Help! I do not have the level of education listed in the job advert. Should I still apply?

Dear Aunty,

I am a holder of a Diploma in one of the Social Science Courses. My challenge is that most of the job openings advertised requires a qualification of a Degree holder. Which brings me to the question I would like to be assisted on with an answer. Is it advisable for me to apply for a role that requires a degree holder when I hold a diploma?

Aunty says,

If you look a the job advertisements listed on you will see that there can be anywhere from 1 to 100 requirements listed by an employer. Common requirements include:

  1. Skill requirements (a particular skill, for example report writing, financial analysis);
  2. Academic requirements (Grade 12 school certificate, diploma, degree and/or professional qualifications etc);
  3. Knowledge requirements (subject, industry, function, task, environment etc);
  4. Experience requirements (# of years experience in a particular job, sector or level).

My advice is always to read the job advertisement and write down all the requirements listed by the employer. You can then match your skills, academics, knowledge and experience so that you can see how many of the requirements you meet and how strong your application could be. If there are 100 requirements for a job and you only miss a few then this could still put you in a strong position to be called for an interview.

If you have applied for numerous jobs and have been rejected because of your level of education then you have two options. You either have to sell your other skills more so that an employer overlooks your level of education or you think about how you can acquire the qualification.

Ultimately if you do not apply you will not know whether your application would have been of interest to the employer.

I hope that this information will of use to you and others in Zambia and wish you all the best with your job search.


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