News and Press

Government Employers Are Beginning To Eliminate Degree Requirements To Expand Talent Pool


More government employers are eliminating college degree requirements as part of their applicant eligibility standards and shifting towards attracting people with real-world skills.

For years, and in some cases decades, state and local governments would require college degrees to even apply for an open position. Even today, if they receive an application without a specific requirement, it will quickly get tossed in the trash like a balled-up napkin.

It doesn’t matter if you invented a water powered SUV by the time you hit 17 years old. If you don’t have a college degree as the requirement, you have zero chance of landing that government job.

Where’s the common sense in those hiring practices?

It seems there isn’t any, but now there’s hope. Many government employers are taking notice to the missed opportunities that come from demanding college degrees for a job.

Now more and more federal, state and even local governments are eliminating the college degree requirements in lieu of skills or experience, and sometimes both.

The philosophy is simple; if you can do the job, then you can do the job.

“Not every job needs a college degree. That may sound like a revelation to some, but many employers are rethinking degree requirements for certain positions. Lately state governments are joining the trend, removing pointless barriers that keep out qualified workers,” according to the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.

States Take Action

Earlier this year, Georgia state government voted towards reducing or eliminating what they deem “unnecessary requirements” from certain government positions. Once the bill goes through the Georgia state government system, it will move on to the Department of Administrative Services. The DAS will review all state jobs to ascertain which job postings level of education, training and experience can be reduced.

The lead sponsor of the Georgia bill, Senator John Albers said in a statement, “We used to mandate a college degree for almost everything. Now we’re looking at that differently.”

Georgia isn’t the only state making recent moves. Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro recently pushed an executive order to change the hiring policies to pursue practical skills and experience over education.

“Whether you went to college or gained experience through work, on-the-job training or an apprenticeship, we value what you bring to the table,” Gov. Shapiro said in a statement.

This new trend comes after Maryland pioneered government hiring reform last year. As a former real-estate executive, then Maryland Gov. Hogan wanted changes to “build a steady pipeline of talented, well-trained, skilled workers”.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox made similar statements when he approved the elimination of degree requirements for many Utah state IT and health services jobs.

This new trend comes amid a push for private companies to also modify requirements for applicants. In a tight labor market, private companies have concluded that they need to bring in a bigger pool of applicants to choose from.

In a surprising example, Delta Airlines eliminated their bachelor’s degree as a requirement for pilots.

The Burning Glass Institute

According to an analysis by the Burning Glass Institute, an organization that studies the future of work, their website states, “U.S. job postings requiring at least a bachelor’s degree were 41% in November, down from 46% at the start of 2019 ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The website continued, “This reset could have major implications for how employers find talent and open up opportunities for the two-thirds of Americans without a college education. Based on these trends, we project that an additional 1.4 million jobs could open to workers without college degrees over the next five years.”

As the job market continues to evolve post-pandemic, it is becoming increasingly clear that employers, both public and private, are shifting more towards practical skills and less towards formal education.

This is where Haiku becomes the perfect fit. We provide impactful training in the cybersecurity industry that gives you the skills needed to enter the workforce without an overpriced college degree.

Our platform is a low risk option as it is a fraction of the cost of even the most affordable community colleges. Plus, our gamified experience won’t even feel like you’re in an educational role.

Get ahead of your peers and start with Haiku. You will be way ahead of the curve and be exactly what an employer is now looking for, someone with skills. – Haiku

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