Current students are often unsure about how to list education in progress when they’re creating their resumes. Many of them might wonder whether it’s acceptable to include unfinished degrees, even when they’re very close to graduating. Most experts agree, however, that this information can be an important part of any resume. Moreover, it’s actually important to include those details, to help potential employers understand your scheduling availability. The good news is there is a way to list your current educational endeavors.
How to List Education in Progress on a Resume
There are two things you need to learn if you want to know how to list education in progress on your resume. The first is how to provide that information in a way that clearly conveys your education status to an employer. The second is where to place that information in the body of your resume. With respect to the how, there are a few different ways to convey these details. There are only a couple of basic rules to follow when you list these education details:
- Be as clear as possible. You don’t want to give the employer the wrong impression, after all. If you have completed one degree and are pursuing advanced education, be sure to clearly state that fact. If your degree is not yet complete, be clear about that as well.
- Be honest. If you are in the process of withdrawing from school, don’t list that educational program. Don’t try to enhance your education section in any way. Just state the facts in an honest way.
- Feel free to include in-progress university degrees, as well as online degrees that you may be pursuing.
Education in Progress Resume Examples
When you include details indicating that you’re currently pursuing a degree on your resume, it’s important to provide clarity. The last thing you want is to inadvertently leave the impression that you’re trying to pretend like you’ve completed the degree. And while it might be tempting to just note that the degree is still a work-in-progress, we believe that you should be even more specific. The best way to do that is to include the anticipated graduation date.
Now, if you’re like many students, you may not be entirely sure that you’ll complete your degree by a set date. However, that shouldn’t stop you from providing an anticipated date of completion. In fact, it’s essential that you provide this information so that employers know that you’re serious about your studies. This is especially true in cases where the job you’re seeking requires that degree. Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy task to accomplish.
We wrote a good post here on how to include an MBA on a resume.
For example, check out this listing from a sample resume with a master’s degree in progress:
If you’re closer to graduation and are more certain about the date, you can use something like this:
Finally, you may want to consider whether you should list relevant coursework on your resume. We have some thoughts on that topic as well. Check out our post, Relevant Coursework on a Resume for more information about that topic.
Where to Place Education in Progress on Your Resume
The second issue you need to address is placement. Where should you place these details when you’re trying to figure out how to list education in progress on a resume? There are two main possibilities, depending upon whether the degree is needed for the job you’re seeking.
- If the job requirements include the degree that you’re pursuing, then you should try to emphasize that information in your resume. Position it near the beginning of your resume, after the summary section. That way, the employer will see that you’re close to completing that requirement before he or she delves any further into the document. This placement helps to showcase your interest and suitability right away.
- On the other hand, you should place this detail later in the resume if the degree isn’t needed for the position. In that instance, you can place your work history and skills higher up in the resume and leave your education for the end.
A Final Note: Grade Point Average
We should also address another common question that we encounter: do you need to include your grade point average? There are different schools of thought on this, so it’s really up to you. As a rule, however, most experts agree that it’s generally unwise to include anything less than the best GPAs. That typically means leaving it out unless it’s at least 3.5. In most instances, however, you won’t need to include that detail unless the job description requires a certain grade point average or you’re seeking a job at a major firm.
Education in Progress: One More Tool for Success
As you can see, it is not difficult to learn how to list education in progress on a resume. Yes, you need to know the right format to use, and where to list that information. Still, it is a relatively simple thing to handle if you stick to the basic principles we’ve outlined here. So, be sure to include those educational details, to showcase your developing skills and help you stand out from the crowd!