Who am I?

I’m Jay Cross, founder of The DIY Degree. I’m also a project manager for Column Five Media, a data visualization studio in Newport Beach. My career has been spent almost entirely in research and journalism, including:

  • Writing professionally for top brands like TurboTax, Mint, Billshrink, and Wisebread
  • Serving as editor of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, a personal finance blog with 300,000 readers/mo.
  • Brainstorming, researching, and managing infographics for Column Five’s business/technology clients (including Cisco and Intuit)

My proudest moment: making the front page of Wired (see Students Toil As Spyware Hunters) for shutting down a spyware company in high school.

I love researching, investigating, and simplifying difficult topics for anyone who wants to learn.

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Why did I start DIY Degree?

All I wanted was to earn my degree without debt or waiting games. Out of that simple desire grew a discovery I never could have imagined: a radically different (and faster) route to graduating than 99% of students take.

Through exhaustive research and testing, I learned that it was possible to earn a degree by taking tests instead of expensive, time-consuming classes. I named this new, totally self-managed approach “The Do-It-Yourself Degree.”

I never planned to start a website about the DIY Degree – it was just a way for me to graduate faster. Soon after, though, I decided to share my findings with other students who felt locked out of the traditional college system. Above all, I didn’t want DIY Degree to be like all those other “scammy” college websites. Instead of writing for the lowest common denominator, I was intent on publishing with the same exacting standards and authenticity the Fortune 500 clients at my job would want.

The DIY Degree isn’t for everyone. But if time and cost are your biggest obstacles to graduating, you’ve come to the right place!

Get in touch:

I love getting feedback, questions, and constructive criticism from my readers. Please contact me using the form below. It goes straight to my inbox and I read every message.

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