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We Need More Skills Rather Than Degree-Based Hiring Practices

We Need More Skills Rather Than Degree-Based Hiring Practices


In today’s economy, there is a mismatch between job availability and job seekers. Lawmakers have been trying to tackle the issue of degree inflation at all levels.

Just this month, Gov. Spencer Cox (R-UT) sought to change the way state employees are hired. He announced a new effort to expand job opportunities to those without degrees. Shifting to skills-based hiring and removing the degree requirement for specific roles can greatly expand the pool of qualified workers for public roles while helping to control costs.

Why is this issue so pressing? Over 70 million people in America have valuable work experience but lack a college degree. About 60% of public jobs require a college degree, but only about 35% of workers have a college degree. “Degrees have become a blanketed barrier to entry in too many jobs,” Cox observed. He continued, “Instead of focusing on demonstrated competence, the focus too often has been on a piece of paper. We are changing that.” Of the 1,080 jobs in the state’s executive branch, 98% do not require a bachelor’s degree.

Read the full commentary at the Washington Examiner.