What Degrees Do You Need to Get Hired at Apple? (Real Data)

There are dozens of teams at Apple with hundreds of job openings requiring people of all kinds of backgrounds, and experiences.

We’ve done some research through all the work areas at Apple, to try and bring you some real-world and accurate information on the most required degrees Apple is looking for.

Let’s jump in and take a look at the degrees needed according to Apple job descriptions.

Apple Degree requirements (backgrounds starry night)

Degrees Needed to Work at Apple

When you visit the Apple Careers website, you can see an overview of the areas (or teams) Apple is looking for employees to fill in. You can check job openings for each of these areas.

We did some research on all these areas and job openings, to try and determine the degrees and qualifications Apple is looking for in some of the most common job positions. Degrees are ordered by the number of Apple job openings requiring them in job descriptions.

Apple Retail jobs

These jobs are split among three categories: Sales, Support, and Leadership.

None of these Apple retail jobs have a degree mandatory, therefore Apple retail jobs don’t require a degree. Even experience isn’t always necessary for some of these roles. What they do require is skills and abilities in the customer experience field. The most important skills for Apple retail are communication skills.

If we had to pick one degree that could make you stand out in Apple retail is a communication degree to deal with customers or an electrical/electronics degree for repairs as a technician or Genius. However, most Apple retail workers don’t have these degrees, because the necessary skills are learned.

Apple Software jobs

Software spans almost every other area listed here, and we’re going to use the same software segments Apple uses on its website to analyze the common degrees they look for. 

Apple usually has hundreds of open software positions from areas such as Apps and Frameworks, Cloud and Infrastructure, DevOps, Information Systems and Technology, Wireless Software, etc.

Most frequent degrees required for Apple software jobs:

  • Computer Science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering 
  • Business Information Systems
  • Distributed Systems

Computer Science and Computer Engineering are the most common and appear in the majority of Apple software job descriptions. Some might think that Electrical Engineering degrees don’t belong here, but they are sometimes required in software roles as well, such as with those dealing with wireless software (e.g. WiFi Quality Engineer role).

Some Apple jobs in the Information Systems and Technology field may require (or prefer) a Management Information Systems degree. This kind of degree is particularly relevant to the job roles of SAP project manager or SAP project lead. For these positions, Project Management certificates are a plus.

Data Center Technicians may only require an associate’s degree in computer science with some preferred technical certifications such as BICSI Installer I or equivalent, as well as Server+, Linux+, Network+, ITIL, Linux/Unix Certification, or related experience.

For many security-related roles (as well as senior software engineer roles) Apple gives a plus to certs like OSCP, OSCE, OSEE, or similar, as well as bonus points for community contributions like public CVEs, bug bounty recognition, open source tools, etc.

For privacy roles in software, candidates can get a plus for certifications such as CISSP, CIPP, or CIPT.

Apple Corporate jobs

These jobs include areas such as Finance, Legal, Learning and Development, and Global Security.

Apple’s Finance team creates value for Apple and its shareholders and includes areas of work such as Accounting, Financial Planning, Tax, Treasury, Internal Audit, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Forecasting and Analysis.

The most required degrees for a finance position at Apple are:

  • degree in finance
  • accounting
  • economics
  • business administration
  • and math

For accountants, an additional CPA/CFA license may be preferred and will act as a plus when applying. Examples: Lease Accountant (CPA). Financial Analyst (CPA), Treasury Analyst (CFA). 

Apple’s Legal team ensures compliance with Apple’s standards as well as defends Apple’s intellectual property. Work areas include Corporate Law, Paralegal Services, Legal Operations, Project Management, and Administration.

Based on Apple’s job descriptions, the most commonly required degrees for Apple Legal jobs are:

  • JD degree (law degree)
  • MBA degree
  • occasional BS degree in EE/CS/CE

For Counsel roles, the education requirement is typically JD and admission to at least one US state bar. Examples: Legal Counsel, Software Products Counsel. For compliance program managers, an additional Certification such as AAPC/AHIMA and HCCA CHC is preferred.

The People team at Apple develops and manages the people or the human resources. Areas of work of Apple’s People team include Talent Acquisition, Management and Development, Inclusion and Diversity, Benefits, and Compensation.

Most recurring degrees needed to get People jobs at Apple:

  • Human Resources
  • Organizational Management
  • Communication
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Labor Relations

Pretty much any degree in social sciences or relevant fields will be enough as a qualification for most of these job openings for the “People” team at Apple.

Apple Design jobs

Design jobs include areas such as industrial design, Human Interface design, and Communications design. Work areas for Apple’s Design jobs include Product Design, CAD sculpting, Model making and prototyping, Motion design, Sound design, graphic design, production, and many others.

Based on our research of Apple job openings in design, here are the most preferred degrees required for Apple’s design jobs:

  • Graphic design
  • Industrial design
  • Computer graphics
  • 3D Animation/Modeling
  • Photography
  • Visual communication
  • Fine Arts

Apple Hardware jobs

The Apple hardware teams make up a large portion of Apple’s workforce and consist of engineers from all kinds of areas looking to maintain and advance Apple products. These jobs are spread across teams such as Acoustic Technologies, Battery Engineering, Camera and Display Technologies, Mechanical engineering, and others.

Out of all these teams, the most required hardware degree at Apple is in Electrical Engineering, whether BS, MS, or Ph.D.

Overall, the most required degrees for Apple Hardware jobs are in the:

  1. Electrical Engineering
  2. Mechanical Engineering
  3. Computer Science
  4. Computer Engineering
  5. Chemical Science/Chemical Engineering
  6. Materials Science
  7. Physics

For Acoustic Technologies a few other degrees often appear, such as degrees in Acoustics, Audio Engineering, Music Technology, and Signal Processing.

The Battery Engineering team creates and delivers battery design so it’s no surprise that a Materials Science degree can be sometimes required for these jobs. This team often requires degrees in Industrial Engineering, Chemistry, and Electrochemistry as well.

Degrees in Optics and Imaging Science are frequently required degrees for the Camera and Display Technologies teams at Apple, as well as degrees in Physics, Computer Vision, and Color Sciences.

Hardware Engineering teams at Apple sometimes prefer degrees in Mechatronics as well, which is a degree that blends mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science together.

Apple Machine Learning and AI jobs

Machine learning and AI are one of the most important aspects of any modern technology that uses data and algorithms to deliver and support a lot of apps you use on your products.

The most frequently required degrees for these jobs include:

  • Machine Learning, 
  • Artificial Intelligence, 
  • Computer Science, and
  • Computer Engineering. 

Some of the machine learning and AI jobs at Apple may also necessitate degrees in Statistics, Economics, Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Math, Computer Vision, and Human-Computer Interaction.

Apple Marketing and Communications jobs

Marketing teams at Apple work on the life-cycle marketing of all the products under the Apple umbrella, to create stories and technical content and communicate this to the world. These jobs are slightly less demanding when it comes to degrees, with many of them listing degrees as preferred but not required.

Marketing and Communication Apple jobs often require degrees in:

  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Business Administration
  • Graphic design
  • Product/Project Management
  • Packaging & Print

Apple Operations and Supply Chain jobs

There are many teams in this group, such as Business Intelligence and Analytics team, Supply Demand Management and Retail, Procurement, Manufacturing and Operations Engineering, and Program Management.

Business Intelligence and Analytics are about critical reporting, analytics, and machine learning. Required Apple degrees for this group are related to analytical, quantitative, or technical fields such as Math, Statistics, Engineering, Computer Science, Analytics, or similar. 

Some jobs in this and other groups here will require degrees in Operations Management, Supply Chain, Business, Economics, and Finance.

Logistics degrees, as well as Operations, Program Management, and Project Management degrees are very common requirements in job descriptions of these fields of work, especially for the Operations and Supply Chain jobs at Apple.

Apple Support and Service jobs

There are several teams in this group of jobs, where we can distinguish Online Support, Technical and Customer Support, and Writers and content managers.

Online support jobs are about working on the Apple website, support apps, forums, and social media. Degrees in informational design, content management, communication, and human-computer interaction are of the highest value, as well as an MBA degree.

Apple support and service jobs will typically require or prefer any kind of degree in digital communications, information science, or business. Customer service experience will often be required or preferred as well.

What Degrees Does Apple Value the Most?

Apple values experience just the same as degrees (if not more), and the ones most valued will depend on the job position and the team you’ll be assigned to. Based on our research here, we can conclude that the degrees Apple most desires are in the fields of:

  • Computer Science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • and Business Administration

There are many others listed in hundreds of Apple job postings, but these are the ones that appear most often in their job descriptions.

Is a Degree Necessary to Work at Apple?

While many of the Apple jobs require some degree or working towards one, there are also many that don’t. However, these jobs require you to have equivalent experience to accommodate for the lack of a degree, and relevant skills so you’ll be able to do the job required.

There are many jobs at Apple not requiring a degree, or instead of a degree, requiring equivalent relevant experience. You can check some of these jobs in our article with a section on Apple jobs with minimal requirements.

What Jobs Can You Get at Apple Without a Degree?

There are many Apple jobs that don’t require a degree, or have a degree as preferred but not required. This will depend on the job itself, but usually include Apple store jobs, Technician jobs, a few jobs in content management, data center logistics, and even some junior software positions.

Apple Employees Have Degrees in These Fields

One of the easiest ways to get information about the degrees of Apple employees is by looking at the Apple LinkedIn company profile. Simply by visiting the Apple profile page on LinkedIn, we can see what the majority of Apple employees studied (or so they claim).

Here are the fields most Apple employees have degrees from:

  • Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering (15,648 employees)
  • Computer Science (15,705 employees)
  • Computational Science (13,423 employees)
  • Business Administration and Management (9,776 employees)
  • Computer Engineering Technologies/Technicians (7,549 employees)
  • Mechanical Engineering (5,453 employees)
  • Computer Engineering (4,716 employees)
  • Marketing (4,573 employees)
  • Information Technology (4,280 employees)
  • Business/Commerce (4,153 employees)
  • Economics (3,667 employees)
  • Physics (2,608 employees)

While some of these can overlap, we can still see what the majority of current Apple employees have studied. We can also use this information to figure out what kind of degrees and fields Apple values currently, and what the HR at Apple will be looking for in the future.

What Universities Does Apple Hire From?

There are some Universities from which Apple is known to hire more than others (much more). From our research, it looks like most of the employees studied at one of the many Universities in California.

Again, we’ll be using the LinkedIn company page description, which shows where most of the Apple employees studied. So here are the top Universities Apple employees come from:

  1. San Jose State University (2,323 employees)
  2. Stanford University (2,317 employees)
  3. University of California, Berkeley (2,241 employees)
  4. University of California, Los Angeles (1,602 employees)
  5. Arizona State University (1,549 employees)
  6. University of Southern California (1,535 employees)
  7. Georgia Institute of Technology (1,535 employees)
  8. Carnegie Mellon University (1,085 employees)
  9. UC San Diego (1,061 employees
  10. Texas A&M University (1,026 employees)
  11. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (956 employees)
  12. University of Michigan (952 employees)
  13. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (943 employees)
  14. Cornell University (818 employees)
  15. Tsinghua University – Beijing, China (672 employees)

Keep in mind Apple hires employees who graduated from any College or University whose diploma is relevant to the job at hand. You don’t need a degree from a special University to get hired at Apple. And sometimes, you don’t need a degree at all.