College Degree Relevancy Declining. Really? Show Me.

As the employment market has gotten tighter in recent years, there has been an increasing buzz around college degree relevancy. One could certainly argue that in key markets – IT comes to mind – the college degree carries less weight than it used to but does that mean employers have stopped looking for a college degree in their screening process?

A recent I4CP Productivity Blog asks the question: Is it time to rethink the college degree requirement? Few would argue that a piece of paper certifying you survived four or five years on a campus means strong performance will follow but we’re not sure the college degree has become irrelevant… yet. In fact, when we see evidence like this testifying to a shift in behavior:

  • Over a quarter (27%) of organizations indicate less emphasis on college degrees for new hires; and,
  • Nearly a third (31%) anticipate [even] less emphasis going forward;

our spidey-sense about the difference between what someone says and what they actually do needs to be shown in a bit more detail.


[You might also like: An overlooked diversity hiring opportunity]


Equivalency vs college degree

When considering college degree relevancy one needs to ask some key questions. Just how many hires for professional-level positions requiring degrees in years past are now going to folks who can demonstrate an equivalent? And how many of those jobs we know never required a college degree are now being filled with folks who just happen to have a degree versus a few years ago?

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