Law School.
Our advice is, if its relevant, go right ahead!
Please note, of course, that two or more of the various education subsections above may be combined. Just stack them one atop the other.
Expert Hint: Only add extracurricular activities in your education section if they are relevant and affiliated with your time at the school. Otherwise, list relevant activities in a resume hobbies and interests section.
How To List Education In Progress On A Resume
There are two things you need to learn if you want to know how to list education in progress on your resume. The first is how to provide that information in a way that clearly conveys your education status to an employer. The second is where to place that information in the body of your resume. With respect to the how, there are a few different ways to convey these details. There are only a couple of basic rules to follow when you list these education details:
Be as clear as possible. You donât want to give the employer the wrong impression, after all. If you have completed one degree and are pursuing advanced education, be sure to clearly state that fact. If your degree is not yet complete, be clear about that as well.
Be honest. If you are in the process of withdrawing from school, donât list that educational program. Donât try to enhance your education section in any way. Just state the facts in an honest way.
Feel free to include in-progress university degrees, as well as online degrees that you may be pursuing. Both are popular in 2021.
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Where To Position Education On Your Resume
So, should your education or experience come first in your resume?
Think of it this way:
The top third of the resume is reserved for your accomplishments that are most relevant to the job you are applying for.
So before you continue, ask yourself: Is your education your most relevant accomplishment?
The answer most of the time will be no. Work experience will be a more important requirement for just about any position above entry-level.
However, education can take priority in some particular cases.
Education comes first if youve just graduated from college and dont have relevant work experience to list. Imagine you are an employer and the first thing you see in someones resume when theyre applying for an entry-level marketing associate position is their summer job as a bodyguard at their local town pool.;
Its also wise to list education before work experience if youve recently gotten back to school to get a degree thats relevant to your potential job.
For example, if youre switching to a career in sustainable energy after having finished a related program, but have work experience predominantly in engineering, you would want your new education to be the first thing the hiring manager sees.
Getting a fresh MSc, Ph.D., or MBA is another case where you would want to highlight those degrees more than the work experience.;
Not sure if you need a CV or a resume? Check out our guide on CV vs Resume and learn whats the difference between the two .;