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Study: College Degrees Are Becoming Less Important

Study: College Degrees Are Becoming Less Important

The days of basing a job candidate’s worth on a piece of paper they got after four years (and a small fortune) of partying and studying might be starting to end.

A recent survey of HR managers by found that 53 percent of hiring managers have ditched the requirement for a bachelor’s degree for some roles in the past year. And roughly a third of those dropped the requirement for senior-level positions.

The news is a welcome relief for many who are unable to obtain a college degree for a variety of reasons. Companies believe that changing the requirement will bring in employees from more unique and diverse backgrounds and skillsets.

“For so many jobs, it is an arbitrary requirement,” said Stacie Haller, a career coach who consulted with for the report. “And it does eliminate people needlessly who could be great employees. There is also a big chunk here about creating more equity and diversity. If you cannot afford to go to college to get a four-year degree, if it’s a financial reason or maybe a time reason, then you are already eliminated from all of those jobs.”

So what are companies looking for now? Experience, experience, experience. Seventy-six percent of hiring managers surveyed said they prefer real-world skills over education. And to make sure they’re not hiring a complete dud, companies are testing candidates’ skills in real-time through interviews and assessments.

This isn’t happening in every work sector, but it is affecting more and more areas. Jobs in retail, construction, healthcare, social services and even IT have adjusted their hiring requirements. And while there is a growing trend towards accepting professional certifications, associate degrees and boot camps, only 24 percent of hiring managers reported that their company sees value in certificate programs.

This trend comes at a time when the national student debt balance is at $1.76 trillion, making many would-be students hesitant to pursue a degree and go into debt. As the workplace changes its’ requirement and college degrees become less and less valuable, it could prevent millions from falling into more and more debt.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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