- Employers who require college degrees for middle-skill jobs might be making six million jobs unnecessarily difficult to fill, researchers say. Middle-skills jobs normally require a high school diploma, but less than a four-year degree. Researchers from Harvard Business School (HBS), Accenture and Grads of Life released their findings in Dismissed by Degrees; they surveyed 600 HR and business leaders.
- Two-thirds of employers in the survey said they think the demand for four-year degrees makes filling middle-skills jobs more difficult. But three in five said they still reject qualified middle-skill candidates with relevant experience in favor of recent college graduates.
- The age group most affected by the demand for higher degrees are young adults between 16 and 24, according to the report. The positions most affected are supervisors, secretaries, clerks, inspectors, support specialists, administrative assistants, testers and sales representatives.
At a time when employers are having difficulty filling positions, unnecessary demands for four-year degrees could be compounding the problem.
And as technology advances quickly — and workers turn to bootcamps and other non-degree training to keep up — employers may have to shift their focus to skills. Workers' abilities may less and less appear as a certification or degree on a resume, which could mean a major shift in hiring practices.
In a pro-labor market, with real or perceived skills gaps, employers might need to consider whether it's time to remove some self-imposed hiring barriers.