Careers without College
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Add yourself if you built a career without a college degree! Help others see all the possibility out there for bypassing college and still being succesful.
NameJob TitleCompanyJob TypeHow'd you get it?Notes/ContactWebsite
Mitchell BroderickVP of SalesPlatform MarketingSalesThrough an apprenticeship program called
Tim ChermakCEOPlatform MarketingExecutiveStarted the company by doing free work for realtors!
Hannah FrankmanProgram ManagerPraxisEducationLanded an internship with the company, then kept taking on new tasks until it turned into a full-time role
Jen MaffessantiSenior Writer
Foundation for Economic Education
Simon Fraser
Freelance Videographer
Self-EmployedCreativeMade free videos until I was good enough to ask for money (~6 months)
Diego SeguraDesign ApprenticeCOLLINSCreativeVideo pitch + Flew to NYC unannounced, called founder and got a round of five interviews in a weekend. Offer letter three weeks
Tobias LansberyVideographerVirtuSenseCreative/MarketingGot a job with small company looking to pay cheap for someone willing to learn on the job. 3 years later, I had a solid body of work and enough real world experience to get a job at a startup.
Braun SheddSenior Software EngStealthEngineeringInternship after leaving HS, transitioned into full time work ever since.
Colin BetheaSoftware EngineerCandorEngineeringMoved to SF after graduating HS, got an internship, and transitioned into a full-time SWE job.
Jose De La RosaSoftware EngineerH-E-BEngineeringLinux admin bootcamp got me into an IT support role. Self taught programmer the rest of the way
Jerrod Harlan
Direct Response Copywriter
Natural Health SherpaCreative/MarketingWent to a copywriting event, met the copy chief, established a relationship, and parlayed that into a job.
Leisa HartDirector of MarketingObjective Standard InstituteMarketingMet the founder at a conference, we had several mutual friends and ended up following each other on social media, he liked some blog posts and articles I'd written over the next year or two, and so when he started the company he thought of me for the position.
Randalyn Hill
Store Manager & Marketing
Apple CastleMarketing / Management Interned with this company 2+ years ago, moved back to town after working for my Praxis BP, Ama La Vida, for almost 2 years. The owner called and asked if I wanted to come back.
Johnny Roccia
Director of Career Services; Sales Trainer
Ama La Vida CoacingSales/TrainingLearned to sell, learned to make mistakes, learned to learn - then gave it all to people who could teach me
Daniil AndreevHardware EngineerVerdant RoboticsEngineeringWorking as a freelance EE, this company really wanted to hire me full time after working with them for 2
Jeremiah FlagaProgrammerArcanysI went to college for many years, but one summer I got a job so I stopped going to college.
Michael SimontonSDRUXPinSales
Bob ZirollDirector of EducationV SchoolEducation, Software EngineeringI actually did get a degree, but it was in communications (advertising emphasis). Realized after my first internship that it wasn't for me, so I took a web development bootcamp in Utah. Worked on some development work for a company associated with the bootcamp, then decided to come back to work for that bootcamp (now called V School) to bring the course up to its full potential. Anyone can feel free to contact me with questions - I could talk for hours about how a college degree isn't required in many realms of somftware engineering and the shortcomings of traditional education.
@bobziroll (Twitter)
Brian Nuckols
Mia LiangUpgrowMarketingI went through the Praxis program and landed a job with the skills I built from different projects and the community.
Gabriel VallesFounderMentorWingsEducation/CreativeI just created my job. It's a pattern I have replicated over the years and share with my students on how to create your opportunities. Learn how to learn quickly, make logical connections from different disciplines to formulate processes that are, efficient, make the job enjoyable and meaningful, and make the company money.

For example, I could only afford two years of art school so I just focused on what I knew I needed to get a job and then quit. I got a job in the animation industry making feature films. When that dried up, I freelanced while at the same time teaching myself computers and how to build websites. within a year of buying my first computer, I was running the production of games and multi-media at one of the hottest companies during the first internet boom. I created all of the processes from scratch and was the most efficient segment of the company.

I repeated this many times in top game companies' and education companies like Zynga and Readers Digest, and schools that I started myself. When I started my first school modeled after the Acton Academy I offered to pay them for training but it was only offered to their franchisees so I hired one of their 12-year-old students to run a summer Bootcamp for me. She was amazing and within a week we understood the entire process that I refined to our own format and she made $300. There is always an alternate route.
Emily Cozzens
Partner Success Manager
PandaDocCustomer SuccessI completed the Praxis program and got my foot in the door as a Support Specialist 2 years ago. From there I've earned many opportunities to move around the company and learn different parts of the business. Now I'm supporting the success of our business partners and their
Justin E. HarrisCreative DirectorvisionaryislifeCreative Ops/MarketingUsed my personal brand as a credential to get hired by tech
Hope SzymanskiHead of OperationsDigifoxOperationsI went through Praxis, got a job at a startup in SF, then used the skills I learned through that to grow my carreer and now work for Praxis Alum, Nick Merten :)hopeszymanski@gmail.com
Casey McGoffDirectorTemperPackStrategyTook a part time job at a family member's startup making $15 / hour. Worked hard and tried to learn as much as possible, and created new roles for myself as the company grew. Now operating at the director level alongside people 20+ years my senior.
Lino Gill
Business Development
CreditasBusinessNetworked with the CEO during an event and followed up with a product improvement pitch and growth plan.
Kylon Built and the Successful Dropout podcast as well as three brick and mortar businesses. One of people I interviewed on my podcast was the founder of a private equity firm and a high school dropout. He was impressed with the things I had built and a year later he offered me a position as CEO of one of their firm's portfolio companies. I sold one of my businesses, took the position and starting networking/providing value in that ecosystem. A year later I sold my last two businesses and I joined him as a founding executive at Acquira. Some of the traits that got me to this point have been: being a voracious/just-in-time learner, being very open and eager, being humble, living/working for something bigger than myself, being principle centered, and lots of hard work. (currently being re-designed)
Silas Mahner Associate ConsultantNextWave PartnersHeadhunterThroughout my childhood I gained many skills. I never felt college was for me. One day I applied to Discover Praxis. The network of Praxis is what led me to the opportunity (job) I'm at currently. My ability to work hard, problem solve, learn new things, and ask others for advice is what landed me the job. If you are doubting that success is possible without college, stop it. I came from the backwoods of Wisconin and I now live in
Gabriel Mitchell
Student Program Specialist
The Institute for Humane Studies
College Level Educational Program PlannerMet the manager at a conference. Demonstrated my intellectual interests by reading a book written by the founder of the org and asked questions about it during the
Tommy BehnkeSenior DirectorTDS Public AffairsPublic AffairsWorked to demonstrate a portfolio of skills early on (mainly research and writing, including published articles in center-right media). Got an internship in a congressional office and then a full-time job on a presidential campaign. From there, it became extremely easy to land a permanent gig. It's amazing how many valuable connections you can make - and quickly - through working your butt off. Have been with my current company over 4 years now and have gotten several unsolicited job offers since - none of which ever bothered to ask if I finished college. The truth is that hard work and having pride in one's work are rare commodities in D.C. You can get just about any job you want - from comms director positions on The Hill to journalism, PR, lobbying, and think tank analyst roles - without a degree if you're willing to work your tail off to perfect your craft, prove your worth, and set yourself apart from the rest. Develop an ownership mindset -- you're not completing tasks on a checklist; you're performing an art that you should be proud of. Set your standards 5x higher than anyone should expect from you. Don't be afraid to work "after hours" (whatever that means), work on the weekend, and do whatever you need to do to become the most valuable player for your organization that you can. And all of this goes for any employee, not just ones that decided to skip
Lloyd ChristmasLimo DriverI Got WormsTransportation
KiongCEODinokt Ventures LLPConsultation & developmentHard work, sacrifice & shamelessness. The harder you work, the luckier you will get. Its a company I cofounded. What we do is basically working with non tech founders on handling their tech products (website, mobile apps, etc). To do this, I would need to have a deep enough understanding of software development from planning, development, testing, deployment to maintenance and also to understand the bridging of tech & business. Also, I would need to develop sales skills. I basically self taught everything. Thats where hard work & sacrifice came in. Worked my ass off to get the required skills. Sacrifice a lot of "social life" to spend more time on the skill I need. Worked my ass off to get clients. Shamelessness is about not being ashamed of being poor. Which means, ask when you are poor in knowledge and experience. Don't be ashamed of failing. Thats how we learn. Its not about how many times you fall. You win as long as you keep standing up every time
Nick RundlettSales Team LeadTogglSalesI started my own business buying and selling precious metals at 19 years old. That entrepreneurial experience got me into Praxis, a professional development boot camp which radically accelerated my Sales career at a very early age. 4 years later, my net worth is what most college graduates have as debt. In principle, I got where I am by not accepting the status quo, and writing my own ticket in life. I worked harder than others, but more importantly, I worked smarter. I learned from books, mentors, seminars, and experiences - not
Morgan Von GuntenWriter, designerSelf-employedWriting, layout design, web designI opted out of college and went through Praxis, a year-long apprenticeship program. Through Praxis, I learned how to show my work—and I landed an entry-level role as a marketer at Crash even through I didn't have experience. I learned how marketing works by doing it, and I got to see firsthand how to build a company from the ground up. After a year, I realized I knew what makes me come alive—and I finally felt equipped to leave my job and try doing what I love full-time. Now, I write fiction, am building my own business, and do freelance projects on the
Corey PurvesSalesPandaDocSales
Chaz SteadDirector of MarketingSnip InternetMarketingI dropped out of college in my senior year due to finances. I then stumbled into job after job with interests but no direction. I
Yev BarkalovSoftware EngineerChannelMeter
Gregory Williamson
Demand Generation Specialist
PraxisSalesI opted out of college and took on Praxis. Six months later I landed a SDR position at Scripted. Through that experience I grew my sales skills and expanded my role by helping them launch their very own podcast. It was an invalualbe experience that taught be about business and more importantly, how to create value. Four months into Scripted, I was offered the opportunity to go work at Praxis to scale their sales inniatives - I took it in a heart beat.
Joseph PasMarketing AssociateMarginal Revolution UniversityMarketingI left music school after a year and a half and found Praxis a while after. From there, MRU discovered me and took me on for an apprenticeship. I've been there ever since—almost a
Liz Strong
Business Development
LaunchDarklySalesWent to 42 Silicon Valley (coding bootcamp that i do not recommend), left, did an internship at a pre-seed B2B SaaS accelerator, did Flockjay (tech sales school), and slid my way into my current role as a BDR at a Series C-1 startup in Oakland. There's a bay area based Successful Dropouts Group, but now it's remote (obviously lol). We meet up every week, DM me for invite :)
Hailey LesueOperations SpecialistInstitute for Humane StudiesOperationsI went to college for one year, decided it was not for me. I then found Praxis where I went through the bootcamp and landed my apprenticeship through Institute for Humane Studies! They apparently loved me because I got hired on right when my apprenticeship ended. I have now been with the company for 1 year and 4 months! I am also expecting to keep moving up in my role really soon.
Colm HaydenCEOCadooExecutiveBy always building things, eventualy, one thing turned into a company,
William HoangSoftware DeveloperCommScopeEngineeringDropped out of university, worked retail for 9 months and started learning to code about 6 months into that job. Had a 2 month gap in employment where I was still learning to code until I managed to land an apprenticeship without even having a portfolio. Left that apprenticeship after 10 months and landed a job working at CommScope.
Ben SnortumB2B Sales ManagerEarl & Brown CompanyBusiness DevelopmentBy doing things I wasn't qualified to