Ditching degree requirements for jobs – what to do instead

Massachusetts has joined 13 other states in removing the college degree requirement from many government jobs.

The Brookings Institute describes this move as “low-cost ways to open state hiring processes to more applicants and improve economic mobility for qualified workers who have been largely excluded from state hiring systems.”

The private sector has also begun moving in this direction as well, with companies like Walmart leading the way.

In fact, a survey from Intelligent.com found that “nearly half” of all companies plan to drop the bachelor’s degree requirement from their jobs.

Let’s break this down and see how (or if) this affects your business.

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2 thoughts on “Ditching degree requirements for jobs – what to do instead

  1. This topic is interesting to me because I currently am getting my MBA and have a bachelor’s degree to my name. Will this be irrelevant to some companies in a few years? Some jobs do require degrees and schooling such as the medicine field and engineering. This shift to eliminate the requirement of a degree for companies might incentive more laziness and low expectations. Yes, there are some jobs that require high productivity and output and some individuals without a degree who currently work can be a good candidate and be qualified. However, some jobs are not so faced paced and don’t require high productivity. Shifting to not requiring a degree will be risky as companies already struggle with the costs of hiring and onboarding. If this is an issue, hiring from those with a degree seems like a better option as it proves more reliability, punctuality, and functionality. However, there are those who have degrees who are lazy and have graduated with half effort. Also, there are some who couldn’t afford college but have worked for years and there are some who could and didn’t have to work. For those who have been in school the last few years, those who couldn’t afford it have been working for those years and have more experience which would make them more qualified. There are payoffs and rewards for each. Are companies just more inclined to hire based off of behavior and how this candidate will thrive in their culture? Skills and abilities can always be learned, but certain values and morals some have cannot. I think an integration of those without education and those with can strive and learn off of one another.

  2. Well, you’ve hit on my sore spot.
    I have an associate’s degree. However, I have been a controller for a manufacturing company for two decades (self-taught). I am also self employed as a fractional controller for the previous five years with most of my referrals coming from a highly regarded local CPA. I am a certified HR professional. I can also tend to more IT problems than most.
    I could give you the names of three degreed accountants whom I spent months cleaning up after. When I went into business for myself and we were trying to hire my replacement, two different degreed accountants failed miserably – wanted to put their feet up on the desk and cruise.
    I can and have run circles around what so many employers insist they have to have: BS degree and minimum 5 years experience.
    What a joke. And I won’t get beyond a resume submission because of that “requirement”.
    I am noticing government jobs and a few in the private sector rate such as ‘BS degeee/min exp OR AS degree/moderate exp OR no degree/lots of experience.
    Having written dozens of job descriptions over the years, I stop each time and consider if a degree truly is required. Our extremely successful general manager has an associate’s degree.
    I cannot be the only extremely capable person getting passed over because of this.
    I can do anything a degreed accountants can do (not CPA) and will run circles around most of them.
    Thank you for opening the conversation. And yes, I’m looking for a job!

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