Amid the so-called “Great Resignation” during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have struggled to find employees. Unfortunately, it seems they are still struggling on that front.
As we reported last week, many experts attribute labor shortages directly to the effects of the pandemic. But in a new report, the Cengage Group has identified another reason – a requirement by most employers that applicants have a four-year college degree.
According to the report, 65% of employers struggle to find talent, but 62% require a degree for entry-level jobs. In a survey of 1,000 hiring managers, the Cengage Group found that 43% of employers agreed that professional education credentials are more important than a degree when considering a candidate for a position.
“Employers seem to be stuck in an adversarial cycle, where they recognize that a degree is not an indicator of job readiness, but still require them as part of their candidate screening process,” Michael said. Hansen, CEO of Cengage Group. The mindset and stigma of degrees not only widens the workforce gap, it costs companies time and money and scares away potential talent. »
Are college degrees important?
When we consulted with business experts, we found mixed opinions on the subject. Charles Catania, director of Branding with Chuck, says colleges today are more focused on preparation for a specific job, so employers consider it more important than before.
“The point of a liberal arts education was not to teach business majors, say, contracts, as it is now,” Catania told ConsumerAffairs. “Instead, the goal was to teach students how to think and give them the tools they need to solve the complex problems they face in the real world. Students graduating from college show employers that they are committed to taking college to a degree in four years.”
Scott Lieberman, owner and director of Touchdown Money, doesn’t buy that argument. He says a college degree is “absolutely not necessary” for most entry-level corporate jobs and that hiring should be based on skill, character and enthusiasm.
“Most employers are disconnected and lazy,” Lieberman told us. “It’s a simplistic way to weed out a large percentage of applicants without actually looking at their credentials and getting to know them.”
Student loan debt on the rise
Over the past two decades, young people who wanted to enter the middle class and get good jobs have sought a degree, often at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars. According to the Federal Reserve, the average student loan debt is over $32,000.
“Frankly, it’s a scam that a 17-year-old high school senior has to decide to shell out an insane amount of money just to qualify for a job that will pay far less than that in the first year or even four years. in the role,” Lieberman said.
The Cengage Group report concludes that companies’ hiring policies significantly reduce the pool of potential talent. The researchers note that only 38% of American adults have a four-year degree.