September 23, 2021
A growing number of businesses appear to be dropping degree requirements in hiring.
The potential shift comes as Byron Auguste, CEO of Opportunity@Work, and others argue that privileging job applicants with four-year degrees excludes millions of Americans from the middle class, and that this form of discrimination in particular hurts people of color.
At the same time, the college degree is receiving scrutiny for contributing to the racial wealth gap, due to labor market returns that are skewed against Black and Latino college graduates.
Yet examples of companies actually rolling back degree requirements remain spotty, PRish, and concentrated among tech giants like IBM and Google. Bottom line: if you want to make big bucks working for Apple, Stanford or MIT are still your best bets.
New data from ZipRecruiter, however, suggested a potentially tectonic shift, one that could trigger a cascade of changes across higher education and society more broadly. The AP reported earlier this month that the percentage of jobs on the platform that required a bachelor’s degree fell to just 7 percent in June, having stood at 11 percent in January. The decline followed a drop from 15 percent in 2016.