A college degree is seen as a must for getting a good-paying job, but the current-gen tech companies now don’t see this as the norm. Many tech firms are now offering jobs without a college degree, including names like Apple and Google, according to the job site Glassdoor.
No college degree – how it helps?
Historically, many jobs have required a college degree even if they are not relevant, or hold no significance for that job. Now, that is changing. The trend of giving jobs without a college degree is an attempt to improve the diversity in the tech firms. Also, it gives a chance to those who attended coding boot camps or pursued other non-traditional courses to acquire skills outside of traditional academic institutions to get hired.
Glassdoor published a list of companies that no longer require a university degree, i.e, they are considering candidates for jobs without a college degree. The list includes 15 names – Apple, Google, Whole Foods, Hilton, Publix, Ernst and Young (EY), Home Depot, Starbucks, Bank of America, Penguin Random House, IBM, Nordstrom, Costco Wholesale, Lowe’s and Chipotle.
Also, the positions that these companies are hiring for are not just entry-level positions, but rather technical positions.
“With college tuition soaring nationwide, many Americans don’t have the time or money to earn a college degree. However, that doesn’t mean your job prospects are diminished,” Glassdoor said in a blog post.
At Apple, the positions that do not need any degree requirements include engineering project manager, Business Traveler Specialist, design and verification engineer and Apple Technical Specialist. Open positions at Google with no four-year degree requirement include research scientist, UX engineer, mechanical engineer, product marketing manager and software engineer.
What companies had to say?
Though Google in no way disregards academics, it is making efforts to create more opportunities for non-traditional candidates. “When you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people,” a Google executive told the New York Times in 2014.
EY’s managing partner for talent, Maggie Stilwell, said previously that the academic qualifications are and will remain an important criterion for assessing a candidate, but it is not a mandatory requirement to hire someone, notes a 2015 article in The Huffington Post.
Speaking to CNBC in 2017, IBM’s vice president of talent, Joanna Daley, said that about 15% of IBM’s U.S. hires don’t have a four-year degree. Further, Daley said that the company now doesn’t actively look for persons with a college degree, rather, the candidates with hands-on experience, like those who attended coding boot camp, or specific skills classes.
Implications of jobs without a college degree
Hiring candidates without a college degree is a good start, but it has its own implications. The first is, you may not have to go or finish college to get into a large corporation. This could lead to a change in the mentality, from You Must Go To College to Should I Go To College.
Another implication is that the candidates, even before applying for college, will try to get into companies like Apple and Google. If they are hired, they may never go to college, or use the company’s education program, thus, leading to vacant seats at the college. Further, a drop in the number of applicants could be bad for the education sector overall. Private colleges located in rural areas may fail to survive.
Also, the trend of hiring without a college degree could lead to less student loan debt, but this could be a good thing. Consumer Reports’ August 2016 issue found that 45% of the people with a student loan debt believe that college was not worth the money. The student loan business can partially be blamed for such thinking.
Many Americans who went to college to shape their future often have had to struggle with the debt, while the industry makes a profit. A report from MarketWatch in 2016, noted that 45% of college graduates worked in a “non-college job.”
A report from USAToday last month noted that a typical American adult with at least a bachelor’s degree earns on average $52,782 per year, while those with a high school diploma earn $31,600 per year. Further, the report noted that there are jobs that do not need any college education, but pay better than the average across all the education levels.