While it is factually difficult to get hired at Apple, there are some jobs at Apple you can get without a degree, or even industry experience, and with minimal skills.
One of those is a job at the Apple store, which usually doesn’t require anything other than being able to talk to customers and help them. Other jobs can require a degree but can be replaced with relevant industry experience. (I included a sample list of those jobs below)
We did some research on the current Apple job openings to determine what they want from future candidates in terms of qualifications. Let’s see what are those requirements for some of the typical positions.
Requirements to Work at Apple
Just like with any other company out there, the requirements to get a job at Apple can be separated into three main components: Skills, Education, and Experience. You need to satisfy each one to a certain degree, plus do a good interview to stand out, and get hired.
Taking all qualifications into account, your experience and skills will be much more important than your degree. However, most jobs at Apple still require a Bachelor’s degree at least. Exceptions are some entry-level jobs and Apple retail jobs, for which you can lack one or the other.
The qualifications you need will mostly depend on the job role and the level. Now let’s take a look at some of the most common positions at Apple, and the requirements needed to get hired at these roles. We’re going to focus here on the lower, entry levels.
As a Software Engineer
The typically listed skills for software engineering positions at Apple usually include skills in:
- Object-oriented languages
- and Scala
- Web development
- or backend skills
- REST API
- Docker and Kubernetes
These are just some of the commonly required, and you’ll usually see a few more requirements specific to the position.
So for many roles, you may also see some requirements such as experience with Service Oriented Architecture (Spring), debugging skills, experience with Kafka and Spark, Linux and UNIX, and others.
On top of that, based on the Apple job descriptions, the commonly listed skill for a software engineer includes good communication skills, analytical skills, as well as the ability to work and collaborate in a team. You need to be able to learn and grow, take criticism and improve, and eventually teach and build others.
Education and experience qualifications for a software engineer at Apple usually include a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer engineering, or other technical disciplines and some experience.
Some roles may accept equivalent experience instead of a college degree. Example: Software Infrastructure Engineer, or a UI Engineer. Any higher level of these roles will most certainly require formal education and relevant industry experience.
While many candidates focus solely on programming languages, Apple values engineers who understand user experience (UX). So, it’s advisable to invest time in courses that bridge coding with user-centric design.
Some entry-level software engineering roles at Apple don’t even require a formal degree, such as this position of a Software Delivery Engineer. However, they may still have some requirements to be familiar with or have worked on projects which used certain technologies.
At the Apple retail
Apple retail jobs typically include store jobs, such as technical specialists, Genius, Creative, and Sales specialists. Job requirements for these positions are somewhat less demanding, compared to many others at Apple, so a lot of people might be potential candidates.
Typical skill requirements for Apple retail store jobs include good communication skills, ability and eagerness to learn, and for Genius bar, additional good time management skills, and repair skills. Geniuses work a bit more with customers, they manage them and repair iPhones and MacBooks.
You can read more about this in our article on the required skills to work at the Apple store.
As far as education and experience requirements for Apple stores, there usually aren’t any. Degrees aren’t required for a typical Apple store job, however, having some proven experience in the customer experience environment is often listed as an additional requirement. The HR will also test your communication skills during the interview, so be sure to prepare.
Building a rapport with repeat customers can significantly elevate your stature within an Apple store. Familiarizing yourself with Apple’s history and product evolution can aid in forming such relationships, as informed conversations can leave lasting impressions.
As a Hardware Engineer
There are many different hardware engineers at Apple, working in many different teams, in various work areas. For some of these, the requirements can be quite different, so it’s almost impossible to list them all because there are so many.
For example, for the acoustics team, an engineer needs to have skills and experience in signal processing while an engineer in the camera technologies team needs to know mechanical design using CAD. This makes it difficult to list all the possible requirements for so many different roles and engineers.
What we can do instead, is find commonalities in education and experience requirements. Usually, hardware engineers at Apple need to have degrees in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science, but this will depend on the role and the team you’re with. Experience of a few years is typically required and preferred for most of these hardware roles.
In the realm of hardware engineering at Apple, following the company’s patent filings can be insightful. Apple’s patents often hint at the direction they might be taking in terms of product innovation. Familiarity with these can demonstrate your keen interest and proactive approach during interviews.
Apple’s hardware team often looks for expertise in niche areas like ASIC design or thermodynamics. If you’re aiming for such roles, consider acquiring certifications in these specialized areas, as they can set you apart during the hiring process.
Just like with many other jobs, there are some hardware roles at Apple where equivalent experience can replace a formal degree, such as this System Architecture EPM. This means that you can apply even without a degree, but you need to have relevant experience.
You can read more about the degree requirements for Apple hardware jobs, as well as many other roles at Apple.
As a Product Designer
Most design job opening at Apple is for the team working on Human Interface design. A typical role here is a product designer.
The skill requirements for the product designer usually include fluency with Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, Figma, or other design tools, understanding of HTML5 and CSS3, as well as creativity, and the ability to work on the iterative design process, with great attention to detail.
Education qualifications usually include degrees in graphic design, computer graphics, animation/modeling, and fine arts. Finally, experience qualifications may often include several years of product design with a portfolio demonstrating user experience and visual design work.
Product designers at Apple often work in fast-paced environments, brainstorming and iterating, and this requires being able to take criticism to improve and contribute to the overall design of various services such as Apple Pay, Account & Identity, GDPR & Privacy, Apple TV, and others.
Aspiring Apple designers can benefit from creating mock redesigns of existing Apple interfaces. Demonstrating a keen understanding of Apple’s design philosophy, while offering fresh perspectives, can make your portfolio stand out.
Apple Jobs With Minimal Requirements
There are some jobs at Apple that you can apply for and get without having a college degree, prior industry experience, and minimal skill requirements. These include:
- Apple store jobs, such as Specialist, Technical Specialist, and Creative. These job positions typically require no prior experience or college degree, and all skills are trained.
- Software Delivery Engineer (Experience and formal degree not required)
- Logistics Technician (Experience and college degree preferred but not required)
- Partner Engineering (Experience is a plus; degree is not required)
- Fabrication Technician (experience required, degree not required)
- Software Engineer, Ad platform (experience and skills required, but no degree)
- AV Engineer (technical Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience)
- Compiler Engineer (Technical BS degree or equivalent experience)
- Software Infrastructure Engineer (BS degree or equivalent experience)
- Infrastructure Engineer (BS in computer engineering or equivalent experience)
- UI Engineer (BS in CS/CE or equivalent industry experience)
- Cryptographic Engineer (MS/PhD in CS or equivalent experience/skills)
- Debugger Engineer (BS in Computer Science or equivalent exp)
- System Architecture EPM (BS/MS in CE/EE/CS or equivalent work experience)
- Data Engineer (BS degree or equivalent industry experience)
- Field Producer (BS degree or equivalent experience)
- Content Manager (Degree or relevant experience)
- Facilities Coordinator (some experience required, degree only preferred)
There are many more on the Apple website, just type the word in the field to search, and you’ll get hundreds of similar job positions. While these are jobs with low requirements, keep in mind that it’s still probably going to be competitive. After all, it’s Apple we’re talking about. So make sure to prepare for the interviews and increase your chances.
There are also some internship positions that don’t require experience, however many of them require you to have some relevant knowledge and skills, and often that you’re working towards a relevant degree.
Does GPA Matter for Apple?
GPA is just one of many indicators for recent graduates when getting a job at Apple, but it doesn’t matter much. If you’re trying to get an internship position at Apple and you already have some interning experience, then your GPA will barely matter. Instead, your projects and experience are what matters most.
For Apple, you can get an internship and many jobs with a below 3.0 GPA. In any case, if your GPA is below 3.0 then it’s usually a good idea to leave it out of your resume, because it may only hurt your chances. If it’s above 3.5, then you may want to consider including it because it’s a plus.