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New University of Phoenix Commercial Reminds Me Why Career Bootstrappers Rock...

Nobody cares what school you went to after you're on your second job.  IF YOU'RE A PERFORMER.

That's true, my friends.  I just saw the new University of Phoenix commercial, and it motivated me to remember.

What motivation?  It motivated me to remember that once someone strings together some career success, it doesn't matter where they went to school.  It motivated me to remember that a working mom or any other adult with a million things going on that dug into a virtual degree program shouldn't be viewed as shady, it should be celebrated.  

The biggest lie the devil ever told the world is that your tuition aid program should be a factor in whether they choose to work at your company or not.  It's a lie not because they're isn't value in what you provide as a company, it's a lie because most people attracted to the benefit will never use the program.  Life is complicated and hard, and going back to school why you have a job is difficult.  Only true ballers get it done.

That doesn't mean the person in front of you is the best candidate just because they bootstrapped themselves to get a degree.  It just means you probably ought to view their career on it's merits and what you get from them in the interview - not their pedigree - or lack thereof.

Here's to you, career professionals that got your virtual degree from a known entity in the virtual university space - while working full time.

You're smart enough, you're good enough, and hell - I like you.  

(Click through if you don't see the new University of Phoenix commercial below) 


R. J. Morris

U of PHX got themselves a rocking new marketing person, apparently. Lots of good buzz on this commercial. And KD, you're right--respect the work it took to get it done, not the name at the top.

Gerry Crispin

Lesson for leaders relying so heavily on big name-college recruits. Peter Cappelli in a counter intuitive post a few years ago (he's at Wharton)noted the fallacy of hiring MBAs from big name colleges for their 'potential' when there are others already available at lower levels whose performance should warrant their getting the job...or even better, sending them to get the degree. Data by Malcolm Gladwell in his recent "David and Goliath" showed that top grads from no name schools outperformed those at the Tier 1 who were not at the very top.


Generations before called it "The College of Hard Knocks" and we have to respect those that overcome everything in life that pummels them, by perseverance, fortitude and raw, innate intelligence. True Grit!

I want to lead an legion of these kind of people!


Dude nice post. It's true, and kind of sad this is why Donald Trump is happening. People just don't get that there's a line between self improvement and stupidity.Thank you for calling out the fact that the Apollo Group is not a relevant education provider for any job not requiring the ability to lift heavy objects of have a Class C license.

Tiffany Blocker

As someone who worked their way up the ladder and is still trying to finish their degree online, I LOVE this commercial. I am a hard worker with excellent references at top employers. I am ready for a change after 6+ years in my current role so I'm in the market again. I find myself CRINGING every time I'm completing the online application and have to check the box "no degree". We all know that the ATS is removing me from the "candidates to review" group. I've been lucky that all of my roles have either been promotions due to my hard work or a referral based on my past working relationships. So every time I hear the last line of the commercial that says "You're gonna want someone like me - only if you have a brain" I want to scream YES!!!

Ann-Marie Williams

I love this ad. YOU will want someone like me, experienced, qualified, with moral,ethics and integrity. Have humanitarian values and family oriented. YOU will someone like if only you have a brain.

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