Education – Inside Information, Samples, Q&A


Education - Inside Information

The Education section of your resume consists of your academic credentials and all applicable education — formal schooling, on-the-job training, and continuing education. Depending on your personal situation, this may include your high school, college, post-graduate degrees and ongoing coursework. Additionally, unless listed in a separate section of your resume, you will want to include any additional training programs (formal or informal), workshops, seminars, certificate programs, and other professional development.

Though your education will always be of interest to a prospective employer, the importance and positioning of your Education section depends on the relevance of your degree to your job target, the details of your academic background, and the amount of professional experience you’ve gained since leaving school. If you are a recent graduate without much work experience, have a particularly impressive academic background or are targeting a position that requires a particular degree or certification, place the Education section toward the beginning of your resume. In most other cases, you will want to place your Education section toward the end of your resume.

Describing Your Educational Background

The general rule is to list degrees in reverse chronological order, listing your highest degree first. Once you have received a college or university degree, you no longer need to list your high school degree.

·        If you have a high school degree and a degree from a vocational school, list both schools on your resume.

·        If you are still in college, list your anticipated degree and expected graduation date.

Insider Tip: If you have taken several courses toward a higher degree but did not finish college, list the degree program you participated in, the degree you were striving for and range of dates you attended.



Northwestern University, (Coursework toward) MBA, Marketing – 2014

Recent Graduate with Little or No Experience

As a recent graduate, your academic credentials will probably will be your strongest asset and should appear toward the beginning of your resume. This is an opportunity to focus the reader on your academic credentials and continued commitment to your education. It is important to find the skills, abilities and knowledge you gained while in school and describe them in a ways that meet the requirements of your job target. List the following information:

·        Your major and minor area of study

·        Classes relevant to the job you are seeking

·        Relevant school projects and your role within the project

·        Extra-curricular activities and your role

·        Scholarships, awards, or honors you received

Recent Graduate with Experience

If you are a recent graduate with experience in your intended field, your Education section may become secondary, as relevant work experience is generally more important than your education. If there are classes, projects, extra-curricular activities or other educational experiences that are an important part of your qualifications, you should list them. If not, just list your school, degree, major, and year of graduation.

Exceptions to this rule include careers in education, healthcare, law, , and business, where your education and credentials are relevant and important qualifications. For these career types, continue to list the appropriate education and/or credentials you’ve received, any honors or awards, and any extra-curricular activities you participated in relevant to your job target. Prioritize this information at the top of your resume.

Insider Tip:  If you have additional training from workshops or seminars, consider adding this ongoing education below your degree in a section heading titled Education and Training:



·         MBA, Finance and Accounting, Haas School of Business, 2014

·         BS, Accounting, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2014

·         Courses in Total Quality Management, Steven Covey Leadership

·         Workshops and Seminars on Negotiation, Stedman Graham

Listing Dates

Though employers generally prefer to see dates of graduation on your resume, listing dates with your education is not a requirement. Decide, based on your own situation, whether including dates is to your advantage.

Education - Examples



Bachelor of Science, Major in Accounting

University of California, Santa Barbara

Magna Cum Laude




AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Austin, Texas                                                            1985

Completed coursework in Business and Computer Science


COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF PHILADELPHIA, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                 1981

Completed coursework in Principles of Bank Operations and Psychology              




Paralegal Certificate                                                                                                              2002

Southern Connecticut College, Fairfield, Connecticut


Coursework included:

Contracts, Torts, Business Law, Property and Creditor’s Rights, Family Law, Evidence, Civil Litigation and Discovery, Wills, Trusts, Probate Administration, Law Office Management, Legal Writing, Legal Research.




Whitworth College, Spokane, Washington                                                                        2006

Bachelor of Arts, Communication


Coursework includes:

Computer Technology

Public Relations

Oral Communication

Interpersonal Communication

Research Methods

Writing for the Public Media


American Institute of Banking                                                                                             2002

Foundations of Banking



·         MBA, Finance and Accounting, Haas School of Business, 1995

·         BS, Accounting, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1992

·         Courses in Total Quality Management, Steven Covey Leadership

·         Workshops and Seminars on Negotiation, Stedman Graham

Education - Questions & Answers

What if I have not received my degree?

If are working toward the completion of your degree, then it is recommended that you add your degree and field of study to your resume. There are several options to consider which will help you in listing your future achievement:

Option A: Indicate that you are in a degree program (with no further explanation) by writing:


University of California, Berkeley

Degree Program: Accounting

Option B: Declare your actual status, which demonstrates your progress to date:


University of California, Berkeley

B.S. Accounting Program (Senior Status)


Option C: List your degree and declare your anticipated (future) graduation date:


University of California, Berkeley

B.S. Accounting – Fall 2006

Should I include grade point average?

If you are a recent graduate with a grade point average of 3.3 or higher, then consider including your GPA. If your GPA in your major is excellent, you can highlight this by writing “GPA in major: 3.6.” However, if you are established in your career, you may want to focus on more recent professional achievements rather than on your GPA.

What if I attended multiple colleges for my degree?

If you attended several different universities in the course of obtaining your degree, list only the University from which you graduated.

Where should the Education section appear on my resume?

Generally, if you are a recent graduate, your Education section will appear at the top of your resume. If you are a more seasoned professional, your Education will appear toward the bottom. When deciding the order of your resume, always consider what your most impressive qualifications are and prioritize these sections at the top of your resume.

Should I include my high school degree?

Only include your high school degree if that was the last formal degree you obtained. Generally, after receiving an Associates Degree or a B.A. or B.S., your high school information is not considered.

Should I list my Associates degree?

If your highest degree is an Associates degree, then you should include this degree. However, if you have since earned a Bachelors degree or higher, then you should not include your Associate degree.

Insider Tip: If you have earned a Bachelors degree but your Associate degree more closely matches your preferred career field, then include your Associate degree.

Should I include my Minor?

If you think a prospective employer would be interested in your Minor, or it is relevant to your job target, you should include it. However, if your Minor is not relevant to your job target, then do not include it.

Should I include my degree if it is from another country?

Yes, you can include your degree if it is from another country. List your degree, the organization you received it from, and if appropriate, the date you received it.  Then, next to the degree in parentheses, describe what the equivalent degree would be in the U.S.

Should I list any semesters spent studying abroad?

In today’s growing world economy, exposure to foreign countries and cultures is a plus for prospective candidates. Therefore, you should include your study abroad and also consider describing your experiences, activities or situations that reflect interaction with the culture.