Tesla and Disney Care More About Your Skills Than Your Education

Tesla and Disney may be two very different companies, but they have something surprising in common regarding hiring: they care more about your skills than your education. This is according to the latest research conducted by the writing platform Eudubirdie, which sent out 1,438 resumes to employers in various sectors to determine the importance of education in the resume.

Edubirdie's writing experts conducted research by gathering a sample of 60 individuals from various career paths and professionals from human resources. This collective then created two exemplary but fake resumes for each vacancy with similar experience and skills but different levels of educational attainment.

EduBirdie focused on sending these resumes to job positions where a degree is not a mandatory requirement, and each resume with no degree explicitly stated its absence to avoid confusion.

The results are surprising, but the research is detailed: you don't necessarily need a degree to get your dream job. Industry giants such as Tesla, Disney, Twitch, and Danon have shown their support for candidates who don't possess a degree by responding to their proposals.

Acceptance Rate by Educational Attainment

The study revealed that IT professionals are the most highly sought-after group of employees who can thrive without a degree. Of those that made it to the recruitment stage of the interview or test task, only 5.1% more had a degree versus those who didn't.

Paralaw was another career path that sparked a lot of interest, with over 37.5% of candidates accepted without a diploma. For those without a post-secondary education, some auspicious job sectors included Agriculture and Food (47.2% acceptance rate), Hospitality and Tourism (51.9%), Logistics and Transportation (34.8%), and Arts (66.7%).

Generally speaking, the most significant discrepancies in admission rates were observed in specialized fields such as government, medicine, architecture, and engineering. However, acceptance rates varied by only 10% or less for most disciplines— a minor gap that invariably favored degree holders:


*Acceptance rate with degree: 6/34

Acceptance rate without a degree: 2/34

Law (Paralaw)

Acceptance rate with degree: 5/18

Acceptance rate without a degree: 6/16


Acceptance rate with degree: 46/73

Acceptance rate without a degree: 44/76


Acceptance rate with degree: 31/78

Acceptance rate without a degree: 22/79


Acceptance rate with degree: 19/36

Acceptance rate without a degree: 17/36


Acceptance rate with degree: 14/41

Acceptance rate without a degree: 4/45


Acceptance rate with degree: 13/22

Acceptance rate without a degree: 2/22


Acceptance rate with degree: 14/31

Acceptance rate without a degree: 14/27

Human Services

Acceptance rate with degree: 22/64

Acceptance rate without a degree: 19/68


Acceptance rate with degree: 6/23

Acceptance rate without a degree: 8/23


Acceptance rate with degree: 13/19

Acceptance rate without a degree: 14/21


Acceptance rate with degree: 9/28

Acceptance rate without a degree: 8/28

Health Care/ Medical

Acceptance rate with degree: 24/36

Acceptance rate without a degree: 7/37


Acceptance rate with degree: 7/23

Acceptance rate without a degree: 1/23


Acceptance rate with degree: 5/16

Acceptance rate without a degree: 5/16

Life/Physical/Social Science

Acceptance rate with degree: 12/32

Acceptance rate without a degree: 8/36

Office/Administrative Support

Acceptance rate with degree: 14/37

Acceptance rate without a degree: 11/37


Acceptance rate with degree: 16/42

Acceptance rate without a degree: 13/43


Acceptance rate with degree: 17/24

Acceptance rate without a degree: 17/25


Acceptance rate with degree: 6/34

Acceptance rate without a degree: 1/35

*Acceptance Rate: An accepted resume means a candidate who has reached the recruitment phase of an interview or test task.

Acceptance Rate by Salary, Race, and Position

Sorting the research by position ranking shows candidates with higher education have a 24% greater probability of obtaining an entry-level position, which decreases to 10.5% at an associate level before approximately leveling off.

Almost the same tendency is shown by studying accepted resumes by salary, with companies preferring candidates with relevant experience for positions of a higher level.

Edubirdie found a greater gap in acceptance rates regarding Arabs and Latinx. Compared to Asians and white people, Arabs, and Latinx typically have more difficulty obtaining high-paying jobs without achieving higher education. This discrepancy becomes increasingly evident in more senior-level roles.

Acceptance Rate by Gender

Results by gender reveal no significant difference between intake rates for women and men. At the same time, the results showed that women are more likely to get the same position with a degree than men, while men are more likely to get it without an education.

Acceptance Rate by Response Time

The results show that the average response time between submitting the resume and the initial response from the employer, such as an offer to take a test or interview invitation email, took 1.3 days longer for candidates without a diploma. On average, candidates who possessed a degree obtained preinterview feedback from the employer within 5.15 days, whereas those without a degree typically waited 6.4 days for their response to arrive.

Skills or Education: Which Triumphs?

Avery Morgan, Chief of Communications at Edubirdie, commented on the study: “Undoubtedly, some jobs require a degree. However, you can be considered qualified enough for giants like Tesla or Disney even if you don't have a degree.

“At the same time, you have already been in the job market and gained work experience. Why? It's simply crucial for big businesses to keep up with the times. They need to be innovative. So they are more likely to recruit talented, passionate individuals, game changers, and those who will run even faster with them.”

Ultimately, each individual must decide which route is best for them and their career goals, as there are benefits and drawbacks to obtaining a degree versus relying solely on your skills.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Caitriona is a private language tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. Caitriona has been teaching the English language since 2016. She has taught in schools in Spain and the U.K., and she currently teaches online. On her blog, you will find tons of English language articles, worksheets, resources, tips, and advice for learners and teachers.