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I hate the "college" question

I have 98% of a degree. Basically, my senior year of college, they revamped the program. They removed credits that I'd already paid for, added classes that were only held during the day (meaning I couldn't attend them), and made it so the new classes all had pre-reqs that I hadn't taken.

I went from "Graduating after I finish these two classes" to "SURPRISE! You have another full year's worth of classes ahead of you!" Grandfathering was only being allowed for full-time students.


I threw my hands up at that point. I had just had my daughter, and there was no way I could afford to quit my job. Besides, I was at NASA, which was doing way more for my career than learning Spanish or memorizing more dead white male "fathers" of psychology. I told myself I'd go back at some point when money was better and I had more time.

Spoiler alert: I didn't.

Not having the degree didn't really hurt, mostly because I made my fame elsewhere. I'm a conference speaker and teacher. I'm an advocate and blogger. I not only worked at NASA, but was eager to engage with the public about it. Every place I've spoken to hasn't even bothered to ask about a degree. Until now.


A company has been courting me for a year now, off and on. Their project is cool, but I wasn't into commuting over and hour for a gig with no insurance. They've been sweetening the pot for a while now (You can work from home! You can have flex hours! We'll make you a lead!). During our last discusion, he asked me about my degree. I told him the truth: I have most of a degree, but not the official paper.

He started interrogating me. Did I have any honors from my time in school? Any awards or organizations? What classes did I take? Why not just finish the degree off?


It pissed me off, to be frank. I'm 34. I have a decade+ of experience in the exact field you're trying to make money off of. What does it matter if I got some kudos in college? Those are for kids just starting out, who haven't had a chance to prove themselves to the world. I've given talks and written books on my field. Would you ask anyone else that question?

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