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College Degree Relevancy Declining. Really? Show Me.

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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?

Do You Even Need a College Degree in Today's Job Market?Click To Tweet

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.

 

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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?

Gerry Crispin

Gerry co-authored eight books on the evolution of staffing and has written 100s of articles and whitepapers on similar topics during a career in Human Resources that spans more than 40 years from HR leadership positions at Johnson and Johnson; to boutique Executive Search firms; a Career Services Director at the University where he received his Engineering and 2 advanced degrees in Organizational/Industrial Behavior; and, GM of a major recruitment advertising firm even as he launched CareerXroads 20 years ago.