We always get into dilemma of degree or skills first. There are many managers who prefer to hire people based on their educational background, the person’s smartness and the skill take the last priority.
In my past experience, I have seen guys from top reputed institutions underperforming than the guys from Level 2 or 3 institutions. But this does not mean that hiring from top institutions is bad, obviously no. But this also does not mean that guys from other institutions are subpar or they lack any skills.
Yes hiring only from top institutes may make your startup look cool in front of peers or VCs but as a manager, you have to decide whether you want to look cool or really build some solid stuff.
I have come across many guys who couldn’t speak proper English, they were low on confidence but they outperform when you give them a computer with code editor on it. Just magical.
I have also seen injustice towards such guys just because they lack certain degree. This is not just in Technology field but everywhere. For example, a CA fresher will get double the salary of someone without the that degree. Even though the person has more experience and can outperform other.
As a manager, our job is to find people like them, polish them, help build their confidence, put them in front.. give them a chance.
This post is not for the hiring managers but the guys who are low on confidence just because they don’t have degree from very reputed institute, this is post is for the managers who are still not sure if skills are more important or the degree.
Just little background about me, I studied in Gujarati school, joined multiple English Speaking classes to improve my English skills. My spoken English was really bad till 12th, to learn, I used to watch English movies with subtitles, call up callcenters and what not. I passed 10th with 66% and last year with 54%. I am currently CTO of a very well funded company and I am really proud of whatever I have achieved in my life.
This is because, I never gave up, never bothered about what others think, just did what I wanted to do and kept moving forward. You must do the same. Good luck.