- Walmart will eliminate degree requirements for some corporate jobs, the retailer said Thursday. The move is part of a broader effort to eliminate unnecessary barriers to career advancement, Walmart said, and reflects a broader focus on skills among employers nationwide.
- The employer is rewriting job descriptions to allow for either a relevant degree or the skills needed for the job, obtained through either previous experience or another type of learning.
- “Both options count,” Walmart said. “While degrees should be part of the equation and in some cases even required, there are many roles where a degree is simply unnecessary, including at corporate headquarters.”
Most middle-skill jobs are “soft bachelor’s” jobs, research from earlier this year concluded, meaning that a four-year degree isn’t a good evaluation of whether an applicant has the skills needed for those positions.
When employers adopt a “skills-first” hiring process, they can expand their talent pools and bolster DEI efforts, the researchers explained. Walmart also alluded to future skills that it will need; it didn’t specify what those skills were, but some employers have moved away from degree requirements for jobs like those requiring AI skills — rather than wait years for the next crop of graduates.
Walmart joins several other private-sector employers with its announcements, and employers in the public sector have jumped on the bandwagon, too. Several states, including Alaska, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, have similarly eliminated or reduced degree requirements for state jobs.