Computer Science

Want to Work for Google? Here Are the Degrees You’ll Need.

Want to Work for Google? Here Are the Degrees You’ll Need.
According to Google's LinkedIn page, 42% of employees have bachelor's degrees, 34% have master's degrees, and 12% have a master's in business administration. Image from Unsplash
Rina Diane Caballar profile
Rina Diane Caballar October 10, 2019

We're talking about a company that gets two million applicants a year. Go ahead, Google it.

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Do you have enough Googleyness to be a Noogler? (Say…what?)

“Googleyness” and “Noogler” (pronounced “new-gler”) are just a few of the Google-isms only Google employees—Googlers in Google-speak—understand. If you want to be a Noogler (the term for newbies at Google) and receive a propeller cap in the company’s trademark blue, red, yellow, and green colors, then you should have what it takes (also known as Googleyness).

Googleyness goes beyond knowledge and experience, encompassing character attributes and social skills that the company believes potential employees need to thrive at the company. According to Laszlo Bock, Google’s former head of people operations, Googleyness is a combination of conscientiousness, fun, and intellectual humility, with a bias to action, a collaborative nature, and comfort with ambiguity.

But you’ll need more than Googleyness to pursue a career at the world’s leading search giant. Read on to learn about which college degrees can help—and learn tips and tricks for landing that dream job straight from Google’s search results.

A background search on Google

Google spun out from Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s Stanford University dorm rooms in 1995. What started as the Backrub search engine soon evolved into today’s search giant (with one fortunate name change). The business has since expanded into other products and services such as the Chrome web browser, Gmail, Maps, its suite of productivity tools, the Android operating system for smartphones, and YouTube. The company reported $61.9 billion in revenue midway through 2021.

According to the most recent figures, the tech company has more than 135,000 employees across the globe, including in its Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California, and offices in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Israel, Singapore, and South Africa, among other locations. In the US, the company consistently invests billions in data centers and offices, with significant expansions in states such as Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia (which translates to more high-paying jobs across the country).



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Inside Google

Googlers work in teams in business strategy, design, finance, engineering and technology, marketing and communications, and sales. Like any company, Google hires people of differing skill levels, including entry-level, senior-level, and management. It also employs people with a wide array of educational backgrounds, including bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and PhDs.

Data from Glassdoor shows that Googlers are well-compensated, especially for tech roles and other senior positions, though not as high as companies like Apple or Netflix. Here are the high-paid roles at the company, listed by average base salary:

Senior product manager: $239,520__

These professionals need excellent project management and business skills. Their responsibilities can include working with and overseeing engineers, researching consumer habits, and developing strategy.

Senior software engineer: $187,501__

Google needs software engineers to build and operate their system. Senior software engineers typically lead a team and oversee project development. You may interface with clients in this position.

Research engineer: $177,035__

According to PayScale, research engineers perform high-level analytics functions and help the company make decisions. Previous education can determine your research area.

Site reliability engineer: $150,084__

According to Google, site reliability engineering professionals “treat operations as if it’s a software problem.” This means keeping systems running smoothly and improving usability.

Quantitative analyst: $149,595__

These professionals work in finance. They create models and analyze potential decisions to develop profit strategies.

User experience researcher: $146,846__

Google prides itself on being user friendly, and researchers play a massive role in ensuring this continues to be the case with all of its offerings. User experience (UX) researchers study consumers, pitch ideas to improve experiences, and advise other teams as they develop new products.

Hardware engineer: $150,282__

Google hardware engineers “design and build the systems that are the heart of the world’s largest and most powerful computing infrastructure.”

Interaction designer: $149,789__

You’ll work in UX in this role, which focuses heavily on the interface design process with the goal of providing users easy access to Google services and products.

Not only does Google pay well, but it also offers an impressive benefits package. Employees gear up for on-site fitness centers and classes, as well as healthcare and wellness services. They take advantage of retirement savings matches, financial advisors, and financial planning services, as well as personal and professional development opportunities. So, it should come as no surprise that Alphabet (Google’s parent company) snagged the No. 2 spot on LinkedIn’s 2021 list of top 50 companies to work for in the US.

Google’s culture is one of innovation and iteration—doing things differently, doing them well, and improving upon them in unexpected ways. The company built itself around the idea of embracing challenges with joy. Despite a casual office environment, Google generates, tests, and puts ideas into practice quickly, setting the bar high—out of reach for most other companies. It’s an excellent place to work, but it means the company’s culture may not be right for everyone.

The degrees you’ll need to be a Googler

Exploring the Google Careers site reveals thousands of job openings for tech-related positions, but those with expertise in business, design, finance, and marketing and communications also will find roles to suit them.

There is a mythos that forward-thinking companies like Google have recruiters that always find the diamond in the rough candidates who don’t have work experience or higher education. While it’s possible to teach yourself multiple programming languages or enroll in a certificate courses to help qualify you for a great position, the fact is advanced education leads to the high-demand jobs. If you’re looking for a technical role, that could mean getting a Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS), or even a PhD. Those with business aspirations may want to explore earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA).


Positions requiring business acumen include business development managers, business strategy and operations associates, strategic partner development managers, and business analysts. You’ll deliver analytical insights to help Google’s innovation process, identify strategies to monetize products and develop partner relationships with global markets. Earning an MBA degree is essential for success in the role.


When it comes to design, Google offers opportunities for visual designers, UX engineers, UX researchers, motion designers, and interaction designers. You’ll bring the company’s products to life through beautiful visuals, intuitive user interfaces and experiences, and innovative front-end engineering.

Job seekers interested in these roles will need a degree in computer science, or even a degree in psychology or anthropology, if you’re a UX researcher.


In the finance field, Google has roles available for accountants, accounting analysts, auditors, compliance analysts, forecasting analysts, and financial analysts. These positions are responsible for managing budget reports, advising on regulations, and modeling and tracking financial performance metrics.

A degree in math, economics, finance, or accounting will equip you with the necessary skills for the job.

Engineering and technology

Given that engineering and technology are at Google’s core, the search giant has numerous listings for software engineers, security engineers, data scientists, test engineers, and network engineers. Here, you’ll be able to design, develop, and test massive software systems, build secure infrastructure, and analyze data to solve complex technology problems.

Earning a degree in computer science, information systems, or information technology will help you land the job, while data scientists require an advanced degree in a quantitative field such as statistics or operations research.

Marketing and communications

In the marketing and communications arena, Google is looking for communications managers, marketing managers, and marketing analysts. These roles entail creating engaging ad campaigns, drawing insights from marketing data, developing communications strategies, and shaping Google’s branding. To do the job, you’ll need at least a four-year degree or master’s degree in marketing.

Are you feeling lucky?

Any job interview can be nerve-wracking, but Google is in a class of its own. Luckily, the search giant offers tips to make the application process less daunting—from how to prepare for the interview process, including potential interview questions and assessments, to how hiring managers make decisions. Google even has a technical development guide to help candidates develop their tech skills and prepare for tech interviews, as well as a dedicated site for students to start building their future with the company. Completing a Google career certificate can help in the job search—even if you don’t get hired at Google.

By combining these tips with your qualifications and skills, you’ll be ready to conquer Google—and be the exact candidate they’re searching for.

(This article was updated on October 5, 2021.)

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About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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